If you ask a guy and a girl for flirting advice, they’ll likely tell you completely different things. Men think flirting with women requires pickup lines, overt displays of masculinity, and sexual innuendo. But what women really want is engaging conversation, confidence, and respect.
The truth is, most men overthink flirting. So the next time you approach a woman, remember these tips from a female’s perspective and you’ll be much more likely to have a great conversation—that may even turn into a date.
1. Be confident.
Confidence is sexy and the number one thing that attracts women. There’s an old saying: “Fake it ‘til you make it.” Even if you don’t feel confident, act like it and you’ll look the part.
2. Listen to what she’s saying.
It sounds like a no-brainer, but it still needs to be said. Forgetting important details that she’s shared within the first few minutes of meeting you, like her name or what she does for a living, is a big turnoff.
3. Don’t do all of the talking.
When men get nervous, they can’t stop talking. But women are instantly turned off by men who talk about themselves and nothing else. If you never ask questions about her or give her the chance to talk, you’ll seem like a huge narcissist, even if you’re not. Be sure to share the floor.
4. Show that you’re interested.
In addition to listening and letting her talk, you also have to maintain eye contact, smile, and generally be engaged with her. Don’t check your phone, don’t check the score of the baseball game (unless you’re both interested in sports), and definitely don’t check out another woman.
5. Don’t be afraid of rejection…
Rejection isn’t fun, but it happens to everyone. Fear of being rejected is one of the biggest things that hold people back from flirting. It’s easier said than done, but try not to let it get you down.
6. …and accept defeat graciously.
If a woman isn’t interested, leave her alone. It can be tempting to press her to see if she’ll change her mind, but it’ll only make her angry. If you get rejected, just accept it—and definitely don’t insult her or tell her that she made a mistake.
7. Understand why women are cautious of flirting with strangers.
Unfortunately, for some women, talking to strange men can be nerve-wracking or even triggering. Not because they’re nervous about flirting or being rejected, but because they’re looking out for their own safety. Just something to be aware of in the back of your mind.
8. Be respectful.
You’re not entitled to her time. But if you respect a woman’s boundaries, she’s much more likely to flirt back and want to get to know you. Women don’t want to feel objectified, or worse, afraid. Not being creepy goes a lot further than you might think.
9. Ask her out.
Is it bold? Yes. But isn’t it the reason you’re flirting in the first place? Yes! Don’t ask her out within the first 30 seconds, because that comes off as desperate and random. But if you’ve genuinely enjoyed flirting, feel a good vibe, and want to get to know her better, go for it—and say exactly that.
These tips mean nothing if you’re not actually practicing them. You may not be the best flirter right away—and that’s okay!—but you’ll get better with practice. Look for opportunities to respectfully flirt everywhere, even if it’s just for a minute or two, like in line at the grocery store or at the dog park.
We all need flirting tips from time to time, and we hope these insights from the female perspective help. The only way to get better at flirting is to actually do it, so get out there and start chatting