The days of passing notes in class or needing to make an actual, real life phone call are over. These days the bulk of our communication happens over text, and that includes flirting.
But no matter how comfortable someone might be with texting, flirting can still feel awkward or even nerve-wracking.
On the one hand, the extra distance a phone screen provides can make it easier to be vulnerable. On the other hand, a phone screen makes it impossible to see how the other person is reacting to what we're saying.
Luckily, we've got lots of tips and tricks to help you take the guess work out of flirting by text. From making the first move, to turning a conversation into a date, we've got you covered.
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Starting conversations over text often feels difficult — if they fall flat, you might end up getting flashbacks to the last party where you made awkward small talk all night.
But the best flirty texts are actually very simple, and we're going to break down plenty of ways for you to figure out a text strategy that works for you.
When you're looking for a text strategy to start a conversation with your dream person, follow these guidelines:
It's easy to overthink the idea of sending a flirty text, but the best text strategy is often to just keep things short. Are you thinking of her? Say so.
"Hey, I was just thinking of you."
"I miss your face, send me a pic?"
"Do you have plans this weekend? Do you want some?"
"Can't stop staring at my phone, hoping your name will pop up."
"I can't stop thinking about you."
Once you have a connection with someone it shouldn't be too hard to keep it going. Just be yourself and share what you're thinking.
Flirting is supposed to be fun, so be sure to avoid anything too negative or too serious. Use emojis and/or GIFs to keep the tone light if things start to slide in the wrong direction.
When in doubt, try to make her smile by sending a fun meme, or something silly you found online.
"Saw this and thought of you," actually works with just about any image — if you've got the sense of humor to pull it off.
"If my dog wanted to hang out with your dog, could we have a dog park date?"
When you're adding emoji to the mix, you could try something like this,
"Wanted to send you a small gift: bouquet emoji."
Or if you're feeling saucy, see what happens when you send just eggplant texts.
And if you have an inside joke together? Even better. Take advantage of that here.
Giving compliments is one of the best ways to flirt — especially if you follow a few guidelines. In general, it's safer to compliment a person on things they had a choice about. For example, simply talking about a body part can be offensive, but telling someone you like their outfit/haircut/home decor is letting them know you like their style — it's something they put thought into.
You can also compliment people on their skills — and this can be on a real skill that they're proud of, or on something silly.
"I am blown away by your ability to fold fitted sheets — will you teach me your secrets?"
"I've never been able to do a cartwheel — I'm impressed!"
"Your karaoke performance last night was the best version of Bohemian Rhapsody I've ever heard."
"My phone screen makes me grin every time your face pops up."
A question is a great conversation starter because it prompts an answer. If you just make a statement (even if it's complementary or flirtatious) it doesn't necessarily require a response.
But a question by its very nature means she needs to write back, or seriously leave you hanging.
When deciding on a question to use as a conversation starter, choose wisely. It needs to be on a topic she knows about and cares about, while also being something you can stick with for a while.
"If I call in sick tomorrow will you play hooky with me?"
"Who's your favorite main character in a novel?"
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To DM or not to DM — this one is controversial! And the answer depends a lot on context and on the relationship.
If you want to flirt with a complete stranger you're not likely to get a great response by showing up in her Instagram DMs (or any other social media platform, for that matter.) On the flip side, if there's already no relationship, then maybe you have nothing to lose. (And maybe you'll gain a story about that time you officially texted your number one crush.)
Meanwhile, if it's someone you're already friends or at least acquaintances with, a DM instead of a text can be a great way to keep things casual. After all, every social media post is a potential conversation starter.
Most folks will tell you to stay out of a stranger's DMs — and with good reason. If someone was looking to date, they'd be on a dating app.
But if you're feeling bold, you can make the argument that it's worth a shot.
If you're going to DM a stranger, you'll need to come up with a good reason, or at least a good opener. Here are some ideas and examples:
"I saw you on Tinder but I thought it would be easier to talk here."
"I love your (recipes/yoga/book reviews.) How did you get into doing this?"
"I wouldn't normally DM a stranger but you're just so beautiful I had to say something."
DMs are a much better bet with someone you already have a relationship with. DMing with a mutual is generally considered good social media etiquette.
Consider each of her social media posts as a potential conversation starter — but make sure to focus on stuff from the last 24-48 hours. Nothing is quite as creepy as someone commenting on your vacation photos from five years ago!
For example, if she posts a new picture on Instagram of her and her dog, this is a great opportunity to send a flirty text by DM and say,
"Those are the most beautiful, soulful eyes I've ever seen. (Oh, and you look nice too Mandy ;)"
"That picture you just posted is making me grin like an idiot."
"I saw your Facebook status about craving sushi — want to go get some with me?"
"Seeing your name pop up always makes me smile."
Simply take our advice from above about the styles of flirty texts to send and then look for Insta posts that will give you a good excuse. If she's active online you probably won't have to wait too long for a good opening.
Exchanging sexy pics can be a great way to flirt, but you need to make sure you're on the same page, first. Nothing spoils the mood faster than an unsolicited dick pic.
If you want to move things in a sexy direction, start by asking a flirty question. For example, if she's just sent a selfie,
"You look amazing in that dress, any chance I could see less of it?"
If she goes for it and sends you a sexy selfie, you can ask if she'd like a sexy selfie of you in return.
Need more examples for how to turn up the heat?
"I'm feeling R rated today, want a pic?"
"I had a dream about you last night, do you want to hear about it?
Late-night texts are also a classic, but you can do a lot better than "U up?" Try something like,
"I'm having trouble sleeping, want to tell me a bedtime story?"
"It's 2am and I'm wide awake thinking about you."
Just remember that the internet is forever — and that goes for pictures and texts, too. That means your flirty text strategy needs to take safety and privacy into account. Don't send anything too incriminating, or that you couldn't stand friends or strangers seeing. You never know what will happen to someone's phone.
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Flirty texts aren't just for people hoping to date or hookup, they're also for people already in a relationship! Nothing can brighten someone's day quicker than getting a flirty text from their sweetheart.
If you're wondering about your flirty text strategy for keeping your relationship perfectly happy, try these suggestions:
"I can't stop thinking about our last date..."
"Are you going to be home tonight? I want to bring you flowers."
"My day would get 100% better if I could have just one kiss from you."
"I'm already fantasizing about our next date."
"I was just thinking about our first kiss."
"Just wanted to send some love to my favorite person."
Relationship experts agree that flirting is one of the best ways to keep the spice in a relationship, whether you've been together for months, years, or decades.
Double texting isn't always a bad thing, but if you look at your chat history and realize you've sent double text after double text, then maybe it's time to admit that these text messages are one-sided. Stop talking for a while and see if she'll make the first move in the next exchange.
If your text messages are running hot and cold, or she's playing hard to get, then it might be time to let it go. Remember, we said that flirting was supposed to be fun.
If you're spending time wondering what she's thinking or if you can't stop thinking about what that last message really meant, then it's not fun anymore. There are other fish in the sea and other people to flirt with — spend your energy on a person that will appreciate it.
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Flirting via text is a great way to build rapport and attract someone you're interested in. Just remember to keep it light and fun, and don't overthink it! Use our tips and examples as a starting point, and then let your creativity take over. Soon you'll be sending flirty texts like a pro.
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Ben is one of the best Tinder Experts I've ever met and one of the few that cracked the algorithm of Tinder. Every week, Ben is publishing new articles on ROAST, helping 1M+ of people to get more matches, dates, and find the one!