How to Flirt: Discover the DOs And DON’Ts of Flirting With A Man

how to flirt

Have you forgotten how to flirt?

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

how to flirt

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 flirting 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 make 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.

2. Be Witty

flirting with a man

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)

touch in flirting

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.

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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

text flirting

Step up your flirting game 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

practice flirting

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.

1. Don’t Over-Flirt

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

under flirt

If you under flirt, he won’t know you’re interested.

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 else 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.

via GIPHY

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

sexy flirting

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

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.

PS Step up your game with my Emotional Attraction Formula. Now that you know how to flirt, this is one more tool to help you find the man you’re looking for.

 

how to flirt
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Adam LoDolce

Love Strategist

My true passion in life is transforming your love life by giving you specific tools and techniques that you can use to attract long lasting love. I got started when...Read Adam's Story

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2 years ago

Dating someone who’s naturally flirtatious can trigger feelings of jealousy and insecurity. But flirting is so subjective that it can be tough to define and draw boundaries. Do you consider smiling and complimenting strangers flirting? Or does flirting usually involve touching and being sexually suggestive to friends, coworkers, or acquaintances? The boundaries around flirting outside of a monogamous relationship need to be discussed and decided by the people in the relationship, because some may see their partner’s kindness and charm as flirtation, whereas others may be totally fine with that stuff. Setting standards around flirting and communicating on the subject… Read more »

John
2 years ago

You are doing men a huge disservice. So if a woman uses one of your techniques, he “has” to be interested or he must be gay? Really??? I am so tired of women (and apparently you) thinking that all men everywhere must be interested in them just because they’re female. Men are not sex objects. You can not manipulate our attraction; at least you can’t with a strong man. Just be honest and quit playing games. And learn to pull up your big girl panties and deal with it when we aren’t interested. Try to have something going for you… Read more »

Jimmey
2 years ago
Reply to  John

no one said that dude

Anonymous0725
1 year ago
Reply to  John

This guy here is upset coz he’s probably guilty being one of those ‘unserious’ men and afraid he might lose girls after knowing hise strategies ✌️

John
1 year ago
Reply to  Anonymous0725

I don’t understand your criticism at all, or anything you’ve written. Your spelling, grammar and punctuation are horrible. So, how do illiterates do with the ladies these days?

Kat
11 months ago
Reply to  John

About as good as the assholes (such as yourself) do.

Duh-rew
11 months ago
Reply to  Kat

No, fuh-real, “Kat”, that guy was FLAT. OUT. Illiterate. If he can’t muster up a coherent “argument”, or say, “insult”, I think we can all agree that his efforts were a failure on ALL fronts. I think you’d tend to agree in the “real world”….

Amber
1 year ago

There is this guy that I started to like. The problem is I don’t know how to flirt and I am too direct no matter how much i try. My guy friend says I need to pretend to be weak and act more feminine but I can’t do it. I messed up some trying to text this guy I like and my friend made it worse by saying I was out drinking with a friend. And I haven’t heard from him. I’m sad because he seemed really nice and I don’t know what to do. I can’t help it that… Read more »

Drew
11 months ago
Reply to  Amber

Amber — remember: WHERE THERE IS A WILL, THERE IS A WAY. So, you’re perhaps a little “extra serious”? Practice your over-the-top “EXTRA-EXTRA-serious” eye contact move in the mirror. A lot. But don’t let it stress you out… if that happens, take a break. If you pull the EXTRA-EXTRA-serious eye contact move, it will have the near universal effect of communicating -humor- towards your dream-hunk. Any male moron at the local watering hole (or say, place of employment if that’s your thing, you naughty, raunchy creature, you —) should INSTANTLY recognize this “communication”, and the absolutely CLUELESS male object will… Read more »

Jack Minstolov
1 year ago

Its wild how one of the DOs is to touch the guy. It is seen as incredibly inappropriate and borderline sexual assault for a guy to touch a female (even if its in the ‘flirty’ way the author describes above). Also one of the DOs is to compliment him and flirt with others often. Isn’t this the stuff women hate?? I hear all the time how women hate when they get complimented by guys all the time. They also constantly complain about having to go out into public and deal with a constant barrage of male attention. YET you are… Read more »

Dule Vićovac
1 year ago
Reply to  Jack Minstolov

As a man myself, i agree with your opinion

11 months ago
Reply to  Dule Vićovac

Why is everyone so sensitive? I’m not a huge fan of physical contact with anyone that I don’t know, but it’s not the end of the world. Why instill a victim complex into anyone because someone touched their arm? That’s silly. I’m a woman who is trying to raise two boys and it’s nerve racking because they should be able to harmlessly flirt without risking spending the rest of their lives profiled in a sex offender database. Anyone who deems an arm touch as ‘sexual harassment’ needs treatment because that’s screwed up.

Drew
11 months ago
Reply to  Angela

Yes, “what she said”. The “he touched my arm, so I’m going to sue every last dollar out of him” concept is PURELY myth. If a lady doesn’t respond well to a SIMPLE touch, then you SIMPLY move on! From what I’ve seen, the vaaaast majority of women DO respond well to physical touch — it just has to be the RIGHT TYPE of touch, in the RIGHT PLACE, and of course at the RIGHT TIME. You don’t put the hand in the small of her back at her grandma’s funeral… and if she responds well to that, run for… Read more »

D-Rew
11 months ago
Reply to  Angela

Sweetie, don’t worry about your little boys too badly. By the time they’re getting ready to whet their whistles, so to speak, societal norms will have changed in a major way.

And, DO NOT neglect your power as a MOM to actually
-teach- these young men about what IS and IS NOT “appropriate touch” for a first date (you know, from the perspective of a sexual but self-respecting woman) — your boys will probably never thank you for THIS specifically, but they will UNDOUBTEDLY have a leg up against other clueless touchy-touchy (or sheerly fearful) guys out there!

John
7 months ago
Reply to  Angela

Angela – touching is out. No one should ever grope anyone, but even innocent touching is too dangerous for a man. And you know why. It’s true that not all women are hyper-sensitive (or more likely just looking for a reason to accuse a man), but we can’t tell you apart. So no touching, no approaching, no conversations, no dates, no relationships. Welcome to the new world. For men it’s actually kind of nice; cutting women out of our lives is very freeing. I don’t miss the drama at all.

Lex
1 year ago
Reply to  Jack Minstolov

Yeah, as a woman I agree; touching someone requires you to invade their personal space and boundaries. That’s a no-no with a stranger, regardless of gender. I would say trying any flirting technique that involves touching the other person should be done when/if you’re on a date with that person, and it’s going well at that point (ie the person seems to be receptive to your flirting).

Drew
11 months ago
Reply to  Lex

EXACTLY, Lex! We aren’t all planning on “picking up” total strangers here! The whole idea is that the gent & the lady have built steady RAPPORT before one (or both, hehe) of them make the decision to initiate contact.

And when that contact becomes a light, super-flirtatious-bordering-on-erection-inducing touch, the two of you should ideally know each others’ names quite well and firmly at this stage.

youre mom
1 year ago

Im inspired. thank you for inputting this great wisdom on my love life. Blessings to you and your kin. I am current 43 and devorced 3 times with 6 kids. help

Andy
11 months ago
Reply to  youre mom

You can’t be real!

Liz
1 year ago

I’m sore for your loss put right now are you dating?

Anonymous0725
1 year ago

This guy here is upset coz he’s probably guilty being one of those ‘unserious’ men and afraid he might lose girls after knowing hise strategies ✌️

Anonymous
1 year ago
Reply to  Anonymous0725

If a woman is constantly harassed by guys she finds unattractive (or creepy) she may find being complimented inappropriate, otherwise NO woman has an aversion to being complimented. It’s a fallacy to believe we dislike male attention. We love it, if shown appropriately and with respect. The key here is being self aware and authentic. If you are sensing discomfort, then back off, apologise… Acknowledge you are new to this, nervous (or whatever). Also touching, especially if lightly on the hand, arm or shoulder, even the small of back is totally acceptable if the vibe is right. Being attuned to… Read more »

Andrew
11 months ago
Reply to  Anonymous

THIS COMMENT. YEAAAAH.

1 year ago

Most guys have some level of shyness when it comes to approaching women. Fear of rejection is a powerful emotion, it’s important to learn to overcome it. If you approach a woman in a polite and respectful way, there’s not much chance of an outright rejection. You’ve just got to build up a bit of courage and go for it.

1 year ago

Am excited to meet you.am a shy lady. Thanks

purity ikiao
11 months ago

the one sentence which has made my day “Are your feet tired? Because you’ve been running through my mind all night!” honestly speaking that a good one .Thank you for the info though.

KitCat4723
10 months ago

I have a boyfriend, and im trying to open up his flirty side. He has one, ive seen it. Buuuuuuuuut… both of us are very socially awkward. Any tips from those who are socially awkward who have had success with the flirty thing?

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