Flirting is a fun and exciting way to show someone you’re attracted to them. However, flirting can also be tricky, especially if you don’t know how to do it.
So, how can you make sure you’re doing it the right way? What specific things should you or shouldn’t do when flirting with someone?
According to dating and relationship experts, here are the ways to flirt effectively:
Certified Relationship Coach
Flirting can go one of two ways. For those who are experienced and super self-confident, the art of seduction is a no-brainer. They are accustomed to making people swoon after a sidelong glance or dropping just the right words.
Unfortunately, for those of us who are not quite so self-assured or skilled, flirting can feel uncomfortable and downright cringe-worthy. This advice is for those of us in the latter group.
Magnetize them to you; relax and have fun
If flirting means engaging someone’s attention in a way that makes them desire us, there are many ways to achieve this. The most comfortable, non-threatening, and effective way to do this is by magnetizing them to us.
We are naturally drawn to people that are warm, fun, and radiating positive energy. That means that by having fun, you naturally tap into your magnetism.
Relax and enjoy yourself when your love interest is around you (and when they’re not!). Draw them in by giving them a smile while you are simply enjoying yourself.
Consider what makes you smile, laugh, and relax. Is it dancing, being out with a certain friend that always makes you crack up, or just looking your best that gives you that little extra boost of confidence?
Whatever it is, let yourself indulge and delight in the fun you create around you, and let that person witness your enjoyment for you. Your enthusiasm for life and inviting smile directed toward them will be irresistible.
Not too difficult, right? No cheesy opening statements and no pretending to be something you’re not. Just you being you — because the best type of flirting is the authentic type.
Flirting in a long-term relationship
Like so many things in life, once the novelty of something wears off, our attention often shifts to more pressing matters. Likewise, flirting is often one of the first things to go in long-term relationships.
However, flirting with our partner is an incredibly valuable skill to keep the relationship exciting, connected and fun. It makes our partner feel desired and keeps the tension up, feeding the flames of love and intimacy.
Flirting with a long-term partner isn’t so different in its essence as flirting with a new date. It’s all based on the premise that being fun, authentic, and magnetic will draw them in naturally.
These are the four steps to magnetic lifting in a long-term relationship:
- Do you let the stresses and monotony of everyday life regulate your daily experience?
- Has your stressed, tired, or busy look on your face become the only one your partner sees these days?
- What can you do to make sure you reconnect with your laughter, fun, and joy?
The energy we carry that makes us magnetic starts from how we feel on the inside.
Experiment with freely smiling at your partner
There is something about a warm smile from a genuinely happy person that can truly light up a room—experiment with freely smiling at your partner every day when you see them.
Having your partner’s face light up when they see you is a wonderful feeling, so why not give your partner that gift?
Eye contact reminds you of the intimate connection you have
This is where things get sexy. Catching your partner’s eye during fleeting, unexpected moments has the power to remind you both of the intimate connection you have.
Eyes can communicate a hundred words and can enhance the bond between you. Eye contact is also known for creating the release of Oxytocin (the love hormone), so don’t hold back.
Harness the power of touch
Many couples report that touch greatly decreases with time, eventually only occurring during intimacy and during hellos and goodbyes. Harness the power of suggestion and anticipation to rev up the flirting game in your relationship.
Something as subtle as tying his tie for him or touching the small of her back can leave an impression on your partner and spark desire between you.
By flirting in a magnetic way, you get to have fun, relax, and just be yourself. This means that you will be appreciated for being who you truly are, and that’s what most of us want, isn’t it?
It is also a beautiful way to make the person we are aiming our flirtatiousness towards feel special, included, and invited into your vibrant, interesting, and beautiful life.
Dating Coach and Matchmaker | Co-Founder, emlovz
Ask them questions
Displaying a genuine interest in someone is sexy. Showing that you care about the words coming out of someone else’s mouth is the best way to endear them to you.
Everyone wants to feel important and wanted. Ask more questions and listen more than you speak. Ask follow-up questions and genuinely care about what they have to tell you.
Related: 50+ Reasons Why Listening Is Important
Smile and make eye contact
These two are obvious, but we often forget to do them when we’re worried. Smile when they talk, make eye contact, and show them with your facial expressions that you’re interested in her.
These should come naturally, but if they don’t, just be mindful of the messages you’re sending with your mouth and eyes.
The most famous conversationalist of all time, Dale Carnegie, said we should “listen 75% of the time and talk just 25%.” This is the golden conversational ratio if your goal is to build a bond quickly.
Everyone loves humor. Guaranteed if all you two do is crack jokes during a first date, you’re bound to score a second one.
No one ever decided not to date someone because they were too funny or had too good of a sense of humor.
Related: How to be Funny
Watch those hands
Your hands are your best friend and worst enemy. One wrong touch could result in you getting ghosted.
On the flip side, knowing how to touch a woman properly could accelerate your relationship.
To do so properly, you need to read the room. To be sure you’re not overstepping any boundaries, only touch a woman in ways that can’t be misconstrued as rude on first and second dates.
Related: How to Deal With Someone Who Doesn’t Respect Boundaries
Some examples include:
- Hugging hello and goodbye
- Guiding them through a bar or restaurant or while on the street
- Playfully bumping them
- Fist bumps
- Examine the ring on their hand
- Play a hand-related game like thumb war
The best way to segue into more flirtatious physical touches is to make a joke, perhaps a playful one, and then to touch their hand or upper back.
Remember, the longer and lower the touch, the more sexual it is.
CEO and Matchmaker, Exclusive Matchmaking
Keep it short and sweet
When it comes to flirting, some people are natural-born flirts, and others need a little help. Just remember, flirting is something that can be as natural as breathing, and there are degrees to flirting.
It’s as simple as flashing your pearly whites and looking the object of your flirtation in the eye while leaning in.
I think you have to remember a few things about first dates especially, and that is more of what you don’t do that can lead you to more of what you should do, which is: flirting your way to a second date.
- If you are too busy grilling someone on a first date, then you aren’t flirting.
- If you are talking about your ex, you aren’t flirting.
- If you come to the date dressed like you are on a date and feel like you look good, you are more confident; this helps with flirting.
Remember to keep it short and sweet, like “You have beautiful eyes” or “I missed seeing you” is a great line.
Smile at the person. That always signals you are approachable and is a green light.
Watch your body language
Watch your body language because it’s key to flirting. No arms folded over your chest because that says you are angry. Lean in if seated or if standing, and square your hips off with theirs because it says you are interested.
Always be positive and send out positive vibes
“Can’t stop thinking about the last time we saw each other and how much fun we had.” Make sure you are laughing and not talking about how your boss irritates you.
Keep it light and fun
There’s no serious conversation when flirting. It’s all fun and sexy. If asked for something serious, change it to something light. Redirect the conversation.
Compliment the person by saying something like, “Ryan Gosling has nothing on you.” Don’t be fake; just be real with the compliment.
Do something that seems daring and off-limits
Don’t know what that would be for you, whether it’s sending a crush the first text or batting your eyes at the hot waiter. Just get out of your comfort zone.
Relationship and Sex Therapist
Tell them how you are thinking of them
A spontaneous squeeze of your partner’s hand under the table, a kiss on their shoulder as you watch TV, or a squeeze of their butt as the elevator doors close sends a strong and lasting message.
If you leave before, your partner wakes up, stick a post-it note on the coffee maker with a simple “I love you.” If your spouse is going on a business trip, slip a romantic card into her suitcase for a sweet surprise when she arrives.
Even a subtle winky face drawn on a fogged-up mirror can mean so much when your partner spots it while brushing his teeth.
A quick “I’m thinking of you” or “Remember how much fun we had last night?” will put a smile on your partner’s face, even on the dullest of workdays.
Nervous about others peeking at your sexy texts? Give a few emojis a secret meaning and text them to each other sporadically. You’ll be the only two who know that zebra means “I love you,” and pineapple means “I can’t wait to get you naked.”
Presents don’t have to be reserved for special occasions—and they don’t have to cost much to pack a big meaning.
Lookout for your partner’s favorite candy bar at the grocery store or pick up a few sunflowers at that market you pass on the way home.
Notice that your partner looks extra hot as they step out of the shower? Speak up! Does it feel good when they snuggle closer to you in bed? Let them know.
At the start of your relationship, statements like “I have fun with you” or “I like looking at you” don’t feel out of place—and they can be just as connecting now.
Co-Founder and Certified Matchmaker, Select Date Society
Focus on the person you are flirting with and pay close attention to how they are feeling
Flirting is all about sending signals that you’re interested and that can often be done without saying a word. It’s all about body language.
The easiest and most effective thing you can do is to make great eye contact and smile.
Avoid crossing your arms, which will make you seem guarded or closed off. Instead, keep your arms in an open position, signaling that you would welcome being approached.
Laughter can also be a method for flirting. Who doesn’t love it when someone laughs at their jokes? Laughing and giggling can signal that you are light-hearted, playful, and fun…. all signs of a great flirt.
Stay present and enjoy the moment
Focus on the conversation you are having, not on the result you want to get out of it. Don’t worry about asking for their phone number or asking them on a date. Simply stay focused on engaging in a great conversation in the present moment.
The key to flirting is really about focusing on the other person. Don’t spend time analyzing your own behavior. Instead, focus on the person you are flirting with and pay close attention to how they are feeling.
Give them compliments and engage in active listening. When you focus your attention on them and find them charming, you put less pressure on yourself to try to be charming.
Any skill you want to master takes practice, and flirting is no different.
You can practice your flirting skills by engaging in small talk and witty banter with the grocery store clerk or your coffee barista. Practice smiling at strangers and laughing out loud when you find something funny.
Make eye contact with everyone you pass on the street and offer a friendly “Hello!” The more you practice your flirting game, the better you’ll become!
Dr. Betsy Chung
Licensed Clinical Psychologist | Relationship Expert, XOXO
Make the person feel special
When we flirt, we’re trying to show somebody that we like them without directly telling them in hopes of gaining their favor.
One of the best ways to get a person’s attention is to make them feel special, and you can subtly do that by really paying attention to small details about them and referencing those details later on in a positive or humorous way.
For example, you can tease your crush about a childhood memory that they shared, or you can show some genuine curiosity about something about them, like their job or hobbies.
When you do that, you’re subtly demonstrating to the other person that you take an interest in their lives and that you only have eyes and ears for them.
Relationship Expert, Texas Divorce Laws
I’ve seen many people complicate flirting and make it a science about techniques. In reality, flirting is a light-hearted, fun way to signal to someone that you’re interested in them.
The clichés won’t help you
There’s no hard and fast rule about what you should do; as long as you’re natural and playful, you’re getting the message across. Don’t overcomplicate it, and please throw out your smooth one-liners you might think will land you the girl.
People today are more intrigued by honesty, authenticity, and a real connection. So don’t be afraid to be yourself and wear your skin with confidence.
Don’t hesitate to make the first move
Many people have spent the past few years in deep contemplation, and those who are single are emerging from the pandemic with a lot more clarity regarding what they want in romantic relationships.
Related: How to Figure out What You Want in a Relationship
People today are confident in what they want and aren’t scared to pursue it, so if you think you could be interested in someone, don’t be afraid to be the one to start the flirting.
Make it less formal
If flirting doesn’t come naturally to you, don’t feel forced to do it. After all, we’ve all had very little social interaction during the past few years.
Follow your own pace.
Don’t stress about mastering the art of flawless flirting or rushing to make significant advances straight away. Asking someone to go on a walk with you is a sign that you find them cool.
Take a coffee break together. Try to see if there is a shared interest by asking questions. It can be that easy to flirt.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is flirting, and what is its purpose?
Flirting is a playful, light-hearted, and engaging form of communication that people use to signal their interest or attraction to another person. It often involves a combination of verbal and nonverbal cues such as compliments, teasing, body language, and facial expressions.
Flirting aims to establish or strengthen personal connections, check compatibility, and spark romantic or sexual interest in a fun and non-threatening way.
How can I improve my flirting skills?
To improve your flirting skills, you need practice, self-awareness, and a genuine interest in getting to know others. To become more adept at flirting, you should improve your conversational skills, active listening, and confidence.
Observing charismatic individuals in social settings or watching movies and TV shows with strong flirting examples can also help them learn different styles and techniques. Remember that flirting should feel natural and fun, so be yourself and enjoy the process.
Is there a difference between flirting online and face-to-face flirting?
Yes, there are some differences between flirting online and in-person flirting. In-person flirting often relies more heavily on nonverbal cues such as body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions.
On the other hand, online flirtation requires more focus on the choice of words, emojis, and strategic use of humor to convey the same playful intentions. In both cases, a shared understanding, respect for boundaries, and a genuine interest in the other person are essential to successful flirting.
Are there any typical pitfalls to avoid when flirting?
Some common pitfalls to avoid when flirting are being too aggressive or forward, ignoring the other person’s boundaries, and not recognizing when someone is not interested.
To avoid these mistakes, developing your emotional intelligence and being sensitive to the other person’s signals is crucial. Pay attention to their responses, and adjust your behavior accordingly.
Also, always respect their personal space and boundaries, and remember that genuine connections are based on mutual interest and understanding.
How can I tell if my flirting is successful or if the other person is interested?
Successful flirting is indicated by positive reactions and reciprocation from the other person. Some signs that the other person is interested may include: smiling, maintaining eye contact, leaning toward you, engaging in your conversation, initiating physical touch, or even flirting back.
Remember that these signs can vary from person to person, so it’s crucial to remain attentive and adjust your approach based on their responses. Continue fostering a genuine connection while being respectful and attentive to the other person’s feelings. Remember that open communication is key.
How do I initiate a flirtatious conversation without sounding creepy?
A flirty conversation starts by finding common ground or a common interest to talk about. Be sincere, give compliments, and ask open-ended questions to encourage a deeper conversation.
Be sure to maintain a respectful and light-hearted tone while being mindful of the other person’s boundaries. Maintain eye contact, smile, and show genuine interest in the other person’s thoughts and opinions.
It’s essential to balance being approachable and attentive without crossing boundaries or making the other person feel uncomfortable.
Can I flirt even if I’m shy or introverted?
Absolutely! Flirting is not exclusive to extroverted personalities. As an introvert, you may find focusing on genuine connection and communication easier, which can be a good foundation for successful flirting. Start with small gestures like smiling, making eye contact, or offering a sincere compliment.
You can also use your listening skills to your advantage and choose your words carefully to make the conversation engaging. Over time, as you become more comfortable, you can incorporate more playful banter and teasing to improve your flirting style.
How do I gracefully recover from a flirty remark that didn’t go over well?
Recovering from a flirtatious remark that didn’t go well requires a mix of humor and humility. If you notice that the other person is uncomfortable or didn’t respond positively to your flirtatious remark, acknowledge the situation with a light-hearted or self-deprecating joke to lighten the mood.
Show understanding and sincerity by apologizing if necessary, and then steer the conversation in a different direction by focusing on building rapport and finding common interests.
Most importantly, learn from the experience and use it as an opportunity to refine your flirting approach and emotional intelligence.
Does flirting always lead to romantic relationships?
No, flirting doesn’t always lead to romantic relationships. Flirting is a form of communication that helps you express attraction or appreciation and gauge the potential chemistry or compatibility with another person.
Flirting can be a precursor to a romantic relationship, but it’s also used to interact with others, make friends, or simply enjoy a carefree relationship.
Remember that the outcome of flirting can vary. Therefore, it’s important to maintain realistic expectations, respect the other person’s feelings, and value the connections you make, regardless of their nature.
How can I distinguish between friendly behavior and flirting?
It can sometimes be challenging to distinguish between friendly behavior and flirting, as both involve engaging in conversations and positive interactions. However, evaluating the context, the other person’s verbal and nonverbal cues, and the frequency of their behaviors is essential.
Flirting may include subtle physical touching, teasing, compliments with a romantic undertone, or sustained eye contact, while friendly behavior may be more neutral and platonic.
When in doubt, observe how the person interacts with others and pay attention to whether their behavior toward you differs significantly, which could indicate a flirtatious intent.
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