Have you ever seen a couple in the corner of the room, completely caught in the complex push-pull game of artful playful banter that has them both enthralled for hours? Playful banter is a captivating way to get a persons attention, and keep it. The to and fro of teasing, flirting, and competing is an instant turn on, and makes people want to hang around for more. But it’s not an easy game to play. Luckily, these five do’s and do’s of playful banter will put you on the right track!

Playful banter is the art of making interesting, playful conversation in an everyday context – and catching the attention of that special someone while doing it.

There’s something incredibly sexy about a guy or girl with a way with words that turns heads as much as their looks, and nothing jump starts a connection more than making someone laugh.

Playful banter is basically going back to what your mom used to tell you in elementary school; “He’s only teasing you because he likes you”. But hopefully as grownups, we’ve now learned how to draw the line between teasing and bullying, and can flirtatiously tease someone without getting told on.

To help you effectively toe the line, here are 5 examples of what to do, and what not to do, when attempting playful banter.

1. The Quirky Banter

“Welcome to the bar, glad you could make it”

This is the perfect line to get a laugh straight up and let a girl know you’ve got a sense of humor.

DO say it with a smile. If you’re not smiling it might come off as sarcastic. Offer to buy her a drink straight away if she responds well.

Don’t say it to a big group in the hope of attracting at least one person – you might get a laugh, but they could be laughing at you

2. The Crazy Banter

“You’d look really great with a mullet”

Suggesting extreme makeovers for a guy you’ve just met is great for that feeling of instant connectedness, and is also an offbeat way to compliment him. It can work with clothes too – suggest a pair of tight white flairs and see him smile.

DO tell him why, eg. – “It would really bring out the gorgeous blue in your eyes” this is a way to say something really nice without being too serious.

Don’t say it to a guy who you can actually imagine with a mullet… he will get offended and think you’re stereotyping him.

3. The Backhanded Compliment Banter

“I’m not normally a fan of blonde hair, but for you, I’ll make an exception”

The backhanded compliment is a tried and tested way to banter with women. When done well, it makes them feel singled out and complimented, but also slightly confused by you – so they have to hang around and find out more.

Do banter about something about her that is obviously cute – her smile, her hair, her dress.

Don’t backhand compliment her about something if there’s a possibility she is insecure about it (eg. jokes about short girls are out).

4. The Competitive Banter

“Oh so you think you’re good at pool? Let’s see how good you think you are after a game with me!”

Competitive banter is an easy one – just pick something he thinks he’s good at, and challenge him to it. If you beat him, he’ll be impressed, and if you lose, he will bask in the role of comforting you.

Do Make it something you can test right there – naming capital cities, playing pool, guessing family members names – otherwise the banter won’t last long.

Don’t get too competitive. No one likes a boastful person

5. The Antagonistic Banter

“Nice shirt – I didn’t realize we were still in the 1970’s”

Feed in to the push-pull of flirting by telling something you like them by being mean to them. Nothing makes someone go crazy for you like openly flirting while putting up a barrier that they can’t get past.

Playful banter is antagonistic teasing at it’s finest.

Do make it obvious that you’re joking – saying something mean with a laugh is the ultimate torture (in a good way).

Don’t repeat this too often. Enough insults get people down after a while, even if they’re done with a smile. Slip in a genuine compliment here and there to boost their hope and let them know they have a chance.

And of course….don’t stop being flirty and fabulous by text!

Claudia Cox

Claudia Cox is a modern communication expert who gives singles and couples alike the tools they need to improve their relationships. She is the creator of The Text Weapon Texting Club, and the author of French Seduction Made Easy. She loves the outdoors, baking tasty treats for friends, and of course, texting.
Learn more about French Seduction Made Easy.

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  1. Great article Claudia. Playful banter is essential to dating success for both men and women. You definitely have some awesome points here! 🙂

    1. Thanks Justin! I really liked your texting article on the importance of having a goal. Aimless texting is such a waste…and a passion killer.
      Biz Claudia
      P.S It’s great to connect 🙂

  2. My question is about Competitive Banter. A couple months ago me and this guy started talking and I made the first move to go bowling together. Since then we are using competitive banter between each other he thinks he can win and I think I can win and we tease each other about it. Is competitive banter a sign that he is into me? It doesn’t do it to anyone else just me.

    1. Hi Courtney,
      I would say that if a guy makes the effort to banter with you, and not just come back with dry, boring messages that he is probably interested in you 🙂 Love the fact that you made the first move and you met him in person. Keep being playful and flirty…and hopefully this little love story will end up where you want it to be!
      Bisous x

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