Fundamentals of online flirting

Learn the fundamentals online flirting. Photo: Supplied

If you’ve spent a bit of time on social media, you’re well-acquainted with the concept of sliding into the DMs. The phrase refers to the act of sending an unexpected private message to a stranger or acquaintance on social media. Most of the time, sliding into the DMs is an indicator of interest. Whether it’s something as simple as ‘Hey there’, or as intense as a multi-paragraph declaration of love, the message is always clear: The sender is signalling their attraction to the receiver.

Because it’s relatively easy to slide into the DMs, the unfortunate truth is that many people are drowning in a sea of unwanted online attention. If you’re planning to stand out from the legion of people who are flirting with your online crush, you have to strike the right balance between confidence and consideration. Here’s how to slide into someone’s DMs without getting blocked:

Interact on their timeline first

Receiving a message from a complete stranger probably feels a bit invasive to most people. If you and the person in question have never met or spoken, wait until you have a bit of rapport before going into the DMs.

Don’t make comments about their body yet

At this stage, it’s not a good idea to give compliments of a sexual nature. If you’re going to comment on your online crush’s looks, how you phrase the compliment is just as important as what you say. Instead of saying someone looks beautiful, rather say, ‘Do you have a skincare routine or is that all good genes?’ For now, try to make unique compliments that refer to a specific non-sexual feature.

Exercise some restraint

Imagine if someone complimented you every day. It wouldn’t take long for the effect of those compliments to wear off. It’s human nature to value what is in short supply. If something is too readily available, it immediately loses its value. You might be tempted to leave a sweet comment on every one of your crush’s photos, but that might come across as insincere. If you want your compliments to count, give them as sparingly as possible.

Have something to say

‘Hey, sexy’ won’t get you very far. If you plan to send a direct message, you can’t just say hi and comment on someone’s looks. You have to give them a reason to respond. For instance, you could ask a question related to something they posted. You have only one chance to impress most people on the internet, so make sure you use that opportunity wisely.

Spread some laughter

You don’t have to be a standup comedian to attract someone. A witty comment deployed at the right time is just as charming as a side-splitting joke pulled out of thin air. Don’t make silly jokes for no reason, but rather show that you can see the humour in everything by making a funny comment at the right time.

Some of the most meaningful relationships started in the DMs. If you play your cards right, the next message you send to your crush could lead to something special.