Have you forgotten how to flirt?

How to Flirt: Discover the DOs and DON’Ts of Flirting With a Man

It may have been a while since your flirting game was at its peak.
Maybe you were in a long relationship until recently and now you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing in the flirting department.
But I’m here to tell you: it’s like riding a bike. You never really forget how to flirt. You just need a guide to remind you.

But First, a Note on How Flirting May Have Changed for You

Flirting may have changed from when you were in your early 20s.
When you were in your 20s, I’m betting you knew how to flirt successfully. You may have used your good looks and fit body to attract men. It’s normal.
But since then, you’ve become more confident internally, and lady, let me tell you: that confidence is going to be your secret weapon when it comes to flirting with men.
You’re now wise enough to know that men are attracted to far more than your looks. In fact, some of the best flirtings I’ve encountered is based on wit and words, not flicks of the hair and shakes of the hips.
So let’s get into it, shall we? Let’s examine both what you should do and should not do when flirting with a man.

The Dos of How to Flirt

As a guy, I can vouch for the fact that each of these tips absolutely makes guys go crazy. Try one or try them all!

1. Make Eye Contact

If it’s a “saw him across the room in a bar” situation, eye contact is your primary way of showing interest, given that you haven’t spoken yet. As you slowly turn your eyes across the room, lock eyes with him and let your glance linger. Give a sweet, confident smile, then look slowly away.
This guy may be unable to believe his luck that a lady as lovely as you would be looking his way, so it may take a few tries to get your message across.
Do keep an eye out for a female companion who might have stepped away to the bathroom before you try this flirting technique!
If you already know the object of your desires, look him in the eye when he talks to show that he has your undivided attention (such a rare thing these days, what with sidebarring, AKA us being so distracted by our phones).
As you remember how to flirt, eye contact will come more naturally.
Have you forgotten how to flirt

2. Be Witty

Smiles and laughter are key in flirting.
Men like funny women. If witty comments come naturally to you, feel free to incorporate them as you develop your skills in how to flirt.
Just avoid being overly sarcastic or coming up with cheesy flirt lines that will make you come off as awkward or aggressive. Your humor should come naturally to you and make him laugh out loud. If the effort doesn’t get the intended results, he might have a different sense of humor than you.
Find another flirting strategy!

3. Be an Active Listener

When you pay attention to a man, he perks up.
That doesn’t mean looking around the room while he recites basketball stats. It means really engaging, asking questions, and repeating some of the things he’s said.
Him: So I think I’m going to apply for the manager position.

 

You: Manager? Really? That’s great! What would you like most about that role?

 

Him: Well, I’d get a longer lunch, more money, and wear fancy ties.

 

You: So you’re a tie guy huh? Hm, I see.
There are two types of listening, according to a study conducted by Faye Doell: listening to understand and listening to respond.
When you listen to understand, you’re actually hearing the person you’re listening to. Guys like that (all people do!). When you listen to respond, you’re not actually listening; you’re waiting for a chance to jump in with your own thoughts. That’s a more selfish type of listening, and that is not how to flirt.

4. Touch Him (Not in a Weird Way)

A gentle touch lets him know you’re interested.
The gentlest of touches can let a guy know you’re interested. Let’s say you’re at a party and you want this guy to get your number, but you don’t know how short of saying, “Here’s my number! Take it! Call me!”
Instead, you decide to use touch to flirt. He says something hi-larious and you toss your head back.
Ha ha ha!
You touch his (rather bulging) bicep and say, “Oh my gawd, you crack me up!”
Believe me. He gets that you’re interested at that point. Unless he’s already spoken for or gay, that dude is going to ask for your number.
You can also gently touch his chest (no rubbing or lingering, please) or even his neck if things are progressing and you want to indicate that you’d be open to a nice kiss.

5. Compliment Him

When is the last time someone complimented you?
When is the last time you complimented someone?
Giving a compliment is such a tiny freaking thing that it amazes me that we don’t do it more. But as a result of us rarely complimenting one another, doing so as a flirting strategy can have a major impact.
Wow, those turquoise shoes are amazing.

 

That shirt really brings out the blue in your eyes.

 

I like your hair. Did you style it differently?
As humans, we simply want to be seen. And when someone compliments us, we feel seen. A man who you direct a compliment toward realizes that you see him in a way that maybe he hadn’t realized before.
So dole out those compliments! Just don’t go crazy, or you may come off as a little psycho.

6. Get Flirty Via Text

All that’s great, Adam, but tell me how to flirt via text!
Especially for those ladies who are dabbling in the world of online dating, your text flirting game must be legit. That all-important first message will either get him to respond…or move on to the next profile.
With your first message, comment on his profile or photos.
You’re adorable feeding that elephant! Where were you?

 

I thought I was the only person on the planet who still loves Beastie Boys! What’s your fave song?
Always end your message with a question so you give him something to respond to.
If you’ve gone out with a guy or at the very least given someone you’re interested in your phone number, send a few flirts his way (but don’t bombard him with them!).
If you have already gone on a date with this guy, make a reference to the date.
I can’t get the image of you on Karaoke Night out of my head! Let’s do it again sometime.
Emojis can be a fun way to make sure he gets your point.
I had a dream about you…that involved whipped cream and cookies. 
Send a silly photo. Note: I did not say a nude photo. Just something to make him smile.
Up for meeting at the gym? I’ll need it after this! [photo of an empty box of cookies on your couch]

7. Speak His Language

Let’s say you’re in a sports bar to watch your favorite basketball team and you make eye contact (#1. Check!) with a hottie. He pretends to need to order a beer at the bar next to you, though his current bottle is half full. Now’s your opportunity to impress him simply by speaking his sport.
You: I see you’re a [insert team whose shirt he’s wearing] fan. Can you explain your team’s abominable behavior tonight?

 

Him: [taken aback] Whoa. Don’t blame me. They’re off their game tonight.

 

You: Did you catch last week’s game? [Awesome player] was on fire!

 

Yada yada.
Note: don’t engage in this kind of flirting if you know nothing about the “language” you’re trying to speak. If you’re not into sports, you shouldn’t pretend to be. In fact, use your ignorance on the subject to get him to warm up.
You: I don’t get the whole basketball thing. I much prefer to watch underwater basket weaving. Care to give me a few pointers?

 

Him: Uh, yea! Absolutely!
Nothing flatters a man more than having the opportunity to teach a woman something.

8. Show Your Smarts

(Re)learning how to flirt doesn’t have to be all physical. Your brain is a prime tool, too.
Don’t be afraid to show a guy how smart you are. While coming off as a know-it-all is overkill, you can get a guy’s attention by talking about subjects you know well. Whether that’s literature, current events, or pop culture, you can find ways to engage him in a conversation.
Just pay attention to his response.
If he’s clueless on the subject, his ego may not let him tell you so, and he may shut down mentally if you continue to wax on about, for example, 18th century literature.
But if he engages back, you’ve got the opportunity to have great dialogue.

9. Practice Your Flirt Often

Look for opportunities to flirt, even in the grocery store! 
You don’t have to reserve your flirting for the one guy you’re interested in at the moment. If you want to remember how to flirt after a hiatus, practice makes perfect.
Smile at the barista who hands you your triple shot latte. Maybe give him a wink if you’re feeling saucy.
Compliment the guy walking his dog on his cute pooch.
Touch a man you’re in a conversation with on the arm.
Flirting doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to date the guy. It does, however, light a man up and make him feel good. He’ll likely flirt back, and it’s just as good practice to learn how to receive flirts as give them.

10. Be the Forward One

There is absolutely no rule that says that you have to wait for the man to buy you a drink, ask for your number, or ask you out on a date.
You’re a modern, sexy lady, and if you want to do any of those things, you have it within your power to do so!
Do pay attention to the vibe you’re getting from him. If you’re confident that he’s into you, then make a move. If he’s shooting you flirty looks across the bar, send a drink his way, old school like. If you’ve been chatting for 20 minutes and you’re sure he’s single (and straight), ask if he’d like to get coffee sometime (coffee is safe enough that if he just wants to be friends, he won’t be offended, and you can always play it off if he responds, “Sorry, my wife wouldn’t like that.”).

The Don’ts of How to Flirt

Now, with all those tips on how to flirt, keep in mind that some approaches will net you a big fat zero. Try to avoid these major flirting mistakes.
Have you forgotten how to flirt

1. Don’t Over-Flirt

Going too far in flirting will turn him off.
You’re back in the game and feeling good about how to flirt. So you go crazy. Every man you meet gets an extra dose of you.
To a construction worker: Hey baby! Lookin’ good in those Wranglers! Why don’t I give you my number?

 

To your boss after he compliments you on a report you created: Why, Mr. Jones, I had no idea you felt that way about me. What would Mrs. Jones say?
You get my point. Flirting is something you need to turn on and off, and believe me: the firehose approach is not appealing. Know when to back off.

2. Don’t Flirt if He’s Not Interested

Wanna know how to flirt successfully? Simply pay attention to your target’s reaction.
You: Ooh! I love that tattoo! So you’re into dragons? [you trace your finger over the tattoo]

 

Him: Uh, yea, I guess.

 

You: Teee hee. You are so funny!
As you unleash your newly-remembered flirting skills, look to see how they are received. If he moves closer to you, smiles, and flirts back, you’re golden. If, on the other hand, he backs away, crosses his arms, or flat out finds an excuse to leave the conversation, ALERT! ALERT! This guy wasn’t feeling it. That doesn’t mean you did anything wrong (unless…see #1), and just might not be attracted to you.
Chalk it up as a loss and move on. Just cease the flirting before you embarrass yourself.

3. Don’t Under-Flirt

In contrast to #1, another problem some women have is thinking they’re flirting, then wondering why the guy doesn’t get it.
You: It’s a beautiful day, isn’t it?

 

Him: Yes, it is.

 

You: Oh well. I guess he isn’t interested.
In a study on the accuracy of flirting detection, only 28% of participants accurately identified the opposite party as flirting with them. That means there is a lot of bad flirting going on out there! Send those folks over to me so I can teach them how to flirt!
While you don’t want to go over the top, make sure what you’re saying and doing actually communicates your interest. You can make small talk, but make sure you’re engaging eye contact and maybe flicking your hair once or twice. If you compliment him, compliment his hair or shirt, not TPS report. If you don’t think your flirting is getting across, take it up a notch until it does.

4. Don’t Stay When You Should Walk Away

This tip is relevant if you’re at a party or event and have been flirting with a guy who you like. The secret with guys is to leave them wanting more. You can chat and flirt for 10 minutes, but after that, there is somewhere important for you to be.
You get what I’m saying?
That very important appointment?
Right. There is no appointment. But he doesn’t know that. What he knows is that you’re mysterious and busy, and that’s exciting to him.
So don’t linger after flirting. Go talk to someone el
se or otherwise find a reason to skedaddle. Just make sure he gets your phone number first.

5. Don’t Cling

While touch is an important component of flirting, it’s entirely possible to go overboard with it. You might feel like your gentle arm touch didn’t properly announce your interest, and so you lean in for a looooong hug. Unless you’re looking to channel Elmyra from Animaniacs, this is not the way to get his attention, nor is it how to flirt to get results.
When you touch a guy, make sure it’s received well. Some people don’t like being touched, period. If he’s into you, he’ll welcome your touch, but likely being clingy and hanging onto him will turn him off.
Less is more when it comes to touching when you flirt. Remember that.

6. Don’t Use a Cheesy Pickup Line

 

Are your feet tired? Because you’ve been running through my mind all night!
Typically these dumb pickup lines are associated with men (so unfair!), but many women are just as guilty of the cheesy one-liner.
I don’t even know how these pickup lines got popular. Surely they haven’t actually worked? I certainly hope no one is teaching people how to flirt using them!
Still, the only way they can work is if you use them to make a guy laugh. Make the pickup line a joke…or leave it at home.

7. Don’t Use Sex to Flirt

Sex to Flirt
Sex is NOT a flirting strategy! 
It makes me sad that society has guided women to believe that their bodies are what men value. Certainly, physical attraction is important, but please value yourself more than that, Sexy, Confident Lady.
When you use sex to connect with a man, you short-circuit the potential of there actually being any potential with this guy. A man you’re quick to jump in bed with does not think you’re interested in a long-term relationship, and likely one won’t happen as a result of your actions.
He can be attracted to your body, sure. But give him some of your brain and soul to latch onto as well, especially early on. Let the physical intimacy come later, naturally.

8. Don’t Send a Naked Photo (Too Early)

Look, if you want to send your long-term boyfriend a steamy photo on your cell phone, be my guest.
But if you’re just remembering how to flirt, nude photos are a big no-no.
First of all, consider what you’re communicating. You’re essentially offering yourself to a guy you might not have even gone on a date with. Again, see #7. You are coming off as a woman who would be happy being a fling or one night stand, not a lady who wants a meaningful relationship.
And the fact that you’re on my site tells me that you want the latter.
So keep the clothes on in your selfies, please.
A cute up-close of your face will get his heart pounding. Even a shot of you and your friends having fun. So be creative in the photos you send, but realize that you are sending subliminal messages you might not intend to.

9. Don’t Flirt When Drunk

Flirting when drunk is a bad idea.
There’s a reason why they call them “beer goggles.”
A guy might look absolutely hot hot hot after a few glasses of beer or wine, and so you flirt. An hour later, you’re making out in the alley.
The next day you scroll through photos on your phone and throw up in your mouth a little.
That’s the guy you made out with? Deep regrets.
Alcohol changes your ability to make smart decisions. It can also seriously screw with your ability to flirt well. You may come off as sloppy. Your jokes, which sound so good in your head, may fall flat. All in all, being drunk is not a good time to flirt.
That being said, if you are going to a party and a guy you’re crushing on will be there, maybe plan to pull back on your alcohol consumption so that you can flirt with all cylinders firing.

10. Don’t Play Games

The guy you like is across the room, so you decide to (loudly) flirt with another man.
Or you tease a guy you know likes you mercilessly.
These are games better left to younger, less mature folks. You’re better than that.
As adults, we can look back and see how pointless those flirting and jealousy games of our youth were. We’re wiser now and don’t have time for those reindeer games. Be straightforward.

Conclusion:

There you have it. Tips for getting a guy’s attention in a positive way, as well as mistakes to avoid. Flirting is highly customizable. If you’re super funny, that might be your M.O. when it comes to how to flirt. Or if you find that touching a guy in the right way gets you results, by all means, use that to score phone numbers.
No matter how you flirt, keep in mind your end goal: finding a guy that’s right for you, who you can build a relationship with. That will take time, and not every guy you flirt with will end up on the list of potential guys. So keep at it, and you’ll find the one you’re looking for.
Which flirting techniques have worked for you? Leave a comment below.

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