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Flirting Fundamentals

Did that person flirt with me?  Are they interested or just being nice?

Flirting can mean lots of things and it can happen in different ways. When someone flirts it might mean that they like you or that they are just being friendly.

No matter how it happens, flirting can be fun and a simple, positive way to connect with someone.

What is flirting?

  • Flirting is a way of communicating that shows your interest in someone.

What kinds of flirting are there?

Here are just a few ways of flirting:

  • Smiling or winking at someone.
  • Laughing or giggling with someone in a good way.
  • Teasing someone in a lighthearted way.
  • Moving closer to someone or leaning in to talk with them.
  • Listening intently (e.g. nodding, looking into someone’s eyes, etc.)
  • Using sexy/suggestive/romantic language.

How can I tell if someone is flirting with me?

  • That’s not always easy. Just because someone smiles at you doesn’t mean they’re interested in you.
  • If they are interested, they will probably try a few different ways of flirting.
  • If you are not sure, but are interested in the person, try flirting back and see where it leads.

How do I flirt?

Flirt in a way that is comfortable for you. Here are some tips that may help:

Be yourself.

Let the person know who you are from the start. Talk about your interested and what you like. If they don’t like you for who you are, you’ll know right away (and should let them go).


Smiling at someone is one of the best and safest ways to show you are interested them. If they smile back, that’s a good sign. If they don’t, maybe give it a rest.

Make eye contact.

Making eye contact can help you express interest in someone. However, remember that you shouldn’t stare too long or ogle at someone!


Having a casual chat is a good way to tell if someone is interested in you.

Be aware.

Some people avoid eye contact or may not be comfortable with flirting.

Think of their comfort.

Check in on how they’re doing, or if you can help them feel more at ease. Let them know they can say “no” if that’s how they’re feeling.

Don’t expect too much.

Flirting doesn’t always lead to anything.

Don’t sweat it.

If the person isn’t interested or isn’t respectful, try to let it go and not spend any more time on it.

What should I avoid when flirting?

  • Cheesy pick-up lines or tips from the internet.
  • Pouting or sulking if you don’t get their attention.
  • Making fun of the person.
  • Making fun of yourself or putting yourself down.
  • Touching someone without asking.

Are there any unwritten rules about flirting?

Know when to back off.

As if flirting wasn’t hard enough, knowing when to back off is also tricky!  If the person you are flirting with doesn’t seem to be enjoying it or doesn’t flirt back, this may be a sign to stop flirting. Keep an eye out for body language (smiles, eye contact), or tone (laughing, etc.).

Be careful with physical touch.

Some people don’t like being touched by someone they don’t know very well. It is important to ask before touching someone.

Choose the right time and place.

If you are in the middle of a crowded movie theatre or in front of someone’s parents, it may not be the best time to flirt.

If you have questions about this topic, feel free to contact one of our peer educators. [Link]