Contrary to what might be popular belief, learning how to flirt is not about learning a bunch of specific techniques and “moves.” Flirting isn’t a science, and when we try to make it into that, we lose out on all the things that make flirting fun and successful: playfulness, surprise, and feeling a real connection.
If you’re wondering how to get better at flirting, the first thing to do is to really understand what flirting is and why we do it in the first place. From there, it’ll be easier to understand how to flirt in a way that truly feels natural for you.
What is flirting?
In the scientific sense, flirting is thought of as a process of signaling sexual interest to attract a potential mate. Many different animal species engage in some form of this seduction process, which might include specific gestures, body language, and direct or indirect overtures.
A more modern, human definition of flirting as it functions in our culture today would be to think of it simply as any method you use to signal to someone that you find them interesting and want to engage with them further. It’s often a fun, lighthearted activity, though it can also involve an invitation to connect on a deeper level. Either way, flirting ideally feels good for both people if the feelings are mutual. It’s about shared curiosity and excitement.
While people often associate flirting with showing you want to date or have sex, research shows people flirt for all sorts of reasons: to see if there’s sexual or romantic potential, yes, but also sometimes just to make the other person feel good, to boost one’s own self-esteem, or even just to be playful and have fun with someone.