Don’t think for a minute that just because you’re no longer 20-something your flirting skills went out with the jheri curl. Flirting is important for the single 50 and over crowd; it’s nice to be reminded that you’ve still got it! One big benefit of practicing the art of flirting is that you don’t need to have serious intentions. You can harmlessly flirt just for the sake of enjoyment. It’s about having fun and can be a definite mood booster.

Flirting has certainly evolved through the years. In a 1958 edition of the women’s magazine, McCall’s, the editors entertained the idea that one way to flirt was to “wear a Band-Aid because people always ask what happened.” The article went on to suggest that stumbling when entering a room is a surefire way to attract attention. In the words of the great crooner, Johnny Gill, “My, my, my, my, my, my, my, things have changed!

Back in the day, guys would make catcalling a hobby as they stood on corners girl watching. Today, flirting is still exciting and can put a little pep in your step. It means giving someone your full attention with verbal or nonverbal cues–smiling, touching and being playful. In the right circumstances, flirting can be a powerful tool that lets someone know you’re sexually available. In the wrong circumstances, it can lead to embarrassment for you and be a bona fide turn-off to the person you’ve targeted.

Here are some tips on the art of flirting for the seasoned single:

Give good eye contact and try smiling

Eye contact with a slight smile can be sexy as hell! It is perceived as a sign of attraction. By giving eye contact along with a slight smile, the other person will more than likely reciprocate. Let’s say you’re waiting on line at a Starbucks and you spot a sister you like. Making eye contact and adding a slight smile will probably lead to a conversation, or at the very least, you would have made that sister’s day.

Watch those pick up lines

Coming on too strong is a turn-off for anyone. In general, folks tend to admire an understated approach that does not appear desperate. Ladies don’t want to hear the tired old pick-up lines that have been used to death! Today’s pick up lines may have changed but they still carry the same cheesy feel:

“I’m not a photographer, but I can picture me and you together”

“I’m lost. Can you give me directions to your heart?”

“Are you a parking ticket? Cause you’ve got fine written all over you!”

“Are you religious? Because you’re the answer to all my prayers.”

Now, there are certain brothers who do have a kind of swag about them and might be able to get over with the corny icebreakers but these men are rare. Try to remember, if the pick up lines are delivered aggressively, the situation can spell disaster.

Always keep in mind, flirting is intended to make the other person feel attractive and special.

Be real

Many folks can spot a phony a mile away. Be real! Everyone can appreciate a compliment—as long as it’s genuine. If she’s reading a Toni Morrison novel, or he’s wearing a “Bring Back Obama T-Shirt,” compliment sincerely.

Note the body language

Make sure you are using the proper body language when flirting. Body language reveals how available, attractive, enthusiastic or even how desperate we are and this is  transmitted loud and clear. Men are often recognized as the primary initiators of relationships. There are, however, a number of studies indicating how women are actually masters of manipulation and how they can orchestrate the pace, flow and direction of a first move.

Ladies, trust and believe, you’re never too old to pout/lick your lips, cross your legs, or flick your hair. And gentlemen, while standing, you can strike a power pose, part your lips, or raise a brow.

When there is finally a connection between the two parties, accidental-on-purpose-touching should be the object of the game! If there is a crowd around you, ladies, the old arm guide isn’t just good manners and a polite way of guiding you through a crowd; he’s making sure he knows exactly where you’re going by taking you there. He doesn’t want to lose you! It also shows you’re being “taken care of” so no other men need volunteer.

Make your conversation interesting

Ask questions, share a story or a few jokes, remember to maintain eye contact and throw in a smile when warranted. Unexpected conversations, no matter how brief, can be scintillating.

As we navigate through our second act years, sometimes just having someone to converse and laugh with is what’s most desired. If you possess wit and humor (even if you’re a bit corny), why not use your gifts to make someone laugh?

Offer your undivided attention

Put down the phone! It is outright rude and a real turn-off to be on the phone checking your Facebook account when you are trying to make a connection with someone who is in your presence. The person who is right in front of you should receive your full attention.

When speaking on the phone, the tone of your voice is important. Modulate your voice to set the intimacy of your conversation. Be open and stimulating. Even a little naughty talk can be tantalizing. If you’re on the Amazon site buying kitchen gadgets while conversing, then you are not present which shows a lack of interest. Not giving the other person your full attention while on the phone can also be a real mood killer.

It’s sexy to keep it light sometimes

Leaving someone wanting just a little more can be a delicious move. Know when the moment arrives.

Sending a flirty text message or quick email can be enticing. Send a text or email to brighten someone’s day, “Thinking of you, can’t wait until we see each other again.” Emojis have taken over our texting language and with more than 700 of these icons at your disposal on your phone, you can play Pictionary sex with as much imagination and humor as your heart desires.