Behold, a Long List of Topics to Animate Your Flirting

This could be you and your crush, doing flirty banter. Photo: Getty Images

Oooooh, you have a crush?? How fun for you, and exciting, and impressive, frankly, to have bagged yourself a viable crush in quarantine. Now, on to the next challenge: initiating flirty banter with said crush, which may be easier said than done, as crushes tend to have a special talent for activating all your nerves. And then, you may be wondering, what are crushes into; what do they like? What does my crush, in particular, like? Out of all the potential heartthrobs out there, how do I talk to my specific crush? Well, I have 50 prospective talking points for you. Somewhere in all these options, there must be something you can talk about with your crush.

1. What does your crush like to do on dates? With an eye toward maybe asking your crush out, inquire about the date activities they most enjoy. Then you can plan something very special for the two of you to do, even within the admittedly limited constraints of a pandemic.

2. Whales: Really a lot for you to discuss here, seeing as there are so many different kinds of whales, and each one of them is the best. Almost everyone loves whales, your crush included, so maybe you can make a power ranking. You two will be chatting for hours, I can all but guarantee.

3. Did they watch Michaela Coel’s I May Destroy You? If so, what did they think of that ending, and what do they make of Coel’s multifaceted portrayal of consent?

4. The Arctic Ocean has chlamydia: Just…what?!?!

5. Aliens: At this point, the government almost seems to be saying that aliens are, in fact, real — it’s like, just show them to us already you scamps!! Let’s see the aliens!!! Is your crush jazzed for the big reveal, and, relatedly, what would they do in the case of an extraterrestrial encounter? What would they want to know from our interstellar neighbors? Does your crush welcome the alien invasion? Do they think the aliens will be hot? And does the possibility excite them?

6. Any of our Would You Rather questions: Would your crush rather sweat milk or sneeze glitter; have walrus tusks or baleen hair for teeth?

7. Call or text? Is your crush a texting-only, primarily via the transmission of emojis, kind of communicator? Do they make enthusiastic use of iMessage reactions? Would they prefer a call? A chaotic, surprise video chat? Do they respond readily to Instagram and Twitter DMs, but to the messages in their text queue, not at all? Or, oh no, are they the kind of person who loves email most of all?

8. What elements of a relationship are most important to them: If you’re trying to date them, you’ll want to know.

9. Does the sand worm from Dune remind them of something? I bet I can guess what.

10. The hungriest hole: Scientists now know which hole is hungriest. Does your crush?

11. Hobbies: Does your crush have hobbies? Do you have hobbies … like, say, macramé, or tie dye, or making exuberant collages, or painting teeny tiny paintings? Are you interested in pursuing those hobbies together?

12. Ghosts: Your crush has opinions on whether or not they exist, everybody seems to. Some jumping off points: ghosts you may have met, or would like to meet; ghost sex; babies whose bodies are allegedly inhabited by old ghosts.

13. Your respective crushes: If Love Island has taught me anything, it’s that telling two people they can’t hook up eventually makes them hook up harder, and also that disclosing your feelings for someone ups the odds that they will reciprocate — possibly because everyone wants that sweet sweet £50,000. Anyway, I think you should ask your crush if there’s anyone they like, and also consider revealing your crush on them. This is Love Island, not Friend Island, after all.

14. Their pandemic boundaries: A tricky and fluid conversation that requires regular installments, but also a necessary one. You really don’t want to pursue someone whose personal and public health priorities misalign with yours.

15. The Big Baby: Never forget, the Big Baby (Gav) is only getting bigger with every passing day.

16. What traits they look for in a partner: Again, if you have any kind of relationship aspirations with your crush, talk about what traits are most alluring to you in prospective partners, and which traits break deals.

17. How sexy is this bird? Just look at her.

18. Given the opportunity and the guarantee of a safe return, would your crush want to go to the moon? A surprising number of people, many of them British, would refuse a free trip to the moon, citing reasons such as “no point” and “not enough to see/do” and “rather visit other places on Earth.” And your crush, would they like to go to the moon? Why or why not?

19. What city and/or country do they most want to visit and why? If they prioritize terrestrial destinations over the moon, maybe they could tell you more about what makes those places so compelling to them.

20. They mystery of Brandy’s Cinderella: Specifically, why the streaming powers that be have seemingly agreed to withhold the most exciting remake of Rogers and Hammerstein’s musical from the masses, when they could simply give the people what they want — which is Whitney Houston as Fairy Godmother.

21. What is their love language: There are allegedly five love languages that speak to how we give and most like to receive love. What are your love languages? What are your crush’s? Answering these questions will clue you into whether or not you should ease up on the dang gifts in your attempt to woo them.

22. Pick a horny woman anthem: Or ,hell, create a bracket! In the battle of Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP” versus Liz Phair’s “Flower” versus Lil’ Kim’s “How Many Licks” versus Björk’s “Cocoon,” who will win??

23. The climate crisis: Look, when you have big scary things on your mind, sometimes it helps to talk about them incessantly. Or, if it does not help, perhaps it is simply unavoidable. In any case, you could talk to your crush about the climate crisis. In fact, maybe you should, because who wants to make out with a climate-change denier?

24. Astrology: Okay, so not everybody believes in astrology. Some people insist that it is fake, which, so what if it is? Get that birth chart.

25. Whether or not Britney is truly free: Recently, speculation around the question of Britney Spears’s personal autonomy has hit a fever pitch, some of her fans alleging that her father is basically holding her hostage via a legal conservatorship. What does your crush think? Does your crush think we should #FreeBritney?

26. Cats or dogs: An age-old quandary with only one good answer: both.

27. Their greatest and most irrational fear: Most people, I think, have a niche phobia that sets their skin crawling, or makes them go all barfy with anxiety. Maybe they feel a pulsing dread when they look at tiny, tightly clustered holes; maybe cotton balls set them off. Whatever the thing is, naming it offers compelling insight into the wackiest corners of a person’s brain. Plus: vulnerability, baby.

28. The best book they’ve ever read: In addition to helping you accrue book recommendations and potentially find some exciting common ground, the answer to this question may tell you that your crush reads — undeniably a hot and crucial box for any new partner to tick.

29. Why did the White Stripes pretend to be brother and sister, my God???? For years (a lot of them!), Meg and Jack White (early aughts-famous indie outfit, The White Stripes) actively billed themselves as brother and sister when they were, in fact, husband and wife. Why would two people do this? I mean really, what the hell?

30. Do they have any secret tattoos and will they show you? Fingers crossed for a cheeky butt tat.

31. When was their last relationship? By discussing previous relationships — yours, theirs — perhaps you will glean a better sense of what this person is ready for and whether that matches up with your current mood.

32. What was Billy Ray Cyrus thinking about? In June 2015, Billy Ray Cyrus tweeted a photo of himself sitting in a driveway, looking immensely preoccupied. “Much to think about,” Billy Ray Cyrus captioned the pic, mystifying millions. What does your crush think Billy Ray Cyrus was thinking about?

33. Fun Zoom date ideas: At this stage of the game, single people may have grown a little weary of the virtual-date-activity menu, but perhaps together, you can brainstorm something novel and spicy. Here is one suggestion.

34. Winter Olympics, or Summer? Unfortunately, it’s not the Olympics right now, as had been the plan until the coronavirus intervened. But we can still talk about them, yearningly. Of course, all Olympics are good Olympics but some Olympics — in my opinion, the Winter Olympics — are extra choice. Discuss.

35. Celebrity crushes: Does your crush have a celebrity crush, or, multiple celebrity crushes? Who is it, Harry Styles? Megan Thee Stallion, a Hot Girl™ for all seasons? Manny Jacinto and his stunning jawline?

36. Love or fear the ocean? Many readers will agree that the ocean is a treat to swim in and houses boundless wonders; just as many, maybe, would argue that the ocean’s mysteries are too huge to plumb and no body of water that vast and that deep can be trusted, particularly when it is a known fact that sea-aliens reside at the bottom. To which camp does your crush belong?

37. If your crush could be any animal, which animal would they be? With which creature do they most identify, and/or, which do they envy most? A beluga whale finally reunited with the open ocean? A relentlessly screaming peacock? This cat, a beloved jerk?

38. Their most vivid childhood memory: Sometimes, when you really really like someone you’ve met as an adult, you develop a seething curiosity about what they were like as a child. Indulge that curiosity by asking them about their most vivid memory from the little kid times.

39. If they could have any job in the world, what would it be? Paid to eat pancakes in bed for NASA? Caretaker to these 55 cats who run a remote Greek island? Possum vlogger? So many options.

40. Most embarrassing moment: We all do idiot things sometimes, crushes included. It helps to laugh about them.

41. Legolas or Aragorn: An evergreen conundrum, really. Would your crush prefer a beautiful elven man of nature, or a rugged, stoic, secret royal? Keep in mind, it would be almost impossible to match Legolas’s otherworldly competence and grace; then again, it would be equally challenging to help shoulder the burdens of your reluctant king. But we all must choose one … unless we are, in fact, for Boromir.

42. Favorite emoji: Does your crush have a favorite obscure emoji? I bet they do; everyone has a strange, inexplicable little icon who rules their Frequently Used section.

43. Have they read this excerpt from Raven Leilani’s Luster yet? And if so, what was their favorite line — “You are a desirable woman. You are not a dozen gerbils in a skin casing”?

44. These regular, everyday objects that are secretly cakes: Mind-blowing, simply mind-blowing.

45. Sports! Even those of us who do not practice sports may be able to identify a few athletic moments of pure inspiration, such as the recent NBA strike for racial justice, or Katie Ledecky swimming a smooth lap with a glass of milk balanced on her head, or tennis champ Naomi Osaka centering victims of police violence as she wins at the U.S. Open, or the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team’s 2019 defeat of the Netherlands in the World Cup final and their subsequent streak of nonstop partying.

46. The best thing they ever ate: And maybe also, the worst.

47. Not unrelatedly, would they eat Robert Pattinson’s pasta creation? They wouldn’t get money or anything in exchange for this service, just, would they try his “little pillows,” even once?

48. Do they have any pets? Maybe you’ll get to see pics, too.

49. If they could take a master class with any celeb, which would it be? Politics with Cardi B? Dance — and maybe specifically, really beautiful pole dance — with FKA Twigs? Film-making under intense existential pressure with Zendaya? How to host an awards show, or really any event, with Sandra Oh?

50. Demon sex: Would they do it? Everybody’s talking about it, why not you and your crush??

Behold, a Long List of Topics to Animate Your Flirting