Paris is a place for flirting. It is an innocent art form here. It bears no heavy or hidden meanings, has no expected outcome other than a brief personal contact with a fellow human being, a sharing of beauty or perhaps the absurdity of daily life. Its meaning can vary from “I think you are cute” to “Is it just the two of us who see the absurdity of what just happened?” to , as in this image on Île St Louis, “I was once young too, do you see me or just an old man?” Flirting is a normal part of life here where eye contact with a stranger is not threatening. Smiling or winking at a woman in the Métro or on a bus or in a café is a complement and is usually welcomed as one. You should also be prepared to be the recipient of a flirtatious glance. If the smile or the wink is returned that good feeling you just experienced is mirrored in the other. The feeling brightens your day and you get off at the next stop or finish your drink and go on with your day feeling just a little better and a little more connected with the rest of humanity.
Once you are open to the Parisian concept of flirting you find Paris herself flirting with you. She will be sending the message “Look around at your fellow creatures, isn't it wonderful that you are all here together in this miraculous place.”