The Ultimate Guide On How To Flirt, Successfully

If you’re not a confident queen, flirting can be so totally awkward. Like, the worst! You take a leap in conversation and if feels like launching yourself off a mountain and free-falling, not knowing whether your parachute will work. Hell.
Maybe you're trying to nail flirting over text, or you're flat-out terrified of making conversation when someone sidles up to you at a party. The daunting nature of flirty banter is enough to make us all crawl into our shells and live there forever.
It’s not as hard as it looks, though. Honestly! You can absolutely become a top-tier flirt, you just need a few tips.

Fake It

Trust us, everyone who is out here all confident and flirty is somewhat faking it. No one is so sure of themselves that they don't get the flirting-jitters! You're putting yourself out there, it's natural to be a bit scared.
The trick though is to pretend you're not. Better to roll into a flirty convo with the illusion of confidence than to hesitate, honestly the times you feel like you've failed at flirting are usually when you try to dip your toes instead of giving it a real shot.

Don’t Use Pick-Up Lines

Forget everything the movies teach you about flirting. It’s not about winking seductively across a bar or using pick-up lines. It’s way more subtle than that, which actually makes it easier. It’s about being yourself, and it’s likely your fear of flirting was to do with the idea that you had to be this minxy, sexy siren to achieve it.
Instead, think of flirting as playfulness. The best type of flirting is having a normal conversation, but with a bit of sass – this will look different for everyone, by the way. You might crack jokes, tease the other person a little, or tell funny stories. Keep it light, and you'll be in a flirty convo in no time.

Be Physical, But With Consent

Okay so firstly, this won’t come naturally to everyone, nor will it be everyone's cup of tea. But some physical interaction can be a great way to indicate you see someone as more than just friends. One major note, though – any physical touch should be with their consent.
Obviously, you’re not likely to ask “can I touch your arm”, but it's imperative you make sure their body language and words are indicating that they’re flirting with you, and are comfortable in the situation before attempting any touch.
If you're getting all the green lights (they're happy, they're engaging in the conversation and being flirty with you) try leaning in closer, gently touching their arm as you make a point, and maintaining eye contact.

Understand Banter

Banter is that quick back-and-forth chat that’s usually quite cheeky and witty. It can be an in-person chat or over text, but it’s almost always central to good flirting. The key here is to listen and respond, and to go out on a limb.
For example, they might say “my favourite meal is lasagne” and you could go “ugh, SAME. Marry me?” or “Okay, you can fly to Italy and eat the best lasagne in the world, or you can go out with me. Which do you choose?”
It’s silly and playful, and while they're obviously not serious propositions, you’re hinting at an attraction. It also opens the floor for them to indicate they’re interested in you romantically – crucial if you want things to progress.
The wrong type of banter is negging – a flirting style that involves putting the other person down repeatedly in a subtle fashion so they slowly feel vulnerable. It’s gross. It's unacceptable. It also doesn't work!
Sure, you can give someone a bit of a tease in a light, jokey way, but don’t lean on meanness to flirt – it’s a really awful dating trend that needs to stop.

Ask Questions & Listen

Really, flirting is just engaging in conversation, and that can be hard if being confident doesn’t come naturally to you. One really good way to open the conversation up and create opportunities to flirt is asking them questions. 
Don’t stick just to the old classics though like “what do you do?” and “how many brothers or sisters do you have?” Ask them about fun stuff, like the weirdest show they secretly love or where they got their cool t-shirt from. Get as quirky as you like – if you’re a total Simpsons nerd, ask them about their favourite episode. 
Also, make sure to listen. It's easy when we're nervous to focus on what we'll say next, or how we're feeling, but if you disengage from the conversation you'll end up fumbling and things will get awkward! The irony of worrying about awkwardness suddenly making a conversation awkward, lol.


Practice is the surefire way to become a pro if you feel a bit clunky with the banter back-and-forth. The best way to practice is actually via dating.
Go on dates! Practice your flirting! Chat to people on the apps! The more you dive into dating, the better you’ll get at flirting – it’s like learning anything really, you have to do it over and over to become fluent.

Eye Contact

If you’re trying to flirt in person and you’re struggling to make the first move, the no-fail way to indicate you’re keen is eye contact. Get it, hold it for a few seconds, smile. Sip your drink in a cute, flirty way too if you’re game.
This is not a guarantee that someone will come over to you and start chatting. It’s just the way you can easily communicate your interest, and open the door for an introduction. It’s scary, yes! But it’s the most low-touch way to indicate interest.
A rule: do not send your friend over to ask them if they’re keen on you instead. It’s not sexy and you’ll actually feel more awkward than if you just made that move yourself.

Know When To Stop

A crucial part of flirting is knowing when to let go. This is so important, not just because it’s a total waste of your time to flirt with someone who isn’t interested, but also because consent is extremely important when it comes to flirting, because the experience can be really invasive if one party is not interested.
Obviously, if someone tells you they aren’t interested – listen. Apologise, and walk away (or stop texting them). If they are giving you nothing and keep closing the conversation with short answers, excuse yourself and let it go. Both are clear signs that this person doesn’t want to flirt, and that is a choice you have to respect.

Reframe The Experience

Flirting seems really scary, but only because we build it up in our heads. If the fear of rejection is holding you back, remind yourself of a few things.
Firstly, it’s just flirting. The worst that can happen is the other person shuts you down in a way that embarrasses you, which would be really cruel and is really less likely to occur, but really – so long as you have been approaching them respectfully – there is nothing to be embarrassed by. You shot your shot and it didn’t land, that’s fine! 
Secondly, rejection isn’t about you. It’s not personal. If someone ghosts you on a dating app, doesn’t laugh at your witty joke, or doesn’t come over when you lock eyes with them, that isn’t a reflection on you. We have no idea what is going on in anyone else’s life, and attraction is different for all people.
In short, you’re still hot, you’re still fun, and you’re still someone worth dating!

More from Relationships