(CRE) When it comes to flirting, either you know how to do it or you don’t. If you don’t know how, we can help!

Mae West, the blonde bombshell who brazenly suggested that a man should “come up and see” her sometime took matters into her own hands and was the boss of her sexuality. She broke every dating rule that was in place during her hay day and we couldn’t be more inspired by her.

Flirting shouldn’t be about rules of who does what and what is acceptable and what isn’t. In fact, flirting seems to have become a lost art and what we do today is some lame attempt at what kind of magic Mae West and her contemporaries were able to do.

Why do so many people fail so miserably at flirting? The answer is simple. We lack the confidence to go out there and go after the men that we want to be with. Haven’t you ever noticed why younger men tend to prefer older women? It’s because the older women are much more confident in themselves! They know what they want and they aren’t afraid to get after it. Many younger guys say that are tired of being the ones to chase women, so when an older woman chases them, it’s invigorating and fun.

The way you flirt can dramatically increase the chances of being asked out on a date. If you’ve flirted with a guy who is already in a relationship, you can at least be certain that he will remember you and may even look you up should things go south with his relationship.

Here are 7 ways you can increase your chances of becoming a flirting expert.

1. Greet a stranger at least once a day.
When you put yourself out there and at least say hello to a stranger at least once a day, you are working toward being able to hold a conversation with someone new. The exercise of smiling, maintaining eye contact, and greeting someone new may be a bit intimidating, but you’d be surprised how liberating it can be. Not only that but you’ll bright someone’s day in the process!

2. Give Compliments.
Your co-worker, a friend, neighbor, or some random person you see at the store… These are great opportunities to say something nice and make someone’s day. Who knows, you may even compliment your next Friday night date!

3. Introduce Yourself to Someone New.
If you are shy by nature, this is probably going to be a challenge for you. However, if you introduce yourself to someone new, even if it is the cashier at the grocery store, the gas attendant, or maybe the crossing guard at your kids’ school—it doesn’t matter. When you become more comfortable introducing yourself to random strangers, you’ll be that much more comfortable introducing yourself to someone you’re interested in.

4. Talk to Someone New.
When you strike up a conversation with a stranger, whether they are on the subway, the bar, the coffee shop, or standing next to you in the grocery store, you will find it so much easier to approach someone you like and striking up a conversation with them.

5. Feel Comfortable Enough to Approach Someone.
Once you’ve gone through these previous steps, you can finally approach someone that you want to date. You can meet this person anywhere, as long as you are always aware and perceptive—you don’t want to kick yourself later because you let a great opportunity pass you buy.

6. Make Your Move.
When you see someone that you are interested in, you shouldn’t waste any time in making your move and approaching the person of interest. Walk up to them and make small talk. Introduce yourself and find something about them to comment on. If you’re drawing a blank, comment on your surroundings, current events, anything! You just want to make sure you make eye contact and smile.

7. Keep the Conversation Glowing Freely and in a Positive Direction.
When you are trying to get the conversation going, you can always crack a joke or two to lighten the mood and set the tone for continued chats. You’ll want to pay attention to what he has to say and make sure he knows that you’re interested in him and getting to know him more.
When you follow these tips, you’ll find that your attempts at flirting with the guy you’re interested won’t fall flat. With a bit of practice and dedication to your flirt game, you will be well on your way to dating bliss.