Flirting is one of those things that’s way easier said than done. Sure, you might love the idea of chatting with the cutie you just matched with on Tinder, but in reality, it’s hard to know what to say. I once had a full-blown emotional crisis when I couldn’t figure out which emojis to send to someone before I asked them on a date. OK, that’s a little dramatic — but my roommate did have to step in to help me out. It left me wondering, can you teach yourself to flirt? (Obviously, I’m asking for a friend.)
I reached out to relationship expert April Masini to get her advice on this. First of all, she says the key to knowing if you’re good at flirting is to gauge how the other person responds. “Flirting is supposed to be a way of connecting and engaging with people you find attractive,” Masini tells Elite Daily. “If they don’t connect and they don’t engage, and in fact, they disengage and distance themselves from you, you’re bad at flirting.” Or, on the other end of things, if you find yourself freezing up when someone flirts with you, you probably won’t win over their affection. “If you’re paralyzed by the sexual, romantic attention that flirting bestows, you’re going to fail at flirting,” she says. “If someone flirts with you, you have to respond positively for them to respond positively, in turn.”
As someone who once choked on my drink when a cute guy made eyes at me, I feel like I’m in need of this kind of useful life education. And dating coach Erika Ettin provides another point to consider: “If you are constantly being put into the ‘friend zone,’ then it might be time to assess your flirting ability,” she explains. Flirting should come naturally in a conversation, and when you’re good at it, you won’t even have to think twice — it will feel like second nature.
Lucky for me, and for all you other mediocre flirters out there, Masini and Ettin say it’s totally possible to teach yourself to flirt. Yay! But it’s going to require you to step outside your comfort zone a bit — here’s how.