Dating and flirting go hand in hand. Some people are better at the art of flirting than others. The best way to flirt with anyone of the opposite sex is to not get creative but just be genuine. Think about what would flatter you; most likely something similar but more gender-appropriate will be best when trying to claims someone else's attention. Instead of getting a drink thrown in your lap, you might get a smile and an offer to have dinner on Friday.
Being a party flirt requires that you know how to flirt with a girl or a guy on a highly skilled level. The activity level of a party is usually chaotic and noisy, so competing for attention can be difficult. Once attention is obtained, it can be just as difficult to work towards the person so interaction of an intimate level can occur, and to sustain that conversation. Knowing in advance what would be appropriate and inappropriate can help when conversation begins. After spending all that time working for eye contact from across the room, what's the logic in blowing it in a few seconds by making a faux pas?
From the point of view of the party flirt, they have the more difficult job. They have to figure out how to get attention without acting in a negative way. Usually a smile and good eye contact will get things started. This is a subtle approach and can make one question if the act of flirting is actually taking place. After the initial act of acknowledgment, it should be immediately followed with an attempt to make more personal contact. Sending a drink or maybe even a rose, if an available option, can be a great attention-getter. If the decision to get attention in this way is decided upon, the act should be of a sophisticated and sweet nature, not tacky, too strong, or juvenile. Another good approach is to just move across the room and introduce oneself. This eliminates any confusion and indicates a strong interest. At this point the party flirt should choose his words carefully. The difference between success and failure can be the matter of a sentence or two. If the flirter is intelligent and skilled at the art of the chase, he will pick up visual clues about the person before making an initial approach. What does personal appearance give away about this person? What can be determined by their personal interactions with others as you watch from afar?
From the point of view of the person being flirted with, this can be a confusing experience. Is this person really flirting or just making casual conversation? What if they are married but looking for a fling? What if he really likes you but isn't saying much because he doesn't know what to say or where to begin? Lots of emotional baggage can come into play, especially if either person has been suscepted to a bad experience prior. Making oneself available and open can help the process along. If wedged in a tightly knit group, maybe break away from the group to get a drink or some fresh air. This makes an approach more simple. No one wants to be made fun of or rejected in front of others, and a private approach is much easier to execute than approaching someone in a group. Once approached, be open and receptive to the conversation. If he made the move to come over and possibly be rejected by you, most likely there is interest there. Remember that most likely both of you are nervous and might say something wrong in such a state. Try to overlook something weird if the person seems interesting and talk for a few more minutes. Ones does not, though, have to tolerate a rude or inappropriate discourse. However, if the decision is made by either person to exit the conversation, it should be done in a tactful manner if possible. The urge to throw a drink in someone's face is tempting, but does it make one better than the other?
Simple signs that the interaction is going well include good eye contact, length of discourse and quality of it, genuine interest, and honest communication. If not sure, it is simple enough to just ask. Many people do like to engage in flirtations just to be doing so. A simple expression such as asking about getting coffee after the party is neutral, and might give one more time to figure out the puzzle presented before them.
As long as dating and flirtations exist, there will be confusion. Learning to watch others in their interactions as well as monitoring your own can make for a more educated guess about the nature of an interaction between yourself and someone else. But when in doubt, just ask. Why waste your whole evening with someone just to be wasting time? It is a lot easier that way.