It’s Valentine’s Day, so we thought we’d do a special lesson on flirting in English! If you use dating apps, you might have already had questions about how to flirt in English. Especially if you’ve matched with a native speaker. But don’t worry – Lizzie Jane has some great tips for chatting via message, as well as some useful dating-themed vocabulary!


Do Dating Apps Make You Nervous? Here’s How to Flirt in English

You’ve just met the person of your dreams on Tinder or another dating app… but now what?

Starting a conversation with someone in English can be difficult, but it’s even more daunting when you want to impress them enough to make them want to date you!

So here are a few cultural tips and useful English flirting expressions.

Strike up a conversation

To flirt in English (or pretty much any language), and just like in any other kind of conversation, it’s important to start with a hello. You can say:

  • Hey!
  • What’s up?
  • Hey there!

These three expressions are all casual ways to say “hi” in English.

But if you were to only say “hi,” it might look like you’re not very interested in the person you’re talking to. At this point, asking a question is a great way to get a response and keep the conversation going.

So, you could ask how they’re doing:

  • How are you?
  • How’s it going?
  • How’s it hanging?

Give them a compliment

Giving a compliment can be a great way to flirt in English. It’s kind, and often appreciated by the other person. But this approach works best once you’ve met a person face to face.

If you give someone a compliment on their appearance online, it might come off a bit strong or weird. So it’s best to avoid any messages like:

  • You are beautiful.
  • You look hot.
  • You have beautiful eyes.

Another word of warning: these are all very generic compliments. This means that they are very general and over-used.

It’s best to avoid saying anything like this online or in a message. Instead, save these kinds of compliments for the first date.

Give specific compliments

If you want to flirt with someone you’ve met online, you can also try giving more specific compliments. This will show that you’ve taken the time to look through their profile and have a real interest in them.

For example:

  • I like your shirt. You seem like you have great taste.
  • I love your nails in this photo. Did you paint them yourself?

The best compliments aren’t necessarily about a person’s appearance, but about who they are. So you’ll also have a better chance of flirting in English successfully if you pay compliments about someone’s personality, achievements, or opinions.

You could try sending a message like:

  • Wow… It says on your profile that you ran a marathon. That’s so impressive!
  • You studied medicine? You must be very smart.
  • You seem pretty funny. I think we’d have a laugh on a date!

Are pick-up lines good phrases for dating?

I need a map… I’m getting lost in your eyes.

This sounds a little awkward or desperate, right? If something is awkward for you or the other person, that means that it’s a little embarrassing.

Some people do use pick-up lines like this to flirt or to start a conversation on a dating app. These lines are often funny and intended to impress the other person or make them laugh.

But in reality, a lot of pick-up lines come off as too cheesy and won’t help your chances of getting a date. (Of course, it does depend upon the other person’s sense of humor…) Some people might find a pick-up line to be hilarious.

In case you do want to try using one, here are a few other examples:

  • Hello, I’m a thief and I’m here to steal your heart.
  • I’m not a photographer, but I can picture us together.
  • We’re not socks, but I think we’d make a great pair.

Learning expressions like this in order to flirt in English can also be a fun way to practice the language, because many pick-up lines play with the meaning of words in a way that can make them difficult for non-native speakers to understand.

Show that you’re interested—ask questions

The best way to keep a conversation going on Tinder is to ask a question. You can’t really expect someone to reply if you don’t ask them anything to begin with! You have to show them that you’re interested in learning more.

It can be super simple to start – you can just ask them about their day. For example:

  • What did you do today?
  • What are you doing right now?
  • What was the best thing about your day today?
  • What are your plans this evening?

You could also ask them a question about their interests, hobbies, or work, like:

  • What’s your job? Do you enjoy it?
  • What’s your favorite thing to do on the weekend?
  • Do you have a favorite book or film?

These are all good questions, but they’re a bit generic and boring. So see if you can make things a little more interesting by asking a more specific question.

It’s best to ask interesting questions

I’m sure you’ve looked at the profile of the person you matched with. So why not use it as a starting point to get to know them better? And what’s more, that will show that you’re paying attention and not simply messaging everyone you see on the app.

It’s a great idea to ask a question about something specific, whether it’s something they wrote or one of their photos.

For example, maybe they have a photo next to the Eiffel Tower. You could say:

  • I love Paris. When were you there? What was your favorite thing in the city?

Or if they have a picture of themselves with a dog:

  • Is that your pet? What’s its name? How cute!

If they mention a hobby or an interest, you could ask them to tell you more about it. For example:

  • That’s cool you like mountain climbing. Where have you been climbing?
  • I like country music, too! Who’s your favorite singer or band?

Even if it isn’t your native language, you can still flirt in English!

It’s no big deal if you make a few grammatical or vocabulary mistakes while you’re talking to someone. But don’t feel shy about mentioning the fact that English isn’t your native language. You can let them know right from the beginning:

  • English isn’t my first language, so if you see a tiny mistake in my messages, that’s why.
  • Just a heads up, English isn’t my first language. That’s why you might see some mistakes.

You could even use this as a conversation starter to talk about languages. Who knows, you might both share an interest in learning languages!

  • I’m into languages. That’s why I’m learning English. Do you speak any other languages?

Of course, that’s probably not going to be the only thing you talk about… but it might help you feel more relaxed to tell them at the start. And honestly, it’ll probably make you seem more interesting to them! Learning a second – or even third – language is very impressive!


The DOs and DON’Ts of Flirting in English

Here’s a quick summary of our main points, plus a few extra tips:

  • 👍 DO – Write a quick, simple message to start.
  • 👍 DO – Pay specific compliments that reference the person’s achievements or personality.
  • 👍 DO – Make an effort to show a personal interest in them.
  • 👍 DO – Ask questions based on information provided in their profile.


  • 👎 DON’T – Just say “hey” without asking a question.
  • 👎 DON’T – Give generic compliments on their appearance.
  • 👎 DON’T – Use cheesy pick-up lines (unless you think the person you’re talking to would find them funny).
  • 👎 DON’T – Ask them out on a date in the first message. It’s better to take a little time to get to know each other first.

There you are – a few tips for starting a conversation with a native English speaker on Tinder or any other dating app.

So, what are you waiting for? It’s Valentine’s Day – what better time to practice your English flirting skills!

If you have any other tips on how to flirt in English, be sure to leave them in the comments!


Watch: How to Flirt in English

You can also get all these tips by watching Lizzie Jane’s video. The video is in English, but subtitles are available in English, French, German, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, and Italian. You can also slow the video down by clicking on the settings gear at the bottom right.

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