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We’ve all been there before – you think someone’s flirting with you, so you make a move and get shot down.
Turns out they were just being friendly!
How did you read the signs so wrong?
Well, it’s much easier than you’d think, which is why we’ve put together this handy guide so you can tell the difference between flirting and just being friendly.
1. They make it clear they’re single.
Reverse the situation – if you’re trying to get someone to realize you’re into them, what would you do?
Well, you might start by making it clear that you’re single.
If they’ve mentioned that they’re single, however subtly they’ve dropped it into the conversation, they want you to know – for a reason.
This is their way of letting you know what their boundaries (or lack of) are – they want you to know so that you then interpret their actions as flirting and not just being friendly.
Someone being friendly won’t feel the need to reveal their relationship status, or they may even mention their partner in passing.
2. They’re getting deep with you.
As you hang out more, you might notice that they start to ask more personal questions, share more insightful thoughts, and ask your opinion on more topics that matter to them.
This is their way of gauging how much you might fit into their lifestyle, as well as them letting you know that they’re interested.
Sure, you might have deep chats with a close friend, but if this person is going out of their way to show that they care and are interested in you and your thoughts, there’s a pretty strong chance they’re flirting with you!
Someone being friendly is more likely to stick to small talk or casual topics of conversation that don’t get too personal.
3. They make a lot of eye contact.
Eye contact is a great way to let someone know you’re interested in them, so if the person you’re thinking about goes out of their way to give you lots of eye contact, they probably fancy you.
A lot of people make eye contact, but if you notice that they’re making an effort to hold your gaze, you can be pretty sure they’re flirting with you and not just being friendly.
Someone being friendly is unlikely to hold your gaze for a long time. It’s natural, instead, for their eyes to wander around the room or out of a window before flicking back to you.
4. Their body language gives it away.
There’s a reason why so many people study body language! The way we sit, what we do with our arms, and how we angle our bodies are all telltale signs that reveal how we really feel about the person we’re interacting with.
If you’re with a close friend or family member, both of you will be exhibiting quite chilled body language.
If the person you think might fancy you seems to be behaving differently around you than around your friends, there’s a reason.
You may notice that they angle their body toward you, they might point both feet in your direction (this means they’re really paying attention to you and want to get closer!), or they might be moving around, playing with their hair and trying to get your attention.
If they’re being quite tactile with themselves, licking their lips or batting their eyelashes, for example, they’re definitely flirting with you!
Equally, if they start doing what you’re doing and copying your actions (this is called ‘mirroring’), they’re into you.
Someone being friendly will sit or stand much like a friend would – relaxed posture, leaning back, with no excessive touching of their face or hair.
5. They give you lots of attention.
Do you feel like they give you more attention than most of your friends would?
If they’re flirting with you, you’ll most likely have their full attention. They’ll be so intrigued by what you’re saying and so focused on flirting that they won’t be on their phone, checking out other people, or glazing over halfway through your conversation!
Instead, they’ll be fully focused on you – and only you.
Someone being friendly will engage multiple people if you’re in a group setting or let their mind wander away from the conversation.
6. They’re chasing you.
Do you feel like you’re being seduced or pursued? If you’re comfortable with it, this can be such a lovely feeling! If you like them back, it’s really nice to be flirted with in this way.
Maybe they make the effort to see you, send regular messages, or find excuses to bump into you.
If they’re going out of their way to spend time with you and chat to you, there’s a pretty high chance they fancy you and are flirting with you.
Someone being friendly isn’t going to seek you out for additional contact; they’ll just see you when they see you.
7. They act differently around you than others.
How do they behave around other people? This is one of the best ways to tell how someone really feels about you!
We’ve all hung out one-on-one with someone and felt really special and admired, only to see them with their friends and realize they’re like that with everyone! It’s not the best feeling, but it does help you know where you stand.
Equally, you might realize that they open up to you way more than they do with other people, or that they’re only touchy-feely with you.
Notice how they behave with other people compared to you and you’ll quickly find out what their true feelings are.
Someone being friendly treats everyone in the same way.
8. They shower you with compliments.
Of course, friends and family compliment us, so this alone isn’t a clear sign that someone fancies you and is trying to flirt with you.
But, you’ll realize pretty soon if someone is flirting with you by how they compliment you.
Maybe they go out of their way to make you feel good, or surprise you with a lovely comment on your outfit.
They might repeatedly mention things they like about you in a cheeky way, maybe telling you how pretty your eyes are, or how good your bum is!
If they’re making comments that your friends probably wouldn’t, you can be fairly sure they’re flirting with you and trying to let you know that they’re interested in being more than just friends.
Someone being friendly may drop a compliment now and again, but it won’t be a regular thing and it probably won’t be in a suggestive way (unless they’re like that with everyone).
9. They’re very tactile with you.
Similar to body language, how touchy-feely someone is around you is a clear indicator of their feelings toward you.
Of course, you probably touch your friends during conversation, so a light pat on the arm doesn’t necessarily mean true love! A lingering pat, however, could be a suggestion that there’s something more going on.
Look out for thigh touches, knee bumps – and even a little bit of footsie under the table.
If they’re finding excuses to touch you, maybe maintaining touch for longer than normal and ‘accidentally’ brushing against you often, they definitely fancy you!
They want to be close to you and will find any excuse to do so, like moving a hair off your face, playing with your jewelry, or resting their hand on your knee for a few minutes.
Someone being friendly is unlikely to single you out for additional physical touch, though they might be tactile with everyone including you.
10. They’re all about the follow-through.
Flirting doesn’t tend to just be a one-off incident! It’s normally something a bit more ongoing, which is why the follow-through is a good sign to look out for.
If the person you’re thinking about makes an effort to check in with you regularly and follows up a date with a text, they like you.
They’re trying to flirt and let you know that they’re interested. Anyone can go on a date, but people only really send a message afterwards or suggest another date if they fancy you.
If they’re making an effort to speak to you, chase you up with alternative suggestions if either of you cancelled a date, or refer back to times you’ve spent together, they’re flirting!
Someone being friendly may well keep in touch with you, but the nature of those follow-ups is more likely to be brief and surface level.
11. They tease you a lot.
Some light teasing or banter can also be a sign of flirting. This is their way of gently joking with you and letting you know they care about you.
If it’s done in a very ‘pally’ way, it might just be that they see you as a friend (if they make fun of your appearance, for example). But if they’re making cute jokes and kidding around with you a lot, they’re probably trying to flirt.
It can be really tricky to tell if someone’s just playing around with you, so, if you notice someone is teasing you a lot, it’s worth looking for other signs (like the ones on this list) to see what their true feelings are.
Someone being friendly isn’t likely to tease you in a playful way that suggests attraction.
12. They find excuses to talk to you.
Maybe they find reasons to spend time with you, or always seem to need your help specifically.
If they keep coming to you for things they could easily get from someone else, they’re trying to flirt.
This might be them asking for help moving house, even though their parents live nearby and will have offered, or asking for your recommendations for a good place to go in town, despite Google being on hand to help out.
If they seek out your advice or assistance when they don’t need to, they’re flirting with you and not just being friendly, trust us.
Someone being friendly won’t single you out for special attention or ask for your specific help (unless they know you’re the best person to ask for that particular thing).
Still not sure whether they are flirting or just being friendly? Chat online to a relationship expert from Relationship Hero who can help you figure things out. Simply click here to chat.
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