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Q. My friends tell me I don’t know how to flirt with guys at all, and I think they’re probably right. Any tips?

A.You are not alone. Here are five “don’ts” to watch out for.

Don’t stare too much

While making eye contact with a man is an important part of getting him to realize you’re interested, you’ll want to be careful not to take it too far. As a general rule, you should lock eyes with a guy for no more than five seconds at a time (and trust us, those five seconds can go by painfully slow when flirting doesn’t come naturally to you). Anything more than that, though, could be perceived as creepy rather than sexy. Remember: the goal is to show your confidence through eye contact, not to intimidate the poor guy.

Don’t only talk about yourself

Sure, awkward silences in your conversation can be, well … awkward. But one of the worst things you can do is to try to nervously fill those silences by talking about yourself. Instead, turn the focus on him. Ask him questions about his interests. Just be careful not to ask too many questions to the point that he feels like you’re interviewing or grilling him.

Don’t come on too strong

Finding a balance while flirting can be difficult. You want the guy to know you’re interested, but you don’t want to come on too strong. Doing so could either scare him off or lead him to believe that you’re only in it for a one-night stand or casual encounter. If that doesn’t apply to you, be careful about what you say or how clingy you are.

Don’t be too touchy-feely

You wouldn’t want a guy walking up to you and assuming he has permission to touch you, right? Believe it or not, many guys feel the same way about their personal space. Sure, a brief touch on the arm or a brush of the hand can be a great way to show a guy you’re interested, but you don’t want to insult him by taking it too far. Respect his boundaries and personal space in the same way you’d want him to respect yours–especially if you’ve just met.

Don’t talk about your Exes

Okay, this is probably one of the absolute worst mistakes you can make when trying to flirt with a guy. Under no circumstances does another man want to hear about your exes—even if you’re comparing them to him in a good way. You wouldn’t want to hear about his exes, would you?

Keep the conversation on anything but your past romances; that’s a topic you can revisit if and when the two of you eventually become more serious and enter into a committed relationship. Right now, focus on him!

Have fun!

Jasbina is the founder and president of Intersections Match, the only personalized matchmaking and dating coaching firm serving singles of South Asian descent in the United States. She is also the host of Intersections Talk Radio.

Jasbina Ahluwalia

Jasbina Ahluwalia adds a unique contribution to the Matchmaking industry–she has pioneered an approach to matchmaking, which blends the best of the East and the West. She is an Indian-American attorney-turned-entrepreneur,...