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What Counts As Flirting?

Shanelle Huynh, Staff Writer

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Flirting is defined as “a social behavior involving verbal or written communication, as well as body language, by one person to another, either to suggest interest in a deeper relationship with the other person, or if done playfully, for amusement.” But the specifics seem to be different for everyone. Many people have been confused over whether or not someone is being flirty or just friendly. After interviewing a few students, it seems that girls and guys have some different views on flirting.

Identifying flirting in certain circumstances can be hard. For Christina Duncanson (12), flirting is more of a feeling that cannot be strictly described. Duncanson said, “Flirting is anything that is not obviously just friendly like little smirks or teasing someone. People who are always constantly tapping each other or hugging, are probably flirting. Whenever I see two people laughing together all the time or a guy trying to make a girl smile, I think they probably like each other.'”

Generally, giving someone a lot of attention is usually seen as flirting. Similar to Duncanson, Ashley Neckel (12) pointed out plenty of small actions that could count as flirting. After thinking about it, Neckel said, “Winking, checking someone out, touching someone, and laughing really loudly are all flirting. Even giving vague answers to their questions is flirting because it lets their mind wander.”

However, one person’s view of an action as flirting could be the opposite of someone else’s view. Rocco Novello (12) said, “Flirting is an interaction between two people that hints of a deeper, romantic interest, but sometimes your own mindset might interpret certain things as flirting when they weren’t intended to be. There is a very fine line between friendship and romance, but that line can also be moved or influenced by your own thoughts and feelings toward that person.”

Sometimes it is just too hard to tell if someone is flirting with you without them telling you up front. Focusing on a different aspect of flirting, Dominic Santilla (12) said, “The important part of flirting is the intent behind it. If someone is flirting, they have the intent to establish some kind of romantic connection with the person they are flirting with. For example, someone who is always eager to see and talk to you specifically, they could be flirting, but it’s never a 100% certain.”

While girls focus on the actions themselves like excessive laughing or teasing, boys seem to focus more on the meaning behind the actions. When girls encounter someone they like doing a thing that they have already classified as flirting, they assume it is flirting. On the other hand, boys’ views on what is flirting changes with each situation. If they have an intent to establish a romantic connection with someone, they show that and then look for an intent back instead of a specific action. Both of these things are imperative to establishing a romantic connection because without action, the other person will never know and without intent, things will never get serious. This clear differentiation could be the root of the confusion over what is flirting and what isn’t. Next time you’re questioning whether or not someone is flirting with you, consider both their actions and intent before guessing too quickly.

 

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What Counts As Flirting?