As a licensed marriage and family therapist and dating coach, I get a lot of questions from concerned family, friends, and colleges who are confused about why their fun and fabulous daughter, sister, or female neighbor isn’t dating.
The answer is simple. They don’t know how to make men feel great (or refuse to do so).
Based on the title of this article, you might have expected me to say that they don’t know how to flirt. But in actuality the ability to make men feel great is flirting—so not knowing how to flirt and not knowing how to make a man feel great when they are with you is one and the same.
There are many reasons why today’s single women feel that flirting is stupid, overwhelming, or repulsive and most of these attitudes result from the fact that women don’t really understand why flirting is both important and meaningful to the male psyche.
Often it can be easier for me to convince single women to adopt flirtatious behavior if I encourage them to stop referring to it as “flirting” and instead refer to it as “making men feel great.”
What are these make-them-feel-great behaviors and how can you encourage the single women (and even married women) in your life to use them?
To answer this question, you must first understand several key secrets to the male psychology (bolded) and female behaviors that answer these needs (italicized):
Men are driven to compete, face challenges, succeed, and conquer. When a man does something nice or meaningful (such as opening a door, offering to help her with something heavy, or expressing a compliment) and a woman looks him in the eyes, smiles, tilts her head, or uses a soft, fluctuating, and feminine tone in response, she makes him feel like a success and encourages him to sacrifice again. All of these responses are flirting behaviors, but he doesn’t notice this. He just notices that she made the time to make him feel important and appreciated. (Men need to be needed. Men like to be appreciated.)
Women will often say that they express appreciation, but without expressing more emotion and femininity in her response, her appreciation often feels less meaningful. (Men like femininity.) Her tone of voice, soft touch, gentle smile, and encouraging words are part of what men associate with femininity. Granted her shape, physical appearance, and posture add to her femininity, but the combination of her appearance and gentle behaviors is part of what makes her not only look feminine and approachable but also confident and happy. (Men like women who like themselves. Men pursue women who appear to be approachable and available.)
Men need to be needed. A man needs to feel that you trust and respect him enough to depend and rely on him. (Men pursue relationships that make them feel trusted and respected.) But trusting and relying on a man is one of the biggest struggles a woman may have. Women are often taught by society and life to be independent and self-reliant. Additionally, women usually feel great impatience when waiting for a man to do something. It can be easier to just jump in and do it rather than feeling vulnerable and anxious, but it is her willingness to lovingly express her faith and confidence in him that will ultimately ensure his ongoing sacrifice, commitment, investment, and love. (Men love through sacrifice—theirs, not women's.)
Communicating faith and trust in a man is one of the most endearing feminine qualities a woman can express, and it starts at first contact by letting him make small sacrifices such as opening a door, offering to help with something, or expressing a compliment and she accepts each offer warmly and with enthusiasm (which reinforces his desire to spend even more time with her).
These secrets to the male psychology and the behaviors I encourage women to engage in are just a few of the hundreds of techniques I teach for both men and women as a way of creating meaningful and lasting connections. Each is significant and important to the deeper needs of both sexes.
For the SINGLES reading this article:
Single women, believe in yourself. Don’t focus on these behaviors as flirting behaviors. Focus on these as important tools for making meaningful connections that will meet the deeper needs of the men in your life. Enjoy experimenting with these behaviors until you discover your own style for making the connections and getting the dates you desire. If you find it hard to use a soft tone, gentle touch, sincere compliment, or faithful expression with men (because the behaviors feel awkward and uncomfortable at first, or because you have been hurt in the past), then start using them with your family and friends. You can do this. God intends for you to succeed in having beautiful and meaningful relationships with men and, in time, a future husband. Never forget, it’s NOT you—it’s your technique. Anyone can change their technique and find love, including you. And it all starts with learning to make men feel great (both at first contact and 20 years into marriage).
Single men, you need to know the number one need of a woman is to feel safe and secure (emotionally, physically, spiritually, psychologically, sexually, etc.). As you help to make a woman feel great through investing in her and pursuing her phone number, a date, and more dates, her ability to be feminine, soft, and open with you increases. Show her that you are the kind of man who will prize and protect this femininity by investing time in her and getting to know her personally. If you keep your dating positive, simple, and clean, she will still value and appreciate both your investment and the time she spent with you, even if one of you decides that you aren’t a fit and you stop dating.
To learn all of the 17 Secrets to the Male and Female Psychology or to obtain an $80 discount on the Mormon Dating System for Men or Women (a limited time Christmas special), visit my website: itsyourtechnique.com.
For readers who aren’t single but would like to know how they can help, read the follow-up article, "Why Your Sister, Friend, or Daughter Isn’t Dating—And How You Can Help" (click here to read).
Alisa Goodwin Snell is Utah’s Dating Coach, author of 7 books for singles, and a marriage and family therapist with 17 years of experience. Learn more about Alisa at itsyourtechnique.com.