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Office Hours With Dr. Jim
by James Houran, Ph.D

In this column, "Dr. Jim" honestly and candidly answers your questions about dating, love and sexuality. He doesn’t tell you what you want to hear – he tells you what you need to hear. Dr. Jim is committed to offering you guidance based on responsible clinical practice and hard data from the latest scientific studies. Send Dr. Jim your questions today for consideration in an upcoming issue.

Flirting Online

Quick Access:
How to Flirt Online

How do I flirt really well online?

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – people can and do “date” online. Online dating services can be much more than introduction services; they can be outlets for that social activity known as getting to know someone with the intent of exploring romantic intentions. To be sure, that, my friends, is what we call “dating.” Now since you can date online, it also follows that one can flirt online as well. And not only can you flirt online, you can do some really powerful flirting! Here’s how…

Build Anticipation
Make your romantic prospect wait in anticipation for that next communication from you. Always end your emails, instant messages (IMs) and other communications with a promise to write or talk again soon. That at once speaks to a level of commitment and also introduces an element of anticipation.

Choose Your Battle Carefully
Related to the above, get to the point when you use IMs. IMs are more like “winks” than emails. They’re a great forum for flirting because they’re instant and allow you to use emoticons and acronyms in playful and flirty ways. Reserve emails for love letters and more private conversations. Chat rooms are great to have goofy fun with others. And finally, use voice chat if you want to combine the instant gratification and interaction provided by IMs with the advantages of love letters found in emails. In fact, listening to each other’s voice actually aids in building attraction and attachment.

Speak the Senses
Humans are visual animals; especially men. Therefore, when you interact with a prospect online make it as multimedia and engaging to the senses as possible. This means when you talk or write, use action words and detailed descriptions that elicit responses from all of the senses. And don’t forget that there are a wealth of great tools online that can offer wonderful experiences between two people – online games, quizzes and the like. Explore these options and keep things playful and spontaneous.

Show Respect and Affection by Being Predictable
Here’s a technique that is worth its proverbial weight in gold. If you’ve been talking to someone somewhat regularly and are feeling a spark of sorts, then claim a time of day as the time when you always send a communication to the prospect. For example, maybe you send an email every day or every other day to your prospect promptly at 5:15pm – a time that gives the person something to look consistently forward to after work. In a sense, its like “marking your territory” but in a romantic and respectful way. Plus, this builds anticipation and hints at a level of commitment. But show restraint and don’t send messages every hour on the hour – the stalker approach doesn’t work.

Use Pet Names
Yeah, it’s old fashioned, but there’s a reason why it’s a classic approach. After you come to know someone fairly well and have communicated online regularly, start addressing him or her by a pet name that sounds neither contrived nor insincere. Your prospect will often let you know if using a pet name was not appreciated, so no harm done if you do it flirty in the beginning. More often than not, the prospect will feel special when you use a well-chosen pet name. And there’s hardly anything sexier than feeling special! (Note: for heaven’s sake, don’t use names like “baby cakes” or “sweet cheeks.” Bad form!)

Exchange Secrets
Pet names are indeed sexy, but exchanging secrets could well be a little higher on the sexiness scale. Reveal something about yourself that you tell no one or at least very, very few (make sure you’re not confessing to heinous crimes or the like!) But divulging little secrets about yourself helps build trust, anticipation and enhances the person’s sense of feeling special. Besides, “secrets” in general is a topic that too intriguing for nearly anyone to resist. I mean who doesn’t remember the fun and excitement with childhood games of “Truth or Dare?” !!!

Related Links:
» Flirtologist Provides Flirting Advice

> - The best approach to find the one. <

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