How do you pursue someone romantically without appearing desperate, needy or indifferent? There are things you can do to convey desire without appearing needy, but before I talk about those dating tips, the primary one I have to offer is that you need to be clear on your purpose for dating. If you’re ready to meet singles, are you looking for something casual or something that will lead to a long-term relationship? Knowing the answer to this question will prevent you from pursuing someone romantically who isn’t on the same page as you.

How To Pursue Someone Romantically

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#1 Are They Interested in You?

If you aren’t sure, look for subtle cues and signs such as their engagement in conversations with you. If you’re connected on social media, do they interact with your posts? Lastly, are they flirty with you? According to Jeffrey Hall, PhD, professor of communication at University of Kansas, there are 5 different flirting styles and not everyone flirts like society has shown us. Some flirters are more polite and less assuming. Here are the 5 flirting styles:

  1. Physical flirting: These are people who express sexual interest through body language and touch and who are most confident in parties and busy night spots.
  2. Traditional flirting: Men take the lead to make the first move and women behave passively (heteronormative).
  3. Polite flirting: In this scenario, someone is hands-off and respectful, making it less obvious to people they are attracted to.
  4. Sincere flirting: This form of flirting involves communicating attraction through self-disclosure and attentiveness.
  5. Playful flirting: A playful flirt enjoys the back and forth of bantering, but can also be hot and cold.

#2 Gather information.

Interweave questions that offer you a sense of whether or not they are already dating or interested in dating in your interactions. If they are not actively dating, you may be wasting your time because pursuing someone without the same goal can lead to a “situationship” (an undefined romantic or sexual situation). Engaging with those who are prioritizing dating like you makes it easier to take part in out of the box questions about favorite childhood memories, bucket list items, and accomplishments. These types of questions can’t be answered in 5 minutes, and it opens the door to deeper conversations.

#3 Be honest.

If their answers to the questions above intrigue you, let them know by giving a genuine compliment to casually suggest a date or that you are open to going on a date. You can say something very subtle such as, “I resonate and can feel your passion for X, plus {refer back to something you both have in common}. I would be open to continuing getting to know one another and meeting up.” Or, you can directly say, “Would you be open to meeting up again?” To all my single women, depending on your upbringing, you may not agree with either suggestion; however, as women, we give the suitor we are interested in the clarity and permission to know they can pursue us as well. It’s crucial for women to understand that reciprocity of some kind (especially in a world where more and more people have short attention spans) gives permission for the pursuit to continue. Research tells us that men miss the first 3 flirting cues a woman sends his way! During your interactions, keep these body language tips in mind:

  • Eye contact: Flirty eyes are a great way to show them interest.
  • Smile: Make sure you smile as they share a story or answer a question.
  • Subtle touch: If the opportunity presents itself, putting your hand on their forearm or upper arm is a great way to let them know you’re interested without being too forward.

#4 Pace yourself & get out of your head.

When we first meet and pursue someone romantically, we can easily become addicted to the lust and dopamine hormones, aka attraction, initially felt causing red flags to be missed. The best romances develop over time and don’t involve rushing into things. Every person has a different love language and love style; dating is the opportunity to get to know this about the person. Our mind loves to create stories as to why things happen or why a person behaves how they do. Remember, life is happening for him/her as much as it is happening for you and we all get busy. Give them a chance to show you they’re interested without jumping to rushed conclusions as to why they didn’t respond back immediately or call. If it turns out they aren’t feeling the same vibe with you as you are with them, don’t take it personally. It simply means they saved you time and a heartache. Some people are not as direct and elusive communicators, so they prefer to “ghost” instead of being upfront. That’s not your person. Move on because the right person will reciprocate and not confuse you.