It can be hard sometimes to tell whether someone is flirting with you or just being nice, right? I mean, if you’re like me you default to assuming everyone is being nice, but I’m sure maybe I’ve missed out on some fun dates that way.


If you’re always left wondering, too, here are 17 people’s takes on how you can tell the difference.

17. That remains true.

As my dear old dad used to say: “Women who work for tips are NOT flirting with you”

16. This is a person I’d like to be friends with, yeah?

There’s no good answer to that question – a million different people may give a million different signals/hints/signs that they are or are not interested in you romantically.

What I’ve found works for me and what I think is the kindest, least awkward way – both towards yourself and the other person – is to:

Have some sort of consistently positive relationship/repeated interaction with them first, and then:
In a light-hearted and friendly way and without implying any kind of emotional pressure, just ask if they’d like to go on a date with you. Use the word ‘date’.
If they say yes – congrats, they’re into you at least enough to give it a shot and see where it goes!

If they say ‘no’, for the love of all that is holy, don’t take it as a personal insult – it probably isn’t – keep it light-hearted and take the refusal with grace. They aren’t into you, and throwing a tantrum over it or trying to pressure them further isn’t going to help them be into you what so ever.

15. Just say no to restaurant flirting.

As my mom said to dad: Stop flirting with the waitress, you’re scaring her.

14. I mean that’s how it works for me.

Usually the realization comes 10 years later when you are trying to fall asleep.

13. You’ll have to be a keen observer!

By how they look at you or act around you vs other people.

12. Wouldn’t that be a funny change of pace!

Depends on where you live. Here in England, being anything other than cold and aloof is seen as basically throwing yourself at someone.

11. I think leaving her out will be even more awkward?

I was once called into HR for allegedly flirting with an employee (not part of my own team). Her proof? I was always friendly, offered her milk to go with her coffee, and worst of all once at an after work, I bought a round of drinks for everyone (her included).

The head of HR was a bit puzzled about the whole situation, and asked her what would she then suggest we do to resolve the situation, and she requested that I would stop being friendly to her – and just leave her be.

This poor woman just could not accept that I was being friendly.

10. There’s only one way to know for sure…

Do they ever initiate the “friendliness?”

Responding to someone else’s kindness is a lot different than initiating it. But even still the only sure way to know is to ask

9. Okay but that wasn’t the question?

One time I was lost in my school and went to ask a girl for directions.

She immediately responded with “I am taken” like it was a sitcom or something.

I eventually found the room.

8. There’s always gotta be one.

If you get an arranged marriage it’s a 50/50

7. The story of the milk pail girl.

Once a few years ago I did some work backstage on a theatre production of Oliver! Part of my job was to keep the props organised and make sure everything was quiet backstage during the show. Throughout the rehearsals, I started noticing that one girl carrying metal milk pails over her shoulders would clang the chains agains the pales and make a racket, so I started helping her carry them to her position on the side of the stage. As it was the middle of the show, I never even spoke a word to her the whole time I worked there.

About a year later I met someone who was in the show through a friend at the pub. She said every one of the actors was convinced I had a crush on milk pail girl! Honestly the thought hadn’t even crossed my mind, I had made no attempt to even communicate with her, just literally helping her move her loud prop from the table to her position. Astounding.

6. He’s got it down to a science.

Assuming the person is single or triflin’. You ask to see that person again in a different context and the negotiation for available time and date is quick and mutually complete, no “just friends” overtone about it.

Thursday at 8? Not available. Not into you.

Thursday at 8? Not available but what about Friday at 9?


Look for physicality, proximity, and eye contact when totally unnecessary. Jealousy or defeat (it’s subtle) when interacting with someone else of the interested person’s gender.

Caveat all this with me being terrible about noticing it. My wife points this out to me when we’re in public. Once I see it it’s obvious but until then it’s a mystery to me

5. Go for the fast and easy answer every time.

Flirting’s basically a dumb game of chicken with gradual escalation​

or just ask if they have an SO, usually pretty obvious

4. Or everyone is about to get lucky I guess.

If they act the exact same way with other people, you’re out of luck.

3. That question is the worst don’t do it.

Usually how it goes.

“Hey Xyz do you have a girlfriend?” “Uh, no.” “Why not?”

Well if I fuckin knew that I would fix it and get one.

2. Or in the lunchroom during fourth period.

Someone tells you years later.

1. Because everyone is different.

You don’t. One persons “just being friendly” is another’s “Take me to a hotel and fuck me right now”.

I never would have considered some of these!

What are your tips and tricks for telling the difference? If you’ve got any good ones leave them in the comments!