Welcome to a brave new world where flirting is shifting ever further into the virtual. You don’t have the advantage of judging your partner in crime’s intent based on their body language or tone of voice. Instead, like something out of an episode of C.S.I, we’re left to analyze and scour text messages for potential signs of flirting.
Flirting is not only a state of being, but can be a way of living. Some people are naturally more flirtatious than others. While most of these signs (especially together) are good omens that their flirting is a way to impress you, there are no guarantees.
1. Emoticons, emoticons everywhere…
The copious usage of emoticons is a classic sign that you may have triggered an encouraging amount of over-excitement.
This doesn’t mean that they’re literally running through their house doing cart-wheels on a sugar-high, but it does mean they care enough to be virtually attentive, positive and energetic around you. Good sign! It means they don’t want to risk coming across as a drag.
Also, and I may be reading into all this wee too much for my own good, but emoticons are manifestations of feelings, rather than cold, hard, functional logic. The reason this is a good sign is that it shows the conversation is not strictly about communicating (getting it done), but is primarily an enjoyable experience.
2. Since when have I been a comedian?
If your conversations make you feel like an over-night stand-up comedian, things are looking rosy.
Thankfully for us, this is one sign that transcends the virtual realm, and is commonly found in material face-to-face flirting. As always, flirting is primarily about conveying a sense of feeling good in each others presence. If your gut tells you they’re having fun — they probably are!
3. Excessive punctuation
Similar to emoticons, excessive use of punctuation and letters is another way of displaying attention and good will. Despite my love of language, flirting can and will turn a polite “Hi” into a giddy:
This isn’t the best sign in the world due to how much language is influenced by age and culture. But I would personally hedge that if you are on the tail-end of gross, purposeful literary infractions, you’re heading down the right track.
To be a little more certain whether it’s you, or their brain, that is provoking these infractions, try to notice how they interact with others. If there is a big difference you’ve probably hit jackpot.
4. They share the initiation burden
If you are constantly the first to initiate a conversation things aren’t looking so hot — sorry. Understandably, shyness can mean that they may feel threatened by initiating a flirt, but things should open up after you have initiated a few times.
5. Chatting with an essayist
Texting or messaging (alright, typing in general) is never quite as easy as talking in person. If they are taking the time to answer questions in a comprehensive way, rather than tersely and to the point, the flirt and interest is on.
Ideally, for interest to be palpably high, their ruminations and thoughts also tend to end open-endedly inciting you for a response. Drawing you and your opinions into the discussion is a great sign of interest. At the very least you are certain that they respect your input. In a flirting scenario, however, it is mostly way of prolonging the experience.
If your conversations frequently have difficulty ending (saying goodnight at least ten times) I would argue that things seem to be panning out.
6. The danger zone
Flirting at its core is a way to penetrate each others social barrier. To take a peek inside and break the formal facade. Because of this, a great session of flirting will usually have a spicy feel to it. As if you were dancing on the edge of a cliff — unsure whether you are likely to offend or not.
If pressing the enter key makes you a little excited, you’re doing it right. And more importantly, you’re both doing it right. There is no better way to have fun while also genuinely learning about the person on the other end of the keyboard. It takes two to tango, if they are playing the game back at you, you’re undoubtedly on to something.
7. Contact escalates
Time isn’t only money. It is also the most precious existential commodity we have. If your conversations become more frequent, or you escalate from a virtual setting to a tangible one (go ahead and get that coffee), interest is beginning to increase.
Yes, flirting can be just a one-off pastime because it is innately fun. But nobody invests a significant amount of time into anything that are not enjoying. If interest was not present, they would not spend hours texting back and keeping in touch. It really is that simple.
If your virtual stand-off is in limbo, there’s only one surefire way to be sure that they are interested, and that is by escalating contact. If you are already texting back and forth for hours, it’s time to up the ante and ask them for a face to face. You won’t regret it!
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