'Tis the season for summer internships, and while these experiences can certainly further your career, provide some valuable learning opportunities, and allow you to explore your professional passions in a hands-on way, they can also lead you to some pretty promising dating prospects. But I know what you're thinking. Is there a way to pull that off while still keeping it professional? If you're not sure how to flirt with someone at your summer internship, don't stress. According to Thomas Edwards, the founder of The Professional Wingman, it's totally possible to get that office cutie to notice you without compromising your standing in the workplace.
First off, it's worth noting exactly why your summer internship is a spectacular place to meet people. It's a safe bet that you'll already have some common interests with the people you meet at an internship. Plus, a summer internship is only a temporary job (unless, of course, it leads to a long-term position), meaning that you won't have to worry much about lasting awkwardness if things go downhill. Edwards concurs — and he should know since he once had a successful summer internship fling himself.
"The great things about the environment is the amount of enthusiasm for the experience, the willingness to try something new and outside of your comfort zone, and the instant commonality around being an intern," Edwards says. "Those pieces create an awesome place to meet and connect with potentials."
As for how to get your crush to notice you, there's definitely a right way to go about it. It goes without saying that you likely want to uphold a certain reputation at your internship, so you'll want to save the bold flirting tactics for a social setting. That said, there are so many subtle ways to catch your coworker's attention. According to Edwards, the best way to start is by simply emitting a particular kind of energy.
"Be socially engaging throughout the internship," he tells Elite Daily. "Engage with your boss, colleagues, and others so you can establish yourself as an approachable person. This will make it easy to approach whoever you find attractive or, better yet, open the door for that person to approach you."
Easy peasy, right? So, even by interacting with other interns who don't happen to be the object of your affection, you can send a message that you're friendly and easy to talk to.
It can also be helpful to find common ground. Are they wearing a sports cap for the team you happen to be a diehard fan of? Then strike up a convo about the devastating loss at the water cooler. Do they have a laptop sticker for the college your sister went to? Feel free to comment on it, and ask if they’re an alum, too. Keep an eye out for any conversation starters that highlight things you have in common, and you’ll start to foster a connection that has nothing to do with work.
If you’re struggling to find those natural conversation starters, I fully condone pulling a Cady Heron from Mean Girls and asking for help. That doesn’t mean you have to play dumb on a subject to get your Aaron Samuels equivalent to pay attention to you, however. Finding a reason to talk to your co-intern could be as simple as asking them what programs they suggest for the task you have at hand, or how they managed to get a spot in that meeting with the CMO. There are so many other work-related topics that you could use to strike up a conversation, too. Why not ask them if they know of any good lunch spots to grab takeout near the office? Then you can ask if they want to join you on your break, or if you can grab them anything while you're out. And just like that, you're en route to becoming their lunchtime boo. You can thank me later.
Keep in mind that it’s totally normal to feel nervous about directly approaching your internship crush. Given the fact that it’s a work environment, the stakes feel even higher if they don’t respond favorably to your attempts to make a connection. Fortunately, Edwards says there are some subtler ways to get someone at your internship to notice you, too.
“Invite the intern team to a happy hour,” he suggests. “Making it a group experience will put less pressure on everyone and once you're outside the work environment, you can start making your move.”
Without a doubt, even remotely approaching flirtation territory while your boss is 10 feet away can be uncomfortable. Putting yourself in a different setting with your crush might make it easier to chat without feeling awkward about it. Plus, you may find that you have so much more to talk about in a social situation — like the fact that you both ordered the same craft beer, or that the song playing at the bar is your current jam. Not to mention, inviting a group of people out makes your crush a little less obvious, so you can ease into the flirting without feeling so vulnerable.
So, what's the takeaway? Don't disregard that total dreamboat at your summer internship. There are so many clever ways to capture their attention that are so subtle that you don't have to sacrifice your professional reputation. Remember to exude approachable energy, make an effort to find common ground, and invite them to socialize outside of the office, and before long, they very well may become your boardroom bae.