Everything You Wanted to Know about Flirting but Were Too Afraid to Ask

Flirting is a fun part of the dating experience. But what does flirting actually mean? And how can you flirt with someone without being awkward and goofy? If you’re unsure about your flirting skills, worry not! The Flure team has come to your rescue! We’ll share everything we know about flirting, so you can have more fun doing it online via texts and messages or in person on dates or in the wild.

What is flirting?

So what does flirting really mean? Simply put, flirting is engaging in playful conversations with someone you’re interested in or attracted to. A more scientific definition would call flirting a social behavior that includes verbal and nonverbal communication tactics with the goal of showing interest or having a bit of fun.

Signs of flirting

Are they flirting with me or just being nice? If that isn’t the most burning question of all time!
Flirting is not an exact science, and what can be perceived as flirting is up for debate. However, there are several conventionally agreed subtle signs that signal that someone is indeed flirting with you.
  1. Maintaining eye contact with you for longer than with others. They might simply be a very attentive listener, but if their eye contact goes beyond politeness and you can see them eyeing you all evening long, especially when there are plenty of other people in the room, – there’s a fair chance they’re actively flirting with you via this subtle method.
  2. Touching their hair, clothing, or accessories. Not always the case, but if you’re talking to a person who can’t stop playfully fidgeting with their hair or pieces of clothing, and they’re all smiley and chatty with you, then it’s fair to assume they’re flirting with you.
  3. Complimenting you beyond standard good manners stuff. If someone comes to your house and says they appreciate your sense of style in designing the space, they might just be polite. But if they’re complimenting your character traits, style, or something else that is more personal, especially if they do it repeatedly, then congratulations – you have an admirer at your hands.
  4. Making excuses to touch you. Think of someone touching your blouse to feel the fabric, putting their arm on yours as a sign of endearment, or fixing your hair. Those can all mean nothing, but combined with other things they’re likely to signal a flirt alert.
  5. The teasing and poking fun. Yep, even if you’re older than 12, you can still encounter this kind of behavior that would signal someone is interested in you. If the teasing remains more or less innocent and harmless, you can rest assured they’re flirting. But if someone is crossing the invisible line and is making jokes at your expense – then that’s probably something else and you should address it directly with this person.
  6. Hinting at doing something with you. If you’re saying that you enjoy long runs on weekends, and the person suggests they might accompany you sometime, this can mean they’re flirty with you.
  7. Giving you nicknames. Just think about it – how often do you give nicknames to people you don’t care about? Usually we nickname people we like without even realizing it.
Tip: All those things we’ve just talked about could theoretically mean that the person is just being friendly, and they are, in fact, not interested in you romantically. However, it’s likely that they are flirting. Being nice means creating a comfortable atmosphere and a safe space without romantic undertones, so you can usually feel the difference in the vibes.

Flirting tips

When you like someone, the mere act of talking to them can be challenging, let alone flirting. But don’t be intimidated! Whether you’re a natural or a very reserved person, you can master the art of flirting.
Use our curated list of tips to boost your confidence and flirt like a pro.
For starters, do it with the right mindset and intentions. Don’t try to manipulate someone or shift power dynamics with flirting. You can by all means do it if you really want to, but that’s not a base for fun and playful interaction.
As you dive into flirting, remember to be:
  • Authentic
  • Respectful
  • Kind
Armed with those three weapons, you’re more likely to succeed and have a good time. Next:
  • Be yourself. As corny and cliche as it sounds, being your authentic self is the best thing you can do when flirting. You want the person to be attracted to you, and not to the projected image of yourself that you won’t be able to keep up for a long time anyways.
  • Smile more. Welcome the person with a warm smile that will signal that you’re happy to see them and be in this conversation.
  • Don’t hide your eyes. Even if you’re lowkey ashamed of flirting and cringe internally, remember to maintain eye contact to keep the person’s attention on you, and to help them feel what you’re trying to say.
  • Make them laugh. A little humor never killed nobody. Joking will break the ice and get the conversation going. Don’t force it too much though. You don’t want to be perceived as a court jester.
  • Find something you both like and point it out. If your crush is obsessed with Korean dramas and so are you – perfect! Use it to build a connection with them.
  • Compliment something about them. Try to avoid the generic “you look great” comments because they don’t feel as personal as “I love how you handled that rude lady in the shop, you are so thoughtful yet not afraid to stand your ground. I hope I can be like that one day”.
  • Listen to what they’re saying. Don’t dream through their speech but try to hear what they’re saying. Understand what they’re talking about, ask follow-up questions, and offer advice.
  • Don’t expect anything. Meaning don’t hope to get something out of flirting (like sex) but also don’t expect flirting to follow a specific plan. Flirting is an art form and it’s perfect chaos that can’t be predicted or orchestrated. Enjoy the process, go with the flow, and see where it gets you.
  • Respect other people’s boundaries. It’s fine and hot to be a little touchy when flirting, but only if it’s not making your partner uncomfortable. They might not explicitly say they don’t like something, but you’ll usually be able to spot the hints if you pay attention. Remember, you don’t want your flirting to come off as harassment.
The final tip: Be confident. Is it always easy? Hell no! But you have to fake it till you make it. Confidence, when it’s not turning into arrogance, is sexy, and it catches interest. And by the way, why wouldn’t you be confident? You’re an amazing human being! Don’t forget that.

How to flirt online

Flirting online can be a challenge, especially if you’re used to face-to-face interactions. There’s more room for misunderstanding when you can’t see the other person and read their body language. So as you’re starting to flirt with someone online, be mindful of how they might interpret what you’re saying.
Make use of emojis and GIFs to get your point across. Ask open-ended questions to get more meaningful responses and keep the conversation going. Be respectful and don’t challenge people’s boundaries. And you might want to hold off on some risky topics for later, when you already broke the ice and there’s more chance that you will be understood correctly.
A good way to get closer while being physically far away is to have a video call. Chatting is nice and fun, and sometimes flirting goes much better via texts. But if you’re up for something more serious, talking to your love interest with the camera will help you progress with your flirting faster and take the next step sooner.
And for our especially brave readers, consider sending nudes to spice things up even more.

Examples of flirting

Now that we know the theory, let’s look at some of the real-life examples of flirting.
  1. Gentle teasing: “You’re good at this! Are you sure you haven’t been secretly practicing?”
  2. Complimenting the looks: “That outfit looks fantastic on you”.
  3. Ironic use of cheesy pickup lines: “What is such a beautiful woman doing alone in a bar?”
  4. Light touches, for example, when you touch the other person’s arm while complimenting them.
  5. Extending eye contact for slightly longer than you would with anyone else.
  6. Showing support: “If you ever want to talk to someone about it, I’m here for you, always”.
  7. Someone leaning in slightly towards you during conversation can signal that they’re into you.
  8. Someone telling you stories about themselves to impress you is a cue to them flirting and trying to make you like them.
Side note: There is no 100% proven way to identify if someone is flirting with you or not. Some people are generally more playful with the way they communicate, and others might perceive everything as flirting. However, being able to spot when someone is flirting with us can help us seize romantic opportunities and build stronger connections, but it can also help us avoid unwanted situations (like when your drunk coworker who you know is in a relationship gets too comfortable during after-work team drinks).
Practice flirting and learn to spot when someone’s doing it to you, and you’ll definitely have more fun with your future romantic endeavors! Remember – practice makes perfect.