Dating is supposedly easier than ever before (with tons of apps and sites built specifically for the purpose of helping you find your next dinner date) but for some of us, it seems to be getting harder and harder.
But just because you don’t have the body of a superhero or the looks of a model doesn’t mean you can’t have any luck in the dating department.
It’s just about knowing what buttons to press—and how to press them.
Here are 25 of the finest tips on flirting like the best of the best.
1) How to flirt: Stay coy
It’s all about exercising the principle of, “We want what we can’t have.”
If you’re at a party, conference, or any sort of gathering, and you think that you’ve got a particular spark going on with a potential date, the last thing you want to do is throw yourself at their feet.
Talk to other people, spread your attention around, and zone in and out of contact with them.
Make them know that you’re interested, but not too interested.
2) Believe that you can do it
No one’s ever going to believe that you can give them a great time if you yourself don’t believe in it.
Belief goes a long way towards turning you from a shy, hunched kid to a confident potential partner, from the way you talk to how you hold yourself.
3) Genuinely notice them
One thing that many people miss these days is the attention to genuinely notice those around them.
Stick the quick scans to everyone else; to the person you want to impress, you want to really look at them.
See the effort they put into their outfit or their hair, or the impressive things they talk about, and let them know that you’ve noticed. You will make them start noticing you back.
4) Ask and care
Why would you date someone who couldn’t care less about you?
Take the opportunity to ask them questions and figure out who they are.
While it might be too early to talk about their greatest fears and aspirations the first time you meet, there’s no harm in asking about their career, their hobbies, their passions, and more.
5) Stay close
If you want someone to feel that you like them (and make them like you back), an easy cheat to do this is to stay close to them.
Try not to be uncomfortably close, but close enough that you occasionally brush arms and can talk without raising your voice.
Position yourself close to them but without seeming intentional. That way, you can see the person’s face and is near enough for witty banter and eyelash batting.
Then try to get busy and pretend you’re getting something from the kitchen at a party while making sure that the other person saw where you’re going.
If they show up near you a few times, it means they are interested in you.
Smiling is genuine, honest, and an easy way to turn your mug into one much more attractive than it actually is.
Even if you think you’ve got a lame smile, go for it anyway. No one can resist genuine happiness, especially when you direct it at them.
7) Introduce yourself properly
If you find yourself checking out a potential date at a bar, library, or any public space, you might find it difficult to approach.
Think of it like this: it’s all in the introduction.
There’s absolutely no reason to start off with a silly icebreaker; no one wants to feel like they’re just a game to be played with.
Introduce yourself, and then ask them how they’re doing. If they reject you, then just smile and move on.
8) Treat them like someone you respect
We often forget when trying to impress possible romantic companions that at the end of the day, they’re just human like everyone else.
And the biggest thing that humans crave is respect.
Why go out of your way to make your next partner feel like you’re just toying with them?
It’s less about knowing what to do, and more about just letting yourself react normally to every situation and question.
9) Tease them playfully
The longer the conversation goes, the more opportunity you will have to be playful. And a great way to show this person that you aren’t afraid to be playful is by teasing.
Tease them about a silly joke, or about the drink they chose, or even about a story they just shared with you.
But remember: there’s a very fine line between playful teasing and offensive teasing. When you don’t really know the person yet, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
10) Don’t beat around the bush
You might have had a ton of time to wait around for a text or wonder if your crush is interested when you were in high school or college, but the older you get, the more forward you have to be.
If you’re interested in someone you’ve just met, then let them know that you are.
Make a joke about how you’re flirting with them, or find some other way to indicate that your intentions are more than just friendly.
11) Just be you
Stop trying to pretend to be someone you’re not. Be you, and make sure that you are a person you are proud to be.
The longer you put up a show just to impress someone on a date, the more difficult it will be when they realize that your false persona is nothing like you at all.
Besides, do you really want someone who falls in love with a personality that isn’t yours?
Don’t fake it.
Be yourself and enjoy the moment. Make gentle fun of yourself and the surroundings.
Then, find out what their interests are, who they be with, things that make them smile, what numbers to dial.
12) Relax and stay calm
Be sincere and relax, because your potential partner can see the tension in your eyes.
Take a deep breath and throw down your walls.
Let them understand the truth you want to convey: that you enjoy their presence, and you want them to enjoy yours.
13) Compliment the unexpected
We all want to feel special, and we all have our own little quirks and unique qualities.
The moment someone else recognizes these unique qualities that we quietly cherish is the moment that we start to see them in a different light.
Why? Because it shows us that they were truly paying attention in a way that most people don’t.
While compliments in person have a greater effect, complimenting over messages also works.
14) Pay attention to the cues
Social cues are another way of communicating that many people take for granted.
Pay attention to the things a person does outside of your conversation.
Do they lean towards you? Do they ask their friends to leave you guys alone? Do they tuck away their phone, or turn to it every chance they get?
Pay attention and read the signs.
15) Focus between the eyes and the lips
This is the perfect part of the face for your eyes to land on—that small space between the eyes and the lips, showing them that you’re interested in what they have to say, and how they say it.
When you talk, look at their lips then glance up to the eyes and give a slight smile.
When you couple this tip with a slightly open mouth, it’s very effective.
Take a second nice, long look, and moisten your lips with the tip of your tongue and voila! You’re the focus of their attention now.
16) Subtle skin touching
Stay near them but do not make it seem like you are a stalker. That’s creepy.
Just sit beside them and try to make your legs touch subtly while keeping a conversation going.
Act like you did not notice your legs or your knees are touching. Or give them the clue that you didn’t sit like that to touch them, it just happened and now you’re comfy.
Shoulder to shoulder is also another way for a subtle skin touching. The key is to make yourself known but without appearing too aggressive.
17) Make eye contact
Eye contact is the primary way of showing interest if you have not spoken yet to your person of interest.
Lock eyes and let your glance linger then give a sweet, confident smile and look slowly away.
But be sure to keep an eye out for a companion who might have stepped away to the bathroom before you try this flirting technique!
The apple of your eye may already be taken so be careful with this tip.
When you have already made sure he or she is single, converse with them and look them in the eye when they talk.
This will show that they have your undivided attention, which is rare these days.
18) Ask basic questions
When you ask questions about what they talk about, it shows you care.
Just like a good friend with a listening ear, give them your attention when they talk about something. Never make jokes at the expense of anything they care about.
When they get excited for what they want to do, share their excitement and passion. Be a person who is attentive to his or her cues.
19) Crack a joke
Crack some relevant jokes that are relevant to your conversation. If they are interested in you, it’ll be because of your conversation and demeanor.
Cheesy pickup lines are not recommended because it’s awkward when they can’t get it.
If you are confident that they will laugh at your pick up line, then make it a joke…or leave it at home.
20) Be witty
Men like witty 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!
21) Compliment them
Giving a compliment will make their hearts melt or their lips smile. You can say words like:
“Wow, your red shoes are amazing!”
“I like how your shirt really brings out the blue in your eyes.”
“Wow, I like your hair. Did you style it differently?”
When you genuinely compliment them, they feel as though they are special.
They realize that you see them in a way that maybe they didn’t realize before.
So spill out those compliments but don’t go crazy with it, or you may come off as a little psycho.
22) Pay attention to their body language
Look for small social signals that the person likes you too.
When they are speaking to you, are they turning their head a bit to talk to you? Do they touch subtly touch your skin while in conversation? Are they making eye contact?
They are not a written invitation but it shows they are comfortable in your presence.
23) Avoid being drunk
Avoid flirting when drunk or you will suffer from the “beer goggles” syndrome.
They may look absolutely hot after a few glasses of beer or wine, and so you flirt. Then you make out and the next day you find a picture of them and you regret your decision.
Alcohol affects your mind’s ability to make smart decisions and it also seriously screw with your ability to flirt well. When you’re drunk, your jokes will come off as sloppy even if it sounded so good in your head.
So, avoid drinking and flirting at the same time. When your crush is in the same party you’re in, cut back on your alcohol consumption so that you can flirt with all cylinders firing.
24) Stick to one
Never play the jealousy game involving another person. Maybe the one you like is across the room, so you flirt with another person. Or you make the one who likes you jealous mercilessly.
If you are a teenager, then these games are understandable but if you’re at your ’20s or so, try to act your age.
These are games better left to younger, less mature folks. Remember you are more mature and wiser now. You’re better than the games you played when you were younger.
25) Don’t use sex to flirt
Sex is NOT a flirting strategy!
Women, your bodies are not what men value if you are looking for a serious relationship. This is the same for men. Women do not value your ripped bodies that much. Yes, it adds to the attraction but it’s not the only thing they can see.
Certainly, physical attraction is important but you are more than that. When using sex to connect, it could end up being a one-night stand only.
Sure, they can be attracted to your body but give them a glimpse of your intelligence and soul to latch onto as well. They will be coming back for more and the physical intimacy will come later, naturally.
The good thing about flirting is that it is highly customizable. So if you’re super funny, then use that as leverage.
Or if you find that touching them in the right way gets you results, use it to score phone numbers.
No matter how you flirt, always remember that the end goal is to find someone that’s right for you. It will take time and maybe some rejections too.
But don’t lose hope, the right one will come at the right time.
For now, let us know which flirting techniques have worked for you in the comments below.
New eBook: The Art of Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Living in the Moment
If you're feeling stressed and looking for practical ways to calm down and enjoy life, then check out Hack Spirit’s eBook, The Art of Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Living in the Moment.
It's the perfect introduction to mindfulness. You'll learn what 'mindfulness' really is, the scientific benefits of practicing it daily, and proven techniques to be mindful throughout the day.
Sign up to Hack Spirit's daily emails
Learn how to reduce stress, cultivate healthy relationships, handle people you don't like and find your place in the world.