Flirting Online 101
According to a study by Match.com, around 1 in 6 marriages and 1 in 5 committed relationships have come about after people connected online.
If you're new to the world of online dating, however, how do you know how to flirt with potential suitors prior to a face-to-face meeting? What can you say over email or text that will encourage someone to want to get to know you better -- without you coming across as desperate or needy?
It's important that you put your best foot forward because, as with real-world dating, first impressions count. We reveal a range of expert tips and trick to help you light a fire under your online flirt-fest!
Keep it simple
According to Liz Kelly, dating coach and author of Smart Man Hunting, you should always aim to keep it simple. "Longer messages make you look desperate, so keep it light and refreshing," she says. Use light-hearted language and adopt an upbeat tone, and limit your communiqués to 3-4 sentences.
Use spell check
"Poor spelling and grammar are big turn-offs," says John Gray, author of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. Always make sure you proof your messages before you hit send, and try to avoid over-using text language such as "gr8" [great] and "wud" [would]. In an attempt to sound casual, you may come across as being a little flighty or -- even worse -- uneducated.
You're trying to entice someone to keep communicating with you and ideally, meet in person for a face-to-face date, so have fun and don't be afraid to inject a little humour into the conversation. "Try making a funny comment about his or her username, email address or profile comments," Gray advises.
Everyone enjoys being on the receiving end of a compliment, so feel free to send some kind words to your potential suitor. The key is to be subtle, yet genuine. "One of the best ways to flirt online is to extend a few sincere compliments," confirms Gray. "Share a couple of positive notes in your emails, but remember not to overdo it."
Point out things that you have in common
For instance, if you notice that someone works with animals and you yourself are an animal lover, you might say something like, "I think it's great that you work with animals! I work in marketing, but I volunteer once a month with the RSPCA dog shelter -- I love dogs!" It's a great way to demonstrate things that you have in common while also offering a positive compliment.