Morgan Mandriota is a contributing writer for The GentleManual, Buzzfeed, and Betches.
The digital age has drastically changed the way we communicate with one another, especially when it comes to relationships. We don’t write love letters anymore–we slide into each other’s DMs. We don’t ask if someone is free to grab lunch–we creep on her (or his) Snapchat story to see what she’s up to. We don’t give verbal compliments when someone looks good–we drop heart eye or fire emojis in the comments section of her Instagram photos.
What does any of this mean?
When asking someone out on a date is considered too straightforward nowadays, but we want to let our crushes know they’re on our radar, how are we supposed to drop hints? Is there a rulebook to follow? Yup. Scroll down, Friend.
Here’s your ultimate guide to flirting on social media:
Ways to Subtly Flirt on Social Media
Yes, there are certain things you can do to let her know that you’re feeling it without being over-the-top. Here are a few easy, small ways to flirt on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat:
Like her content
A simple, and perhaps THE simplest, way to let someone know you’re into her is to like her new Instagram post or react to her Facebook status. Although liking random status updates can be glossed over, if you “like” or “love” the selfie she just posted, that’s a much clearer sign that you’re attracted to her.
In fact, you may even be bold: like an older photo just to show you’ve been on her profile. But beware of over-liking photos or “deep liking” someone’s post from more than a year ago–that’s a big thumbs down, and we’ll get that below.
Watch her stories
People post videos from everywhere now, on Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and YouTube. Watching her stories is a way to get to know her better. Does she watch yours too? If so, consider responding to one of hers. Strike up a conversation or inquire about the really cool place she just shared.
Tag her in videos and memes
This is how relationships start nowadays. First, you get tagged in a funny meme, then you tag her in a meme the next day, then you keep sending memes back and forth until you fall in love and get married. It’s that simple. When you see a photo that relates to an inside joke you two share, a life quote, or anything you know she is or might be into*, tag her in the comments or send it to her by DM.
*Pro (lurking) tip: not that we’re condoning this… but did you know you can see what someone else likes in your feed? On Instagram just go to your heart notifications center and choose the “following” tab. You can see what posts your friends engage with and learn what content interests them.
Which leads us to…
Slide into the DMs *NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART*
DMing (or direct messaging) should not be taken lightly. You can’t just slide into someone’s DMs without reason. It’s strategic. It’s calculated. It must be in reply to something that person posted, or it can be an important question about something that’s relevant to both of you. Whatever message you decide to send, make sure it’s smooth, calm, and not creepy, and hopefully you’ll get a DM back.
Is She Into You Too? Signs Your Flirting is Working
You’ve followed the steps we just listed. Good job. Now you’re probably wondering if or when your crush is going to start flirting back, or maybe even when you’re getting Coachella tickets together. Cool your jets. Here are a couple of signs that your flirting is well received and she might actually be into you too:
Your crush is listed at the top of your Instagram story viewers
Did you know that the order of people who watched your Instagram story is NOT random or in chronological order? Nope. A theory that started on Reddit suggests that after the first 50 viewers, Instagram’s algorithm goes to work and begins organizing viewers from top to bottom by who views and interacts with your profile the most… which means you can literally see who creeps on your profile the hardest (or so we hope).
She engages with your content
Your crush likes and comments on your posts, just like you like and comment on hers. She also replies to your Snapchat and Instagram stories. That’s a good sign. If she didn’t care, she wouldn’t be taking the time to watch them or write you.
She also tags you in memes and videos
She reciprocates the meme and video tagging. This is a big deal for two reasons: she is making the effort to let you know she’s thinking of you, and she isn’t concerned about who sees the public tag.
But What’s the Difference Between “Flirting” & Creeping?
So there’s a fine line between flirting and creeping. Do not — we repeat DO NOT — fall into the creep territory, because once you cross that line, there’s literally no going back… ever.
Don’t like all her new posts as soon as she shares them
You’re creeping if any time she shares a status update or posts a picture, you immediately like or comment on it.
Regardless of whether you’re actually waiting for her to post, or whether you turned on post notifications for her, being too quick to engage with her content can send a red flag. If you’re guilty of doing this, “A” for effort but please stop.
Don’t like posts from way too far back
We’ve all accidentally liked a photo from 7 years ago while creeping on someone’s Instagram. We get it. It’s not normal for this to regularly happen though since most people don’t want others to know they’re creeping. Don’t be a blatant creeper even if you don’t care who knows it. Stick to the green zone: anything above two scrolls from the top of her profile. And if she posts frequently, definitely don’t like photos from a year ago, or worse: 2014.
Don’t keep sending messages when you’re left on “read”
You sent a photo on Snapchat and your crush didn’t send one back. You sent her a DM and she didn’t respond. Don’t keep sending messages and photos. Drop it for now, give it some time, and let her reach out to you next.
Don’t immediately reply every single time she writes to you
You slid into her DMs and she responded — great! Even if you were staring at your phone waiting for her reply, be careful not to open and write back right away… every time… all the time. Whether you ever put your phone down or not, constantly replying within a minute could signal that she should run.
How To Take It Offline, Into IRL
If you’re one of the lucky ones and all goes well with your crush, you’ll eventually go Facebook official or get tagged in a picture with a cute mushy caption on the Gram. But before that happens, it’s important to take note of all of these cues and analyze what they mean.
If you truly think this person is receiving your flirting, and she’s interested in continuing to talk on a deeper level, take a leap of faith and ask for her number or ask her out for a drink. Just don’t take too big of a leap of faith–make sure you’re not asking her prematurely or unfoundedly. If she continually shows interest, flirts back, or even hints toward hanging out with you, go for it!
Now go “like” your crush’s most recent photo (if it was posted within the past two days)!
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