Dating and romance are a dance.
For queer women, it’s an even more complicated choreography as the single lesbian must navigate lesbian dating apps, changing identities, and a decline in lesbian bars/meeting spaces. Add to that a healthy dose of misunderstanding of social flirting cues and most single queer women are baffled on how to tell if a woman is interested in her!
Lesbian Flirting is the most common way women subtly gauge and convey interest. Just like everything else, flirting is a muscle and must be exercised regularly for the greatest impact.
Since women tend to shy away from direct approaches like, “You’re really cute— I’d like to take you out for a drink,” flirting serves as a way to show attraction in smaller, low pressure doses.
Because many women were socialized to either not ask for what they want, or that showing interest in a woman is considered aggressive, flirting is seen as stressful instead of fun.
With many queer women not taught how to flirt properly, they have a tendency to over- analyze the exchange instead of having fun with it. Let me tell you, single lesbians – flirting is fun! If done well, each person feels respected, hopeful and like she just connected with another human – without any sense of pressure or obligation. Here are a few tips on how to lesbian flirt and what to look out for:
A Series of Hooks
When you think of lesbian flirting, think of each exchange as a “hook.” You put up one hook and she hooks back. She puts up her own hook and you hook back.
The key is to keep adding a hook to each other’s initiations. For example You make eye contact with an attractive woman. Does she smile in response? A hook. You put up the fist hook of eye contact and she hooked back with a smile. If you come into her proximity and her body language turns toward you (showing her receptiveness to your presence), she has accepted your next hook. At any time, either party can respectfully drop the hook without feeling obligated or rejected. For example:
Compliments are the most direct way to convey attraction.
It’s a simple entry point to initiating a conversation, it shows you are observant and depending on what you compliment her on, what you find attractive. For example, I once met a woman by complimenting her on the unusual square-shaped ring she wore. I complimented her on it (hook) and she responded that her mother gave it to her (2nd hook). I then said her mother had good taste (3rd hook) and off we went into a conversation…
Flirting with compliments can sometimes be tricky because they can border on being friendly, but the key to flirting with compliments is to be specific and personal. Other examples include:
“I like the way your smile lights up the room;” “Your scarf really makes your eyes pop” or,
“The commanding way you boss around those speed daters is inspiring.”
For more in-depth and role-playing examples, what the 3-minute unscripted video of one woman picking up another using a compliment.
It seems like such a small act, but studies have shown that eye contact can actually sync brain activity between two people.
Thanks to the New York Times, social psychologist Aron Arthur’s work on eye contact to foster intimacy have people asking each other 36 questions to fall in love. Eye contact allows people to see other’s emotions and have their emotions be seen by others, which creates an intimate connection that can increase attraction. And in today’s world where more people are looking at their phones than at each other, it seems like a pretty strong sign she’s not itching to check her feed when she’s with you.
One of the five love languages (more on that in a future post), touch is a common way that people flirt.
Touch can convey empathy, a desire to nurture, providing a physical connection to supplement a mental one. It goes without saying that you or the person you’re flirting with might be a person who is uncomfortable with certain kinds of touching; those boundaries must be respected. Yet if both parties are open, playful instances of touching someone’s shoulder, elbow, forearm, and even knee can convey an interest in creating a stronger bond.
Similar to touching, proximity shows a physical display of your desire to be closer to her.
While personal space is to be respected, observing how she responds to you coming closer to her is another “hook.” Does she seem to rotate her body language in your direction? That’s a good sign. While it’s not consent, it’s an indication of interest. Proximity is a simple first flirting step that naturally lends itself to a playful touch.
Acts of Service
Another love language, acts of service occur when someone goes out of their way to help another person they care about without expectation of compensation.
An example of an Act of Service with someone you’ve just met might be picking something up that you’ve dropped, buying you a drink (*after * they’ve asked what you’re drinking) or being helpful in some way. This lesbian flirting sign is a little more involved than the others. She needs to already be engaging you in conversation or another type of communication before the sign manifests. The idea is that this person is showing you their interest by going out of their way.
Flirting is a fun and light way to show your interest.
Lesbian flirting isn’t about ensuring that a person is going home with you.
While that absolutely might happen, there is truly no way of knowing if a woman is a lesbian or guarantee of a date. You have to be bold!
The most important thing to remember: flirting with women is all about fun! Healthy lesbian relationships start out best when both women are comfortable being themselves, so have fun during these initial stages and feel comfortable flirting and seeing how your crush flirts with you.