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Dr. Goodheart's Flirting & Dating Advice
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Ask Doctor Goodheart ... Flirting Advice Column (page 1)

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Dear Dr. Goodheart:

It has been a long time since I dated someone. I'm 19 this year, really sweet, beautiful, but rather shy. I don't know what's wrong with me. If I see a guy I like, instead of flirting, I kinda avoid them. Is it normal? Moreover, since I'm shy and really quiet, I think I intimidate most people, although my all friends and everyone I have spoken to think that I'm special. What can I do to show people who don't know me that I'm not intimidating, but really friendly? I'm so ready to start a relationship now. When I was on a dating break, I was studying how to flirt and all that but I just can't put all that into practice, especially on a guy that I really like.

Please help me, what can I do ?

Cuda

flirting-advice

"This angel is waiting to be heard."

Dear Cuda:

It sounds like you are working with all the right building blocks: sweet, beautiful, "special" — these are all positive attributes, and, considering you recognize them in yourself, I'm willing to bet that, given the right circumstances, you're not as shy as either yourself or others might think.  If you can look in the mirror and call yourself beautiful, you're doing a lot better than most girls out there.  

Rather than worrying about what you can "do with you," instead, focus on what's already "right" about you.  Use your assets to your advantage. If you're shy and sweet, but beautiful, playing coy can be a great way to snag the "nice" guy you're looking for. Instead of trying to apply flirting techniques from (often misleading) flirting manuals—this column is possibly no exception to the rule—focus on being you, which sounds like a pretty "special" package indeed.  Use your shy, sweet, beautiful, demure personality to help that special someone recognize the special qualities in you.  

On a side note, shy and sweet people usually don't come off as intimidating; quiet maybe, but not intimidating.  People who seem silent and intimidating usually have a touch of "ice" about them that makes people think they are constantly being given the cold shoulder. If you think that people are "intimidated" by your actions, try and evaluate if you really are being stand-off-ish, and if so, critique whether or not you may be doing so to put up a guard.  If you think you may be acting a little defensive in light of your shy, single status, try and relax; lightening up the attitude with smiles and laughter makes you seem a lot more inviting and may bring in more offers, especially from that certain special someone you've been looking to impress.

Best of luck,


Dr. Goodheart, Flirting.com

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Dear Dr. Goodheart,

There is this boy working in the net cafe I am going to, that I wouldn't have noticed his (nice) presence if he hadn't flirted me (like: "You look much better with this haircut" and "Where are you going for vacations?" or winking at me, etc). He must be around 18-22 but not imature at all. I am 27 (looking like 18 though), I have never had a boyfriend I'm afraid, thus I'm not quick to respond nor do I say more than three words in a row when this is about flirting. So time has passed that way, but as time has shown, he still shows he cares. Well, till the moment that I decided I couldn't live only by flirting. I wanted to go out on a date with him. When he saw my name on the pc and called me with my name, I turned and asked him: "Isn't it unfair? You know my name but I don't know yours". He came closer, told slowly his name and gave me his hand to greet. I was thrilled, but next days he didn't say anything further. I then decided to take things in my own hands. Someday he was sitting next to me, I said something funny to him without him expecting I'd speak to him. He responded, so I asked about himself. He responded again and I could see him trembling for a sec.

Then he asked something back but we didnt talk much, mostly I did the talking. The next days I went there he was cold. I haven't said anything stupid and I can't find the reason, but he never tried to get my attention again. For instance, when I'm just getting into the store or am about to leave, I can tell he avoids having to talk to me. I can't understand his reactions and why he has never asked me out. I suppose I always do (or don't do) something strange and that's why I am still alone. Sorry for the long letter, I just wanted to explain as much as I could. Can you please help me?

Thank you very much,

Niki

goodheart

"Java is a great way to relax the setting."

Dear Niki:

I would be willing to bet that, more than anything, he’s nervous.  Based on what you’re saying, he is sending positive signals that he’s interested.  That he always goes out of his way to not only serve you, but also keep other from serving you; that he smiled and extended his hand when he introduced himself to you; that he winks at you and makes comments implying he observes your physical appearance — including the changes in it — all suggests that he is paying more attention to you than the average person.  


Since you guys are technically "strangers" in the broad sense of the word, the only reason for all this attention, one can assume, is that he is interested in you, likely on an intimate level.  I think you did a great job by following you gut instinct and reciprocating his body language by initiating conversation.  Though he may have gotten cold in the last couple of meetings it may be that he is more likely nervous than no longer attracted to you that has him all tongue-tied and "cold" as you put it.  Instead of letting this deter you, I say you continue making small-talk, giving him time to warm up.  If it looks like he is starting to warm back up to your approach, but is getting nervous or distracted when you talk to him, do him a favor and take off the pressure by asking him to get together outside of his work.  There are a number of reasons that he could be getting nervous: he might not want to get in trouble with his boss for talking to you; he might not want to get razzed by fellow employees that think he’s flirting with customers; he might not know if you are interested in him and doesn't know how to talk to you.  By taking the initiative of asking him to get together for coffee outside of work, you can gauge his feelings for you based on his reaction, and make him more comfortable when he sees you in his work setting.  

Best of luck,

Dr. Goodheart, Flirting.com

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Dear Dr. Goodheart:

Ok, I am flirting with this guy in class such as rubbing my leg up and down, tapping my fingers on my cheek, biting my pen and looking at him with a smile then looking away.  He looks at me, too.  After a while, we start to take a group test, someone's asks me "Are you sure your answer is correct?"  And the guy that I am flirting with goes, "Of course it's correct, she's smart."  Does this mean he is interested in me??? And should I have given him a tap on the shoulder and thank him?  Or would that be too touchy?  What should I do next class?  Should I let him flirt with me first or what?  I am so confused. Please help!  I don't want to come off too strong.  

-JL

goodheart

To nail you schoolgirl flirting moves: tone down
on the naughty factor.

Dear JL:

I think you're on the right track.  Needless to say all of your leg rubbing and pencil biting has caught his attention—hence the "she's smart" comment.  Still, you don’t want to make it too obvious that you're interested by tapping him on the shoulder and thanking him.

Instead, let your body language—as you've already been doing—do the talking for you.  When and if he compliments you, give him a warm smile and hold eye contact.  It'll be a sure way of grabbing his attention without also grabbing the attention of the rest of the classroom.  If he's interested he'll smile back, maybe hold eye-contact and/or even show signs of nervousness.  It doesn't sound like you’re a typically shy gal; take advantage of your gutsy bravado while toning down on the sexual body language by asking him to grab lunch, coffee, or anything casual and quick that gauges an immediate reaction without the risking of embarrassment, like say, what would happen if your pen biting tricks should backfire and spill ink across your face—sounds exaggerated, I know, but they do make comedies about this stuff for a reason.  Be a little more assertive, but tone down on the physical exploits, letting your smile and charm work your way into his heart instead.

Best of Luck,

Dr. Goodheart, Flirting.com

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Dear Doctor Goodheart, 
 
There is this girl who I am really good friends with. We have so much fun together and we have so much in common with each other.

I am very confused by her lately. She knows very well that I have feelings towards her and it had always seemed to me that she had feelings towards me. When I finally decided to go ahead and see if she wanted to start dating, she said that she has had bad relationships in the past and doesnt want to lose me as a friend. 
 
Is there any way that we could still possibly have a relationship in the future or is it just a lost cause? Please help me. 
 
Nick

Dear Nick,

This sounds very familiar to a situation I went through in high school: Like your girl friend, I was very close to a guy who eventually developed feelings for me. Afraid of losing him as a friend, and afraid of committing to relationships in general, I played ignorant, avoiding any conversation relative to "relationships" at all costs. Eventually, I grew to have great feelings for him, though, afraid of how strongly I felt, I never revealed my secret even after several years more of friendship. Instead, I selfishly hoped that he would wait for me to finish college at which point I would be willing to give things a try. A year before I graduated, however, he moved on, deciding that anyone who takes that long to make up their mind must obviously not be interested. Can't say I blame him.

The moral of the story is this: TIMING IS EVERYTHING.

Though I am happily married to another man that I love very much, I know that I could have just as easily shared a wonderful life with this other man, the one I never let know how I felt. But I wasn't ready. This friend of yours may be going through much the same thing. She could indeed feel very much attracted to you, but for whatever the reason, something is keeping her from committing to you on a more intimate level. It could be because she is afraid to lose you as a friend; or, it could be because right now she is confused and really doesn't know how she feels for you. To avoid years of waiting, longing, and eventual heartbreak (or, perhaps you won't be heartbroken, but will find someone else and move on), I suggest you let things go, slowly, starting here and now. This is, however, simply an opinion based on the results of my own personal experience. I'm not saying that you shouldn't be friends with this girl anymore; nevertheless, I am saying that once the "cat is out of the bag," so to speak, it is impossible to go back to the way things were before. Whether or not you are comfortable with that is something you will have to decide. Rather than push her into a further awkward situation, allow the friendship to take its natural course; eventually, time will reveal whether or not you two are meant to be more than friends, just friends, or former acquaintances.

Best of luck,

Dr. Goodheart

Flirting.com  

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Dear Dr. Goodheart,

I am a 26 year old independent single mother. I have not had any serious relationships in a while and am very careful who I bring around my son whose 4. A few months ago a new employee who is the same age started working with us. He is of another race which doesn't bother me eventhough I know our relationship will take extra work. I find myself having a crush on him.

I have tried to tell if he's interested but at first he was very shy barely speaking to anyone in the office. I found myself always coming up with a reason to go in his area and try to start small conversations with him. One Friday he came by my desk and asked if I had plans for the weekend, I said I keep pretty busy especially with this one and I showed him a picture of my son and I. His immediate reaction was "Oh, I didn't know you had a kid." After this moment things simmered between us and then over the past few weeks we've had more conversations than ever but it's either me asking him questions about himself or we're discussing work. He hasn't asked anything about me but, I have learned so much about him. I just want to know how can I tell if there is anything there, my co-workers say we flirt because I'm the only female he really talks to but for some reason deep down I don't feel he's interested in me. I always make him laugh when I see him but he can go all morning without speaking to me even if he's seen me more than once. My co-workers say he's just shy but lately he's been trying to crack jokes with me. What do I do just forget about it?

Lost and Confused

Miss T

Dear Miss T,

I commend you for being such a strong, conscientious mother; for being so young, you sound wiser and stronger than most other twenty six year-olds I know. Regarding this fellow employee, I would say that any young man under thirty who discovers a fellow female colleague his same age is a mother, is likely to be surprised; it's hard to be a responsible full time career woman and a fulltime mother at the same time. This colleague's reaction shouldn't be taken as an insult; it's simply his young brain trying to process things, evaluating potentialities and compatibilities between you, which gets complicated since you aren't a typical twenty-six year old girl. His reserved demeanor should be read as signs of him trying to "feel you out." Just as you are being protective of your son, he's being protective of his own livelihood as a single bachelor, and perhaps, if he's a good guy, he's being protective of you as a single mother working to support her son. A good guy will be careful to respect both yours and his respective situations and proceed with caution, which may mean periods of silence. The jokes are an attempt to re-connect, feel you out some more, re-diagnose the situation, and determine how he should further proceed.

If you feel you are interested in this man and believe there is sincere potential for something more than just casual "shop talk," chances are, you're going to have to be the more assertive one. Nevertheless, you want to appear assertive in ways that don't make you seem the desperate mother type, but rather, the single woman who's looking to find a partner, not a new father. I know this is probably common sense to you, but, you'd be surprised by how many men are afraid of the "daddy trap." To ensure him that this is not the case, just continue with the jokes and social conversation, proceeding at a slow and steady pace, gradually growing more personal with the conversations. After a few more "intimate" sessions, in a social setting of course, you'll get a good feel as to whether or not it's time to maybe meet outside the workplace for something casual, like coffee. Who knows, you may even work your way up from coffee to cheesecake, and eventually you may even cross the bridge where you introduce him to your son. But first: baby steps.

Best of luck,

Dr. Goodheart

Flirting.com 
 

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Dear Dr Goodheart,

I don't really know whether you'll answer this or not but I really need some advice. You see the problem is that I'm confused about the whole flirting thing, I'm not shy and I can approach a guy I like and start flirting, but somewhere in the process I get lost and end up being simply friends with most males I know.

Now I really like one of my colleagues, and I have flirted with him a little bit. But now I'm not sure how to act around him. I thought that my hints were good enough to make him do the next step (e.g. Thursday was a national holiday and we were thinking of working on Saturday as well in order to stay home on Monday too. He asked me what I thought and I asked him in return if he would be in the office on Saturday. He asked me why? I told him that if he weren't to come then I had no business in the office.

Now if that's not flirting then I'm more confused. However he seems to be in somekind of a stupor recently. Maybe he's busy, or maybe he likes someone else, or maybe he regards me as only a friend once again?

I'm really confused. I don't know what to do. Should I just give up? Should I continue flirting or should I act like a more serious and mature person, so he doesn't think I'm easy to get?

I would really appreciate your advice. I don't want this to end up like all my other attempts.

Thank you in advance,

Daisy

Dear Daisy:

I would say that, given the fact that you seem relatively confident with your flirting game for the most part, that you can't get a consistent "read" on this colleague may be more to due with him than you. Perhaps, as you suggest, he is interested in someone else; or perhaps he is a naturally flirtatious man, and attracted to you though he may be, perhaps he has a significant other at home. This would make sense given that he responds to less flirtatious comments but simply avoids the more personal insinuations; it would also explain his suddenly "cooled" demeanor after the altercation as well.

I would suggest that perhaps you try one or two times more to get the hint across and, if he doesn't respond positively, I would suggest you move on: he may already be taken. Also note, a flirtatious humor is not something that can really be tamed; all the same, just because someone is flirtatious doesn't mean they have any intention of acting on it, which could mean a string of unintentionally broken hearts (sometimes the most flirtatious of flirts can also be the most naïve as to the consequences of their actions). From the sound of it, your advances are clearly spelling out "I'm interested." If he is interested and single, he likely won't hesitate to comply. If, however, things remain cool and complacent, perhaps colleagues is all you should be, and no more.

Best of luck,

Dr. Goodheart

Flirting.com

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Hi, Dr Goodheart,

I met a guy last year december at my little cousin's christiening.  I was like wow, who is this hansome guy.  The body language and all, shows that he was interested. They called an uncle of mine, telling him that his wife was involved in a car accident, this incident scattered the scheduled lunch after the christiening.  Someone even told me that the guy was flirting with me and i was not aware of it.

The melancholy nature in me didnt give me the courage to walk up to him and get acquainted. I saw him as a very shy person too. I taught i was going to forget this guy but i didnt and funny enough when he came back from the states, my aunt that works with him told me that he always ask of me.

Then, I heard he got at job at another state and moved. Since then i ve tried to get his number from my aunt but she refused giving me the number. Something told me that she was jealous.

pls help me i dont know what to do and i dont know how i can get his number.  If i find my way back to him, i wont let him go again.

confused girl,

Nora

Dear Nora,

Flirting through family can be tricky. In this particular case, your aunt holds the trump card: his number. Knowing that he's moved to another state only furthers the complication. If you are really interested in this guy and think that you have a potentially long-term relationship here, then I suggest you ...

1) confront your aunt directly, telling her that you're very interested in this guy and would like to see if you could make things work, therefore would she please be so kind as to give you his number, or

2) go through another family member to get the number from her. This can be tricky, and can potentially lead to family drama and an even more suspicious and jealous aunt.

I suggest going with number one. Chances are your aunt isn't so much jealous as she is trying to protect you from getting hurt by going after a guy whose situation compromises your ability to try and have a healthy relationship. Even if you two are compatible, environmental factors like a long distance relationship will put heavy strain on your dating; that you don't know him very well to begin with will equally compromise the "staying power" of this fling. Still, if you sincerely feel that you have a chance with this man, then neither your aunt nor I should be the ones to tell you otherwise. Trust your heart and move forward with honesty and caution.

Best of luck,

Dr. Goodheart

Flirtng.com

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