These 15 Subtle Signs Of Flirting May Come As Surprise To You

Love and Romance | | , Writer
Updated On: June 28, 2022
apologizing to an ex years later

Flirting is the starting point of any potential romance in our lives. Flirting is a harmless way to show your romantic interest in the other person and if your gestures are returned, you understand that the feelings are mutual. While some flirting signs are clear as day, others can be a little confusing.

If you or your romantic partner tend to engage in evident flirting, there should be no confusion at all. However, if the one making a move on you likes the flirting signs to be subtle, you can feel confused about the hints that can often seem like mixed signals.

In the present virtual era, it’s even more baffling to decode social media flirting signs because you probably haven’t met this person before. You are not aware of their way of talking and other gestures. So, how do you figure out if they are dropping hints or are just being friendly? We’re here to help clear things up with these 15 subtle signs of flirting that may come as a surprise to you.

15 Subtle Signs Of Flirting – Don’t Be Surprised

Decoding the complex flirting signs can be torturous, especially if you tend to overthink everything. Don’t worry, we have your back. From that look you exchange in the corridors to the tricky texts that they seem to send so often, all of us tend to flirt at our own pace. When the flirting is subtle and on the down-low, it is difficult to understand what they want from you.

Let me tell you about a relevant incident that happened to my brother recently. James is usually quite oblivious of his surrounding, always lost in his books. A girl in our neighborhood had a little crush on him and she tried almost all examples of subtle flirting from baking cookies to copying notes for him. Even we could pick up on her flirting cues but James being James had no idea about her intentions. At last, seeing no hope, I had to play Cupid with them and settle things down.

It is important to be on the same wavelength as the other person to understand their flirting signs. The more you know about them, the easier it is to understand what their gestures mean. Although these 15 subtle signs of flirting may come as a surprise to you, we are sure all of us have gone through at least some of the discreet flirting hints without even realizing what they meant. So let’s dig in and decode.

Related Reading: Flirting With Your Eyes: 11 Moves That Almost Always Work

1. The two of you have prolonged eye contact

Some of the top flirting signs from a man include prolonged eye contact while you see each other at the workplace, in classrooms, corridors, etc. The act of looking someone directly in the eye is often said to be bold and intimate. If someone has the confidence to hold your stare for a minimum of ten seconds, they’re hinting at their interest in you! Still not sure if he is interested or just being friendly? Read on to find out.

For some, looking into the eyes of the one they love is a task too tough. They would look at anything and anyone to avoid eye contact with the person they like. However, if someone is shy with their words but bold in actions, they’re often seen to use these eye contact flirting signs to show their interest.

Lara, who works at a nine-to-five job, said, “When Peter and I were not together, we would often lock eyes across the room and neither of us would look away. That was our way to convey our feelings initially.” So, as we are trying to decrypt subtle signs a guy is flirting with you, eye-contact attraction definitely tops our list.

2. Their behavior changes around you

One of the most noticeable flirting signs from a man or a woman could be the change in their behavior when you are around them. These changes could be significant or hardly evident, but they say a lot about their interest in you.

Do you often find them quiet as a part of a group but when you come around they’re suddenly much more lively? The opposite is very much probable too. You will probably find them become more chivalrous and gentle when they are trying to court you. This typically happens in the case of men. Women are often more high-pitched around the ones they like.

Despite their attempts to draw your attention, you may catch them fumbling for words while talking to you. In a nervous impulse, they might blab utter nonsense. You may or may not consider this a sign of low-key flirting, but it’s pretty evident that they have a sweet spot for you in their heart. If you’re looking for more flirting signs from a man or a woman, keep an observant eye around them. Notice the small changes and if their interest is real, the body language could give away a lot.

Related Reading: 21 Signs That A Man Is Pursuing You

3. Look for flirting signs in a text

Texting is a tricky place to show your interest in a person. But if you are trying to keep it subtle and slow, it could be a great medium. The flirting signs in a text could sometimes be confusing and vague but we are here to help you out!

The duration and time of text messages are the first indicators of their romantic interest in you. Do you often receive their texts at odd hours? How long do you text each other for? These could be subtle flirting signs. More evident signs could be the use of certain emojis such as the heart emoji, the kiss emoji, or even the heart-eyed one, which are not typically used in a platonic relationship. They might ask you a lot of questions or send really long responses to something you ask them and the conversation seems to be organic and natural.

You could also find them hinting at hanging out in the near future. Just know, it’s a clear flirting cue when you receive a romantic song or a love poem from them. They will leave no stones unturned to become your confidant, to show you that they are a constant support system flooding you with inspiring words of affirmation whenever you feel blue. So, the next time you’re texting with your potential one, look out for these flirting signs in a text.

4. Those gentle touches could mean a lot more

Touching someone to comfort them is a common expression of affection for many. However, these gentle, comforting, and lingering touches could mean a lot more and could be among the obvious flirting signs. It is the very first stage of growing intimacy between the two of you, of course, if the feeling is mutual.

Don’t get us wrong, these touches should be absolutely consensual. The one showing their interest must be completely aware of how comfortable and accepting the other person is of physical touch. Having said that, notice their gesture the next time they touch you. A comforting touch that lasts for more than a few seconds has to mean more than just a friendly gesture.

Suppose you have topped in a subject and can’t hold back your excitement. Here they come and give you a very gentle hug saying, “Congratulations!” Now, if their intentions are pure and you too have a weakness toward this person, this hug would seem like the most natural, beautiful event in the world. In case you missed it, these are flirting touch signals in bold.

flirting touch signals
Those loving touches sure feel great

5. They pay compliments or tease you a lot

Amanda said, “Nathan often teased me about a lot of things when we started developing feelings for each other, but he would do it in a fun and warm way. These things are tricky and you must be careful to not hurt the other person when you’re teasing them. If it just upsets them, it cannot be counted as a flirting sign.”

Well said, Amanda. While teasing someone is a flirting sign, it mustn’t be overdone. One must be careful to not offend someone by saying hurtful things that can affect your relationship before it even develops properly. You can safely indulge in such harmless banter when the other person is in a jovial and light mood. Teasing someone when they’re low could earn you the ‘insensitive’ tag.

Likewise, a lot of people figure out that someone has feelings for them when that person starts paying them compliments over the little things. This makes you realize that the other person is observant of everything in your life and has an active interest in you. When somebody tells you, “You have beautiful fingers, just like an artist’s”, what is it if not an example of subtle flirting?

Related Reading: How To Know If A Girl Likes You But Is Hiding It – 35 Low-Key Signs

6. A noticeable change in their body language when they see you

Thankfully, not all flirting signs are complicated. Let’s talk about the ones that are the easiest to read. Do you often find them touching or fixing their hair around you? A lot of people tend to get conscious about their looks as soon as ‘the’ person walks into the room. They suddenly start to fidget and make an attempt to look sharper.

The signs could be subtler though – for example, a gesture as small as raising an eyebrow to look at someone as they walk in. Hardly evident, these signs can be easily missed. So if you want to notice flirting signs from a potential love interest, you have to be attentive to their body language.

7. Your lame jokes are the funniest thing they’ve heard

Appeasing someone’s ego or affirming everything they do is also a flirting sign for many. There’s an attempt to boost the morale of the one they’re interested in by validating every little thing they do. Admit it, even you wouldn’t laugh at your own jokes sometimes. Are they still laughing though? Every joke seems to crack them up and they always back you up no matter what.

Nervous or excessively high-pitched laughter too could indicate their interest in you. The real question is, are you ready to laugh at their poor jokes too? Even if they are not around, you can catch some social media flirting signs as they send a little too many ROFL emojis on Messenger.

Related Reading: 21 Flirting Signs From A Woman You Never Knew About

8. They twirl their hair as you talk 

If they twirl their hair around their finger as you talk to them, they’re flirting with you! This is one of those good old tricks and the most evident flirting signs of all time. Do you often notice them trying to fix their hair or tuck it behind their ear? More so, if it’s a breezy day. All those dramatic wind-blown hair gestures won’t keep their discreet flirting attempts a secret any longer.

Dating as an introvert could include a lot of fidgeting and nervous movements. These are some of the nervous/purposeful flirting signs to make their interest in you evident. Lisa said, “There was something about Georgina. You don’t even realize these things as such but I remember my nervous ticks around her. I would constantly try to tuck my hair or involuntarily twirl it. These things made it obvious I was into her way before I wanted her to know.”

9. They never want to leave when you’re hanging out

When you’re in the company of someone you like, would you want to cut the meeting short? Of course not. Constant efforts to extend the meetings without an evident reason is a definitive sign of flirting. If it’s way past their curfew and they still don’t want you to leave, something is definitely cooking.

Let’s look for the subtle signs a guy is flirting with you. Does he delicately hold your hand and refuse to let go as you try to leave? Does he make silly excuses? It’s those puppy eyes, isn’t it? Well, they’ve made their interest in you abundantly clear. Now, would you gently excuse yourself or would you stay?

In fact, I have seen women go to the same lengths just to spend some more time with their crush. Last weekend, at a party, my friend Nina offered to pay for Sam’s Uber fare because they would have missed the last train if they stayed any longer with her. It was Sam’s bad luck that they didn’t get such a clear flirting cue!

examples of subtle flirting

10. They try to get you away from the crowd

If they’re constantly trying to get you alone, maybe work isn’t the only thing they want to discuss. They intentionally create an atmosphere or a situation where you can spare them a few minutes with no one else in sight. When and if you’re at a social gathering and someone tries to pull you away, it means that they’re trying to grab your attention. 

Bars and other hang-out spots are usually where people tend to mingle the most. Did you meet someone who has got you confused? Their flirting might be as simple as “Let’s grab a bite” or as advanced as “That dress looks great on you”. Do make sure you know how to respond when he compliments. Also, make sure that the person you’re getting away with is trustworthy.

11. They lick or bite their lips

Biting or licking one’s lips is one of the easiest tells even when someone is trying to hide how they feel about you. People who have a romantic interest in someone often bite their lips around them. Such body language signs of attraction stand clear as signs of low-key flirting, although this one, to be specific, is not a big secret anymore.

Amelia says, “What other reason do we generally have to bite our lips in the presence of a particular someone? You cannot assume their interest in you if this has only happened once, but if they usually look at you while they’re at it, it’s a safe bet to make.” 

Related Reading: 13 Encouraging Early Signs Of A Good Relationship

12. Calling your name more often than others

It has been seen as the most confusing yet evident flirting sign when someone repeatedly likes to call your name. You might also have funny/cute nicknames for each other because they’re too shy to say your name. Are you wondering what’s sexy or flirtatious about calling someone’s name? You’d be surprised.

This can be counted as one of the shy guys’ flirting signs as they’re apprehensive and a little hesitant. They’re probably always waiting for you to make the first move. Calling someone by their name is intimate in a lot of cultures wherein only your partner is allowed to do so. While this has become redundant, calling the name of the one you love is still pleasantly overwhelming. If they call your name far too many times, you know what to think of it now. 

13. They’re awkward around you

Another noticeable trait is the awkwardness that one experiences in the presence of another. Do they look around or tend to be clumsy when you’re around them? It is quite popularly known how people embarrass themselves in front of their crushes. In an attempt to impress, the awkwardness leaves everyone laughing. If you’re asking us, it’s pretty cute!

Anthony told us, “When you’re talking about confident young men who know exactly how to get the girl, you don’t include the awkward glances and the hours spent in front of the mirror trying to get a “Hello” right. Awkwardness is more of the shy guys’ flirting signs.” In the same way, we have seen introverted women giving themselves a hard time breaking the ice with their crush, and having a proper conversation for once.

14. They come by your desk/cubicle a lot

Workplace romances can be treacherous and scary because dating a coworker comes with its own extensive rulebook of dos and don’ts. Naturally, many people like to keep things on the down-low. Yet, certain flirting signs do emerge, albeit inadvertently.

Amongst the most noticeable workplace flirting signs, coming by someone’s cubicle or desk often is number one. You would see them lingering around your area at the workplace and notice their eyes on you. Workplace flirting signs are generally very evident and straight. If someone tries to go beyond their professional need to interact with you, they’re definitely hinting at something.

In fact, you might notice a bit of flirting touch signals when they are handing you over a file and intentionally touching your fingers in a very subtle way. Perhaps they look for a chance to put an arm around your shoulder as you are showing them something on your computer. As long as it’s not making anyone uncomfortable, a little bit of harmless flirting can be a good way to beat the stress at work. But again, consent comes before anything else!

Related Reading: Online Flirting – With These 21 Tips You Will Never Go Wrong!

15. They like and comment on all your posts

It’s not always easy to flirt with someone face to face, and sometimes people are too shy to show their affection. Beginners often need help with flirting tips to notch up their game. Social media proves to be an easier alternative for people to flirt away in such situations.

Introverts and shy people often take to social media flirting signs to make their interests known to you. They’d like and comment on all your posts before anyone else. They tend to reply to your stories or start conversations based on something off the internet. If any of this has been happening to you recently, look closer. Maybe they’re trying to send across a message (and we’re not talking about that DM!)

These were some of the top flirting examples that one might overlook or misunderstand in their daily lives. While flirting is tough to decode, these flirting examples should help make them a little bit clearer. Whether it is a well-settled relationship or passionate new love, a little bit of flirting is good for all. It’s time to go out there and show the ones flirting with you that you’ve got game too!


1. What is flirtatious behavior?

Flirtatious behavior is when someone tries to hint at their romantic/sexual interest in you via physical or verbal gestures. They tend to be different around and with you than anyone else and these flirting signs are proof of that.

2. Is flirting a sign of attraction?

While most flirting signs indicate attraction toward the one they’re flirting with, sometimes flirting can just be casual and without any strings attached. Normally, flirting is done to convey attraction but it is always best to talk it out with the person before jumping to conclusions.

3. How do I know if he is flirting or just being nice?

Flirting is tricky and difficult to figure out. Some people have flirtatious personalities and they tend to charm everyone. Have you got yourself someone who is a natural flirt? Well, then there is no definite answer to the question. But if this person exhibits more than at least five-six flirting signs mentioned above, you might want to take a closer look because this could be something real.

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