Boodram and Artschwager agree on this point: How to flirt with a guy and how to flirt with a girl is all the same. Rather than it being about a difference in how different genders flirt, it’s more about acknowledging the differences between individuals.
“Flirting is so personal,” Artschwager explains. What one person finds flirty won’t always be the same as what another person finds flirty. “You have to find your own flavor and definition of that. So then the male-female question kind of becomes superfluous because it’s not really about that. It’s about what it means for you.”
“We all have to accept that people can’t read minds,” Boodram adds. “Sometimes, flirting doesn’t come in the form we are used to experiencing it. Be mindful of the small ways people can show they care.”
That said, one area where gender may actually be important to the flirting experience is when it comes to LGBTQ+ dating, Boodram notes. Especially if you’re flirting with someone of the same gender, or any situation where the relationship between the two of you wouldn’t be the conventional cis-heteronormative one, it may be necessary to be a little more overt about your interest.
“You might need to be a little more directional in your efforts so the person is clear you are being more than friendly. In cities where members of the LGBTQIA+ community do not feel safe, this can be even more important because they might be afraid of misreading the situation,” Boodram explains. “Being more directional does not mean aggressive—it means raising the flirty stakes one notch at a time with the goal to get to a place where your feelings aren’t ambiguous.”
Here’s a real-life example she offers: “If you make eye contact with someone a few times, go over to pay them a compliment. If they compliment back, lean in and tell them that their words mean a lot because they’re the only person whose opinion you care about that night. Then, of course, smile.”