Flirting training wheels

by Dating Goddess on June 4, 2010

Midlife daters have admitted to me that they don’t know how to flirt anymore. Some even say they never knew how. Now that they are single in midlife, they are feeling they need — and want — to learn.

But how does one practice? Chatting up strangers in the grocery store? Smiling and winking at others in the gym? Offering, “You look familiar” to someone at the coffee shop?

Instead of strangers, should one practice on folks you think are single at church, school events or work? What if they aren’t single and they think you’re being inappropriate? If your flirting backfires, you’re stuck seeing them at future functions.

So what’s a neophyte flirter to do?

For those not quite ready for my Flirt-O-Grams, you can join Flirtomatic.com. It’s a free site that lets you enter minimal information about yourself and start flirting with people all over the world. Or you can limit the focus of your flirting to an age range and/or geographical area.

While I see minimal value for those who feel comfortable getting their flirt on, for those needing some remedial practice it’s a safe place to start. Think of it as flirting training wheels.

I asked my pal who’s doing publicity for the site why someone would join since one can easily flirt on any dating site. He said the beauty of this site is members don’t really have to intend on meeting or talking on the phone. It’s for folks who like to have some flirty banter with no strings attached. While I don’t see myself ever being drawn to this concept, he says it’s very popular in the UK where it began. Especially with those who don’t feel comfortable flirting in real life — yet.

I agreed to try it out so I could tell you my impressions.

First, because membership is free, the level of class, intelligence and education skews low. Some of the introductory messages showing on guys’ profiles are crass. Just move on.

I got flirts from 18 year olds on up. None had anything enticing on their profiles that made me want to respond. When I searched by 40+ men near me, there was no one with whom I wanted to flirt. If I didn’t care their age or location and just wanted to play a bit, I could probably find someone flirt worthy.

Assuming you do find folks to flirt with, you can get their messages via text. I don’t really want to be interrupted with texts by people I don’t know so I didn’t enable that feature.

Know that you have to buy Flirt Points to get improved functionality. For example, if you want to search by those near you, you have to buy 75 points for 24 hours of this feature. For $1.99 you get 250 points.

So, the bottom line is: if you want to just practice your flirting skills, sign up for the site. If you are already comfortable flirting in real time, pass.

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