Fantastic Name

How to tell if someone is flirting?

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Fantastic Name

When it comes to flirting, I never initiate it. When people flirt with me, I'm either completely oblivious to it or really creeped out by it. Usually, I'm oblivious. It isn't until months later that I realize that maybe they weren't just trying to be nice and make smalltalk with me.

 

I've asked some real-life friends (who know I'm ace) how to tell if another person is flirting with me, but none of them could really answer that. They said that it's one of those things they can just tell if it's happening. Real helpful, I know.

 

So, what does it look like when another person tries to flirt with you? Do they speak a certain way? Is there anything strange about their eye contact? Is there even a surefire way to tell at all?

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Claire Paolini

I honestly can't tell. I'll talk to someone and be so happy about actually socialising for once and then my friend will make some comment that that person was flirting with me and I'll have had no idea.

It's hard for me to tell with myself but I can tell if someone's hitting on my friend because I can actually step back and see their behavior. They'll be leaning forward and talking excitedly and making a lot of eye contact.

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Lockylocks

I can sometimes tell but that’s usually when it’s just so overtly obvious and they actually touch me. I hate those kinds of people. But usually I won’t realize it until the conversation is over. It’s annoying since I might end up seeming like I’m interested and prolong their flirting. 

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Palovana

It took me forever to figure it out. They'll suddenly come up and start talking to you. Like, they'll be obsessed with you. They'll pretend to be super (overly) nice and friendly. They'll compliment you and often also brag about themselves in an effort to impress you. And for the most part, they won't leave you alone. They'll approach you and try to talk to you every time they see you. It's still difficult for me to tell, but if they tick most of these boxes within the first few times talking to me? 

 

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Princess Merida

Yes, it's hard to tell the difference between someone just being nice to you and actually flirting. I'm not sure I can tell the difference at all. :lol:

 

I think if a guy is interested in a girl he will go out of his way to give compliments. Well, unless they're shy! Mind you, if they're shy they'll probably just occasionally look at a girl from across the room but not approach her. A confident man will also likely try to make a girl laugh. I only base this on what I've seen.

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Syrthia

Me too. I asked my mom this and she said that they will just be really nice to you and interested in you. That just sounds like being a decent human to me but whatever.

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Princess Merida
1 minute ago, Syrthia said:

Me too. I asked my mom this and she said that they will just be really nice to you and interested in you. That just sounds like being a decent human to me but whatever.

Exactly. That's just the approach I take but then my body language is more closed and I suppose someone that is interested will lean in.

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Palovana
Just now, Syrthia said:

Me too. I asked my mom this and she said that they will just be really nice to you and interested in you. That just sounds like being a decent human to me but whatever.

Seriously. I can't trust anyone anymore because of it. I used to give people the benefit of the doubt and think that people who came up and talked to me were just being social or friendly or whatever and just wanted to chat. Yeah right. And I've also been accused of flirting with people when I'm just trying to be friendly and polite. Fuck this dating and sex obsessed society.

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Claire Paolini
34 minutes ago, Palovana said:

Fuck this dating and sex obsessed society.

Lol same. I'm the only aromantic I know (in person) and even the closest of my friends are obsessed with dating and sex.

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Fantastic Name
1 hour ago, Syrthia said:

Me too. I asked my mom this and she said that they will just be really nice to you and interested in you. That just sounds like being a decent human to me but whatever.

This is why I could never figure out the difference between flirting and regular socialization. I mean, isn't all that part of having a conversation anyway?

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Hermit Advocate
2 hours ago, Palovana said:

I used to give people the benefit of the doubt and think that people who came up and talked to me were just being social or friendly or whatever and just wanted to chat. Yeah right. 

I also get those moments of "wait, is this person just being nice or is this their way of flirting with me?" It drives me crazy. Personally I prefer to think they're just being nice, but that little voice in the back of my head that says their flirting sometimes crawls out of it's hole and makes a nuisance of itself. 

 

Reason #87 to stay in my cave and cut off all in-person interaction. 

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MrDane
7 hours ago, Fantastic Name said:

When it comes to flirting, I never initiate it. When people flirt with me, I'm either completely oblivious to it or really creeped out by it. Usually, I'm oblivious. It isn't until months later that I realize that maybe they weren't just trying to be nice and make smalltalk with me.

 

I've asked some real-life friends (who know I'm ace) how to tell if another person is flirting with me, but none of them could really answer that. They said that it's one of those things they can just tell if it's happening. Real helpful, I know.

 

So, what does it look like when another person tries to flirt with you? Do they speak a certain way? Is there anything strange about their eye contact? Is there even a surefire way to tell at all?

Of course you dont initiate flirting! That would be wrong. You are a repulsed asexual.  Flirting is in the context of pre-foreplay, but usually more about fun and showing interest than actual invitation for sex. I think most of it is just giving compliments and joking and showing that you like being near each other. (Not that near!) normally it involves smiling more than ass-grapping.

 

Perhaps it is important to say things like “you are a nice guy” or “I like working with you” but at the same time take care of your personal borders. Dont promise more than you are willing to try to keep. 

 

 

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LeDeer

I wasn't even sure what did "flirting" meant until like a month ago, but when I seached what it did mean and what you usually do when flirting....well I can relate! I did it a lot unconsciously (= I didn't know I was actually flirting) until some months ago, and I still do it fairly often, although I try to restrain myself a bit.

When I flirt with someone, I often try to stay around them, or follow them to places I'm not that interested just to be around them; I try to attract their attention, try to make eye contact (although it kinda embarasses me to make eye contact with anyone near me), I often look at what they're doing or where they're going, try to sit near them and possibly make some sort of physical contact, try to talk about something that interests them, or try to see if I like something that they like too.

It can be hard to tell the slight difference between "I want to socialise more with X" and "I'm flirting with X". From my POV, the one who flirts, I can tell it's enough obvious/fairly different when I try to stay with someone or search them "because I genuinely consider them my friend", and not "because I like them and I'm interested in them".

I don't try to attract attention because I want everyone's attention, I am interested only in X's attention.

If I make eye contact with anyone, I don't feel anything because it seems normal; but when I try to make eye contact with the one I'm flirting, and they look at me, inside I am "Yes! They're finally looking at me! *excited*".

When I ask anyone to sit near me, it may be because I genuinely want them to stay with my group, or I don't want to leave them alone so I try to introduce them to whatever I'm doing; when I ask it to someone I'm flirting with, I want them to stay with me and I really do my best to involve them, so that we can speak, make eye contact and so on.

When I flirt, all of this doesn't happen because it's a genuine feeling or it's a natural way I approach people/things/situations; I want to make stuff like this happen, but I also want to make them sound natural and maybe "some casual coincidences". But, since I'm flirting with one person, it can be easy to recognize I'm flirting because all of this "happens" with just one person and fairly often. I can tell this because the person I'm interested to noticed I was flirting with them, and understood I was trying to do all of the above things with them only, because I was (and still I am) interested to them while I don't care about anyone else.

It's hard to verbalize these things, but I hope a different POV can help you to understand.

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Jade Cross

>.> Now Im starting to question if people take cordiality for interest? Im getting a taser

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GLRDT

Yeah so even as a kid I've enjoyed making clever banter, showing interest in everyone, i am very smiley, full of energy, and am empathetic. As I got older, I kept being my same self, but suddenly I wasn't a cute clever kid anymore. I was apparently being seen as a flirt now, but I hadn't changed anything about my behavior. Sadly, I learned to hold part of myself back in most situations to not give the wrong idea. Now when I am actually trying to flirt on purpose, it's super fun! Anyhow, I think flirting is fun so if I'm with a friend I can trust, we will sometimes flirt just because it's fun and know nothing is expected from it. Actually I only have one friend like that. Anyhoo, when I'm actually interested in someone, I can be a huge flirt on purpose because me trying to flirt plus my normal personality is like kabam! I was one time doing a weird movement theatre exercise where we were supposed to walk around the room and everytime this incredibly attractive man walked by me, he winked (in a non threatening gross creepy way). I thought I was imagining it at first and I was like whaaa? This exercise was supposed to get you in touch with your natural instincts and following them so it actually allowed me to get away with what I ended up doing. Wouldn't have tried this out in the real world. So we had to partner up and do an exercise where we were supposed to move closer to the person by one step, stay where we are, or take one step back. Well seeing as he was one of the very few people I've ever found attractive in my life and was flirting with me, I flirted back. We kept stepping one step towards each other until we were right on the edge of the personal bubble. He took a step back and then I took a step forward, then he chose to stay where he was, I took yet another small step forward, and was right in front of his face just making eye contact with him. I'd say he was surprised by my confidence. Anyhow, this was all a very exciting exercise. So for me, flirting is confidence, lightly challenging boundaries but not too much (still be respectful), holding someone's gaze a bit longer than a glance or what is usual (not super creepy though), and clever banter. I'm a weird kind of gray asexual. I love everything leading up to sex like flirting or seduction but I could do without the actual sex part. Kind of an unfortunate way to be in this society though. Hopefully this story didn't make all of you non flirters too uncomfortable. I just wanted to use an example of what flirting was to me.

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GLRDT

POTENTIAL TMI IF YOU ARE AROMATIC AND OR DISGUSTED MY ROMANTIC GESTURES. 

 

Also to add on to how you can tell if someone is flirting. Well you may not  be able to tell if you are asexual. I'm gray asexual so I can feel a shift of energy or tension in the air between me and that person which oddly I like... that is if it didn't lead to sex. It seems like many asexual people can't feel or sense that energy though. So good luck my friend! ALSO I find this a good example to me of someone flirting who is super smooth and respectful and just right on the inside edge of the personal bubble. Also the mysteriousness of him would totally suck me in. I like his style. 

 

 

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Telecaster68

Giveaway signs: lots of eye contact, lots more laughing than is strictly necessary, touching arms, back, etc eith very flimsy excuses, general physical closeness. 

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Laplace

I wish I could give advice but I’m extremely oblivious too 😅; I was infamous for being denser than a lead brick in HS. My friends told me like 3 different people liked me and I never noticed. For example, a classmate wrote a long and compliment-laden entry in my final yearbook and my friends beat me up for not realizing the person liked me (I thought they were trying to be a bit personal cause I had gone to school with them since elementary school). Apparently, it’s obvious to my friends when girls are interested in me partly because it’s rare for girls to hang out with me cause I’m a bit eccentric and all my friends are typically guys. The main signs seem to be lavishing compliments and paying special attention to you when you’re around. Especially if one person in a group of people seems to hang mainly on your words. Laughing more and being more energetic than usual (kinda hard to notice cause that’ll probably be their default state around the person they like) is another sign. Unfortunately, I’ve known these signs for a long time and it still doesn’t help my awareness at all cause, like some of us, I just think people are being nice 😖🧐.

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SilentRose

Definitely a lot of eye contact, a certain "sparkle" in the eye I've learned to pick up on, a charming smile, closer than necessary when talking to you, complementing you randomly, "showing off" a bit, or talking up their positive attributes. 

 

 

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Fantastic Name

@GLRDT I could tell pretty easily, though I was a bit surprised that the guy gave away some personal details like that. I had no idea flirting could involve that kind of stuff. Weird.

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Fantastic Name
13 hours ago, Laplace said:

Unfortunately, I’ve known these signs for a long time and it still doesn’t help my awareness at all cause, like some of us, I just think people are being nice 😖🧐.

Exactly. I can read as many articles on flirting as I want, but I'll never put what I've learned into practice. It's irritating.

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Laplace

Another problem is I’ve been asked for my number a bunch of times by girls in college but it’s easily masked by the fact that most would have a plausible practical explanation for asking. Most of the time, people become my friend in class cause I’m in their group for something and, not to brag, I’m usually pretty smart academically speaking so I try to be as helpful as possible. So, I don’t read anything into them asking for my number cause I just assume it’s just what group-members-turned-friends do. I make the least presumptuous assumptions which may be blinding me to people’s ulterior motives. I’m kinda naive when it comes to this stuff.

 

The only time I’ve ever actively realized that I’ve been hit on is when a bisexual male friend explicitly asked if I wanted a one-night stand which I politely declined.

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Fantastic Name
7 hours ago, Laplace said:

The only time I’ve ever actively realized that I’ve been hit on is when a bisexual male friend explicitly asked if I wanted a one-night stand which I politely declined.

Because it was explicit. I feel ya. :lol:

 

I wish people would just be blunt with me about their motives. It would save everyone involved a lot of stress and confusion.

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GLRDT
11 hours ago, Fantastic Name said:

@GLRDT I could tell pretty easily, though I was a bit surprised that the guy gave away some personal details like that. I had no idea flirting could involve that kind of stuff. Weird.

I think it's charming and builds trust more when people are very open with their life to a certain point, but that may be a matter of my personal opinion. They seem real and interesting and pull me in.

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Philip027

I don't perceive or recognize flirting unless it is very very blatant and obvious.

 

I'm not interested in guessing games, so I don't play them.  I usually don't have to though, because (at least as far as I can tell, anyway) few people take that sort of interest in me anyway.

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Telecaster68
4 hours ago, GLRDT said:

I think it's charming and builds trust more when people are very open with their life to a certain point, but that may be a matter of my personal opinion. They seem real and interesting and pull me in.

It's a psychological concept called reciprocation, and it works in all relationships - one person 'offers' something about themselves as a way of building a connection, the other reciprocates with something about themselves, and a level of trust is established because they're now sharing equally. If the second person doesn't reciprocate, that doesn't happen and the relationship stays at the same level. Then one of them offers something a little more personal, and that's reciprocated or not, and trust builds a little more. That process repeats and the two people form a stronger and stronger bond. 

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GLRDT
7 hours ago, Telecaster68 said:

It's a psychological concept called reciprocation, and it works in all relationships - one person 'offers' something about themselves as a way of building a connection, the other reciprocates with something about themselves, and a level of trust is established because they're now sharing equally. If the second person doesn't reciprocate, that doesn't happen and the relationship stays at the same level. Then one of them offers something a little more personal, and that's reciprocated or not, and trust builds a little more. That process repeats and the two people form a stronger and stronger bond. 

Yes I like starting all that right off the bat and usually people reciprocate. If not, I don't mind being more patient until they're ready.

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Squirrel Combat

When someone flirts they tend to get silly and joke around. Sometimes they'll reach out and tap the person if they're really confident. I've flirted some in the past, and I've had ladies flirt with me some, but when they do I tend to only realize what is going on until later when I reflect on it all.

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StormySky

Often I just act like myself (a lighthearted, enthusiastic geek who makes dumb puns) and people mistake it for flirtation.

 

How I tell if someone is legit flirting : I raise my eyebrows and look at them. If they do the "hey baby eyebrow raise" they're reciprocating signs of flirtation.

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Princess Merida

I never considered being asexual could mean we miss signs of flirtation. For me I think that's a good thing because it would freak me out and make me want to leave as soon as possible anyway.

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