We’ve talked about how to make a first kiss one to remember, and ways to tell if it’s the right moment for it. Understanding that the “right moment” is a final hurdle, and usually the most nerve-wracking of the whole process, let’s move out one step further and have a look at signals that you can give, or pick up on, to see if you are near that point.
Don’t worry, this is a much easier thing, and should help calm the jitters – if not those lovely butterflies.
This is a step past your basic flirtation. Flirting varies by culture, region, group, and individual, and everyone seems to think they’re clear as a bell to everyone else about where the line is between friendliness and flirtiness, and everyone else is simply wrong if they don’t see it exactly the same. False indications abound. So we’re going to jump past all that to where it starts to fall away and basic humanity takes over.
You see, the whole thing boils down to that plausible deniability thing I mentioned before. You need to move into their physical space in a way that is inoffensive and can be excused as having no romantic overtones, if the intended has none in return.
Really, that’s most of it right there. The rest is examples and variations, and most of the variations have to do with making sure the romantically oblivious actually realize they have a chance to respond.
Standing slightly too close is a time-honored method. Because of the differences in people that I just mentioned, what you need to work with is a variation in either how close you normally place yourself to people, or making yourself slightly closer to your intended than others are at the moment (or in similar situations).
A light touch is a good way to see how they react to your closeness. Remove a bit of lint from their clothing: if they don’t dodge or flinch, good; if they move slightly toward your hand, even better. Move a stray lock of hair. Note that women are more likely to do that as a matter of course, so its effect when done by a man is much greater – for good or bad.
Combining both of the above can be done in a sufficiently closed area, where being in physical contact with each other is quite reasonable while, for example, working on a shared project or viewing something not visible from a wide area. Just “happening to” brush against someone is a good technique if you can arrange for it. Even if there’s no serious romantic intention, it’s certainly fun!
Here’s the thing, though, about any such actions: if someone is aware that they can be used to test the waters, so to speak, they may take it as much more overt than you intend. I am fairly sure that I give “false positives” all the time, because I am a very physical person who is likely to, for example, adjust someone’s hair just because it needs it. I touch people as a matter of course. (Some say it’s my heritage, and I will not deny it.) I also require very little personal space. Does any of this cause me trouble? Rarely. Remember that its deniability is plausible: believable and likely to be true. If it happens to be true that no interest is intended, its plausibility is merely verified.
Now, if someone responds very positively to such accidental or incidental closeness, it is up to you to either follow through by responding in actual interest on your own part or by adjusting your actions so as not to continue a mistaken indication of interest. We must always be honest about pleasure, even when we are subtle about it!
Since these are things that people might do anyway out of simple kindness, they are not indicators of their own, but an opportunity for the other person to react for or against, and if they like, to reciprocate. This allows everyone to safely and without injured feelings find out whether something more romantic could possibly follow.