Flirting is one of the most beguiling aspects of online dating. You might be a shrinking violet in a day to day to setting like an office or pub, but let loose behind a keyboard you can become funny and relaxed almost at will.
Do this regularly with someone you only know online and you are for all intents and purposes a flirt. And flirting can be fun and cool and sexy. But you can easily send out the wrong signals and make the wrong moves if you don’t watch your step.
We hope you find flirting around with online partners to be a fun and rewarding experience, and to help you avoid some of the pitfalls, we present a short list of things you can do to keep yourself safe and the conversation flowing easily.Always ask “open” questions – if you ask someone a question that has a simple yes or no answer, it can bring your conversation to a very abrupt halt.
When the conversation is flowing freely you want to keep that back and forth going as long as you can. Breaking the conversation is therefore bad and unless you have a witty reply to hand in event of a flat ‘no’ to a question then you can find yourself floundering to get going again.Mock yourself before you mock the other person – people who appear confident and funny in chat might actually be a mass of neuroses.
They’re putting on their best front for you, so until you know them very well don’t start taking the mick out of them. Instead, mocking yourself will put your chat partner at ease and, perversely, make you appear more confident and relaxed.If you want to ask a personal question, get permission – it might be critical for your relationship that you know something about somebody’s past. It’s entirely fair to ask those questions, but make sure you phrase them in a way that is non-invasive. Even in the relaxed environment of the internet a little politeness goes a long way. So couch your question by asking something like: “May I ask if you’ve ever been married?” You’re still asking for the same information, but you give them an opportunity to decline a request. 9 times out of 10, they won’t – but they will feel easier answering it.Don’t ask questions about personal appearance right off the bat – few people are lucky enough to be super-confident in their appearance.
If you plunge in to ask their height, bra-size or eye colour you could inadvertently be touching a very raw nerve. You’ll know when the time is right, and you might even find that when you know their personality first, it matters less to you. And that makes for a much happier chance of a healthy relationship.Don’t pressurise for commitment – being realistic, it’s possible for people to juggle many internet relationships. This doesn’t make them a bad person or a terrible slut. It just means that they’re keeping their options open.
If you start to threaten their options, you’ll very quickly turn from being a great online chat partner to being a burden. Far from gaining their commitment, you’ll be running the risk of seeming a little bit controlling. And there’s not many folk are looking to be controlled.Don’t be too easy – let’s not beat about the bush here. You could be having cybersex.
That’s fine – and it can be great fun – but don’t make it the be-all end-all of your chats. Sexual tension and erotic exchanges are exciting, but can also take the air out of other conversations. If it happens, fine. But don’t feel you have to push for it or even respond to it if it’s not your thing. Even online, you’ve got to keep to your own boundaries.
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