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RoseGoesToYale

What even IS flirting?

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RoseGoesToYale

Ok, almost 23 years of life, and somehow I still can't figure this out. This is what has gotten me into trouble all these years. Unfortunately, everyone I ask seems to have a different answer, so perhaps if I triangulate a pattern will emerge... -gets out the clipboard and calculator-

 

Thing is, I think I do flirt, but only if I know that person well. I do not ever flirt with strangers, and I can never tell if a stranger is flirting with me. Sometimes I'll think someone I know is flirting with me, but I have no idea and usually go "Oh, no, they're just being friendly and silly." Of course, friendly and silly resemble flirting an awful lot, so it's hella confusing.

 

The internet is not helpful in these matters, because literally all of it references lust of some sort. And if I pick up on any sort of sexual feelings/intentions, I get outta there, fast. Is asexual flirting different? I'm pretty sure my flirting consists of teasing, joking around, smiling and laughing a lot, and taking literally any excuse to touch them (I seem to aim for the shoulders, because they're socially acceptable to touch if you know them well and aren't sexualized at all).

 

Do you flirt at all? Have you figured out what flirting looks like? Because if you have, I'm all ears!

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argar

I know a friend once said I was flirting which, when I looked back at the conversation, I could see why it would be considered flirting.

 

I just tend to be curious about people and am usually not shy in asking questions to confirm my suspicions.

 

I think a saw a video once that said if a woman takes opportunities to playfully touch, or touch you in general, she is flirting.

 

Not a hard and fast rule, but at least it is a kind of clue for me.

 

 

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StomachGod

This is a difficult one in that what different people perceive as flirting does not seem to be consistent. Some people think flirting can be as simple as looking at the person you are talking to and smiling... I think it involves a number of factors but you cannot be 100% sure someone is flirting with you unless they make clear their intent.
I don't flirt with people irl... nor online really... but I have occasionally engaged in silly mock flirty talk with online friends. This normally involves cheesy lines and nicknames... but that's about all I can tell you...
Anything further is just as bigger mystery to me =O

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Just Dani

Hell, no. I believe I've mentioned on here somewhere before about not being able to flirt my way out of a wet paper bag...

 

Though now that I think about it, I can recall the odd person make a comment about me supposedly flirting with them. Merely wishful thinking on their part. I don't consider being nice to someone or asking them a question to be flirting, but maybe that's just me... 😑

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divided_sky

Not everything can be distilled down into a specific set of actions, or words, or facial expressions, or whatever. You are approaching this in way too scientific of a manner

 

Yes, not helpful, and I am too unfocused to write anything else at the moment 😛

 

Some things can really only be learned through experience and getting familiar with reading people. I think this is something that you just have to go through and get used to picking up on more subtle cues from the other person

 

 

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banana247

I'm beyond clueless when it comes to this and can't distinguish at all between friendliness and flirting.

 

However, I used to have a friend who have been led to believe was quite flirty, and I had ample opportunity to "observe her in the wild"... so to speak. 😂

 

Anyway, one indication is that she would act different than normal, or act different than she felt. She would be automatically peppy, giggly, and mega engaging and unaffected by distraction. "Moods" didn't seem to apply. She might be grumpy or edgy with me and annoyed with the general public, but she would bounce back for the person of interest. She would also overly share or ask their opinion on things, even if it was very simple or unimportant things. Basically, she would make this person feel very very important, whereas she'd usually be more self absorbed and not that interested in any specific person's opinions or input.

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StomachGod
1 minute ago, Just Dani said:

Hell, no. I believe I've mentioned on here somewhere before about not being able to flirt my way out of a wet paper bag...

 

Though now that I think about it, I can recall the odd person make a comment about me supposedly flirting with them. Merely wishful thinking on their part. I don't consider being nice to someone or asking them a question to be flirting, but maybe that's just me... 😑

This is a big one, people tend to interpret niceness as something else, and never seem to realize it is JUST niceness... It's one of my big irritation points that people apparently can't just be nice...

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GoneForGood

I have been told that some of the things that I do just to be friendly are considered flirting. I can never read if other people are. The one time that I thought a friend was flirting and wanted something more serious I asked her out and she freaked, we are not friends anymore.

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divided_sky
Just now, MakeLoveNotWar said:

I have been told that some of the things that I do just to be friendly are considered flirting. I can never read if other people are. The one time that I thought a friend was flirting and wanted something more serious I asked her out and she freaked, we are not friends anymore.

I would also add to my post - if you aren't intending anything, and someone else insists that you are flirting, that's really on them for not picking up on whatever you are presenting accurately. I don't think it's reasonable to accuse someone of flirting when that person knows that they weren't. If they interpret you just being nice or chatty or whatever as something more than that, well again, that's their problem

 

 

 

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Just Dani
1 minute ago, MakeLoveNotWar said:

I have been told that some of the things that I do just to be friendly are considered flirting. I can never read if other people are. The one time that I thought a friend was flirting and wanted something more serious I asked her out and she freaked, we are not friends anymore.

Aw, I'm sorry to hear about that... 😢

 

I, too, have trouble sometimes telling if someone is flirting or not, which is rather weird, considering how good I am at picking up other cues from people. 😕

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StomachGod
1 minute ago, MakeLoveNotWar said:

I have been told that some of the things that I do just to be friendly are considered flirting. I can never read if other people are. The one time that I thought a friend was flirting and wanted something more serious I asked her out and she freaked, we are not friends anymore.

That is unfortunate =(
Apparently people at high school used to flirt with me but I never noticed (I had to be told). Occasionally people in the online realm have displayed interest, but I must say they are far more obvious by their tendency to suggest we do inappropriate or downright vulgar things... Some people are more subtle than others I guess?

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divided_sky
35 minutes ago, RoseFrozeToHail said:

 Unfortunately, everyone I ask seems to have a different answer

Oh yeah this shouldn't be overlooked, because it's true. Everyone is going to have their own idea about what constitutes flirting, as well as what the intentions behind it are (if there are any)

 

 

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GoneForGood
1 minute ago, StomachGod said:

That is unfortunate =(
Apparently people at high school used to flirt with me but I never noticed (I had to be told). Occasionally people in the online realm have displayed interest, but I must say they are far more obvious by their tendency to suggest we do inappropriate or downright vulgar things... Some people are more subtle than others I guess?

I have never considered vulgar come ons as flirting, I have always hated it when people did it to me (almost universally men). It is NOT a compliment.

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Strifed

I still don't quite understand what flirting is myself, but I had a friend in highschool that said I was a natural flirt and good at it. I never understood what she meant, but I guess I just do it on accident :( Maybe "being nice/friendly" and laughing a lot = flirting (at least that was what I was doing in those situations)...

 

I also don't understand when anyone else is flirting with me unless they are super obvious. I always think everyone wants to just be friends until they get frustrated at me "for not picking up on their cues". I legit will never know if someone likes me unless they say it to my face 💀

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Wholock314

I feel your pain. I’m terrible at telling if someone is flirting with me, and even worse at telling if I’m coming of as flirtatious.

 

I think a lot of it has to do with an individual’s body language, and figuring out of that behavior is just them I’m general or if it’s exclusive to the current person/conversion they’re interacting with. 

 

I know for me (I have touch preferences like a cat, I’ll touch you on my terms but don’t touch me) if I’m comfortable with someone or know they don’t mind I will definitely lean on a persons shoulder as we talk and turn them into a human arm rest, or I’ll throw my arm around someone’s shoulders if a joke was told or I’m showing them something, and if I’m reading/looking over your shoulder my chin WILL be resting on said shoulder, if I’m in a really good (or depressed mood) or it’s a holiday, most people can bet on a goodbye hug. That’s just how I am, not everyone is like that. The problem is, a lot of that behavior can come off as flirtatious even though that is not my intent. 

 

I find it helps me to find mentally switch places with the person I’m talking to and see how my own mind could/would overthink the behavior, this kind of gives me a guideline to follow. I’ll also pretend I’m seriously interested in the person and see how that would change my behavior, but that’s harder without a frame of reference. What works best is to just try to flirt whenever you don’t want to come across as flirty, I’m so bad at flirting deliberately that it works almost every time. 

 

Can’t help you much on if someone is flirting with you though.

 

Sorry for the novel, hope this helps. 

Toodles

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StomachGod
13 minutes ago, MakeLoveNotWar said:

I have never considered vulgar come ons as flirting, I have always hated it when people did it to me (almost universally men). It is NOT a compliment.

I don't think of it as flirting either, but I've noticed those people (usually men as you noted) tend to reply with "I was just flirting a little" (or words to that effect) if you call them out on it...
And I agree, it is not a compliment to make another person feel uncomfortable and/or disturbed....

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PaintedOrchid

Yeah, turns out several years of working in customer service-type jobs has given me a fantastic ability to turn on the charm and charisma in social situations because I've just learned to imitate what makes people respond most positively. And then I realized, about two years too late after doing this all.the.time... it's flirting. I flirt with everyone without meaning to, just because I've learned how to do it without realizing it was tied to sexuality. Whoops. Although I don't do the physical contact type of flirting. I'm very touch-averse with most people unless they're very close friends, and even then it's hesitant.

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Jimmy1016

Honestly, I'm not sure what flirting is either but I've been told I do it too. It's super inconvenient.

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Chihiro

There is no right answer to what is flirting. Its like asking what is romance, and it depends on person-to-person. Yes, asexual people can flirt just like anyone else.

 

IMO, flirting is a skill, usually used to attract attention (romantic or sexual attention). But it can also be viewed as clever banter, and many flirt with each other to just show off their cleverness and may have no intention of attracting the other person romantically/sexually. Its like pole dancing, its main purpose is seduction (according to media). But many practice it because it as a form of art, and they would like to show off their awesome gym skills on pole and have no intention of seducing anybody.

 

So let me break down the various scenarios of flirting.

1) Person A flirts, Person B's interest is caught (By caught I mean they feel sexually/romantically awkward or threatened or challenged or tuned on) 

     B thinks A flirted and they are right

2) Person A is nice, Person B is caught

    B incorrectly assumes A flirted because of how they felt, but they are incorrect. This pretty common, you think you were nice but someone tells you you flirted.

3) Person A flirts, Person B is clueless

    B assumes A was being nice which was again incorrect

 

So, yeah flirting is confusing. It works if you are friends, then you can decipher the intention. If the recipient accuses you of flirting, make your intentions clear. If someone observed you flirting and says something, you don't owe them an explanation.

 

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uhtred

People seem to define flirting differently. 

 

To me flirting is the game of making someone believe you find them attractive - without every explicitly saying that. Its a friendly game, that can make other person feel desired (in a nice way) but not put them in a situation where they feel that they have to respond - but where if they choose to, they have a clear opening.

 

I've seen other people use "flirting" to mean a direct attempt to "get" sex - but that isn't how I like to use the term. 

 

 

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Bio 7
5 hours ago, Just Dani said:

Hell, no. I believe I've mentioned on here somewhere before about not being able to flirt my way out of a wet paper bag...

 

Though now that I think about it, I can recall the odd person make a comment about me supposedly flirting with them. Merely wishful thinking on their part. I don't consider being nice to someone or asking them a question to be flirting, but maybe that's just me... 😑

I don’t think I’ve ever flirted with anyone and I think I would get uncomfortable if someone did, especially if slight touching got involved. That would out an end to the conversation.

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kiaroskuro

I'm about as charming and approachable as a cactus. Totally incapable of flirting, and I wouldn't want to be able to, anyway.

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Dreamsexual

What is flirting?  Dunno.  I don't do it, and don't seem to be able to tell when others do it to me.  Probably a good thing, lol :)

 

edit: actually, I assumed above that someone has flirted with me, but for all I know no one ever has.  In fact,that's probably more likely :)

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Winged Whisperer

I don't think I've ever successfully flirted with anyone, but I have attempted it before. I did it in the most non-obvious and conservative matter though that a lot of people wouldn't consider it as such.

 

I don't think anyone has flirted with me in turn though, at least not as far as I can remember.

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andreas1033

Thankfully its been so long now since females have liked me, i do not really remember. I am 43 now, so thankfully, although i do not think i ever really did flirt with anyone, at least its been a long time, since females have been able too.

 

Its one of the best things about getting older, ie people stopping all that nosense.

 

I am sure most people love it, just glad i never did. Its been so long, since that turning point as being male asexual, fully becomes a solid thing.

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andreas1033
2 hours ago, kiaroskuro said:

I'm about as charming and approachable as a cactus. Totally incapable of flirting, and I wouldn't want to be able to, anyway.

ditto

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ColeHW

I don't flirt but I can easily tell if someone was.

If they do, I walk away, sneeze on them, or change the subject ASAP.

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what the face

Flirting /not for me.

 

Attentive listening and intuitive observations can make a connection at times.

Recognizing simply sharing a place/point in time with another person has 

that joie de vivre to it;  sharing a "moment" feel.

That'd be the closest I get to flirting as 

it has be mistaken by others as desire/lust/intimacy.

 

BTW , I've discarded sarcasm but cling to Ironic humor that

comes across, I believe more often as odd than interesting.

When meeting or getting to know people I will seek out

wit and self reflection in others.

 

Maybe some would view that as flirting?

 

 

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Laplace

I’m extremely dense so I don’t recognize when people are flirting with me in the moment. Even though I have a decided lack of charm (IMO 😅), apparently I can accidentally seem like I’m interested in someone esp. when I decided to help people at school. Generally, I think actions can be potentially be interpreted or mistaken as flirting if they entail a special level of positive attention towards someone. So, normally I’m kinda reserved and serious, so people can get the wrong idea when I’m charitable or talkative all of a sudden. Laughing and smiling excessively can also be considered flirty behavior. Being touchy feely is also definitely gonna be interpreted as being flirty by quite a few people.

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