How to Flirt Over Text Message, According to Dating Experts

When everything is digital, understanding how to flirt over text message is basically a necessity if you want to keep someone's attention. Although texting is a fast and convenient way to communicate with your hot, new situationship, learning how to flirt over text is an art form that admittedly requires skill.

From emoji and sending voice memos to sending private pictures and asking to meet up IRL, there's just a ton to consider before hitting send. Whether you're fresh in the game and diving into the world of dating apps or you're in a relationship looking to keep things fun, here's your guide on how to flirt over text message, according to dating experts.

How to Flirt Over Text Message, According to Dating Experts

Whether sliding into DMs comes naturally to you, or following them on IG and hoping they get the hint is more your personality type, knowing how to flirt over text message is a skill that can always use a bit of refining. After all, it doesn't do anyone any good to be completely rigid via text or to continuously use the same pickup lines (no matter how reliable those Harry Potter pickup lines might be).

To help step up your texting and flirting game, Tara Suwinyattichaiporn, PhD, a sexual communication expert and professor of sex and relationships at California State University, Fullerton, offered a few pointers.

Go Into It With Ease

Nervousness is common in any situation, especially one that involves talking to a new match. While butterflies here and there are normal, anxiety to the point of a single text consuming hours of your day will definitely do more harm than good.

Dr. Suwinyattichaiporn suggests flirty texting with a relaxed approach, which can help make the experience feel more natural and less stressful. "The common pitfall people usually experience when trying to flirt through text is they overanalyze and overthink it," Dr. Suwinyattichaiporn explains. "Have fun, go with the flow, and approach it with a playful mindset."

Lead With Confidence

Confidence in any form is attractive. When someone is confident and strong in their approach when flirting over text, it's easier to read between the lines and determine what their true intentions are. "Making the first move shows that you're someone who takes initiative," Dr. Suwinyattichaiporn says. "It can be a great way to show you're an assertive go-getter." (If you're not quite at the text message stage, but you're looking to make the first move on an app like Bumble, here are the best Bumble openers to use as inspo.)

. . . But Don't Be Cocky

Confidence is undoubtedly an attractive trait in a person, but there is a very fine line between being self-assured and cocky. When it comes to knowing how to flirt over text message, Dr. Suwinyattichaiporn advises that being arrogant and presumptuous is not the right approach. "For example, [you should avoid] saying things like 'I bet you've never met anyone like me before,' or 'I'm a great catch and you'd be making a mistake not taking me on a date,'" she says.

Get Your Timing Right

Most of us run on a different schedule, which can make flirting a bit complicated when either you or your romantic interest are busy. According to Dr. Suwinyattichaiporn, the ideal time to strike up a conversation is either during the morning or evening. "People can get so busy during the day, and the effects of your flirtation might lessen when they don't have time to mentally process the message fully," Dr. Suwinyattichaiporn explains.

Don't Skip Ahead to the Sexting

Some people may jump straight to sexting. When flirting over text though, be weary of rushing into speaking sexually regarding the other person's body or things you want to do with them. While this may be welcome at a later point, it's not something to talk about right away.

"Some people only like being sexual with someone they have a close relationship with," Dr. Suwinyattichaiporn advises. "If you're in the early dating stage, being too sexual is not a good idea and might make your date very uncomfortable."

Show Off Your Charm

Charming someone over text can be easier if you embrace your humor; loosen up a little and embrace your creative side. Use context clues from their social media or dating profiles to touch on a mutual interest, or send over these sexy Bridgerton pickup lines to get your conversation started with a laugh. Dr. Suwinyattichaiporn recommends using humor, diving into astrology, and even playing around with emoji. "Emoji are a good way to show emotions that are not easily shown through words," she explains.

Flirty Text Examples

Now that you have an idea of how to flirt over text message the right way, you can really get into your flirty texting game. Relationship expert Mel Williams gave POPSUGAR a couple of texting examples to get started:

  • "Let's Play a Game . . ." This starter is a great way to get your date engaged and locked into your conversation. "Games are always great for flirting and learning more about each other," Williams explains. "One of my favorites is when each person takes turns giving the other person one word. The person who receives the word must respond back with the first thing that comes to mind."
  • Try Out a Nickname: An innocent nickname shows you want the other person to feel special. Since pet names can feel a little overused and disingenuous, come up with a cute nickname that is relevant to the person you're talking to.
  • "I'm in the Mood For . . ." This conversation starter opens up the door for a casual dinner date or a sexy meetup. "Fill in the blank with something physical yet playful," Williams recommends. Maybe you're in the mood for sushi, or maybe you're in the mood to try some of these oral-sex positions? You have endless options.

— Additional reporting by Taylor Andrews


Alicia Geigel is a contributing writer for POPSUGAR. She has worked as a freelance writer with several online blogs and publications for over five years, including: People, Better Homes & Gardens, Martha Stewart, and NickiSwift. When she is not writing articles on celebrity news, pop culture, or the latest movies and TV shows, Alicia is most likely binge-watching old game shows or cooking shows, taking pictures of her dog, and rooting for her favorite Philadelphia sports teams.



Taylor Andrews is a Balance editor at POPSUGAR who specializes in topics relating to sex, relationships, dating, sexual health, mental health, and more. In her six years working in editorial, she's written about how semen is digested, why sex aftercare is the move, and how the overturn of Roe killed situationships.