Cosmopolitan Magazine: Your Actually Helpful Guide to Effectively Flirting Over Text

November 26, 2020

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As someone who has used a handful of dating apps over the past three years, I’ll admit that my texting game wasn’t all that great. To be completely honest, it took lots, and lots, and lots of practice to fully feel comfortable engaging in some flirty banter. (This may be the case for you too.)

But if time is of the essence—aka you’re like “Lol, no, I needed texting help like yesterday”—we’ve got some good news: This guide right here will provide you with the tips and tricks you need to become an A+ flirty texting aficionado.

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We’ve tapped multiple relationship and dating experts who have provided solid advice for becoming the flirty texting pro you’ve always wanted to be. And this shit is effective, my friends. So check out the prompts below and become your crush’s new fave texting partner (as if you weren’t already). You deserve the attention.

Okay, but first: Is flirting over text with your crush even important?
Um, yeah. Especially considering that in the era of Instagram, Whatsapp, and Snapchat, it’s way easier to shoot your shot through text than in IRL.

“Sending someone a text to let them know you are thinking about them can go a long way,” says relationship expert Stephania Cruz.“When there is a romantic interest, flirt-texting can help you take the relationship to the next level if there is a mutual interest,” she adds.

Also, let’s consider the fact that there’s a global pandemic happening right now. Because of social-distancing and quarantine recommendations, lots of people are resorting to dating apps as a way to connect with other singles, which means there’s even more pressure to keep your matches interested almost exclusively via text.

Oh, and BTW: This texting thing goes for those of you in relationships too. Sending your partner a flirty text can actually help get them through their day while they’re stuck in that two-hour Zoom meeting. Licensed relationship and sex therapist Eliza Boquin confirms: “It’s the perfect way to build anticipation, which fuels erotic desire.”

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So once you’ve established you like someone, how do you initiate the flirty texts?
Boquin says that “the first thing you should always be mindful of is consent.” Though flirty texts (or maybe even borderline sexual ones) may be your cup of tea, some people just don’t like them because they either feel too awkward or they just don’t want anything that could be easily seen.

You have to first figure out if the person you’re texting is receptive to these types of texts, says Boquin. (And that would be a good conversation to have in the beginning, when things start to vibe between you two.)

Some advice that has worked for me: Throw out a flirty text when you know they’re alone and in the comfort of their own home as a temperature check. How did they react? Did they reciprocate with equally flirty banter? Or did they pull away? It may be worth following up with something like: “Oops, was that too much?” and then actively checking in throughout the conversation, too.

Now, tips on how to actually start flirting via text:
Amber Artis, CEO of Select Date Society, suggests starting with witty banter. “It’s a great place to start,” she says. Mainly because the topics of conversation are pretty much endless. You can debate over a sports team, a show, or even a musical artist.

Example A: If you’ve met on a dating site and they ask you out for a socially-distant date, you can say something like “I’ll see you Friday…so long as you solemnly swear you don’t actually believe The Office is better than Schitt’s Creek.”

Another tip to remember: “Keep it short and simple,” says Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking. No need to send those long paragraphs over text right from the beginning—work your way up to deeper-level convos.

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Oh, and don’t forget to bring the humor, suggests clinical psychologist Sabrina Romanoff. I personally love it when people respond to my messages with gifs because, hi, yup, sending gifs is like my love language.

When in doubt, if you’re struggling to come up with something flirty and/or sexy, “send some suggestive song lyrics that express what you’re feeling,” says Boquin. And if the two of you like to get down and dirty through text too, Boquin says to find some erotic imagery of what you’re fantasizing to do with them and follow it up with a “you down?”

What you should avoid:
Make sure you don’t overuse your emojis and exclamation points. “Emojis and exclamation points were invented to help reduce the uncertainty of written text, and using these too much can be off putting,” says Romanoff.

She explains that sometimes they can come off as childish and cartoon-like when you use them in every sentence and message. (If you want to know when you’re using them too much, act it out in your head; If it seems like you had six shots of espresso, you might want to tone it down.)

And yes, we did say that witty banter could get you tugging on someone’s heart strings, but don’t be a Grinch or downer about things, says Trombetti. Keep it light-hearted and positive as much as possible.

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Now, need some flirty text inspiration?
Behold, a few lines you can text to your person once you’ve established that flirty texting is fine. Trombetti suggests something like:

“Hey sexy, I had a dream about you last night and then woke up and realized I needed to make it reality.”
“What kind of drink would you be if you were an alcoholic beverage? Something strong and sweet, or the kind that hits you hard and puts you to bed early?”
“Let’s pretend we were on a deserted island. Would you run around with me naked or insist on clothes?”
“Loved seeing you and can’t wait to see you again. I had a fabulous time.”
“What emoji should I put next to your name in my phone?”
Relationship expert Sujeiry Gonzalez suggests:

“Your outfit would look great on my bedroom floor.” (Maybe as a response to an OOTD pic of them on le ‘gram or a dating app.)
And Boquin suggests a more forward route if you’re both comfortable and at the stage:

“Thinking of you and wish you here to kiss me like last night.”
“Remembering the way you touched me has me feeling some type of way.”
“Can’t wait to see you again so we can Netflix and chill…without the Netflix.”