Somewhere between ‘Where do you live?’ and ‘I want to kiss your lips for hours’, this thing called flirting takes place. Regardless of confidence, many women get stuck on the flirting hurdle. I’m often asked advice on what to say. Probably because turning a conversation flirty requires the vulnerability to put yourself out there. Not to mention, we flirt to attract and gain the interest of who we fancy – screwing it up can lead to that horrid word, ‘rejection’.
By definition, flirting means to ‘behave as though sexually attracted to someone, but playfully rather than with serious intentions.’ In person, our body language tends to do the flirting for us: Long eye contact, leaning in, hair twirling. According to research described on Psychology Today, women usually make the first move using ‘these subtle nonverbal signals first’ which helps let men know when to ‘initiate conversation’.
How you flirt depends on location & relationship
If you’re flirting in person, the body language signals are already there which makes saying things like, ‘You have nice eyes’ all the more flirtatious. You’re able to look right into them. Lead with this line on a dating app however and it suddenly sounds conventional and not overly thought out. You also have to consider how different flirting is when you’re on a dinner date as oppose to building a connection online with someone new.
At dinner, it’s more apparent you’re looking for more than sex – you’re already investing time. It’s easier to make certain comments, ‘If only we were alone right now’. Beginning a conversation too sexually online may make people assume that’s your priority. Which if it is, then hey, no problem.
There are some techniques which can successfully turn a conversation flirty regardless of whether you’re face-to-face or chatting online.
There’s a rule with compliments: Don’t over push them and don’t over exaggerate in the early stages. Nothing is more off putting than when you’re out with friends and some guy remarks, ‘Wow, you’re so stunning, everything about you is perfect. I’d love to have such a beautiful girl’s number’. It’s false, it doesn’t make sense (how can a stranger think you’re perfect) and such lines puts someone on a pedestal, suggesting they’re too good for you.
In person, choose one physical aspect to compliment but then extend the compliment further to help build conversation. For instance:
- ‘I’m loving that shirt, where did you get it from?’
- ‘You have a nice smile. I think it’s contagious.’
That last line made me chuckle a tad but it gets the flirting across. These examples do what flirting’s supposed to: they’re playful, they show sexual attraction, they can make who you’re with feel uplifted.
Through texting, you can turn a conversation flirty with compliments by drawing on the fact you’re not together:
- ‘If only you were here right now. I can’t wait to look into your eyes again.’
- ‘I love your lips. I can’t wait to kiss them again.’
Some women find giving online dating compliments a struggle. I suggest going through someone’s profile and seeing what thoughts you pick up. Do they appear positive, brave, ambitious, a go-getter? You can complement with such words and then briefly explain why…. ‘You seem so brave. What’s it like skydiving?’ It’s wise to compliment an aspect of someone’s online profile before complimenting a physical feature.
Ask flirtatious questions
Asking a personal question is one way to flirt. Something as simple as, ‘What are your thoughts on this black dress?’
Other flirtatious questions include:
- ‘What physical traits are you most attracted to?’
- ‘What turns you on?’
- ‘If I was with you right now, what would we be doing?’
Try to think of questions that are open and require more than a yes or no answer.
Find ways to let their imagination explore
This is a very coy way of flirting and allows a person to put sexual thoughts in someone’s mind without specifically voicing. On Refinery 29, they recommend texting, ‘I can’t sleep.’ It instantly makes the person you’re talking to think, why? They’re talking to me, am I the reason they’re not sleeping?
Other suggestions include:
- ‘I keep thinking about our last conversation’.
- ‘Since talking to you, my mind has been racing’.
Discuss meeting up
Turn a conversation flirty but letting them know you’re interested enough to want to meet (either again or for the first time). Depending on how comfortable you feel, they’re many ways to go about this:
- ‘I feel we’d have a great time if we met in person’.
- ‘I’ve been thinking about seeing you again’.
- ‘I get so turned on thinking about our next date’.
- ‘When do I get to kiss you next?’.
Say what you like
Sometimes, no matter how many flirting signals you’re given, you can’t seem to figure if your crush really likes you, or is merely acting friendly. That’s why it’s beneficial to make your feeling more known:
- ‘Lately, you’re my favourite person to talk to.’
- ‘There’s nothing better than hearing your voice.’
- ‘You always make me laugh. I love our conversations.’
- ‘My favourite time of the day is when your name shows up on my phone.’
- ‘I loved when you kissed me as I was saying goodbye.’
Avoid conventional, polite talk
To make any conversation flirty, you have to show interest. Beginning a conversation by asking what someone’s been up to, how they are and if they’ve had a good day, may work in a relationship. But to get communication going (especially on a dating app), you should make more effort.
What sounds better, ‘Hi, how are you?’
‘Hi, I noticed you mentioned fitness on your profile. I guess you like working up a sweat?’
Okay, both aren’t exactly amazing, but at least the second attempts to personalise while the first could be sent to anyone and everyone.
Use humour and subtle teasing
Notice the word subtle – you don’t want to offend. I mostly make conversations flirty by using my impeccable sarcasm. Just like in high school, teasing can bring two people together. As adults, it no longer comes with hair pulling and name calling – it’s really a win-win.
Should you use chat-up lines?
An article in The Guardian notes research which shows men are more focused on women’s dating app images than their chat-up lines. Meaning, if he likes your photo, he can ignore whatever cheesiness your mind musters.
I’m partial to a good chat-up line. They break the ice and usually make me smile. Besides, if I use a line on a guy who doesn’t appreciate it, I can always smile and show him my dating app picture again.
What to say in certain situations
You can use the examples above for many situations. For instance, when asked, ‘How are you?’, rather than replying ‘I’m good thanks, how are you?’, try using a flirtatious question.
‘I’m good thanks. Hope you’re well. I was speaking to a friend earlier about chat-up lines. What’s your best line?’
If someone asks what you’re doing, you can use humour, mention arranging a date or even let their mind explore.
What are your best tips for turning a conversation flirty? Why not read next, The Ultimate Guide to Get Back Into Dating