How to Flirt on Facebook

Girl smiling while typing on laptop.Girl smiling while typing on laptop.

Flirt on Facebook as you'd flirt face-to-face. Don't just send "pokes" and hope that the other person will take the hint. Initiate contact and be a little playful -- hopefully your interest will be returned.

Meet People

Avoid the first fault of Facebook flirting by only engaging in coquetry when you share a bond with someone. If you want to find someone special who shares your love of hairless cats, see if there's a Facebook group for that! If your best friend's sister is kind of cute, check his friends list to see if she has an account. The type of connection isn't important, but having some sort of link is. Most people won't accept friend requests from random strangers -- and rightfully so from a safety standpoint. Once you've zeroed in on a mutual connection, pull the trigger by sending a friend request. Say something friendly to the cat-lover, such as "Hey! I see we both are into hairless cats and live in Seattle. Care to add me as a friend?" or send a playful note to the sister: "Remember me? I'm your brother's annoying friend. Mind if I bother you too?"

Connect Through Wall Posts

To apply the basic principles of flirting -- such as showing the other person you are interested and giving compliments -- to Facebook, casually post comments on the other person's wall. If your romantic interest is a singer/songwriter and posts links to her music, add a comment complimenting her style. If the guy you like posts that he got a really bad sunburn during a weekend beach outing, share a fun comment such as "Bring me along next time. I have a really big beach umbrella that we can share." Don't be shy -- use emoticons to make your posts playful. With any luck, the other person will be interested in you too, and your comment will spark some back-and-forth posts.

Start Chatting

Go beyond showing interest and giving compliments by sharing personal things about yourself through chat or private messages. After a bit of wall-post banter, watch to see if the other person is online in your chat window and then take the opportunity to say hello. Or send a private message. The goal at this stage of flirting is to show the other person you're interested in connecting on a more personal level -- while still keeping things light and fun. In a chat window, say something like "I liked your reply about my beach umbrella. I was totally serious...I am packed and ready to go -- just say the word!" In a chat window, the other person will usually reply quickly if interested, so be sure to stay online. With a private message, it could take a few days for a response -- so don't feel bad if your inbox remains empty at first.

Avoid Pitfalls

Avoid potential pitfalls of flirting on Facebook by, first and foremost, not getting hooked on someone you barely know. Instead, take your time getting to know others online. While apps such as "Superpoke" can be fun -- allowing you to send "hugs," "kisses" or other electronic equivalents of real-life flirtatious advances -- some people may be turned off by these intrusions, especially if they don't know you well. Finally, while you may find it delightful to flirt publicly on someone's wall, remember that everything you post there will be read by that person's friends, who potentially include parents, co-workers, children and even virtual strangers. If the flirting starts to get serious, take it private and use the messaging system. Never post anything on a person's wall that you wouldn't want the world to read.

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About the Author

Arlin Cuncic has been writing about mental health since 2007, specializing in social anxiety disorder and depression topics. She served as the managing editor of the "Journal of Attention Disorders" and has worked in a variety of research settings. Cuncic holds an M.A. in clinical psychology.

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