Some flirting methods don’t work, and people keep using them anyway. The techniques might send mixed signals or push potential partners away altogether.

When you like someone, you might be unsure how to interact with them. Being face-to-face leads to coming up with flirting techniques quickly, without much time to think them through.

Everyone makes flirting fails sometimes, so don’t beat yourself up if it happens to you. Likewise, consider giving someone grace if they make a mistake when flirting with you. However, don’t put up with harmful or toxic behavior, no matter who the person is.

Dating isn’t easy, and we all learn as we go through it. While these flirting fails might work sometimes, they usually turn others off and can ruin your chances with a potential partner. Understanding how you shouldn’t flirt can help you learn new ways to talk to someone you want to get to know better.

Flirting Fails That Don’t Work


1 – Self-criticism

You might think it’s funny to criticize yourself, but it shows a lack of confidence instead. A potential partner won’t enjoy listening to you saying bad things about yourself. They’ll view it as not believing in yourself, which is usually the problem when you express self-criticism.

Even when you’re afraid of rejection, self-criticism isn’t the way to go. Laughing or making it into a joke doesn’t make it a more enticing way to flirt.

It might be best to avoid self-criticism and spend time working on yourself before putting yourself out there. Or you can take a little time before seeing the person you’re interested in to practice positive affirmations and feel better about yourself.

2 – Trying too Hard

Impressing someone you’re romantically interested in can be nerve-wracking, but you don’t want to try too hard. Trying too hard might involve bragging about accomplishments or telling lies to make yourself look good. It can also make you look desperate and like you’ll do anything to spend time with the other person.

Dropping all your plans or waiting around for your crush shows that you don’t have any other essential aspects of your life. It’s not a good look, and likely won’t impress your romantic interest.

3 – Tickling

For some reason, many people think tickling someone is a beneficial way to flirt. However, it’s not a good look and rarely works at winning over a potential romantic partner. It’s immature and can make other people feel weird.

.4 – Whining About Being Alone

Being whiny is never a good look, and whining about being alone is even worse. It won’t make the other person feel good about themselves as it seems like you’ll take company from anyone. Whining can also make it seem like you’re begging for a date.

5 – Insults or Mean Teasing

Putting someone down won’t make your romantic interest like you. Avoid saying mean things, even if you intend it as a joke. It won’t come across that way and can ruin your chances.

Teasing can be different, only if you don’t cross the line and say mean things. Flirtatious teasing involves inside jokes and things you both find funny. Mean teasing hurts the other person’s feelings, and they won’t find it funny or cute.

6 – Intimidation

Bullying or intimidating someone into dating you isn’t a good look. Even if your crush gives in and agrees to a date, it doesn’t mean the person likes you. Instead, they’re likely scared or trying to think of a way to avoid you next time.

7 – Acting Disinterested

Some people think acting disinterested in someone they like will get their attention. However, it only sends the message that you don’t want to talk to them.

Ignoring someone won’t help your situation, and it can be frustrating for the other person if they receive mixed signals. They might give up and find someone else to pursue.

8 – Talking About Other Romantic Interests

Your crush doesn’t want to hear about other people you’re dating or who wants to date you. If you want someone to like you, discussing other romantic interests isn’t the best way to flirt. They might think you play games or jump between relationships.

Talking about other people who want to date you isn’t a good look. Healthy people won’t see it as a competition they want to win. This type of flirting often only works on those with low self-esteem.

9 – Begging

Begging for a date is a flirting failure that doesn’t work. The other person might give in and accept the date to make you feel better, but it likely won’t go anywhere. It not only won’t make your crush like you, but it’ll also make you feel worse about yourself.

Remember that you are worth more than begging someone to like you anyway. You are worthy of love and happiness, and you can find someone who truly wants you for who you are.


10 – Saying or Implying They Owe You

When you do something nice for someone, implying that they owe you is rude. You might say it in a joking manner while flirting, but it still won’t get the person to find a romantic interest in you. Giving someone something or doing something kind doesn’t mean anyone owes you anything.

Dating is about connecting with someone, not keeping score or demanding something in return for your kindness. If you think buying someone a drink or dinner means the person owes you, you shouldn’t do it in the first place.

11 – Being Mean to Others

Being mean to others isn’t impressive, and it’s not a beneficial way to flirt with someone you like. A positive person won’t think it’s cute when you’re mean to those around you. Avoid being mean or rude to people because it’s a red flag when it comes to dating.

12 – Too Many Sexual Jokes

Sexual jokes might be funny in moderation, but they can become annoying and creepy if you use too many. The person you’re interested in might even begin to find it offensive or weird. It can quickly shift a situation from light-hearted to uncomfortable, potentially ruining your chances.

13 – Bragging About Your Money or Assets

Some people think talking about their money or assets will make others like them. However, a good partner won’t like you for those things. Instead, they’ll be more interested in your personality and how you treat others.

People who only want to spend time with you after finding out about your money and assets aren’t in it for you. It’s a sign that they are only interested in what you can give them.

14 – Liking Everything They Post on Social Media

Some people might like it when someone interacts with everything they post. However, other people might find it clingy or creepy. This flirting method might backfire and make people feel like you’re coming on too hard.

15 – Waiting too Long to Reach Out

You might think waiting a while to contact someone will make them want you more, but it’s not always true. While you shouldn’t send a bunch of messages right away, you can send a text or call them. Waiting too long can send the message that you’re not interested or not thinking of them at all.

16 – Comparisons

Comparing someone to others isn’t flattering, even if you say they’re better. A romantic interest won’t want your thoughts on other potential partners. It can also make them feel bad about themselves or wonder if you say the same things to others.

Another comparison they won’t like is if you say they’re like everyone else of their gender. It’s not flattering and won’t work if you want to develop a relationship or get to know them better.

17 – Only Flirting Through Messages

When interested in someone, you shouldn’t only flirt with them through a messaging app. Getting to know someone requires seeing them in person, and it won’t work if you act differently than you do virtually. Take the time to show them that you’re interested in real life.

Flirting That Works

Now that you know flirting fails that won’t work, you can focus on the ones that do. Some tips for singles looking to flirt with a crush include the following:

  • holding eye contact
  • smiling
  • giving meaningful compliments
  • making them laugh
  • using positive body language
  • brushing against their arm
  • asking about them
  • answering questions about yourself
  • being confident
  • picking up on their cues
  • keeping the conversation flowing
  • going out of your way to say hi
  • sending texts that make them smile
  • keeping it light unless they indicate they want something deeper
  • avoiding flirting with other people in their presence
  • finding ways to connect


Final Thoughts on Flirting Fails

Flirting isn’t always easy, but avoiding these fails can help you. If you mess up, don’t beat yourself up over it or give up altogether. Try again, keeping at it until you become comfortable and make it work.

Once you know flirting fails to avoid, you can start using methods that can work. Remember not to try too hard, and don’t give up if it doesn’t work out with one person. There’s someone out there for you, and you’ll find them when the time is right.