Flirting is one of those things that seems to be second nature to some, but is an entirely foreign language to others. Unfortunately, like with kissing, if you get too “in your own head” about it, it only becomes harder.
Try to remember that flirting is supposed to be fun. Don’t take it too seriously. If you award it too much weight, it becomes downright scary – so relax. (I know, easier said than done.)
A playful, flirtatious banter is like a tennis match. It can feel exhilarating when you get into a good groove with someone. If you’re interested in a guy who is a little nervous, some mild flirting can be the push he needs to make his move.
MORE: Foolproof Flirting Tips
Here are some savvy tips to step up your flirting game.
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Part 1: Flirting Face to Face
Compliment him… and tease him
You may not know it, but men love compliments, and compliments aren’t as freely given to men as they are to women. Men don’t have a team of cheerleaders telling them how amazing they look before heading out for a night.
Search him for something unique to compliment. Try to avoid generic comments such as, “I like your shirt.” Go more specific. For example: “Wow, that shirt really brings out the green in your eyes.”
Expert compliment-giving is all in the delivery. If you mumble it or look somewhere else while you’re talking or overdo it, it’s just not going to have the same effect. Calm your nerves and look him directly in the eye when you speak. Throwing in a smile with a bite on your lower lip doesn’t hurt, either.
Don’t shy away from making a gentle joke at his expense. This shows you have a sense of humor. Don’t go for anything that he could be sensitive about. If he has huge muscles, you can make a joke about him being scrawny … if he’s scrawny, definitely don’t mention it even as a joke!
Your aim here is to come across as mischievous, not as one of the guys.
For some reason, many women think that being an ice queen who plays hard to get is an acceptable approach to dating. If you’ve been given that advice, disregard it immediately. A kind, happy woman is always more attractive than a sullen one.
Laughing, smiling, and being generally sunny are all very attractive. Don’t burst out laughing at everything he says – you might scare him – but remain enthusiastic. Pay attention and respond warmly when he tells a story. It’s intoxicating to be around a spirited, empathetic person.
MORE: How to Turn a Guy On
If you’re interested in a guy who seems hesitant to take things to the next level, a few well-timed, “accidental” touches can make a big difference. This opens the door for him to do the same, and it will make him feel more comfortable around you.
Make the touches discrete. A light punch on the arm if he cracks a joke in your direction works well. Compassionately placing a hand on his shoulder when he’s being vulnerable is also an option. When you compliment something he’s wearing, you can briefly touch it. A nudge in the arm or a hug goodbye are ideas as well.
Show Genuine Interest
Being a great conversationalist isn’t about crafting clever phrases or showcasing your own accomplishments. It’s about being a good listener. When you ask the right questions and give a man your undivided attention, he’ll feel like the most important person in the room. That is an addictive sensation, and it will leave him wanting more.
Be authentically curious about him and his life. Without making it seem like an interview, inquire about his family and his interests. If he has any hobbies you are unfamiliar with, ask for an explanation of how they work.
While he’s speaking, be still and attentive. When he stops, don’t instantly unleash all the thoughts you’ve been thinking while he was speaking. It will make him feel like you’re more invested in your opinions than in his.
A simple but effective conversational trick is to use the other person’s name. Hearing your own name from someone else is like an emotional tug. Of course, going overboard with this might creep him out a bit, but using it sparingly is a great way to build intimacy.
Be Innocently Seductive
Being innocently seductive doesn’t mean sliding on your darkest lipstick and most revealing outfit. It’s more lighthearted and cheeky than that. Flirting properly is all about the subtle cues. The guy will pick up on them, but it’s not inherently obvious to anyone walking by what is happening.
Playing with your hair, jewelry, and clothing will draw his attention to them. Repeatedly run your fingers through your hair. Bite your lip occasionally. When he’s speaking, feel free to let your eyes wander from his eyes to his lips and back again. Lean in his direction when he’s speaking, like you’re being mindlessly drawn to him.
MORE: How to Seduce a Guy
End the Conversation First
Don’t wait until you’ve run out of conversation ideas before you bail. Leaving while the exchange still feels fresh and energetic will leave him with a positive impression of you. If he felt like he had more things to add, he’ll be eager to see you again and share them.
This can be hard to do when you’re first getting to know someone and are desperate to be around them. However, it’s much better than standing there until you run out of things to say and have to leave on an awkward or apathetic note. Leaving him wanting more is far superior to over-sharing on the first interactions.
MORE: Is He Flirting With Me?
Recap: How to Flirt Face to Face:
- Compliment and tease him- just don’t go overboard with either.
- Smile – and mean it!
- Touch him playfully (don’t be too aggressive).
- Show genuine interest in what he has to say.
- Be innocently seductive. Don’t come on too strong, just give him signals of interest so he can pursue things further.
- End the conversation first – it’s always best to leave him wanting more.
Flirting From a Distance
Flirting from across the room can be sexy and alluring. It can be with a guy you’re already interested in, or a sexy stranger you just spotted and want to get to know a little better, flirting from a distance gives him the green light to approach you and initiate some face-to-face flirting.
Eye contact is the most obvious way to flirt from afar. A man will notice in his peripheral vision if you look his way frequently enough.
You can lock eyes for a moment, but then coquettishly look away. If he’s interested, this will make him intrigued. It’s also a way to avoid accidentally staring at him for too long. Leave a little mystery.
Pairing eye contact with a friendly smile is like a perfect one-two punch. Besides walking straight up to him, there’s not much else you can do to make your feelings known.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that a cold, disinterested expression is attractive. A woman playing hard to get is a tired approach that only a man who loves mind games will be turned on by. This isn’t the kind of guy you want to date, so don’t cater to that.
Even if you don’t get the opportunity to smile directly at him, smiling a lot, in general, will make you appear inviting and approachable.
Watch your body language
Much of our communication is non-verbal, which means you need to be paying attention to your body language. Standing rigidly with your arms tightly crossed is like a giant “STOP” sign to any nearby men.
If you’re a little timid and find it hard to relax, begin with that winning smile. Take a deep breath and let your muscles loosen up. Keep your posture open and your chin up – this shows confidence. Playing with your hair is classic flirtatious body language.
Be where he is (without following him around)
Whenever you have the opportunity to move closer to him, seize it. Discretely ending up in his general area is a quiet way to catch his attention as well as hint at your interest.
If you notice him standing near the bar, make your way to it and order a drink. You can try “accidentally” bumping into him on the way there or back. See if there’s anyone you know standing near him, as this would be a solid excuse to join them.
Don’t exhaust yourself on this. If you’ve put yourself in his path and he’s not doing anything about it, take a step back. Either he’s not interested, or he needs to get more proactive in pursuing you. Don’t do all the work yourself.
There’s no specific set of steps that illustrate the perfect technique for flirting with someone. What works for one person might not work for another. That’s why the most important factor in flirting is confidence.
If you portray a carefree and self-assured attitude, it will serve you well in any flirtatious pursuits. Having an optimistic, energetic disposition will also draw people in regardless of what you’re doing.
On the days where you find it hard to be confident, just fake it. Going through the motions of a confident person will eventually end up making you feel like one for real. (Check out this article on what confident people do differently in their relationships.)
Recap- How to Flirt From Across the Room:
- Make eye contact- just be careful not to stare. Alternate making eye contact with looking away.
- Smile at him coyly from across the room, then look away.
- Have open body language- try not to be rigid and closed off, this sends a “stay away” message.
- Be in his proximity … and then let him initiate contact.
- Be confident.
Flirting Via Text/Messenger
Message him in response to something his posted
Instead of passively “liking” something he posts on social media, take the initiative and send him a direct message. This doesn’t immediately betray your intentions, but it can definitely encourage him to flirt if he’s interested.
An example of this would be if he posts a picture of his dog. You could message him saying, “Your dog is adorable. What kind is he?” If he shares a video from a concert he went to, you could send, “Just saw your video from the concert last night. I love that band, so bummed I missed it – how were they?”
One tip here is to include at least one question in your message. If you just send a compliment or simple statement, it’s harder for him to think of what to respond. By asking a question, you open the door to further conversation.
Ask interesting questions
Speaking of questions – don’t ask bland ones. When someone you don’t know very well asks you what’s up, it’s so hard to answer. It’s not like you’re going to go into intense detail about your life, so what do you share? This is why many people give one-word responses to questions like that.
Dig a little deeper. Ask questions that require more than a “yes” or “no” answer. For example, don’t just say, “Seen any good movies lately?” Opt for a more specific, “What’s your favorite movie and why?” With the first option, he could easily say no and the conversation is done. With the second question, he has to include something personal about himself.
Good topics to explore in the beginning are work/careers, family, and hobbies. When you get to know him a little better, you can delve into hopes, fears, and big dreams.(Check out this article for the ultimate list of questions to ask a guy.)
Don’t send a barrage of texts
Mimic his texting style for the first little while. If he’s sending texts that are one or two sentences, don’t send him three paragraphs. It could be that he’s getting warmed up and not ready to say a whole lot yet. But he also could be signaling that he’s not too keen on talking, which means you don’t want to be investing much in the conversation.
Never keep sending texts if he isn’t responding. He’s either away from his phone, in which case no amount of question marks after your texts will make him respond faster, or he’s not into it. Once you send a text, distract yourself with something else and let go of worrying about when or how he will respond.
MORE: How to Flirt With a Guy
Picture texts are a fun way to feel more engaged in what the other person is up to. Saying that your dog looks really cute sleeping on your feet is never going to be as captivating as sending a picture of the described sight.
Resist being too suggestive in your pictures (unless you guys are at the stage). At the same time, there’s nothing wrong with making sure you look your best in any pictures you do send his way.
Bitmojis, gifs, and emojis are all handy tools for crafting a lively and witty message. Goofy gifs, in particular, can be very funny when used as a reaction. For example, if he tells you about something ridiculous that happened at his job, you could send a gif of a favorite TV character doing a face-palm.
Be a little suggestive
There are indirect ways you can show interest over text. Indicating that you wish you were with him instead of texting him is one of the best options. For example, if he says he just whipped up some pasta for dinner, you could say you wish you were eating that instead of whatever it is you’re eating.
When he sends something cute or funny, you can say, “Well thanks, you’re now responsible for me smiling at my phone like an idiot.” Another option would be, “Wow, I just snorted out loud at that.”
One way to be suggestive is to hint at things which could be perceived as sexy, without being blatant. As an example, if you don’t get a chance to respond to his text right away, you could say, “Sorry, just got out of the shower! Anyway -” That doesn’t outright flirt, but it’s a sly way to make him think about you being in the shower.
Leave the door open to take things off chat and in person
You only want to stay in the flirting over text phase for so long. Fortunately, there are endless opportunities to shrewdly hint at taking things up a notch.
If he tells you about something he bought for his house, say you’d love to see it sometime. This also works for when he talks about any pets that he has. You can joke that you’re pretty confident you’d win his dog over in a heartbeat because all animals love you.
If he asks a question that could easily be a long or personal answer, tell him that the reply is way too long for text, so you’ll have to tell him in person sometime.
Movies and bands are terrific excuses to meet up as well. If a band you both like is coming to town, mention it. You can also talk about how you’ve been dying to see a certain movie and it comes out this weekend.
Recap How to Flirt Via Text
- Message him in response to something his posted
- Ask interesting questions, i.e.- not “What’s up?”
- Don’t keep pummeling him with texts. Wait for a response first and don’t panic if he takes a while.
- Send cute picture texts.
- Be a little suggestive- suggest that you wish you were with him instead of texting, but do this in subtle ways.
- Open the door to take things offline and in person
I hope this article helped you learn exactly how to flirt with a guy, so you can show interest without risking embarrassment or rejection. But flirting is only the first step in rousing his interest. Do you know what really inspires a man to commit? Do you know what it takes for him to see you as girlfriend material, as a woman who is a cut above all the rest? If not, you need to read this next: The #1 Things Men Desire in a Woman