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How to Flirt and Be Attractive

Get a lover to notice you and like what they see.

A common concern for anyone dating or in a relationship is getting (and keeping) their partner's interest. Everyone wants to know how to flirt, seduce, get noticed, and be attractive. Whether they are single and dating, or married and relating, attraction is important for success in love.

Previously, I have provided numerous tips for flirting, getting noticed, and attracting a lover. Sometimes, however, this process can feel a bit complicated. As a result, some readers may not know what to focus on as the "basics."

Today, I would like to review the research and talk about those tactics overall. In essence, I'm going to review the numerous ways that people try to attract a lover or mate — and discuss the fundamentals of attraction.

Tactics of Mate Attraction

While preparing for this article, I re-discovered an older bit of research by David Buss that summarized and evaluated the tactics people use to get noticed and attract a mate. Buss (1988) surveyed both college students and newlywed couples about the various tactics and behaviors they use to attract a mate. Participants' responses were then analyzed to determine the behaviors people used to attract a lover, how frequently each tactic was used, and which were the most effective.

Overall, Buss (1988) found 101 different behaviors that individuals used to flirt and increase attraction. These behaviors were further classified into 23 categories or "tactics."

As predicted, however, some of these behaviors and tactics were more effective than others — both for single students and married couples. Therefore, further analysis found that the most effective and attractive behaviors belonged to the following categories:

  • Keeping Clean/Groomed - showering, grooming, brushing teeth, etc.
  • Keeping Fit - dieting, exercising, and maintaining physical health
  • Wearing Stylish Clothing - picking attractive outfits and staying in fashion
  • Displaying Humor - joking, being funny, and making others laugh
  • Acting Pleasant - being sympathetic, offering to help, and showing good manners
  • Flirting - giving encouraging glances, smiling, and touching

How to Attract a Date or Mate

According to the research above, a few basic tactics can be very effective for increasing attraction. In fact, the seven categories noted by Buss (1988) can be further reduced to three fundamental areas of action:

  1. Maintain a Good Appearance - Grooming, clothing, and physical fitness do matter in attraction. That does not mean you need to starve yourself or have abs of steel to find love. It does mean that taking a shower, getting a nice haircut, picking out a flattering outfit, and staying healthy are important. So, it is not necessary to obsess about looks, but it does help to look your best. (For more, see here).
  2. Be Positive - Lovers and mates are not just attracted to the physical. Personality counts toward attraction too. Being thoughtful, sympathetic, and well-mannered can go a long way. Similarly, being optimistic, funny, or thoughtful can help. Therefore, it is important to focus on being positive, pleasant, and entertaining too. (For more, see here).
  3. Get Noticed - Finally, to build attraction, it is important to go to places frequented by potential lovers. Being social, joining activities, and building a larger social circle can help. Spending time with (potential) mates can help too. Then, it is also important to send the right signals. Eye contact, a friendly smile, and a flirty touch usually do the trick! (For more, see here and here).


Although there are many ways to build attraction and get noticed, there are a few important fundamentals too. By focusing on those fundamental areas, individuals can greatly improve attraction in their dating and relationships. So, if things get confusing, just remember to make the best of your appearance, stay pleasant and positive, make eye contact, smile, and touch.

Until next time...happy dating and relating!

Dr. Jeremy Nicholson
The Attraction Doctor

Go to Attraction Doctor for more dating and relationship advice (in helpful categories), and be sure to follow my Facebook page.

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© 2014 by Jeremy S. Nicholson, M.A., M.S.W., Ph.D. All rights reserved.


Buss, D.M. (1988). The evolution of human intrasexual competition: Tactics of mate attraction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 616-628.

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