In order to provide top tier advice from industry professionals - for free - we partner with sponsors. This post contains affiliate links and we will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links.
We want you to know this does not impact the quality of our content as writers are not influenced by this process. Links are added after the article is finalized. By doing this, we strive to bring you the most straightforward, factual advice to help you through your 20s. Learn more about our content process here.
You notice a total hottie sitting alone at the bar. This person is a real head-turner, so you decide to go over to them. Maybe, this person is “the One” for you. Who knows? But, one thing you know for sure is that you’re super attracted to the person sitting at the bar alone.
You walk up and start flirting, of course. This dazzling being is stirring-up some pretty intense emotions in you, so you take it as a sign you’re on the right track. But, are you? The last thing you want to do is come across as a creepy stalker or a dreadful annoyance. So, how can you flirt without being creepy?
Before you dive into murky water, you’ll probably need a refresher course on the rules of flirting. What does that mean? It means you’ll need to understand the difference between healthy, playful flirting and cringe-worthy, kinda scary flirting. And, believe me, sometimes that line is very thin.
Showing someone you’re interested in him or her can be fun and exciting, but it can also give off the wrong (creepy) vibe, so make sure the person is actually interested before you full-fledge flirt with him or her.
How to flirt without being creepy
Guess what? Creepy flirting isn’t just limited to in-person interactions; it can also happen online, in texts, in private messages, and even on social media posts. Yikes! So, the question begets, “Are you a creepy flirter?” If so, worry no more, because this article will help you revamp your flirting style, so you can snag the person of your dreams. Are you ready?
You can learn more about flirting without being creepy and flirting in a healthy way with the following articles and videos: How To Flirt Without Being Creepy and How To Approach (Flirting Advice and Tips) on YouTube, How to Flirt Without Being Annoying on WikiHow, and 15 Times Your Flirting Comes Off As Super Creepy by The Talko.
Test the waters
Test the watersbefore you jump in head-first. What does that mean? It means make sure the person you are interested in is receptive to your advances before you go full-fledge commando flirting. If he or she is not receptive – Stop!
So, stick a toe in first and test the waters. Pay attention to the unspoken cues or gestures (i.e. eye contact and paying attention, gently touching, smiling, laughing, winking, leaning-in, gazing, etc.) that signal that he or she is enjoying the flirting. If he or she isn’t – move on.
It is common for young adults to misinterpret meaningless or friendly gestures as ‘flirting.’ This misunderstanding can lead to more advanced behaviors – behaviors that are largely unwanted by the other person. So, make sure you get consent before diving in head and heart first – and then being disappointed.
Keep it short
Are you a “rattler” in social situations? You know, that person who keeps talking, and talking, and talking until you’ve shared your life story with everyone in your vicinity? Yes? Then, STOP doing that! Why? Because, truthfully, no one likes to be around long-winded people for too long.
It is okay to throw out some cute or funny one-liners here-and-there but one after another is a bit much. Do you want to know what’s worse? Listening to someone you’re not interested in shower you with a million cheesy ones. So, don’t do that.
Maybe flirting isn’t your forte, but you really want to get the attention of your attraction, so you develop a case of “verbal diarrhea” when you get in his or her presence. You can’t help it, right? Or…maybe you are flirting like crazy because, well, you like to hear the sound of your own voice… Regardless of the real reason for the “rattling,” it’s definitely not a good look.
Understand that the goal of flirting is to let someone know you’d like to connect with him or her, and possibly, get to know him or her better – not to smother him or her with cheesy one-liners. Don’t be a ‘flirt/conversation hog.’ Rather, show a genuine interest in the other person by paying attention to what he or she says and by asking follow-up questions. Then, allow him or her to respond to them, without interrupting. Don’t be so long-winded that you prevent that person from speaking and sharing his or her opinion.
Stick to this rule –take turns talking and flirting. Rather, say your part, pause, and then give the ‘mic’ to the other person.
Make it fun
If you don’t want to come across as a “creepy flirter,” you’ll need to keep the flirting light, fun, playful, and easy-going. How? By not showing your hand prematurely. What does that mean? It means you can flirt, but don’t keep throwing out not-so-cute one-liners, or bombarding the other person with compliments or praise. Yes, it’s sweet, but after a while it can become annoying – and creepy.
When flirting, take your time. Give the person a compliment, wink, smile, gently rub his or her back, etc., and then watch how he or she reacts to it. Does he or she flirt back? If so, wait a while and then throw out another compliment, praise, or one-liner. Then, observe his or her reaction again. Keep doing this until you score the other person’s contact info or even better, an official date. On the flipside, if the other person just stares at you or doesn’t try to flirt back, chances are he or she just isn’t feeling it – or you. Sorry.
People like to have fun, regardless of what they are doing, but they especially like to have fun when flirting. So, don’t take the ‘fun’ out of flirting! Flirting should be light and playful.
Ree has a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy (M.M.F.T.) and a Ph.D. in Family Psychology. She spent over ten years counseling families, couples, individuals, and children on adjustment issues such as blended families, same-sex couples, dysfunctional family relationships, relationship issues, etc. Now she writes for famous health organizations and is a published author. Full Bio | LinkedIn