Flirting can be baffling territory if you’re not a master of decoding body language.
Misjudge so much as a smile or remark and it can go one of two ways: bloody brilliantly or walk-away-and-never-show-your-face-again badly.
When Reddit user Crazyjohnb22 asked his online peers: How do you tell if someone is just being nice or flirting?, they had plenty to say.
Here are their top tips for gauging whether someone’s into you or not.
1. Flirt back and watch their reaction.
“Flirt back. If their flirting increases in frequency or intensity, they were flirting. If they pull back, they were just being nice. Stop your flirting, and it’s all good.”
2. Monitor eye contact.
“I can always tell by their eyes. If they are intentionally making eye contact or their eyes seem more open and clear. I would watch how people behave and you’ll start to notice body language.”
3. Compare their behaviour towards others.
“As a female in my early twenties, the easiest way to tell that a guy is/isn’t into me is by comparing his behaviour towards me to other girls in the vicinity.
“If it’s at a bar, it’s pretty easy because I feel like guys usually won’t waste their time talking to someone they’re not interested in/won’t even pay you any mind. If they are, they’ll usually stare and eventually make their way over and try to talk. In more casual settings, eye contact is usually a dead give away, in addition to how engaged they are in a conversation.
“I have some very attractive girlfriends and I’ve noticed that when guys are interested in them, his eye contact will be split up about 70% to the girl he’s attracted to, 30% me.”
4. Look for specific giveaways.
“Flirting entails the tilting of the head, the specific look of the eyes, the look that never seems to leave your eyes, and a non stop soft sensual smile. Flirting is done deliberately and slowly, whereas nice is demonstrated through more casual facial expressions and conversation.”
“If they lick/bite their lips, move in close (proximity-wise), touch themselves in any way (such as smoothing out their hair or resting their chin upon their palm/fist), if they blush, or if they steer the conversation into your dating history/current relationship status.”
5. Test the water with travel ideas.
“If you want to test whether it’s full flirting, talk about things you want to do or about places you want to go that they might be interested in as well. They can easily get excited to come along or they can ignore or flat out reject the idea without offending you. It’s subtle enough that you can make a few attempts at it without putting them on the spot.”
6. Watch their tone.
“As a guy who occasionally flirts while being nice, notice the tone of voice and wording. It’s the difference between a curt “Here’s yours!” and “Here Anna!” with a half-blush smile.”
7. Completely wing it.
“Hell, sometimes I can’t even tell when I’m being nice or flirting. Good luck.”