What Is Flirting? Exploring the Art of Playful and Romantic Interactions

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Unlike what rom-coms feed us, in real life, flirting is not all butterflies and rainbows. You can’t just expect to approach someone and think that the universe will do its thing to spark the chemistry between you two. One wrong move, and you can get labeled as a creep!

If you are really passionate about someone, then the chances of you goofing up are higher. But don’t freak out! It’s not that complicated, either. All you need to do is be patient (which is the hardest thing to do when you like someone) and play by some simple rules.

Today I will tell you all the tips and tricks you need to keep in mind to save yourself from sounding cheesy. So keep reading to understand what flirting is and how to initiate a romantic interaction.

What is Flirting?

Flirting is a gesture of showing interest in someone in a playful manner. Flirting can be verbal or non-verbal, and it can have different levels of intensity. This is why it is often confusing to understand whether someone is flirting or just being friendly.

Because it can be as subtle as eye contact to something much more intense, like teasing and sharing a physical touch, one thing that should remain constant is respecting yourself and the other person.

So, if your gestures are making the other person uncomfortable, stop right there! You are making things worse and losing any chance of having a good bond with that person. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to understand the person first and approach them accordingly.

Different Stages of Flirting

Different Stages of Flirting

Whether you are romantically interested in someone and want to spend the rest of your life with them or just want to spend some time and see where things roll, you must follow some basics of flirting. So here I have explained some stages of flirting and what you should do to nail them.

Stage 1: Breaking the Ice

If you are meeting someone for the first time, be it in person or virtually, and if you find them attractive, there are a few things you can do to break the ice.

  • Give them a Genuine Compliment

Everybody loves compliments, irrespective of their gender. But please don’t start with those generic ones like “you look pretty/ handsome.” Be more specific!

Tell them what you liked about them. Try to pick something that people usually don’t mention a lot, like a person’s dressing sense, manners, intelligence/ thoughts, etc.

Pro tip: If you are approaching a “conventionally good-looking person,” don’t start by complimenting their looks. Chances are they already get that a lot, and it will leave zero chances for you to stand out.

  • Say Something Humorous

If you don’t have enough time to observe the person, you could say something humorous about the situation. Starting with something lighthearted will help you both be at ease and won’t make you look desperate.

  • Ask them About their Day

If humor isn’t your strongest suit, start with casual conversation. Ask them about how their day went. This question is not very personal, yet it is subtle enough for them to know that you care.

Whatever you do, please don’t approach them straight with a pickup line. Most pickup lines are too corny.

Remember, this is the most important step, as your first impression decides how someone sees you till they get to know you better.

Stage 2: Building a Connection

Once you start talking, start building a connection with them. If you are meeting in person, your body language will play a crucial role in it.

Eye contact is considered one of the most important aspects of flirting, so make sure you are maintaining good eye contact with them. Besides, it’s said, “The eyes are the windows to the soul,” so by observing their eyes, you will know whether they are interested in you or not.

Also, have a confident and relaxed body language. An underconfident person can be a big turn-off for many, and so can an overconfident one. So strike a balance and be honest.

Stage 3: Exchange Details

Whether flirting via text or in person, there will be moments of awkward silence and small talk. So to get yourself out of that, start sharing little details about yourself.

Talking about yourself first is better, as it makes the other person more comfortable and signals to them that you see them worthy enough to share such details.

Don’t jump right into extreme details; start with lighter things like a book or a movie that you loved or your most vivid travel memory. It is better to share what you liked than what you disliked, as it is better to avoid negativity when you are trying to flirt.

Stage 4: Be Assertive and Clear

If you have been interacting with the person for a while and have dropped hints here and there, but they are simply unable to catch it, you need to be more assertive.

If you are romantically interested in them, you can utilize emojis, gifs, and memes to be flirty over texts. And in real life, you can show it through your actions. If they are comfortable with you, you can try things like holding hands, fixing their hair, or whispering something in their ears.

But whatever you do, DO NOT make them uncomfortable!

On the other hand, if you were flirting casually, and they have started to take things too seriously, make that clear too! Flirting should not end up in a mess where either of you is heartbroken.

Stage 5: Don’t be Pushy!

The last thing you want is for the other person to think you are a creep. No matter if you were flirting casually or with a romantic interest, once you know that the other person knows your intention yet isn’t spontaneous about it, it’s better to stop.

Or sometimes, people may take more time than usual to open up. So if you see them not responding to your actions, take a step back. This will show that you respect their decisions and save you from looking like a desperate person.

Besides, being too pushy can negatively affect your normal relationship, especially if you see them around quite often.

Things you Should Never do While Flirting

Things you Should Never do While Flirting

Now that you know what is flirting and how you should flirt with someone let me tell you some of the biggest turn-offs that you must avoid!

1. Insulting Does not Mean Teasing!

You wanna sound funny and crack some jokes about them? Guess what? If you don’t know them enough, it can backfire. And please do not make sexist jokes. It won’t do you any good but make things worse.

2. Do not Pretend to be Something that you are not

It is better to have an honest conversation than to pretend for the sake of impressing the other person. There’s nothing more attractive than someone who’s comfortable being who they are. That way, you will be able to forge a genuine relationship.

3. Don’t act Impatient

If you are approaching someone online, please don’t send them a request on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter all at once just for the sake of being noticed. Also, stalking is not flirting! So don’t go on randomly liking their decade-old pictures.

Also, if they don’t give you their personal number, don’t ask mutual friends and colleagues and surprise them with a midnight text. It could come off as very disrespectful.

4. Don’t be a Show-off

You might have a luxurious life that you love boasting about. But trust me, while flirting, don’t mention the cars you own or the number of digits in your bank balance.

Or maybe you are a pro at investment and crypto and love spilling some trading tips. Whatever it is, these are not something you mention while having a flirtatious conversation.

5. Don’t get too Touchy too Quick

Just because they have greeted you with a hug does not mean they are comfortable with you getting touchy. First, understand their concept of personal space and if they are comfortable with you touching them or being too close.

You don’t want to make them uncomfortable.

Finally, Keep In Mind!

While for some, flirting comes as a natural instinct, some find it more difficult than calculus, so don’t worry! You are not alone on the boat. You can always make it better with practice. Introverts struggle the most in flirting, so if you are one of them, start with socializing with people. Initiate conversations and observe how others change the flow of a conversation.

And remember, it is not always in your hands. If the person isn’t a match for you, even the best flirting skills can fall flat. So don’t worry, be playful, be respectful, and have fun!

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