I Used To Be Terrible At Flirting Until I Did These 10 Things

Some people are naturals when it comes to flirting, but many of us find it a little more challenging. If you, like me, are in the second category, never fear. Here are a few things I started doing to take my incompetent flirting techniques to the next level.

  1. I started dressing for myself. There’s much “advice” out there about how women should dress to attract partners. Not only is this patronizing and misogynistic, it’s also completely inaccurate. You know what people find attractive? A badass woman who does whatever the hell she wants. If you want to be confident, wear what makes you feel like a damn queen. If that’s sweatpants, wear sweatpants. If that’s all fishnet everything, wear that. As long as you feel like your most sparkly and powerful self, you’ll have people falling over themselves to talk to you.
  2. I took the initiative. Whether you’re wanting to flirt with a guy or girl, it’s sexy as hell to be the one to take the initiative. Not only does it make you look confident (even when you’re quaking in your boots from nervousness), it also shows that you know what you want, and that’s contagious.
  3. I just stopped caring. One of the classic mistakes in flirting is caring too much about the outcome. Human interaction of any kind is always messy and unpredictable, and basing your worth on whether or not you manage to convey all of your amazingness in a single awkward conversation with someone is a recipe for disaster. The minute you stop putting too much into it, the better your flirting will be.
  4. I stopped pretending to be “cool.” Look, some people just exude charisma and coolness, but I’m not one of them. Contrary to what you might think, though, awkwardness and shyness don’t necessarily mean you’re at a disadvantage when it comes to flirting. Most people find these qualities pretty adorable and will have a lot of respect for you for putting yourself out there. Pretending to be outgoing and chill when you’re totally not is never convincing.
  5. I got over myself. Most of my anxiety about flirting came down to the simple fact that I was overcomplicating it and making myself a lot more important in the grand scheme of things than reality suggested. Flirting is just about as casual and uncomplicated a romantic interaction as you can have, and you should approach it as such. It should be light, simple, and easy. If you’re finding yourself freaking out about it, you need to get out of your head and just jump into it.
  6. I got better at shutting down guys I didn’t want to talk to. We can all agree that some people (almost always men, if we’re honest) take the whole “assertive” thing way too far. I used to feel obligated to engage with these people just to be polite and it affected my whole outlook on flirting. When I finally realized that I could just say “no thanks” when I got approached by those kinds of guys and that there were plenty of other people who weren’t nearly as aggressive, I realized that flirting could actually be pretty fun.
  7. I became totally comfortable with being single. Being happy with singledom is so much easier said than done, but the benefits are more than just a cliché. When you’re not self-conscious or sad about not being in a relationship, flirting is just your social side hustle and carries absolutely no importance. It doesn’t determine whether or not you’re good enough, and it definitely doesn’t matter if you end up with the person at the end of the night.
  8. I gave up on witty banter. If you’ve ever seen a rom-com, you’ll know that flirting is comprised of a series of rapid-fire repartee, often accompanied by eye contact so chemically charged that your ovaries are twitching just thinking about it. But as I mentioned, some of us just aren’t “cool” when it comes to social situations, and that doesn’t mean you should hide in a corner and wait for the soonest opportunity to bolt for the door. If you’re not good at witty banter, opt out. Just be your lovable awkward self, and it will be ten times hotter than anything Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone could do.
  9. I stopped playing mental tricks on myself. As someone with a pretty sharp competitive edge, I always find it easier to approach awkward situations as though they are games. Whenever I find myself getting a little too freaked out at the prospect of approaching a cute guy, I just pretend I’m walking into a competition that I really want to win. This trick boosts my confidence so significantly that I’m across the room and in mid-conversation with the person before I even have the chance to register how nervous I am.
  10. I stopped trying to be liked. Most of my fear about flirting came from my fear of not being what the other person wanted. It wasn’t until I realized that the whole point of flirting is to see how much chemistry there is between you and not to prove why the other person should like you that I got more comfortable with it. As long as you like yourself, other people will like you too. And it’s a two-way street. You need to make sure you like them.
Rose Nolan is a writer and editor from Austin, TX who focuses on all things female and fabulous. You can find her geeking out about the latest film releases or stunning crowds with her endless capacity for celebrity trivia. If you can’t find her, she’s probably eating tacos.