“What is flirting, and how do I do it?” Guide for Introverts

“I want to learn to flirt more effectively. Where do I start?”


You want the butterflies, the excitement, that little flutter in your tummy that signals there might be some mutual interest between you and the woman you’re talking to.

More importantly, you want to learn how to offer those same butterflies of excitement back to her.

Today, we’re going to be diving in and answering a few questions you may have wondered about:

  • “What is flirting?”
  • “How do I flirt?” And
  • “How can I tell if I’m flirting too much or not enough?”

Yay! By the end of today’s post, you will have a framework you can use to practice different flirting styles and see what works best in your dating life!

Before we get to that, let’s take a brief step back.


Why do many people never even think to ask the question, “What is flirting?”

The internet is chock full of “How To” articles written for busy people who want to fix a problem.

For most topics, you can follow the steps in the “How To” plan and the results will be good enough and you can move on. This works because you’re not emotionally invested in, for example, how to cook a baked potato without it drying out in the oven.

So, what about topics that follow you for your whole life?

For example, important life skills that can affect huge areas of your mental and emotional wellbeing?

What if these deeper topics are indeed areas that deserve more introspection, learning, and practice to truly master?

Would you agree that it’s worthwhile to invest time and effort in your dating life, if you knew it would grant you a better chance of finding “the one”?

Dating, and therefore flirting, are deeper topics that have more complexity than your average online tutorial can cover.

Just as you would better understand how to fix a car’s transmission if you first take the time to learn what a transmission is and how one works, you’re also more likely to be successful with flirting if you start by asking the right questions.

If you’ve asked “What is flirting?” and found this article, you’re on the right track toward building a deeper understanding of how you can influence and master your own dating life.

Flirting is only one tiny slice of the whole dating pie. To learn and practice more skills that can help you find and maintain healthy relationships, download this free ebook. You’ll find tons of helpful “starting points” that can nudge you in the right direction. >> Get it here! <<

Now, let’s begin! What is flirting, anyway??


What is flirting?

As a logical, reasonable person, you know that in order to do something well, you must understand what that something is and where it comes from.

So, naturally, let’s first turn to the most exhilarating and titillating resource imaginable: The Merriam Webster Dictionary.

To flirt is to “behave amorously without serious intent” and to “show superficial or casual interest or liking.”

While that definition is technically true, it lacks any sense of the subtlety, nuance, and fun that flirting can encompass!

Keeping in mind those themes of “superficial,” “casual,” and “without serious intent,” the goal of flirting is to signal to a woman that you’re interested in something more than platonic friendship with her.

That “something” can (and should!) be left open to the imagination.

Though we at Introverted Alpha always advocate for honesty and straightforwardness in relationships, flirting is a fun way to create more intrigue rather than completely spelling out for her in plain English: “I like you.”

Part of the fun of flirty banter, not-so-accidental touches, and lingering eye contact is that exciting exploration of the unknown as the other person begins to let you in.

If both of you tell each other with deadpan expressions…

“I find you attractive and I would enjoy getting a drink this Friday evening,”

… LOL! Your dating life would be efficient, although pretty boring.

Done well, flirting signals to both parties that the other is interested in taking things to the next step.


How do you flirt effectively?

Have you ever been tempted to apply science to matters of the heart? Surely, somewhere and somehow, there is a tried and true approach that has been proven to work. Right?

Interestingly, you’re not far from the truth.

The University of Kansas published a study on the most common flirting styles and who is most likely to benefit by picking a particular style.

They reported that introverts found the most success with the “sincere” flirting style, which emphasizes truth and the depth of connection between both parties.

A “sincere” flirting style means wonderfully luscious things like…

  • giving genuine compliments,
  • finding areas of common ground,
  • listening, and
  • making an effort to start a real conversation.

Then, once you have developed a rapport with your lady of interest, you can continue to flirt with either the “traditional” or “physical” styles of flirting, based on your vibe and where you’re at with things.

“Traditional” flirting can include…

  • holding open doors for her,
  • lending her your jacket on a chilly day,
  • making eye contact and letting it linger for a second or two longer than usual, or
  • taking her hand in yours.

These are classics for a reason: they accurately tell women that you are interested in dating, and you are a (confident, wonderful!) gentleman.

More “physical” flirting signals include…

  • touching her knee,
  • resting a hand on the small of her back, or
  • standing close enough that she can enjoy your cologne.

Flirting physically is exciting; just keep in mind that it does escalate passion, so opt for the “sincere” and “traditional” styles above if you’ve got a longer-term view in mind.


Wait! Hang on just a moment…

Didn’t we just get done saying that part of the fun of flirting is the lack of science, defined boundaries, and clear-cut expectations?

Yes, we did.

So, use the above study to guide you so far as it’s helpful; however, don’t forget to relax a little bit and embrace the butterflies that come from “the unknown.”

You may tread a little too far in one direction than another, do something awkward from time to time, or fall asleep occasionally wondering “Why did I say that???”

And to that we ask, “So what?!”

In all likelihood, if you’re like most introverted men we work with, the last thing you need to practice is your scientifically proven flirting technique.

Instead, what probably would benefit you much more to focus on is that feeling of relaxing, going with the flow, and resting comfortably in your inner confidence. Trust yourself that you can feel out the situation, pick up what she’s laying down, and respond accordingly.

You won’t get it perfect every time. No one does.

The point is to genuinely enjoy the fun process of flirting with a woman you’re interested in.

When every “failure” is an exciting way of practicing and getting better, the eventual “success” will feel that much sweeter. :)


How do you recognize when you might be flirting too much or not enough?

Flirting can sometimes feel like a delicate balance, especially when you’re not used to doing it often.

If you’re the type who can fling yourself into the fun of experimentation, great! You do you. ;)

However, if you need a bit more reassurance that you’re on the right track, that’s completely normal and okay too.

If you practice reading her signals, you’ll get to understand how you’re coming across to the woman you’re flirting with.

Need some examples?


If she is doing any of these things, she’s more than likely receptive and happy about your advances.

  • Smiling warmly,
  • stepping in closer to you,
  • Tossing her hair,
  • Giggling and laughing even when you’re not being super funny,
  • Biting her lip, and
  • Finding little “accidental” ways of making physical contact with you.

These are all classic signals that women send when they want you to know that they welcome and return your interest.


If you notice her doing any of the following, however, it’s probably best to dial it down.

  • Moving further away, even if it’s subtle,
  • Glancing toward an exit,
  • Pointing her feet or her body away from you,
  • Giving short, clipped answers, or
  • Looking around at other people instead of meeting you halfway with regular eye contact

These things mean she is feeling uncomfortable and wants space.


Lastly, what does it mean if you see none of the above signals at all?

The most likely explanation for a complete lack of feedback is… she doesn’t recognize that you’re flirting with her.

Perhaps you’re being extremely subtle or hesitant. Or, maybe you don’t realize it but she is already in a relationship. In this case, it wouldn’t occur to her that your behavior could be flirtatious.

In any case, there is really no harm in making your interest a tiny bit more obvious so that things can come to the surface and you can gain clarity.

Whether you choose to do this by employing some of the more noticeable flirting techniques or by stating outright that you’d love to take her out sometime is up to you!

If she is interested, she will respond positively. If she isn’t (or if she is indeed already in a relationship) she will hopefully mirror your straightforwardness and let you know.


Conclusion on “What is flirting, and how do I do it?”

Couple Laughing - What Is FlirtingNow you’re prepared with the knowledge to go out and get your flirt on! Have fun, treat every experience as a learning opportunity, and always be respectful and considerate to all the people you interact with… in any capacity, especially when flirting. ;)

As a quick recap, here is what we covered today:

  • Diving into the actual definition of flirting so you understand the nuances of what you’re trying to accomplish,
  • Prioritizing your flirting techniques based on your goals for the relationship (and what works most often for introverts!), and
  • Gauging your success based on her responses.

If you’d like a more extensive guide, check out this post: How to Flirt Without Being Creepy!

Then, download our free ebook, “Why PUA Doesn’t Work for Introverts & What Works Instead,” for even more helpful tips on boosting your dating life by improving your skill sets and confidence.

Speaking of confidence, did you know that your confidence level can heavily impact both your dating success and your enjoyment of the whole dating process? If you feel like you could use some help on that front, check out our Magnetic Confidence self-study program. In just a few weeks, you can overcome so many issues common to introverted men so you can date with confidence. Read more here!

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Kelly from IA
Kelly is resident writer here at Introverted Alpha, which is known as the premier dating coaching company for introverted men; featured by Forbes, Business Insider, Cosmo, and more. Pick up your free copy of our 22-page ebook inside the blue box just below.

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Attracting An Amazing Girlfriend Starts With Finding Your Own Vibe.

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--> Why the “pickup artist” approach will never work for introverts and what works instead

--> How to attract women naturally being your best self

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