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Playful Banter: What It Is, How to Do It & Secrets to Keep the Flirty Talk Going

Playful banter is essential to keeping the spark alive in a relationship. We explain what banter is and how to use it when flirting in your relationship.

playful banter

Many people don’t realize the importance of flirting and having playful banter in their relationship. We all excessively flirt at the beginning of our relationships, but this fun flirting usually slows down after the honeymoon phase is over.

We end up committing to someone and, since we’re no longer trying to “win” them, we stop the cutesy behavior that won them over in the first place. As a result, our relationships lose a bit of that fun edge that’s needed to make it the best it can be.

Once you stop the flirting, the relationship goes down the dumps

You always have to flirt with your partner. Flirting isn’t reserved for those few months you spend trying to get your significant other to like you more. You should always do it or your relationship can end up getting worse.

When you have playful banter and keep that flirty behavior alive, you continuously show your significant other that you’re into them. You make them feel wanted, cared for, and most importantly, desired.

Having this as a major strength in your relationship will also help you maintain a healthy sex life. And we all know how important that is. [Read: Common reasons relationships often fail]

So, what is banter?

The first step to implementing banter into your relationship is to know exactly what it is. Not to be confused with negging *more on that later*, banter is a way of communicating in a playful, teasing way.

Banter builds trust, closeness, and puts people at ease. When you banter with someone, you let your guard down and invite them to do the same, bringing you closer. This is because the playful nature of banter lets people communicate openly and honestly without feeling pressured.

It is a fun, pressure-free way of commenting on yourself and the things around you while knowing that others will support your confidence and vulnerability. [Read: How to build confidence – powerful changes to alter your life]

Banter can look like loving insults or comments that entice others to be playful. Essentially, it allows you and your partner to laugh with each other, not at each other. And when done right, it should leave you and your partner in giggling fits like a couple of kids.

How often should you banter?

Banter is something that should flow naturally in a conversation. So, it is difficult to know exactly how often you should banter. We know, lame answer. But it’s true, you might naturally banter more often sometimes and less at others.

You can never have too much laughter in a relationship! However, you need to be able to judge when it might be insensitive to indulge in banter.

Banter is a way of expressing intimacy, but don’t forget your partner needs you to be vulnerable with them without using witty teasing.

Knowing how often you should use banter is unique to your conversation and your banter buddy.

How to start bantering

Before you learn how to banter with others, you need to be emotionally available to banter. What this means is that you need to build the confidence and esteem to “take a joke.” It sounds mean, but it’s true.

When banter is used right, you should feel closer to your partner. Put your fear of rejection aside, because banter is light-hearted and done lovingly. [Read: Fear of rejection – 56 signs, causes & ways to overcome and get over it]

Once you’re ready to commit to banter, your focus should be on playful, light-hearted exchanges that bring you and your partner closer together. You should emphasize your friendly tone and use inviting body language.

How to have playful banter and keep your relationship fun

When it comes to flirting, banter is probably the most fun. Going back and forth with quick, witty comments keeps things interesting.

It also shows your significant other how smart you are and paves the way for some interesting conversations. Here’s how you can master it.

1. Always be thinking about comebacks

Even when you’re not flirting or having banter, always have comebacks ready to go in your mind. This helps train your brain to think faster.

The quicker you can come back with a witty comment, the better your playful banter is going to be. This also helps you be more unfiltered, which can be really funny and entertaining in its own respect. Allow the words to just flow immediately.

2. Practice humor and wit

Humor and wit are essential to using banter. Although humor comes naturally to some, others need practice. That’s perfectly okay! You can always practice your jokes and learn how to be funny more naturally. [Read: How to be funny – 28 must-know tips to make everyone love your humor]

3. Find sources of inspiration

Finding inspiration from witty, playful characters in movies and television shows is a great way to learn how to banter.

Of course, don’t use their dialogue if it doesn’t apply in real life, but learn from the way they use their body language and tone of voice to interact with one another.

If you have a group of friends who banter, try observing them to test the waters. You don’t have to directly join in on their banter, but watch how they interact while still being fun and light-hearted.

4. Use what you know about your partner

Flirting is so much better if you know what makes your lover tick. What do they love you saying in bed together? How do they respond to funny or naughty things? [Try: 49 naughty questions for couples]

Using what you know about them to adjust your banter is key. Think about what they like and what they don’t like. Make banter that is unique to them only and say things you know will hit them in just the right spots. You know what they find funny, so use it.

5. Make sure the mood is right

There is a very specific vibe that makes for great flirty banter. Both of you have to be in a very relaxed, playful mindset. If your partner starts getting a little flirty and makes some jokes, up your wit game.

Drop a few lines that’ll give them the hint that you’re ready for some playful banter. Being able to read the mood right will help you flirt and have fun as much as you can. The second you’re feeling it, go for it. [Read: 20 things you can do to get a woman in the mood]

6. Initiate it as often as you can

You don’t always have to wait for the right mood, though. You can start it as much as you want. In fact, it’s better if you initiate it a lot. Otherwise, your partner might not think you’re responsive to banter.

If you both aren’t always trying to flirt with one another, then you never will. This will make your relationship a little more boring and can affect your sex life negatively.

Initiating banter can help spice up your relationship if things feel too serious. It puts both you and your partner in a playful mood. [Read: How to spice up a relationship – 30 sexy ways to feel loved & horny]

7. Be as outrageous as you can

Don’t be afraid to be super silly. Try to challenge yourself to see how insane and ridiculous your banter can get. See who can go the furthest and make the most ridiculous and hilarious comment. Laughing together is an important aspect of any relationship, so don’t be afraid to let go!

8. Get a little naughty

Let your freaky side out when you’re having playful banter. Show your significant other you can get a little naughty. Just because it’s banter doesn’t mean it can’t be really sexy and dirty!

Use some dirty talk to get your partner in the mood while flirting this way. You can even make it a little game with yourself. See what it takes to make your partner grab you and have their way with you in the bedroom. [Read: 23 tips for dirty talking and saying the sexiest words]

9. Use facial expressions

Your body language is super important when being flirtatious and bantering. Using facial expressions helps convey the true intentions behind your words.

If you are teasing your significant other, the mischievous and flirty smile on your face lets them know that you get off to teasing them and are being playful.

Facial expressions are also great to use when learning how to use banter because your facial expression itself can be flirty. Acting overly shocked or sad will let them know you understood their comment and are jokingly responding.

Exaggerating your facial expression if they tease you can keep the banter alive if you can’t think of a comeback.

10. Don’t hold back

Holding back is the worst thing you can do when flirting. The purpose of banter is to create a space where you and your partner feel comfortable being vulnerable. So, if one of you is holding back, the dynamic becomes unbalanced.

Let your true colors show. A lot of times, couples end up pulling back into themselves after a while. They think their partner knows all they need to and they kind of stop being themselves. Don’t let this happen to you and your lover. [Read: 20 things to do to be more vulnerable in a relationship & feel closer]

11. If you feel like doing it, then do it

A lot of people in relationships can be in the mood to flirt and have playful banter very briefly but then don’t act on it. This is how your relationship will get boring. You stop doing fun things for no reason.

If you feel like being goofy and saying something silly to your partner, then do it! Obviously, be mindful of when they’re in an awful mood. Sometimes you can cheer them up with playful banter and other times it’ll just annoy them.

12. Try to one-up your significant other with every comment

Each time you have playful banter, see if you can go one step above your significant other. Try to continuously outdo each other so it’s the most fun it can be.

Turning banter into a game is a great way to keep the passion going between one another and can even lead to more exciting games *in the bedroom, of course*.

13. Just have some fun with it

There’s no right or wrong way to banter and flirt with your lover. So long as you’re flirting and keeping that fun energy up, the spark will stay. [Read: Spark in a relationship – 20 reasons why it’s gone & how to bring it back]

Focus on continuously trying to have fun with each other. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, putting forth the effort to make it more enjoyable is going to do amazing things for the longevity of your relationship.

Banter versus negging

Although banter and negging may seem similar, they are quite the opposite. Negging is putting someone down until they feel bad about themselves in an attempt to get them to like you. It is one-sided and a cruel mind game.

Although negging can be hard to interpret, in its true form it is emotional manipulation. It is a very subtle form of abuse that is often perceived as “teasing.” It is the opposite of banter.

As we said earlier in this feature, the intention of banter is to build mutual trust, comfortability, and ease. Although banter involves flirtatious teasing, it should never overlap with negging.

If you are intentionally insulting someone in hopes they will like you – it’s not banter. You’re unintentionally *or intentionally* manipulating them. [Read: 27 signs of emotional manipulation to know if you’re being used by someone]

When not to banter with your partner

Banter brings a new fun and intimate aspect to relationships. But, there comes a time when you should refrain from bantering with your partner.

The general rule of banter is to stay in tune with the other person’s reactions. Some people are sensitive to banter and do not engage with it.

So, if you find yourself bantering with someone who isn’t engaged – you’re not actually having banter. You’re just insulting them.

So, pay attention to your partner’s tone of voice and their reactions to your playful banter to ensure you don’t cross a line or show disrespect toward them.

Since you are bantering with your partner, you should already know what is and isn’t off-limits to tease about. Choosing to be witty about a topic you know is personal or sensitive to them should be avoided.

Benefits of bantering in a relationship

Bantering is the ultimate tool to be playful and intimate. In romantic relationships, it encourages you and your partner to continue learning and developing trust with one another.

The flirtatious humor that comes with banter keeps you and your partner on your toes. It gives new opportunities for passion and sexual chemistry. [Read: Sexual chemistry – what it is, how it feels, 52 signs & ways to increase it]

To be able to lovingly insult someone, you have to have a sense of familiarity and trust with them. You can always learn more about your partner, and using banter to do so shows that you care and want to keep putting effort into the relationship.

Essentially, banter is another way to communicate your love to your partner.

[Read: Ways you can make your relationship more fun and playful]

Playful banter is just one of the many ways you can keep your relationship fun and interesting. Make sure you always try to keep the flirting alive so you never wind up in a boring relationship.

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Preeti Tewari Serai
Preeti Serai
Preeti, the founder of LovePanky, is an eternal optimist and believer in the beauty of love and life. With an exhaustive experience in love, relationships, and ...