How NOT to Flirt In Spanish: Getting the GIRL/GUY with Perfect Spanish

Maura, estás como guapa hoy.
(Maura, you look like pretty today.)

¿De verdad? ¿Sólo hoy? ¡Gracias!
(Really? Just today? Thank you!)


Flirting in Spanish: Getting the GIRL/GUY with perfect Spanish

Today, let’s learn how to flirt in Spanish.

Flirting to me is a wide open concept that can have as many versions as people in the world. But, certainly there are commonalities that could work with most people in most situations. ¡Empecemos!

1. How to flirt in Spanish: use cute nicknames

Chiqui, pásame el saca corchos, por fa.
(Little one, pass me the corkscrew, please.)

Claro, bella. Toma.
(Sure, beautiful. Here.)

¿Tú quieres?
(Do you want some?)

Baby, si tú quieres yo quiero.
(Baby, if you want I want.)

Qué bobo, toma.
(So silly, here.)

I had no idea but this script made me realize I have so many things to say about flirting, like… brace yourself because I have a ton of wisdom coming your way.

This nickname thing is very important in Venezuela. I’m pretty sure the same would be true for many Latin American countries. It’s great because it doesn’t have to mean anything, but it could. What it does is create closeness. It’s like lightly touching someone’s arm, for example, but verbally.

Most of the nicknames I used are gender neutral, which is great. They were:

  • Chiqui (Little one): which is short for “chiquito” or “chiquita” but has no gender.
  • Baby: it’s a English word we use very naturally and, as you know, no gender.
  • Qué bobo (How silly): this could easily be “qué boba”, in the feminine, and work as well. Be very kind with this teasing nicknames. Utilízalos sólo con personas que ya conozcas. (Only use them with people you’re already know.)

Now, “bella” (beautiful) is something people mostly say to women. Anyone can say it, though. My girlfriends and I call each other “bella” all the time.

Other gender neutral nicknames could be:

  • Cielo (Sky)
  • Amor (Love)
  • Cariño (Dear)

Anyone can use all of those with anyone.


Si tú quieres, yo quiero. (If you want, I want.) Isn’t the most obvious flirting chunk but if the context allows for it, it will be. Y uno bueno (And a good one). It can work as a hint or it can be received very literally.

You can use it after you’ve been offered something. A drink, a dance, a next date.

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2. Flatter something other than their looks

I’m saving my absolute dont’s for the end and what to say instead. We’ll see, maybe you learn something new, maybe they are dont’s in your culture too.

¿Cómo has estado?
(How have you been?)

Bueno, un poco patas arriba con muchas pelotas en el aire. Pero ya mejor, encontrando un poquito de balance. ¿Y tú?
(Well, a little upside down with “a lot of balls” in the air. But better now, finding a little balance. How about you?)

Bien, nada del otro mundo. Perdón, es que me está costando concentrarme. ¿Por qué has estado tan patas arriba?
(Good, nothing much. Sorry, it’s just that I’m having trouble concentrating. Why have you been so upside down?)

Cosas, el trabajo, estoy reparando las paredes de mi casa, familia que viene de visita.
(Things, work, I’m repairing the walls of my house, family coming to visit.)

Normal, pareces el tipo de persona que siempre tiene algo que hacer.
(Normal, you seem like the type of person who always has something to do.)

¿Por qué?

Porque eres interesante.
(Because you are interesting.)

If love is one of your motivations for learning Spanish, you’re not alone. It’s probably one of the best and most powerful reasons to learn languages. For pick up lines to use with fully new people you’re just approaching, make sure to check out this video by Paulísima.

From that dialogue, we get:

  • Perdón, es que me está costando concentrarme. (Sorry, it’s just that I’m having trouble concentrating.) In case you missed it in the dialogue, you’re struggling to focus because you’re so enchanted by the other person. This works wonders. Estás diciendo un montón con muy poco. (You are saying a lot with very little.) Make sure you do pay attention to what’s being said, though. Which takes us to our next chunk.
  • ¿Por qué has estado tan patas arriba? (Why have you been so upside down?): This question could work just as any other. Just learn your question chunks and have them ready. Things like:

    • ¿Cómo te has sentido con eso? (How have you felt about that?)
    • ¿Qué tal te va con eso? (How are you doing with that?)
    • ¿Cómo lo llevas? (How are you holding up?)

All of those would work with most things and they do the number one thing flirting should do, show actual interest in the other person.

  • Pareces el tipo de persona que… (You look like the type of person that…): Use this with people you don’t know very well. If you do know them, say: Eres el tipo de persona (You are the type of person), instead of pareces”(you seem). You can add anything nice and that applies right after. Like:
    • Pareces el tipo de persona que se preocupa por los demás. (You seem like the type of person who cares about others.)
    • Pareces el tipo de persona que sabe mucho sobre muchas cosas. (You seem like the kind of person who knows a lot about a lot of things.)

I want you to tell me your best flirting anecdote in the comments! Please give me the tea!

3. How not to flirt in Spanish

¿Qué tal flaca? ¿Y si te invito un trago?
(What’s up skinny? What if I buy you a drink?)


Qué bellas eres, ¿bailamos?
(You are so beautiful, shall we dance?)

Mejor nos terminamos el trago primero, ¿no?
(We’d better finish our drink first, right?)

Bueno, pero te lo puedes llevar o yo te ayudo. Tú dime lo que sea y yo lo hago.
(Well, but you can take it with you or I’ll help you. You tell me anything and I’ll do it.)

Gracias, pero prefiero que no.
(Thank you, but I’d rather not.)

¿Por qué tan seca? Un bailecito y se te pasa.
(Why so dry? A little dance and you’ll get over it.)

Here’s a Venezuelan tip: In my native Spanish, we would say: No muestres el hambre. (Don’t show the hunger.) I cannot tell you how many friends of mine, especially normative men, have failed because of this.

Very in general, we Venezuelans don’t like exaggerated displays of interest at the beginning. Once there’s some sort of relationship, it’s different of course.

how to flirt in spanish explained by female teacher

Like, here’s another one we would say: Date tu puesto. (Give yourself your place.)

We grow up hearing things like no muestres el hambre y date tu puesto (don’t show the hunger and give yourself your place), so I figured they’re kind of central to our flirting culture.

The other don’ts present in that dialogue are:

  • Insistir. (Insisting.): I don’t think there’s a better turn off than pressure. So, deliver your flirting casually. No results, no expectations. It’ll make you frustrated, it will show, and that’s not attractive.
  • Fijarse demasiado en los rasgos físicos. (Remarking on physical traits too much.): Especially body related. And by too much, I mean more than one. If you don’t know the person, it’s creepy.

Paulísima has two very popular videos on how to flirt. Uno de ellos está aquí mismo. (One of them is right here.) She covers a lot of important tips of which I want to emphasize the following: Aunque los medios de comunicación te hagan creer que los latinos son calientes y sexys todo el tiempo, eso es, como puedes adivinar, un estereotipo. (Though the media makes you think that Latinos are all hot and sexy all the time, that is, as you can guess, a stereotype.)

Yes, we are friendly and open and we can dance, but do not mistake that for sexual or romantic interest. Y por eso no nos abordes como si viviéramos nuestra vida en una canción de reggaeton (And for that reason don’t approach us as if we lived our lives in a reggaeton song.)

  • ¿Por qué tan seca? (Why so dry?): Using disguised insults when you’re being rejected is lame, childish, and defensive. Encuentra otra manera (Find another way.) Here’s another example of this:

Es que tú no eres como las demás, tienes como una belleza natural.
(You are not like the others, you have a natural beauty.)

Por favor, no intentes halagarme menospreciando a otra gente. No es necesario y es un mal hábito social.
(Please, don’t try to flatter me by putting other people down. It’s not necessary and it’s a bad social habit.)

What to say instead when flirting

Para insistir, di cosas como (To insist, say things like)

Vale, no te quiero molestar pero si te llega a interesar, me encantaría bailar contigo. Voy a estar por ahí.
(Okay, I don’t want to bother you but if you get interested, I’d love to dance with you. I’ll be around.)

Buenísimo. ¡Gracias! Nos vemos.
(Great. Thank you! See you.)

Fijarse en rasgos físicos (Remarking on physical traits)

Qué belleza de ojos tienes.
(What beautiful eyes you have.)

¡Gracias! A mí me encanta tu estilo.
(Thanks. I love your style.)

¡Qué bien bailas!
(How well you dance!)

Qué bonita es tu voz.
(How beautiful is your voice.)

Just keep it classy, general, or if it’s focused then focus on their face, their clothes. If the relationship starts, you’ll have time and you’ll earn the right to remark on the rest.

No disfraces insultos o seas condescendiente. (Don’t disguise insults or be condescending.) Direct the heat towards yourself or acknowledge the other person with chunks like:

Perdón, es que me da nervios y digo estupideces.
(I’m sorry, I get nervous and say stupid things.)

No te preocupes, lo entiendo.
(Don’t worry, I understand.)

Si quisieras bailar conmigo… yo no sé bailar bien, pero si me enseñas, yo te sigo.
(If you’d like to dance with me… I don’t know how to dance well, but if you teach me, I’ll follow you.)

There’s so much sex appeal in owning yourself. Don’t underestimate the power of acknowledging your weaknesses. Change “bailar” (dance) for anything that applies.

I could go on and on about this subject…

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