The brilliant Alex “Hitch” Hitchens once furiously blurted with a mouth full of a chubby dude’s saliva, “YOU GO 90, AND I GO 10—YOU DON’T GO THE FULL 100.” Since then, I chose to apply the “maybe don’t go all the way” rule to every aspect of my life—hooking up with a stranger, finishing a bottle of wine by myself on a Tuesday, sliding into my friend’s hot brother’s DMs, everything. Why? Because things like successfully sliding into the DMs requires a complex set of skills not even Liam Neeson obtains, and going all in at first contact will only result in a lifetime of rejection, and I’m just assuming you don’t have the funds for that kind of therapy.
Let’s get one thing straight. When it comes to flirting, men are fucking clueless. They have the cranial capacity of burnt toast. But the main problem with sliding into DMs is that it usually never works (oh Jesus, wipe that dumb Taylor Swift surprised look off your face—you know this). A guy’s inbox acts as a limited platform for a first and only impression. It’s like one of those blind The Voice auditions. It’s a real audition, and you need to be fully prepared if you plan on sliding into home. Actually, now that I think of it, they should call it plunging into DMs, because sliding refers to a graceful movement, and making a smooth landing into someone’s inbox only exists in like, a Cameron Diaz RomCom. Anyway, as I said, this shit rarely works but like, never say never, and in the age of non-existent human interaction, cyber flirting is crucial to your duty of repopulating the earth, so take my advice in order to avoid a painful nose dive into his DMs followed by this landing:
1. Don’t Go Straight For The Prize
Sliding into DMs should be the
desperate final resort in reaching out to a guy person (civil rights, this is the ‘90s), and should only be done if you have no other way of contacting them. That said, I’m assuming you’ve barely said two words to this person, so going all in at first actual contact is like, pushing legal boundaries. If you actually have access to a phone number or idk, you’re fluent in the English language and you still choose to DM, you’re garbage. But what I’m saying here is that going straight for awkward introduction will result in failure. Remember those dumb arcade claw machines that stole all your money and also your will to live? Remember slamming the button down and thinking this was the money shot, only to be strapped for cash and some dignity? Exactly.
Instead, ease into it. To appear on his radar, start by swapping the automatic DM for a few likes and a follow. Even better if he’s private, since he’ll be forced to accept your request and probably creep on you in the process.
Your follower count Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither should this sexual buildup be.
2. Don’t Like All Their Posts
This should be the first idiot-proof rule of social media 101 that you learned in like 7th grade, so let me circle back around the whole “slowly easing in” thing. Nobody in their right mind has ever looked at some freak in their notifications who randomly liked 25 photos in a row and thought, “Aw, how sweet!” That’s fucking weird and an automatic no from any normal human. Showing non-DM interest is important, but a “like” 37 weeks deep into the abyss just screams restraining order. This is literally how Blac Chyna snaked her way into the Kardashian circle, and look how that ended up. K I made that up, but you believed it for a sec, so keep it to a three like maximum, or forever hold your blocked status.
3. Don’t Let Your Hoe Flag Fly Too Soon
Don’t get me wrong—flirting is good. Leading someone on is healthy. These things are the gateway to a lifetime of probable divorce pure bliss, but being a straight-up thirst machine out the gate is a one-way ticket to “we should do this again sometime” territory, and FYI, that’s the type of “we should do this again sometime” where you’ll never do this again sometime. That means refrain from using cleavage, dirty talk and/or the eggplant emoji in the first few conversations. To back this statement up, I
called upon my slutty friends conducted lot of research for this article, and asked one friend if the whore-yourself-out tactic actually works. Her response: “I mean, mine usually works when they want to slide into my V”. I’m not even making this up. I told you: hard-hitting journalism. I realize that my friend just gave me useless advice, so moral of the story—expect to be one-night-stood (not a crime, btw) unless you save the sleaze for the third drink date.
4. Don’t Be Basic (Fucking Duh)
Did you not learn anything when scoping out a semester-long lab partner to cheat off of in college? Your mutual friends and your shared hobbies are always your allies. DMing is basically the same thing. Initiating a conversation with “hey” will only generate one word back, unless you begin by mentioning your mutual friend they also follow that you haven’t talked to since she held your hair back on spring break of ’13. God I hate myself for saying that. But really—when someone hits you with a “Hi!”, your initial response is, “Do I know you?” so now you’ve just come off as serial psycho, explaining that you saw him while you were deep into your cousin’s best friend’s sister’s Instagram. But whatever, if all else fails, you can always use the “you look really familiar” cop-out.
5. Don’t Keep Messaging If They Stop Responding
It starts off as any casual excuse: “Maybe he’s just busy at work…” fucking spare me, it’s 2017—nobody’s actually working eight hours a day these days unless you’re Harvey Weinstein’s attorney. How else do you think I was able to get through my Vampire Diaries binge in two months? Look, there’s no excuses here. Unless he died, there’s no reason you should be double or triple messaging. That’s just like, the rules of
6. Don’t Have Any Expectations
Girls who say they have no expectations and have “nothing to lose” ironically have all the expectations and somehow lose their shit once they realize that sliding into someone’s DMs isn’t exactly the road to a life filled with white picket fences and Saturday morning soccer games. I don’t even need research to tell you that your only means of survival is to go into this with no expectations. Like, none. Like, the kind of expectations you had when you DMed Josh Duhamel now that he and Fergie are toast. The kind where your mom tells you that her friend’s cousin’s wannabe musician son would be perfect for you. Those kinds of expectations.
Anyway, I’m waiting on this guy to comment on my cleavage Snap, so I don’t have time to babysit you anymore.
Now that dating apps are like chill to use (kinda), you’re probably on a few of them. The way bros swipe is honestly exhausting, while betches are more selective of who they let past their filter. Unfortunately, the swipe-right-all-the-time attitude of bros means you’ll need to actually try harder to get his attention when you match. Not like, try hard, but more than doing nothing. It used to be that we could just get away with a “hey” but Bumble basically forced us to let bros know we’re witty and hot first instead of letting them do the courting before we decide if we should try. But, yay feminism, right?
Now betches are forced with dealing with a problem that used to be reserved for the bros: What do you message without sounding lame? Here are a few ideas, you’re welcome. Not all apps require betches to message first, but you might as well take note here, since Tinder is a wasteland and most bros get their pickup lines from the internet anyway.
1. “You want to get out of here?” It’s flirty but it doesn’t make any sense so it will grab his attention without sounding desperate.
2. “What should I say to this cute guy on Tinder?” and then message him after that with “Oh no! This isn’t Google search is it.” It’s playful but lets him know you have a sense of humor.
3. “If I told you I’m a time traveler from the future, what’s the one thing you want to know?” This one’s for the secret nerd betches and is great because it gets the conversation started with a question that isn’t just “where are you from?” But depending on how he answers, you can still learn a lot from him.
4. “I bet I can guess your favorite movie.” Or insert any other favorite in there. Then guess Fight Club. I mean, there’s an 80% chance you’re right. But it doesn’t matter if you’re wrong because you have something to talk about. And if he says it’s not Fight Club, hide your shock just say “good, I was hoping you’d say that”.
5. Tell him something about yourself that’s vaguely related to his profile, like “I went to London this year too but I don’t have a dog as cute as yours” if he has a picture in London and one with his dog. Literally it doesn’t matter what it is, just as long as it’s specific and somewhat interesting.
6. Suggest something fun to do that isn’t drinks and make it specific. For example, “Want to get ice cream?” or “You want to go on a taco crawl?” He’ll appreciate the initiative and because you already suggested something to do you’re taking the pressure off him planning. Chances are he’ll still take you out on a proper date first, so whatever casual thing you mentioned can be on deck for a second date.
7. “I think you’re pretty.” If we had a dime for every time a bro said “you’re pretty” to us, we’d still have no use for dimes. But sometimes a simple opener is the best, and instead of calling him cute or hot, just call him pretty.
8. “You have good taste.” This is a little cheeky but it will show him that you’re honest and confident about yourself. He has good taste for swiping right on you, but you also are letting him know that you’re into him too. When in doubt, just bring it back to you. You are, after all, trying to show him who you are so he’ll want to date you.
As we’ve said before, heterosexual guys and girls can’t really be friends, because in almost every situation at least one party is just biding their time until the other person lets their guard down and finally lets them smash. The friend zone (a term which we object to on principle but will use for convenience sake here) can be a chill place when you and your guy friend have both agreed that’s where you’d like to be, but as literally every sad Reddit commenter has taught us, a lot of guys are only in the friend zone because they don’t know how to get out if it. For these guys, being in the friend zone is like when you go to a party where and there’s no more alcohol left, just sober people playing Apples to Apples—you want to GTFO as quickly as possible. In order to spare the men in your life this turmoil (because men have it really hard these days), here’s how to tell if they guy who you describe as “like a brother to me” is actually more interested in getting in your pants.
1. He’s Always Free To Hang Out When You Want To Do Something
Even your besties aren’t always free when you are. If your guy friend is always available, he’s def bailing on other plans just so he can reply “nm what are you up to” when you ask him what he’s doing. It’s also safe to assume that he’s lied and said he’s hungry even though he just ate dinner. He also low-key missed his grandma’s funeral so that he could make your birthday party, and ended up having to Facetime into the wake while you were on the dance floor making out with a rando.
2. When You Talk About Dating Other Bros He Thinks They’re All Assholes
To be fair, a lot of men are assholes, but most guys give each other the benefit of the doubt/don’t give enough of a fuck to shit talk someone they don’t know. It’s like a bro code. Dudes will always stand up for fellow dudes’ shitty logic, even if it means justifying punching through a window as a reasonable strategy for conflic resolution—unless, of course, he wants to date you. Then, suddenly, no dude is enough for you. They’re all too dumb, too shady, or too tiny-penised to deserve your attention. If you actually listened to his advice, you’d realize that the intelligent, honest, big-dicked man of your dreams is right in front of you. Unfortunately for him, you never will because why would anyone ever take their guy friend’s advice about dating?
3. He Has Called You His “Fake Girlfriend” Or Introduced You As “Wifey” As A Joke
Guys have a hard enough time calling their real girlfriends their girlfriends, so the fact that he even wants to label you as anything other than a friend is his way of testing the waters to an actual relationship with you. Next thing you know he’ll be like, “Wouldn’t it be cute if you wore my Grandma’s old wedding ring?” and “Hahahaha what if you signed this marriage certificate?”
4. You’ve Never Actually Met Any Of The Girls He’s Dated
He will mention going on dates sometimes, but you’ve never met any of these girls. Who are they? Even a brief look at his Instagram will show that his interactions with females are limited to tagging you in photos, liking your photos, commenting on your friends’ photos of you, and the occasional Russian sex bot. When some rando girl eventually does pop into his life, it’ll take about two days for her to realize who the real woman in his life is and commence hating you with a firey passion. She’ll spend the entire relationship being fake AF to your face and demanding to know why you’re his best friend on Snapchat behind closed doors.
5. He Takes You Out For Dinner On Your Birthday
Anything other than buying you a shot at a birthday party all your friends are already at is a lot to begin with. But if he takes you out for a separate meal on your birthday, he’s either trying to date you or adopt you. Probably the former, all things considered. He’ll probably even jokingly refer to it as a “date” like five to 10 times before you realize what’s going on, pretend to have a birthday emergency, and tell him you’ll Venmo him for half the bill knowing full well he’ll never charge you.
6. He Walks You To Your Car/Door/Subway Stop When You Say Goodbye
After you guys hang out, he makes a point to walk with you to the farthest point he can accompany you to, because he doesn’t want to say goodbye. Also he’s probably hoping he will finally make a move, but he won’t. He’ll just walk you to your door at which point you’ll tell him about the hot new guy who moved into your building, get distracted by your phone, and go inside without even so much as an awkward side hug. He’ll chill on your porch for another 5-10 minutes, debating running inside and confessing his love, before going home and masturbating to your Snap story instead.
7. He Responds To Your Texts Right Away
This one is self explanatory. Your mom doesn’t even do that.
8. When You Go Out With With A Group Of Friends, He Never Hits On Other Girls
I mean, unless you count all those drinks he bought you. You try to point out girls for him to talk to, but he always seems to have a problem with them. They’re not pretty enough, they look bitchy, too blonde, too tall, too skinny, not you, etc…
9. He’s Always The First To Comment On Or Like A New Pic When You Post It
It’s almost like he has an alert set for your Instagram posts (he does).
10. He Always Watches Your Snapchat And Instagram Stories
He’s hoping you’ll give him a clue to how he can get you to like him more. It’s like, he’s just hanging by his phone hoping you’ll post “First person to watch this gets to be my boyfriend!” but alas, it’s just another dog face selfie.
11. He Remembers Shit About You That You Don’t Remember Telling Him
He remembers that every day in third grade you used to share your lunch with that little skinny squirrel, and that time you read your poem “I Wish I Was A Mermaid” to your entire fifth grade class and your hands were shaking. Also, he named his boat after you.
12. He Says “You’re Cool” Or “You’re Great” Just Because
I mean, we know we are cool and great, perhaps even “grool,” but he’s spending time during his day thinking about you enough to warrant an unsolicited compliment text, and that means he sees you as more than a friend. Also he’s like, a little obsessed and there’s no way he wouldn’t be the type of boyfriend that wants to merge calendars to figure out exactly how to meet up at every available point in the day. It’s exactly this clingy obsession that will always prevent the two of you from being together, and will inspire his inevitable future career as a Men’s Rights Activist on YouTube.