Whether it’s online or face-to-face (remember those days?), mastering the art of flirting is essential to take things to the next level. Gone are the days of feeling awkward and confusing those you’re trying to woo from now on. If you struggle to show your crush you like them and want to amp things up, here are some tips.

Understand social cues.

There’s a fine line between someone gobbling up your game and feeling uncomfortable. You obviously want to aim for the former. But if you see them yawning, easily distracted, or inching away from you, it’s best to hang back. For online encounters, slow and/or short responses are indicators they’re not into it. Pivot your approach but make it count – no one wants to be bombarded with bad pick-up lines.

Confidence is key.

Flirting is not for the faint of heart. When you really like someone, you want to make a good impression. Don’t pile on the pressure by believing you have to be perfect. Confidence comes from within, no matter how well or how poor you’re performing. It’s about recovery and not overthinking. If you mess up the punchline, laugh at your mistake. Chances are, they’ll laugh with you because, hey, we’ve all been there! It makes you human – go with it, not against it.

Acknowledge their presence.

It’s easy to want to hide the instant you see your crush. You pretend you’re too involved with your phone to notice them. While you may feel better avoiding them for the sake of your nerves, how do you think it makes them feel? Next time you see them, a simple wave will do. You don’t have to have a long-winded conversation if you don’t want to–saying hi is a good alternative. If it’s online, the same goes. Send the waving hand emoji or let them know you hope they have a great day.

Pass the mic.

Flirting is a two-way street. On one hand, we want to get to know the person on the other side. On the opposite hand, we want them to get to know us. What often ends up happening is a personal story goes on too long. We get so caught up in coming off as impressive that we forget to give the other person a chance to speak. If you feel like you’ve been talking about yourself all that time, pass the mic. Ask them questions then get back to neutral conversation.

Give them your full attention.

One way to scare off potential partners is by acting distracted, especially when talking to them. Flirting advice to be aloof doesn’t work for a handful of reasons. If they have to constantly second-guess if you’re interested, forget moving to the next level. Instead, pay attention! Actually focus on the conversation, what’s being said, and, like we mentioned above, their social cues. At the end of the day, even if it doesn’t work out, being a good listener is always a good trait to have. Sometimes that’s better than how well you’re able to play the game.

Be a little mysterious.

When a conversation with a crush goes great, you want to get closer to them. Maybe that includes sharing personal details you feel comfortable with them knowing. If that’s the case, go ahead, but don’t lay it all out on the table. You’re still in the initial stages of flirting, so being mysterious keeps their interest. You can also gauge how into you they are. If they seem like they couldn’t care less about the ending to that story, don’t give it to them and move on.

Use genuine compliments.
Everyone loves hearing they have awesome style or that their eyes are pretty. One rule of flirting is to be honest! Don’t give out compliments left and right if you don’t really mean them. That doesn’t build trust nor does it come across as authentic. People can smell BS a mile away so if they’re backing away from you, whether online or in-person, you’re doing it wrong. Find what you genuinely like about them and let them know.

Don’t be afraid to make the first move.

Approaching your crush fuels anxiety. Butterflies swarm your stomach and the thought of messing up in front of them scares the heck out of you. So, you think it best to hang back and let them come to you. Wrong! Along with being confident, don’t let fear hold you back from going after what you want. It’s better to get things started now than later. That way, you can suss out how interested they are, rather than waiting for what feels like an eternity waiting for them to make the first move.

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