In an era where everything is digital, flirting over text is basically a necessity if you want to keep someone's attention. Although texting is a fast and convenient way to communicate with a potential flame, flirting through written word is an art form that can feel overwhelming given several external factors. From emoji and sending voice memos to sending private pictures and asking to meet up IRL, there's just a ton to consider before hitting send. Whether you're fresh in the game and diving into the world of dating apps like Hinge or Bumble, or are in a relationship looking to keep things fun, here are the best ways to flirt through text, according to dating experts.
Tips For Flirting Over Text
Whether sliding into DMs comes naturally to you, or shying away from being flirty is more your personality type, flirting over text is a skill that can always use a bit of refining. After all, it doesn't do anyone any good to be completely rigid via text, or to continuously use the same pickup lines (no matter how reliable they might be). To help step up your texting and flirting game, Tara Suwinyattichaiporn, PhD, a sexual communication expert and professor of sex and relationships at California State University, Fullerton, offered a few pointers.
1. Go Into It With Ease
Nervousness is common in any situation, especially one that involves talking to a potential love interest. While butterflies here and there are normal, anxiety to the point of a single text consuming hours of your day will definitely do more harm than good.
Dr. Suwinyattichaiporn suggests to approach flirty texting with a relaxed approach, which can help make the experience feel more natural and less stressful. "The common pitfall people usually experience when trying to flirt through text is they overanalyze and overthink it," Dr. Suwinyattichaiporn explains. "Have fun, go with the flow, and approach it with a playful mindset."
2. Lead With Confidence
Confidence in any form is attractive. When someone is confident and strong in their approach when flirting over text, it is easier to read between the lines and determine what their true intentions are. Furthermore, Dr. Suwinyattichaiporn notes that starting a flirty text thread shows that you're engaged and interested. "Making the first move shows that you're someone who takes initiative," she says. "It can be a great way to show you're an assertive go-getter."
3. Leave Your Cockiness at Home
Confidence is undoubtedly an attractive trait in a person, but there is a very fine line between being self-assured and cocky. When it comes to flirty texts, Dr. Suwinyattichaiporn advises that being arrogant and presumptuous is not the right approach. "For example, [you should avoid] saying things like 'I bet you've never met anyone like me before,' or 'I'm a great catch and you'd be making a mistake not taking me on a date,'" she says.
4. Get Your Timing Right
Most of us run on a different schedule, which can make flirting a bit complicated when either you or your romantic interest are busy. According to Dr. Suwinyattichaiporn the ideal time to strike up a conversation is either during the morning or evening. "People can get so busy during the day, and the effects of your flirtation might lessen when they don't have time to mentally process the message fully," Dr. Suwinyattichaiporn explains.
5. Don't Rush Into the Sexy Talk
If you're in the virtual dating world, it can be easy to let go of manners and jump straight into sexy talk. When flirting over text, be weary of rushing into speaking sexually regarding the other person's body, or things you want to do with them. While this may be welcome at a later point, it's not something to talk about right away.
"Some people only like being sexual with someone they have a close relationship with," Dr. Suwinyattichaiporn advises "If you're in the early dating stage, being too sexual is not a good idea and might make your date very uncomfortable."
6. Embrace Creativity
Wooing someone over text can take a number of different avenues, from punchy pickup lines to off-the-wall humor. As you're going back and forth between your beau, loosen up a little and embrace your creative side. Use context clues from their social media or dating profiles to touch on a mutual interest, or spark a conversation to get to know them. Dr. Suwinyattichaiporn recommends using humor, diving into astrology, and even playing around with emoji. "Emoji are a good way to show emotions that are not easily shown through words," she explains.
7. Put a Filter on Your Potty Mouth
You may be comfortable with throwing F-bombs and curse words around your closest friends and loved ones, but it's not necessarily something you want to lead with when flirting over text. Some light cursing here and there is fine, but don't let it take over the conversation. "Swearing can be fun and has its right moments, but not in flirty texts," Dr. Suwinyattichaiporn says.
Flirty Text Examples
Now that you have an idea of some flirting do's and don'ts, you can really get into your flirty texting game! Relationship expert Mel Williams gave POPSUGAR a couple of texting examples to get started:
- "Let's Play a Game . . ." This starter is a great way to get your date engaged and locked into your conversation. "Games are always great for flirting and learning more about each other," Williams explains. "One of my favorites is when each person takes turns giving the other person one word. The person who receives the word must respond back with the first thing that comes to mind."
- Try Out a Pet Name: An innocent pet name shows you want the other person to feel special. "Simply calling someone a flirty pet name will give them warm fuzzies and have them wondering if you're thinking what they are thinking," Williams says. Pet names can include: handsome, gorgeous, beautiful, stunning, muffin, cookie . . . you get the picture. Be respectful, have fun, and get creative with it!
- Fill in the Blank: Play around with your flirty texting by giving the other person a dating version of Mad Libs and have them fill in the blank of questions/statements you give them. "Flirting is 90 percent energy and 10 percent what you say! It should always be fun without reservations or anxiety," Williams advises.
- "I'm in the Mood For . . ." This conversation starter opens up the door for a casual dinner date, or a steamy meetup. "Fill in the blank with something physical yet playful," Williams recommends. "It can be a kiss, a hug, cuddling, or a pillow fight rematch. Allow your creativity and inner child to come out and play."