September 19, 2019

How To Flirt

Get better at flirting with these five steps.
Written by
Louise Bourchier, MPH
Published on
September 19, 2019
Updated on
What's changed?
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Someone has caught your eye! Maybe it’s someone you meet at a party, maybe it’s the person who takes your coffee order every morning, maybe it’s a fellow passenger in your Uberpool ride. You’re enjoying their company and you wouldn’t mind giving them a subtle sign that you like them, but you don’t want to come on too strong. What’s the move?

Step 1: Smile

A smiling face exudes warmth, confidence, and lets the other person know you’re happy to see them (and who doesn’t love that?!). Sure, you could play it cool, and give off a James Dean indifference... But showing that you are friendly and approachable by flashing a smile is more likely to progress your flirting beyond the “making eyes” stage. And of course, when you start talking keep throwing in the smiles so that your crush feels reassured and knows you’re enjoying their company.

Step 2: Eye Contact

Making eye contact with the other person is a low-stakes way to let them know they’ve caught your attention. If you’re looking at your potential love interest from across the room, just little moments of eye contact are good to show you’re noticing them (but avoid staring of course, you don’t want to come across as creepy). If you’re already talking, continue to make eye contact throughout the conversation to let them know you’re listening to them and interested in what they’re saying.

Making eye contact with the other person tells them you’re paying attention to them.

If you’re living with a visual impairment, the eye contact part of flirting can be more challenging. Having a “wing person”—a trusted friend whose role it is to assist you while (consensually and respectfully) cruising for cuties—can help you pick up signals you may have otherwise missed.

Step 3: Humor

Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a standup comedian and impress them with elaborate jokes. But a dash of humor, even just a lighthearted remark or two, can go a long way in forging a connection. If they laugh, smile, or offer follow-up jokes and comments, that’s a definite sign that things are going in the right direction. And if you’re not sure what to say, look for cues in your surrounding environment to comment on, or try saying something silly about yourself, like:

“Wow, I’m not wearing the right outfit to dance to this music, I should have brought my lycra!”

Step 4: Gentle Curiosity

As you’re beginning to talk, ask them some basic questions about themselves. This shows you’re interested in them, and helps you learn more about this mysterious person who’s caught your eye. “Basic questions” are the key here. Avoid questions that are too personal or too probing—stick to small talk for now. To break the ice, you can start off with,

“I really like your style. Where’s your dress from?”

“It’s busy here this morning. How’s your day going?”


“Sharing a car with strangers is pretty weird if you think about it. I once shared an Uberpool with my grade school math teacher. What's your best Uberpool story?”.

Even if it can feel a little cheesy or artificial at times, small talk is a helpful skill to spark a conversation and help it gather momentum.

Even if it can feel a little cheesy or artificial at times, small talk is a helpful skill to spark a conversation and help it gather momentum.

Step 5: Open Body Language

The last step for A+ flirting is sending out the right signals with your body language. If you’re feeling nervous talking to your crush, you might find yourself slouching or crossing your arms in front of your chest. Flirting can be nerve-wracking, so that’s totally understandable! But take a deep breath, exhale, uncross your arms, and straighten your shoulders. You will come across as more confident and relaxed (even if you’ve still got a few butterflies in your stomach).

If you’re feeling nervous talking to your crush, you might find yourself slouching or crossing your arms in front of your chest… But take a deep breath, exhale, uncross your arms and straighten your shoulders.

So why not make eye contact with that hottie on the dancefloor? Why not flash a smile at the person who takes your coffee order? And why not say something a silly to break the ice with your fellow Uberpool passenger? Who knows—you might end up dancing together, having a great conversation, or even locking some lips!

Reviewed for Medical Accuracy

Louise Bourchier is a sex educator and sex researcher with 8 years experience in the field. She teaches about sexual health, sexual pleasure, and communication in relationships through workshops, live-streams, and with written content. Using a sex-positive approach, a dash of humour, and bag full of fun props, Louise’s style of sex education for adults is not what you got in high school! Since 2011 she has taught over a hundred workshops to a wide range of audiences, from university students, to refugees, to medical professionals, to adult store clientele. She has a Masters of Public Health, and is currently a PhD candidate.

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