Last night, I was in the presence of a master. A flirting genius. A black belt in seduction. A woman so palpably good at flirting that I couldn’t stop watching her. At one point I considered taking out by notebook and jotting down a few notes.

Instead, I committed it all to memory and am writing it down here, so you (and I!) can learn from this woman’s greatness.

A caveat: her “move” isn’t necessarily revolutionary. It’s not as unusual as, say, my Irish Bartender trick; in fact, you’ve possibly already read about it in another article.

But sometimes, the most simple moves, when executed with confidence and intent, are unimaginably effective.

Here’s what happened:

I was at a bar with friends, including The Target, a cute guy in his late 20s. We were standing around one table, and SHE was at the table next to us. At one point, she got up to get herself another drink at the bar, at which point she had to sort of squeeze by us. But whereas I would have squeezed by with my back to the group I didn’t know, she slowly side-stepped past us, facing The Target, forcing him to sort of pivot with her. And whereas my natural inclination would have just been to give a harried “‘scuze me” and been on my way, she smiled at him and maintained eye-contact for a full four-Mississippi, smiling the whole time. You can bet The Target watched her go, and the second she came back with her drink, struck up a conversation with her.

To break it down: she moved past him and maintained eye contact for four full seconds, smiling the whole time, and then walked away.

Not exactly ground-breaking, but still, harder to pull-off in the moment than you’d think. (Four-Mississippi is a long time for shy girls to maintain eye contact with strangers!)

Once she got The Target talking, this girl played it by the book: she laughed, she put her hand on his arm to emphasize her point, she teased him. She was a pro. The Target was hooked.

It’s funny, with all the talk about flirting and pick-up moves and seduction strategies, sometimes the simple things really are the most effective. If you see someone you like, what better way to engage them than by simply making eye-contact and smiling without looking away? The fact that the woman from last night did it while moving past her target in a bar kept it from being too predatory — staring at someone from across the room (or across the subway) is a whole other degree of ballsy.

Lots of girls get self-conscious when they like someone. They draw back into themselves just when they should be at their most outgoing, they get quiet around people they think are cute. This is why the smile/eye-contact move works so well: you don’t even have to say anything! But by engaging someone with friendly body-language, you’re letting them know you’re nice, approachable, and definitely interested in talking.

And if they don’t reciprocate? Whatever, you were just on your way to the bar. No big deal.

Tell us, shy girls! Does this seem like something you could try out? And have you ever seen someone pull off a flirting move that wowed you?

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