I’ll tell it to you straight—flirting is a tough thing to master. If you think about your technique too hard, you’ll look like a phony. But it’s also really easy to go over the line and make someone feel uncomfortable, which is the worst outcome of all. If you’re nervous about approaching someone, texting is often a good way to help break the ice. But even then, you’ll want to make sure that you’re getting your tone right.
If you’re hoping that flirting eventually leads to something more, it’s more important for you to be sincere with these first steps.
Here are some of the best ways to flirt with a girl either over text or in person.
Ditch the cheesy lines.
She won’t think you’re clever—instead, she’ll think you have absolutely no game. Pick-up lines are tiresome and old, and girls often don’t know how to respond after a new guy says she must have “fallen from heaven.” In order to get her attention, you’ll want to be a little more genuine that she can actually have something to say back to.
Think hard about what you like about her.
There are ways to compliment a woman’s appearance without going overboard. Don’t even think about complimenting her on her chest or butt, because those will instantly set off a warning. Instead, focus on her eyes or her smile. If you can tell that she put some extra effort into her hair, that’s also a good thing to take note of.
Let her set the pace.
“I’d love to take you out for coffee sometime” is a nice opener. It tells her you’re interested in getting to know her, but also leaves things open-ended. Remember, women don’t have to respond to your request. So in the beginning, you don’t want her to feel trapped or cornered into making plans she’s simply not interested in.
Use your sense of humor.
When you joke with a girl, try to start by making a topical reference or use observational humor. Laughing at a friend, or making fun of someone else you see while out at the bar, may make you look mean-spirited—and anything self-deprecating will make her think you’re a bummer to be around. The best way to show interest is to try cracking a joke and seeing where things go from there.
Subtly ask if she’s seeing someone.
Unless you already know through mutual friends or Facebook, subtly asking about a significant other is a big move that shows you’re interested. Something like “have plans with your boyfriend this weekend?” will give her the opportunity to tell you she’s single. And if she’s not interested, she has an out that won’t make either party feel all that awkward.
Ask about movies or something to set you up for a date.
Find a movie you want to see, and text her about whether or not she’s seen it yet. It’ll make her wonder whether or not you’ll extend an invite to see it together. Even if it’s something she’s not interested in, it’s a nice move that’ll make her realize you’re interested and want to spend more time together.
Tell her you’ve been thinking about her.
Openly stating that may be a little odd if it’s your first interaction, but if you know anything about the girl you’re trying to flirt with, it’s a good way to tell her she’s been on your mind. Maybe you finally got around to hearing an album she recommended. Or, maybe you heard a song that, for some reason, reminds you of her. Let her know, and see where the conversation goes from there.
Make sure you smile.
If you’re trying to flirt in person, a smile will take you very far. It’ll show her that you enjoy being around her and that she makes you happy. In general, people seem to gravitate towards positivity. It’ll also help your confidence.
Text her a funny question.
Open up the conversation by asking her a goofy question. Like, would she rather eat pizza for the rest of her life or pasta? Would she rather be a cat or a dog? What are the three books she’d bring with her on a deserted island? These questions are hard to resist and can lead to a lot of fun conversations.
Flirting can be difficult since you’re putting yourself out there and admitting you’d be romantically interested in someone else. Everyone has had failures with it at some time, which might make the act of approaching someone all the more difficult. Just remember, the best way to flirt is to be yourself. Trying any specific tactic that doesn’t come naturally will make the act much harder than it needs to be.