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Online Etiquette: How To Tell When They’re Being Friendly vs Flirty

Hot tips on discerning the difference before you make your move

Dating in the 21st century is a far cry from how it used to be; nowadays there are many new and interesting ways to meet people from all walks of life.

This is especially true of online dating. With so much communication happening through the internet there are all kinds of ways to meet people and build relationships virtually. But when it comes to online dating it can be hard to know when someone actually wants to date you or not. Just like in real life, you can’t always tell when a girl is being friendly vs. flirty, and you don’t want to misread her. The last thing you want to hear is “I thought we were just friends!”

So we’re going to show you how to know the difference! Keep reading, and you’ll be navigating the world of online dating with ease.

1. She asks a lot of questions

This is a good indicator of how someone feels about you. There’s a big difference between casual and friendly conversations, and someone putting in the effort to get to know you. When someone asks you a lot of questions that usually means two things:

  • Firstly, they want to know more. Asking questions, especially personal ones, is a way of gaining more information about someone. In a dating context, it usually means they are trying to figure out if your personality is a good fit for them. If someone is just being friendly, they are not likely to push you for a lot of personal info.
  • Secondly, they don’t want the conversation to fizzle out! A lot of questions, even if they are not personal, will keep a conversation from dying. The more they ask questions, the longer the conversation will continue. This is a VERY good sign that they have more than a friendly interest in you.

2. You both tease each other, relentlessly

Teasing occasionally is one thing. It’s always fun to tease our friends and family when the right situation arises. But if she’s making fun of you constantly, and vice versa, in a gentle but still personal way, it could mean something more.

This is especially true if it’s become a regular part of your messaging conversations. According to Professional Wingman CEO Thomas Edwards, teasing can be a way of “changing up the dynamic of an otherwise friendly conversation”, something that can even further “create attraction for one another.”

3. If they contacted your online dating profile, they are probably flirting

This should be a pretty obvious one. If a girl is comfortably messaging you through dating apps like Tinder and Bumble, it should be safe to assume that more flirtatious behaviour is OK.

However, keep in mind that these days most social media apps have multiple utilities. It’s not uncommon for people to use mobile dating apps to find friends and social groups, particularly if they are newcomers to your city or town. Some people will mention ‘friends only’ etc in their bio, but if not, it’s ok to ask them what they’re looking for.

4. There are no limits to your conversations

When you are messaging someone who only sees you as a friend, there are going to be limitations on what you talk about. Naturally friendly conversation revolves around life events and mutual interests.

But when you’re flirting, or romantically interested, it opens the conversation up to more complicated topics. If the girl you’re talking to is openly discussing sex and sexuality with you, even if it’s only in a playful and non-serious way, this is another indicator that she is flirting.

Jill Sherer Murray, a lifestyle entrepreneur and award-winning writer, says that sex “rarely comes up in friendly conversation”. This is because most friends are not going to have an overt interest in your sex life.

5. she gives you compliments

This is one of the best signs! Not only does it show that she probably likes you as more than a friend, but it makes you feel good too. Of course, friends can give you compliments as well so a compliment doesn’t necessarily equal flirtatiousness. But if she is going out of her way to compliment you regularly it can be a good signal. Does she tell you that you’re funny when you make lame jokes? Does she call you smart when you talk about your job? Or make spontaneous comments on your looks?

People often use flattery and compliments as a way of showing affection and building feelings of closeness. These compliments are the ones to look out for if you are unsure of her feelings.

6. Does she remember details about you?

Just like compliments, this is a way of building closeness and showing the other person that they are important to you. Remembering your birthday, your favorite drink, whether you’re a morning person or a night owl. These are all things that stick in someone’s mind when they care for or are overtly interested in another person.

It has another interesting implication. Remembering details about someone, both small and big, implies that you want them to have a place in your future. Memory is valuable, and most of us don’t go out of our way to retain information that doesn’t add some value to our lives.

7. If she talks about other men, she’s probably not interested

This should be an immediate red flag. If a girl you’re talking to online is mentioning other guys that she is sexually or romantically interested in, the likelihood is that she only sees you as a friend and you have misinterpreted the situation. Most girls would NEVER mention other guys in that way to someone they want to date in the future.

And it should go without saying - if she mentions that she has a boyfriend, or is even casually dating someone, it’s a no-go. Sadly, you’re in the friend zone.

8. If she tells you she’s single, she’s probably interested

On the flip side - if you’re messaging with a girl through facebook or other social media apps (ie not a dating site) and she goes out of her way to tell you that she’s not seeing anyone, this is a definite hint. Being single isn’t a badge of honor, so she’s only going to call attention to it if she really wants you to notice.

9. She drops hints about spending time together

Does she keep mentioning movies she wants to see, or events to attend? Maybe there’s a nice Thai restaurant downtown that she’s always wanted to try. Unfortunately, even in 2020, many people still see it as the man’s job to make the first move. And women are really good at hinting that they want to do something without saying (or asking) outright. If you bring up a band that’s coming to town and she says “I’d love to see them live! But no one else I know listens to them”, then take the hint! She probably wants to go with you.

10. She makes contact first

As we mentioned above, it’s often assumed that guys will make the first move. This is usually true of even messaging first to make conversation. Some women will wait for days, or even weeks, just to hear from a guy.

That’s why getting the first message from a girl is a very good signal for you. Initiating the conversation just to chat means she wants your attention more than the average person in her life. Think about it, how often do you message someone just to say “hi”?

Final Tip: Make sure you’re staying safe while dating online

This should go without saying, but if you are meeting girls regularly through the internet you should be thinking about your safety as well. Not everyone contacting you online is some kind-hearted person just wanting to flirt or make friends. Make sure you are aware of expert online dating safety tips before you jump into virtual dating. Better to be safe than sorry!

In Conclusion

Though there is a thin line between being flirty and friendly, someone just showing you a bit of attention doesn’t mean that they want to date or sleep with you. But as frustrating as it is, there are still ways to know if a girl you’re talking to online is interested. Keep these tips in mind and you should know where you stand in no time.

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