So people – it’s happening. Following my make-over last week, and after practising the eye contact game, I’ve been on some practical flirting sessions with a team of wing women assembled by Love Coach Julia Keller.
I bought a new black frock for the occasion [one that showed off the décolletage] and dutifully swapped between flats and high heeled shoes (because I still kind of look like Bambi on Ice in heels).
Our first port of call was a pub in Marylebone, but we got there a bit late and it was pretty much full of drunk work people who were too busy talking internal politics to notice three stunners walk in, so we strutted out and made our move towards a private members club nearby.
Here, we were set a series of exercises by Julia. We were not, under any circumstances, to approach people we found attractive – this was all about practising. Once we’ve mastered our skills we can go and approach the guys we really like with confidence!
So our trio of dolled up, Charlie’s Angels, were set tasks to go and sit and mingle with strangers.
I must have had a look of “help me” on my face as we were stood in the middle of a grand room for about five minutes deciding which strategic table we should go and gatecrash.
Don’t get me wrong – I can go and chat to anyone, about anything, but this was different. This was me having to show how I flirt! Plus there were three women all deploying the same eye contact game. The club didn’t know what had hit it!
Thankfully, a friendly-looking businessman smiled as we made contact and nodded me over. We sat down and chatted for a bit and I discovered that he worked in research for a bank, and his two friends were from rival banks and were visiting from the States. We sat chatting for about ten minutes (me mainly about wine) [I was warned to stay away from corporate discussions and noticed he was drinking wine so struck a common interest], and then suddenly Mr Businessman passes me and my friend a business card. Now I wasn’t entirely sure what to do with the card. I hadn’t expressed a desire to learn more about banking analytics and I didn’t think we’d really had any sort of connection, plus he was in his late 50s and he was married. So I concluded that it was a card to get me to get up and leave, which was a tad interesting as I’d been tasked to sit there and keep “flirting”.
Plus, I was slightly trapped as my wing woman was having slightly more success being endearing to her target.
Thankfully Julia came and “saved us”. However before she left she managed to get one of the businessmen to give us feedback on how we did. Apparently shaking the hand of someone you’re not really interested in when you get up and leave, means that you’re “businesslike”.
So we moved on. Again I got slightly trapped, but this time it was being prevented from getting to the bar by one of the wing women who had managed to strike up a conversation with two other men. Parched and dying for a vino I decided to use my waiting time to strike up a conversation with one of the chaps who was stood next to me.
To be honest, I can’t actually recall anything interesting about the conversation, except that I remembered trying to do the “touch the arm” tactic (it ended up more like a nudge in the arm – maybe picture Mr Bean trying to be subtle) and after what seems like an eternity, we finally got served.
Now here comes the next dilemma. As everyone in these fancy bars has tabs, the drink was kind of group ordered and then no payment was made. So despite wanting to leave the conversation to chat to another chap that I had actually made eye contact with, I felt I couldn’t leave because I hadn’t paid for the drink. So there I stood, talking about god knows what, going slightly dead behind the eyes, and wondering when we were going to leave and sort the bill out. Eventually someone got my coat, I was still stood there and finally finished the drink. As they went to settle the tab and I gave him a kiss goodbye on the cheek (see – I’m learning) I had to awkwardly check if he was paying for my drink as well. I had visions of the bar staff at the club chasing me down for not paying! He confirmed he was in fact buying my drink.
So what have I learned from this experience.
- Get clarity early on whether a drink is being bought for you
- Get more ballsy about just expecting a man to buy a drink for you (we don’t have equal pay for women yet – so in my new book, damn right it’s fine)
- Take business cards and move on.
- If you’re bored of the conversation, go to the toilet, anything, just leave!
- Keep practising – you’re not a very good flirt ……. and you still haven’t got a date.
Now I had to have a post-flirting chat with Julia to check what I was actually meant to do with the business card. While it was considered to be a success that I had got a free drink and the card, I was a bit confused about the protocol on accepting the card in a members club and whether I was meant to make contact. Also, there was a massive part of me that actually wanted to email the chap and apologise and explain why we were on the prowl and that we didn’t mean to ruin his business catch-up.
I was told it was my choice if I wanted to make contact or not. But as I mentally tried to start writing said email, I weighed up the options and thought there was nothing to really be gained by doing so.
Hopefully, I’ll be a funny story about the entertaining Australian gal who has interesting wine banter!