How to Know If He's Flirting


Girls can sometimes be unsure of whether a guy is flirting or just being friendly. This Take is intended to provide a few pointers to the girls who sometimes find themselves puzzling over a guy's intent. The focus will be on interactions in real life, not online, since you can pretty much assume that any guy who slides into your DMs is flirting (or much worse!), especially if he messages with you frequently.

1. That a guy approaches you in the first place generally means he is flirting

How to Know If Hes Flirting

There are some guys who will talk to everyone, but if he has gone to the trouble of approaching you and starting a conversation, you should assume right off the bat that he is flirting with you rather than wanting to discuss cloud formations.

2. He stared at you prior to approaching

How to Know If Hes Flirting

This is a telltale sign. He noticed you and felt attraction. He probably approaches right after staring, but in some settings, e.g., at school or work, in a few cases it could have been weeks or even months ago that he (first) stared and now he is ready to flirt. If it were just a matter of being friendly, there would be no delays and no staring.

3. He smiles really wide and looks directly at your eyes

How to Know If Hes Flirting

Just being friendly might mean there is a smile as well, but you'll see a broad one that shows his pearly whites (if he's got them). He's attracted to you, is excited to talk to you, and wants to show you he is friendly, also to put you at ease as well as to make his interest clear. Looking at your eyes in conjunction with a broad smile helps build a connection.

4. He displays some nervousness in body language and facial expression

How to Know If Hes Flirting

See also #3. This won't be present all the time, since lots of guys can flirt without displaying any outward nervousness, but if you can detect it, it's a telltale indication that he is flirting since just being friendly is unlikely to make him nervous to that extent or even noticeably nervous.

5. He stands close to you and touches you

How to Know If Hes Flirting

Mind you, this doesn't mean that he totally invades your personal space, but he'll be closer than if he is just being friendly. Before the me too movement, he'd have been more likely to touch your hand, arm or, rarely, even your shoulder, but this may still occur in some cases.

6. He finds something in common with you

How to Know If Hes Flirting

This may stem from him noticing something about you, knowing something about you (school, neighborhood, or business environment), or it may come out as the conversation progresses. An example of this approaching the girl walking her dogs when he has some or likes to pet them and talking about them as an icebreaker.

7. He teases you and perhaps uses self-deprecating humor

How to Know If Hes Flirting

This has several purposes. It's to get you to relax, feel comfortable with him and show he's a fun guy. It also provides a great opportunity for feedback, i.e., how you react. This can also be used to push boundaries to see how far he can go with you in terms of conversation.

8. He tries to impress you and he compliments you

How to Know If Hes Flirting

This is also telltale, as there is no need to do it if he is just being friendly. The compliments are way to tell you what he likes about you and that he's interested. He'll also laugh at your jokes and like everything you say.

9. The longer the convo goes, the more obvious it is that it's flirting

How to Know If Hes Flirting

There is no need to take a lot of your time if he is just being friendly. I met the woman I married on a transatlantic flight, which was great since I had nine hours to talk to her. Despite that, she still thought I was just being friendly. Flirting can be done in a couple of minutes, but, the more time he has to make an impression, the better.

10. He suggests getting something to eat or drink

How to Know If Hes Flirting

It means he finds you interesting and wants to extend his time with you to make even more of an impression and just enjoy your company some more. This means now, not just a vague mention of some time in the future. It shows he is really into you and wants to extend his time with you.

It's important to remember that in most cases, the feedback you give him in terms of body language (especially smiling and looking into his eyes) will guide how he proceeds. If the feedback is positive, he'll be buoyed to do more, if your body language says you're bored, he may try a new approach or just find a way to bow out.

How to Know If He's Flirting
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  • ShadowofRegret
    A well-written take sir!

    I tend to be kind of socially clueless as to how my actions can come off sometimes and admit I have accidentally did some of those things when talking to women and ended up having women trying to get into a relationship with me before (one even leaned toward me as if trying to kiss me.😅)

    So while that is a good list, one must also consider the possibility that the guy is just really socially awkward and does those things without without realizing the implications. (Sorry if that is not the best way to put it, my left eye had been exposed to some sort of irritant and is currently healing, but it makes it hard to focus.)
    Like 1 Person
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  • OlderAndWiser
    I agree with all of your points and especially point #5. When flirting, I stand closer to a woman and I use her reaction as an indicator of how she feels about me. If she tolerates me standing closer, I assume that she wants to be closer to me.
    Like 3 People
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Most Helpful Girls

  • Cynicaldreamer
    Interesting take, thank you on behalf of us dense as hell women that can't tell when we're being flirted with!

    Reading over some of these pointers, I've had guys do several of those points with me, yet STILL want a friendship! Or were already taken/seeing someone.
    That's why it's hard for me to differentiate between flirting and just being a friend! I've had guys hold intimate, long conversations with me, we shared common interests, we hang out or eat together... but he wants to be friends.

    That's why I prefer if a guy likes me, just tell me! Less confusion that way.
    Like 9 People
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    • Avicenna

      Is it possible that these guys changed their mind?

    • It can be confusing. I've done that just to be friendly and outgoing, it would have met criteria above. Flirting doesn't necessarily mean he is serious, it means he's testing the waters or sees you as someone interesting, maybe just to talk. So you are right... so much simpler to be clear... but we don't always know immediately. Also.. you have to give us something... which means take some risk. You can't just sit there. I think of it like fishing... its fun to fish, put line in water... fish gotta nibble, then it gets more fun.

    • @Avicenna I'm sure. I'll admit I can be dense at times when it comes to being flirted with, though again, I live in a friendly region, so it's not uncommon for a random stranger to come up to you in the store, talk to you, and voila! You're friends

      But the guys that have been around me refer to me as "comforting, good listener, one of the guys (yeah I know, not something I should be hearing), or a sweet person." All the traits you would think a guy wants in a potential partner. Yet I cannot seem to get past that point with most men. I mean I am happy they trust me and enjoy my company, but it is irksome knowing I cannot get past that friendship stage.

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  • Jemini_Crocket
    MyTake on point! :) I just wish all guys would be like this. Some guys flirt in such strange ways. Worst thing is when they're shy or bad flirterers, xD
    Like 1 Person
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    • You look like snow white

    • It's not necessarily that we're bad floaters or we don't know how to flirt say it without looking or feeling stupid depending on what you're going to say Google what's yours at that first tri-m should never look at you the same again

    • Shyguy here, but planning to ask someone if she wants to for a coffee soon, let's hope she says yes (I know she enjoys coffee, and I do as well ☕

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • Brainsbeforebeauty
    Good mytake
    But where's the when they catcalling when you walk down the street😅or the pull to the curb "say baby"or does that only happen in Milwaukee 🤷‍♀️
    Like 2 People
    • Avicenna

      That's not flirting... but I once flirted with an entire restaurant of women in El Salvador by accidentally catcalling them. I was actually trying to get a dog's attention, but messed up the sound I was supposed to make. The ladies didn't seem upset.

    • Lmffao😅thanks really needed a laugh. Can just picture that lmao

    • Avicenna

      It was funny as could be. They all turned around smiling, much to my amazement. Someone then explained to me what I did.

    • Show All
  • DianaWest
    great. a guy with a girlfriend does all of these things. whoopee. i like him, but i ignore him and act disinterested. but maybe he wants to see how i'll react, but despite my interest, i try to suppress it because he has a girl. ugh. life is complicated.
    Like 1 Person
    • Avicenna

      Completely ignoring him is the way to handle it

  • kymberz
    ok. wow! you nailed this to the floor. i was so nervously unsure but every sentence you wrote made sense in the future, present and past! wow! i am sending this to a bunch of girls i know. thank you so much for taking the time to write this - it is beautiful! (and why is this site somehow filled with modern troubadours? or something?)
    Like 1 Person
  • Sensmind
    OK I will give you that you are probably 95% right which is probably a high enough figure to justify a take BUT I just want to highlight there is the odd guy who is just friendly in work or somewhere like that.
    As I say overall a great take but I just want to mention that not all guys are thirsty (that said most are LOL)
    Like 1 Person
    • Avicenna

      I agree that there are guys who are just friendly, but that can usually be discerned, especially because it's less common.
      I doubt the merely friendly guy would get physically close to her, for example, or be smiling super broadly while effusively complimenting her.

  • Powderpuff97
    What about taking things online?
    g guy following her, liking 3 pictures, watching her stories, comment on a post y’all have something in common with, liking selfies and things she has interest in.
    asking about her whereabouts when she’s not around, looking at her when she laughs, talks etc, hugs that were friendly become more affectionate but not sexual in any way.

    but the thing is he doesn’t have your number, or never confessed to liking you etc.. so are those even signs?
    Like 1 Person
    • Avicenna

      That doesn't sound like flirting to me, merely some interest.

    • So is flirting and interest different

    • Avicenna

      They can exist exclusively of each other, especially interest.

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  • ariadneR
    Sometimes too, it could be as plain as the nose on your face that the man is flirting, but then us women spend time in our head and overthink and over analyse EVERYTHING, and end up thinking ourselves out of it.
    Like 2 People
  • ChadGroyper
    Pretty easy to recognise if someone's being friendly or flirty with you.
    Unless you're an utter mong or social spaztic.
    Best way to check is if they've got a spouse. But I guess you don't want to ask that question do you 😂
    Like 2 People
    • Avicenna

      I've been asked that. It's a bad idea to ask it unless you really want to signal some obvious interest.

    • Yeah that's true, but better to ask than face eternal embarrassment.

  • JB_84
    I find this to be the toughest part in dating. I just created a post about reading Neil Strauss' "Rules Of The Game" to see if anyone else has read it and found it helpful.
    I don't have much of a problem meeting women but I do struggle with flirting which usually ends me up in the friendzone.
    Like 1 Person
    • Avicenna

      Then I'd suggest just having an ordinary convo but focus on getting her number.

    • JB_84

      I've done those things but still have been rejected. For example there was a woman that I was hanging out with for a few months. We'd go to bars and I had been hoping to date her. After getting her number, we'd hang out more and talk then one night she got more flirty with me than usual. She sat on my lap at one point and she'd include innuendos in our convos. At the end of the night I asked if she'd like to go on a date and she said that she wasn't interested in dating anyone at the time. I realize that she was just probably having fun and wanting attention but I was still thrown off a little by her rejection. Anyway I've had other similar experiences that led to no where.

  • markscott
    There are a lot of good thoughts in the above post.
    Like 1 Person
  • Justacatlady
    This was really well written and informative. Thanks
    Like 1 Person
    • Avicenna

      thank you, and you're welcome!

  • foriWish
    This is amazing! Thanks a bunch. I always have problems believing guys are flirting. I'll just assume he's being friendly unless he makes it SUPER obviously (and even than I question it somewhat)
    Like 2 People
  • I-am-a-nobody
    "He stands close to you and touches you"
    Don't know if guys are even willing to touch a girl in the "Me Too" era.
    Back when I was single, (before the turn of the century), I generally didn't touch unless I was touched first. But I was rarely friendly without it being flirtation.
  • dmm31888
    Some men just flirt because they are simply bored. I have male friends who do this crap all the time to women. It’s not always nice because some women take it like they are actually interested in them, when simply, they are bored and just passing time. Or they just want one thing.
    Like 2 People
  • Lman3000
    Funny thing is no matter how many attempt or effort you put, you'll just be shot down after all that effort and just feel like garbage, which why I never bothered having anymore crushes it just ends in wasting your time, people are just mighty stupid nowadays I swear
    Like 1 Person
  • Scarecrow13
    The think the inverse could be written as well, as it can be hard for a guy to know when a lady is flirting with him.
    Like 1 Person
  • gaurwaith
    you made some good points, except for number 1, if girls just assume that any guy that talks to them is trying to flirt with them, then they would become a very bitter and unapprouchable person, effectively sabotaging themselves. sometimes people just like talking, or making friends.

    If I found out a girl was constantly ignoring guys because she always thought they were trying to flirt, or get into her pants, then I'm not sure if I'd want anything to do with her. sounds kind of like paradoxical behavior to me.
    Like 2 People
    • Avicenna

      Well, I just meant that he obviously didn't have any other reason to talk to her

  • dustdevil69
    The ladies can also make it a little less awkward just by asking about his interest a or talk about mutual experiences, and definitely interact in the conversation
    Like 1 Person
  • colewestin
    I myself get mistaken for flirting. I am just a naturally happy go lucky, encouraging, empathetic person. So people get drawn in and think I'm flirting and that's not normally the case. I'd say to tell the difference is if he's touching you ( like on the arm or back while complementing you or chatting) or if he's not making eye contact while talking
    Like 1 Person
    • what about if he stares into your eyes for ages and loses track of what he was going to say? ... isn't that somewhat of a giveaway he's into me?

    • Haha yeah I'd say that might be a giveaway

  • SirRexington
    You know, i came into this assuming that their would be some innaccuracies but I'm happy to say that i was wrong.
    Everything you said is 100% correct.
    Like 1 Person
  • KeziL
    Very good points, I'd agree with them. Follow up question: what can/should girls do that is taken as an immediate "oh, she's definitely flirting" by guys?
    • JSmuve

      Rub his arm while giving him bedroom eyes and dropping sexual innuendos

    • Avicenna

      Guys are generally way more prone to missing flirting, so definitely compliment him on his looks, touch him, and ask him what her doing this weekend. Make it blatantly obvious.

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