The (non-sleazy) guide to flirting online


You sashay up to the bar with confidence in your step, put down your drink next to the person you’ve been eyeing off all night and with your biggest, brightest smile, you introduce yourself and ask if you can buy them a drink.

Works like a charm, and it’s pretty easy to get the hang of. Flirting online, on the other hand… well, that’s a completely different ballgame! And, if you’re new to online dating, it might just feel a little strange to flirt via messages when you haven’t even met the person you’re taking to.

But fear not – flirting online can be easy, and totally non-sleazy! Here’s how:

1. Write like you talk

Just because you’re engaging in written communication doesn’t mean that you have to phrase it like you’d email your colleagues at work. Try to loosen up – when writing down your thoughts, imagine you were saying it to the person when they’re right in front of you. A great tip to see if your messages sound like you is to read them out loud after you’ve written them. If you find yourself feeling odd reading it, it might be a chance to rephrase it so that it sounds more natural.

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Make sure to use punctuation and emojis to convey excitement, mystery and all those other non-verbal cues that can sometimes be lost when writing to someone. If you’re just e-meeting someone, a good rule of thumb is to use no more than 2 emojis per message until you can interact with them more and gauge the tone of how they like to communicate.

2. Skip the smooth pickup lines

  • “Was your father an astronaut, because somebody sure put the stars in your eyes!”
  • “Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?”
  • “Are you Google? Because I’ve just found what I’ve been searching for.”

Yeeee-uck! If you wouldn’t approach a stranger with a line like that, don’t bust it out online, either.

3. Be honest

You’re dating online for a reason, right? Transparency is one of the biggest advantages of online dating – you can skip the miscommunication and misinterpretation and be completely clear about what you’re looking for. Giving compliments is always a great way to flirt, and this is a wonderful chance to add in some sincerity to your compliments to really connect with your matches.

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For example, instead of “You’ve got great eyes!” try instead, “You’ve got great eyes! You look like a kind and honest person, and those values are really important to me.”

4. Set boundaries

Sometimes, flirting online can border into creepy territory if the other person takes the flirting much more seriously than you do. If, at any time, your match starts to make you uncomfortable, it’s okay to end the flirting there and try and steer the conversation back to something more light-hearted. You don’t need to feel bad about – and that’s another thing that’s great about online dating. If someone doesn’t respect your boundaries, you can very easily block them. Similarly, don’t feel you have to share your phone number or social media links unless you’re comfortable, either.

5. Get (somewhat) sexy

There’s a fine line between embracing your sensuality online vs. being sleazy online, and much of the same rules apply here as if you were chatting to someone at a bar. When it comes to innuendos, less is definitely more.

6. Find unique ways to show your interest

If you’re chatting about your favourite movies, for instance, you might show your interest in them by sending them a funny link to something you’ve found that shows you were listening to them.

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7. Don’t reveal too much too soon

You want to be honest but at the same time, you want to keep some mystery. Your profile spells out your main specifications and details, so don’t feel like you have to show all your cards in the first few messages back and forth. Keep it fun and light-hearted, and make your match guess a little bit.

Above all, online flirting is what you make of it – it can either be a bit of casual fun, or it can be the start of something really meaningful. It’s up to you and your match which direction you take it!

Do you find it difficult to flirt with your matches? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on FacebookTwitter & Instagram. And if you are ready to narrow down the world of possibilities, sign up to eharmony today- find someone made for you.

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