Wait, Forget Everything You Know About Flirting

by Liz Colville

Goodness, I said yesterday in our/the University of Kansas’s flirting quiz special that Cosmopolitan was going to have something to say about it, but of course Cosmo finds something completely mind-blowingly original to say about flirting every day, regardless of what landmark science happens to be up to. Today, a reader alerted us to an article called “25 Ways to Become a Legendary Flirt,” and there’s really no other way to do this than pretty much line-by-line, with a few exceptions where I chopped my desk in half with my bare hand.

First of all, the intro. The article begins with the zealous presumptuousness and in medias res scene-setting at which this magazine is so deft: “Of course, you’ve flirted like a demon on dates:” — thanks, no I have not — “working your mojo cements the bond you already have with, say, your long-term crush or new boyfriend.” Where are we? Who are you? Did I look like I wanted a stranger to just start talking to me?

Next, the photo accompanying the article. It’s of a buxom woman, seemingly that slightly older Almay model, surrounded by Adam Brody clones, and her buxomness is important because it will come in handy, if it hasn’t already, later: “Winning someone over in a matter of seconds doesn’t have to involve using your boobs (although there’s a time and place for that too).”

Let us begin.

1. Check out a cutie on the subway for two seconds, look away, then glance back at him through lowered lashes.

I just tried this out on the wall/cat, and I think I probably look like a kid pretending to be asleep when a parent hears giggling and comes in to check on him/her, my eyelids flickering wildly in a failed attempt at being both open and closed. HOT.

2. Sitting in a room full of guys? Turn sideways in your chair, cross your legs, arch your back, and run your fingers through your hair.

But you are in a room full of guys! Surely just sit there with your arms folded and make a “Fuck you looking at?” expression. I have done this. I’m doing okay.

3. “Trip,” fall against a man’s chest, and say “Damn, your pecs are so hard, I felt like I was falling into a wall.”

The author is taking the mick out of Cosmopolitan! There is no other explanation for this one!

4. Get the indie-music guy hanging near the jukebox to help you pick out a song.

“Do you think ‘Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)’ would just upset people?”

7. Comment on a guy’s outfit with something like “It takes a lot of balls for a man to wear pink — I’m into that.”


10. Ask the hot Best Buy salesman to help you pick the perfect birthday present for your guy friend since he’s a “sexy tech genius, like you.”

Actually, I can really see Jane Krakowski’s character in 30 Rock doing and saying this.

11. Tell the guy running on the treadmill at the gym how impressed you are by his grueling workout.

I would add that you should then require him to perform the “9 x 9 Challenge,” which is where you run at 9 MPH and 9% gradient on a treadmill for as long as you can without being hospitalized. If he doesn’t make it past two minutes, forget him.

The second page of tips is devoted to Your Guy, meaning boyfriend or husband, though I’m not actually sure Cosmopolitan believes marriage is constitutional.

16. When you’re at the movies, lightly trace your fingers up and down his forearm.

But the popcorn.

18. Ask him to lift that bulky box off the top shelf because “I need a big, strong man for this.”

This will give a good view down your shirt, if you are even wearing one at this point.

20. Cheer him on at his pickup football or soccer match, and recap his smooth, game-winning moves afterward.

“And then…and then! And then…”
“I know, Cindy. I was there.”

22. Study his face, and remark on how much he looks like [insert hot male celeb he kindasorta resembles here].


24. Get him to teach you his expert poker tricks, then take on other couples.

“Hey, Cosmo reader. Wanna play 52 Pick-Up? See page 124 for rules.”