Online flirting can be fun if you keep it light, interesting, and original. But there are some etiquettes to keep in mind when flirting online with a girl or a guy so you don’t send them the wrong signals. Exchanging flirtatious messages on dating sites is fine, but you have to know where to draw the line, whether you’re looking for a flirtationship or something else.
If you want to sound ‘casual but interested’ on Tinder or Snapchat, much will depend on getting the timing right. And if things progress, know when to ask GOWM (go out with me?) and when to suggest Netflix and chill. Say it too soon and you risk being ghosted. One inappropriate innuendo here or a sexually explicit hint there, and it is bound to offend.
So what are the dos and don’ts of flirting with strangers on such apps? And how to flirt without being creepy or making them awkward? If you’re looking for ways to get flirting right in the digital age, we have 17 tips you can’t go wrong with.
Online Flirting — With These 17 Tips You Will Never Go Wrong!
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Surveys show that one in five people globally use social media for dating and flirting online. So, statistically speaking, you have a higher chance of scoring a date through online flirting sites if you know how to rizz up a girl or guy over text or chat. Flirting on the web is almost the same as flirting IRL – ‘Almost’ being the operative word here.
With text messages or dating chats, you don’t have the advantage of conveying your intent with physical cues like body language, eye contact, or a smile. Therefore, being careful with your words and smart with your moves is essential. So is reading between the lines. And learning to take a hint. However, don’t think you’re bad at flirting if you don’t pick up on some signals. According to this study, most of us usually don’t. But there’s much you can do if you want to up your dating game and flirt your way to a first date or land a second one:
Related Reading: How To Flirt On Tinder – 10 Tips & Examples
1. Start with “Hello” to make a good impression
Whether you’re initiating conversations on online flirting sites/online dating services, getting the basics right is important to increase your chances of getting a reply. Start with a formal “Hello” or “Good evening.” Don’t “Hey” or “Sup” the person you like. Many people consider this rude and a put-off. So use a proper greeting. It is refreshing to see on common dating sites and would make an impression.
Remember, a greeting or a GIF alone won’t cut it as a conversation starter. For that you’ll need to put some effort into your message to show you’re genuinely interested. Here’s what you can do:
- Try breaking the ice with a unique compliment. Keep it PG-rated and free of sexual subtext or double entendres
- Sometimes, super cheesy jokes or one-liners like “Do I know you? Because you look a lot like my next partner” can charm
- But do keep your message short and flirt respectfully
- Don’t demand a reply or open with remarks like “You’re hotter than the bottom of my laptop.” You don’t need to be an Instagram dating expert or know “What does iffy mean in Snapchat?” to guess how that will go down
2. Pick something from their profile to stir up conversation
Here’s another good way to flirt without being creepy and let them know you’re interested in them:
- Read their profile before texting. Many apps now let users put up more than one profile photo. So go through their other profile pictures too
- Take note of any common ground or interests, like binge-watching Korean dramas, their love of Katy Perry’s music (but not her flirting), or preference for hiking over running. Then lead with that
- Saying “I see we share a great taste in music. Have you always liked….?” is okay
- But leading with “Hey! Talk to me?” or “I’ve been swiping for hours and it’s been slim pickings. What about you?” is not
- If they seem smitten with their pet pooch or their profile says cats are their favorite animals, send them cat/doggo GIFs. Talking about the time you had to hop all the way from an IHOP to your car on one foot because someone’s dog peed on your shoes would work just as well
3. Be yourself
Keep your dating profile honest and your conversation straightforward. Don’t be a sad sack, but don’t ramble or brag either if you don’t want to come across as attention-seeking or self-obsessed. Remember, online dating has its dangerous and disturbing sides. So share smart details.
Don’t try to mislead your matches, oversell, or try to be someone you aren’t. Know the difference between persistence and harassment if you don’t want to be called iffy or get unmatched. (And what does iffy mean in Snapchat parlance? Anything that looks suspect or raises red flags.)
When it comes to profile photos, share the ones that reflect you and what you’re into. Suppress the urge to airbrush or overdo the filters. Else you’ll end up getting self-conscious if you progress to video chats later.
4. Make your intention clear when flirting with strangers
When you’re flirting online with a guy or a girl, make your intention clear. Let them know whether you are:
- Flirting to hook up
- Sexting the waters
- Looking to date casually, or
- Seeking a serious and meaningful connection
That way, you’ll know you’re both thinking along the same lines in terms of expectations. This will require maintaining a delicate balance so you don’t cause misunderstandings or confusions. But remember not to be so vague or subtle that they don’t even realize you’re flirting with them!
5. Ask questions and pay attention
Instead of recycling the same dull questions about their hobbies or plans for living life to the fullest, ask something that would help you get to know them better, like:
- Their best hangouts
- Where to find the best meals around town (if they live in the same town as you), or
- Netflix or Spotify recommendations
You can even take your pick from our list of 100 questions for her or him, and weave them into the conversation. Don’t use them all at once, though or they’ll get exhausted before you can dial up the flirtation. If you’ve been chatting or dating a while, keep the conversation churning by asking follow-up questions. Or by finding out more about their love language or guilty pleasures.
Here’s another way to let them know you’ve been paying attention: Send a picture related to what you talked about or turn their phrase back on them. Do flirt respectfully. If a message sounds inappropriate and a picture feels pornographic, it’s best not to hit send.
Related Reading: The Ultimate Funny Online Dating Questions
6. Play a fun online game to get to know them better
Games can be a great way to keep conversations fun and engaging. They can also give you insights into another person’s mind. If you want to break the ice, try a random question game or a silly associative game. Struggling for conversation topics? Try a virtual version of Truth or Dare to dial up interest and intimacy. Or start playing a game you both like and connect over it. And what if you want to get to know them even better? Try asking some Never Have I Ever Questions.
7. Don’t pry
If she mentions a previous relationship, don’t take it as a cue to ask prying questions about her ex. If he went on an expensive holiday, don’t ask if his company paid for it or how he managed to afford it on his paycheck. Give them time to open up to you. If you sense they are being evasive about a particular topic, take the hint and drop it. Try using some humor to shift gears by asking: “Forget about the ex, tell me if I Googled you, what’s the most scandalous thing I’d find?”
8. Use emojis to jumpstart a conversation
Studies show that emojis are for online dates what non-verbal cues are for real-life flirtations. They can be a good way to gauge if someone else reciprocates your interest. If they are using a lot of emojis and often, it can be a sign of dating interest. According to one survey, women tend to like these emojis the most:
- Heart eyes: Use it to show your adoration or that you really liked what she said
- Happy devil: Use it when you’re being mysterious, naughty, or want to sound flirtatious
But steer clear of any emojis with phallic implications (like the eggplant). Ditch the flex and the fist bump, too.
Here are some emojis men are likely to respond to:
- Smirking face: Use it when you’re being cheeky, smug, or suggestive
- Upside-down face: Use it when you’re being silly. Or try using it sarcastically to show you mean the opposite of what you’re saying
Don’t hit send on the poop emoji or the ring. And if you think an emoji is overused or passé, try giving it a creative or ironic spin to get their attention.
Related Reading: Top 12 Emojis Guys Use When They Love You! Decoded Here!
9. Be sincere with compliments
Be genuine and original with your compliments. Do not be overly complimentary before you’ve had a chance to get to know them a little. Else, you’ll just sound desperate or fake. You might even come across as eager – And not in a flattering way.
So how to compliment a guy you’re flirting online with? Be specific about the effect he’s having on you. And if it’s a girl, try praising more than her looks. Examples of compliments with potential dates:
- “No one has ever made me laugh so much before”
- “I bet you get compliments about your beauty all the time, but your passion for ____ is magnetic”
Go ahead. Give them an ego boost. But whatever you do, don’t neg.
10. Let your sense of humor shine
Make laughter your superpower. Or a secret weapon if you will. Win them over with a funny turn of phrase or your comic skills. Tread carefully, though. Not everyone gets or appreciates sarcasm or irony. Make sure your jokes are not culturally offensive, sexist, racist, or in plain bad taste. Else, instead of tickling their funny bone, you’ll hit a dating dead end.
But what if being funny isn’t your thing? Don’t worry. Genuine intentions and honest conversations have their own charm and can spark a romance just as well.
11. Put some effort into your replies
When you’re chatting with someone you like or exchanging flirtatious messages online, how you frame your answers is important if you don’t want to leave the door open for miscommunication. Things to keep in mind when you chat with someone on a dating app:
- Know that a curt ‘yes’ or ‘no’ can be interpreted as a sign of lack of interest. So take the time to text a proper reply
- If they are asking something you’re not comfortable talking about or is too personal, say so
- Let your responses show that you’re invested in the conversation
- But don’t overshare and give all the intimate details of your life. They don’t need to know your whole history in your first message on a dating app
- Remember, having a person wanting to know more about you is preferable to giving them too much information. You might even be unwittingly giving material to the wrong person to harass or scam you with later
12. Be prompt with your responses
Yes, we know you can’t keep your eyes glued to your phone for their texts, and you do have your own life. But taking too long to answer back isn’t good dating etiquette either. Plus, if you take an entire day to respond to their texts, they may lose interest or think you are playing hard to get. Here’s what to do instead:
- If it’s not possible to reply to a text immediately, tell them you will get back to them soon
- If you are in a meeting or swamped with work, tell them
- Playing games like not texting first, but always responding won’t get you far
- Same goes for disappearing on them and circling back six months later with a text saying you’ve been thinking about them
13. Gauge their response
This is equally important: Do pay attention to how involved or interested they seem in their interactions with you. Keep things low-key until you see signs of genuine interest on their part. And what if their conversation takes on sexual undertones? Much will depend on the timing and your own comfort level here. But be careful if they are turning all the conversations toward sex. This is one disturbing red flag you shouldn’t ignore.
14. Dress up for video chatting and virtual dates
While flirting online, be mindful of such online dating rules. If you have developed a certain rapport and decide to shift to video calls for some in-depth conversations, choose your outfit with care:
- Make the effort to look presentable. Groom yourself
- Put on a nice T-shirt. Yes, the one with your favorite music band or web series will work like a charm and make for a great conversation starter
- Don’t sit in front of that questionable poster during your first video interaction
- Dress up for this ‘flirt online to video chat’ transition, but keep your choices classy
Related Reading: 20 Valuable Tips For A First Date After Meeting Online
15. Take things slow
A cute encounter on day one and a romantic declaration the next. That’s just the way to go if you want them to run away. Whether you’re flirting online or for real, remember this: Online flirting is slow, just like real-life dating. Just like it takes time to come to the all-important third date in real life, the same way, establishing a comfort level while talking online takes time.
Take your time to read the signs you get from them. Only when you’re fairly certain that you’re both vibing or you’ve met the right person, should you consider next steps or talk about more serious things. Take it slow and savor the process till then.
16. Don’t push it
Our top online dating advice? Avoid being pushy or needy. Don’t try to force the pace, especially if it is becoming obvious they are getting uncomfortable. Don’t try to slide into their DMs on social media if they’ve shown zero interest on a dating app. That will only give stalker vibes. And it won’t end well.
17. Just have fun
This applies whether you are flirting with your partner under the same roof, sending flirty signals to a work crush, hanging out on the other’s stoop, or initiating a conversation with someone you swiped right on. Don’t worry too much about whether you’re good or bad at flirting. Don’t overanalyze or tie yourself into knots. Just have fun and take it one step at a time. Trust us, when you’ve met your match, you’ll know.
- Start with ‘hello,’ not ‘hey,’ to make a good impression
- Go through their profile and photos for conversation starters, or use jokes and emojis to jumpstart a conversation
- Be prompt with your responses and put some effort in your texts
- Play online games to build a connection and ask questions to know them better, but don’t pry or push if they don’t show interest
- Keep your compliments genuine and intentions clear
- Take things slow and focus on getting to know them
Online dating is becoming increasingly common these days as the new way to meet people and even life partners. And by all indications, it is here to stay. So go ahead. Flex your online flirting skills. But keep things real. Flirt wisely, safely, and respectfully. Who knows how and when you’ll ‘flirtext’ your way into someone’s heart.
The answer is yes if you are already in a relationship and are flirting online with other people. Even if you don’t ever meet them, it can be counted as micro-cheating or emotional infidelity. Discuss these boundaries with your partner.
You connect over a dating app or website and start a conversation. If things go well and you both decide to take things forward, you do video calls and/or meet up for a real date.
Follow the etiquettes, be authentic, and be safe. But don’t be too hard on yourself if you fumble or a conversation turns awkward. And don’t worry about whether you’re charming or funny enough. Keep things light and playful. Most importantly, focus on getting to know someone better. After all, isn’t that the whole point?