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Are They Interested? What the Men of Reddit Can Teach Us about Flirting

flirting at bar

Think you’re the only one who gets awkward when trying to flirt with the opposite sex? Think again. In a recent Reddit thread titled, “son on a…was she flirting with me?” men shared hilarious, cringe-worthy anecdotes of instances where they totally bungled the flirting process. Frankly, it’s comforting to read because it shows that we all struggle – not only when it comes to flirting, but also when it comes to identifying when someone is flirting with us.

The good news is there’s actually a lot we can learn from the awkward antics of the men of Reddit. Do you freeze up whenever you think someone might be flirting with you? Are you perpetually struggling to find the right thing to say? Here’s a few important things to keep in mind:

  1. Reddit user Aldairion shares:

“So I was on an adult beginner hip-hop dance crew when I lived in Houston – nice little weekend activity that kept me in shape and got me in touch with cool people to hang out with. Got to chatting with the girl who was cutting my hair one time and talked about the team, and she seemed really interested – started asking when they offered classes, which ones I went to, etc. She even asked for my number so I could give her more info. My response? “Here, let me actually give you my instructor’s information – she’d be able to tell you way more about it.” I still cringe when I think about that, but at the same time it’s nice to learn why I’m single.”

What we can learn from this:

While on the surface, this whole interaction might seem like one big dating #fail, this guy is actually doing a few things right. Want to seem interesting to the opposite sex? Do interesting things with your life and don’t be afraid to share them with other people. Whether it’s joining a dance crew and striking up a conversation with the person who’s doing your hair or making a point to always converse with the staff at the pet store when you go to pick up food for your iguana, living an interesting life is the most straightforward way to make yourself more interesting to other people.

However, if someone does express interest, you need to seize the opportunity. Instead of passing on the info of your dance instructor or iguana groomer, use this as an opportunity to keep the conversation going (“Well, if you’re interested, here’s my number in case you have any questions about the dance group/iguana business.”)

  1. Reddit user ymmv_ shares:

“I’m walking through a club and a girl stops me to chat.

Girl: “Hi, you’re beautiful.”

Me: “Uh, I am?”

Her friend: “You are a beautiful man.”

Me “Um, thanks.”

Awkward small talk for a few minutes before I leave to go the bar

Me, a week later: “That girl might have been into me…”

What we can learn from this:

Sometimes there’s nothing to “decode” when it comes to flirting. If someone tells you that they think you’re attractive and interesting, run with it. It probably means they think you’re actually attractive and interesting (duh). The groundwork is already laid out for you and the next move is yours. (“Wow, thank you. You’re gorgeous. Can I get you a drink?”)

  1. Reddit user Goatsonice shares:

“I used to go to a community college. One day in my last class, in the afternoon there was a bomb threat on a bus near the college. Some lunatic said he had a bomb in his wheelchair so the entire city freaked out, and of course the college went on super lock down. Armed security barricaded the doors, the whole 9 yards, students are sobbing, really tense. Anyway, there was this girl in the class who sat behind me who I kinda thought may have liked me but wasn’t sure, so I did nothing. She use[d] to laugh when the teacher (who I was pals with) would rib on me. Like “look how red Goatsonice’s cheeks are today!” and the girl would bust out laughing. Anyway, I digress, the threat is finally called off, my dad had to come get me, and he was a long way away at work, so I had to wait. So I just sat in the classroom, and slowly students trickled out, the traffic in the parking lot was a nightmare because it had been like 4 hours and then everyone left at once. Finally it was just me and this girl in the room, I thought “why is she staying?”, she had a car, the parking lot was now empty, she waited with me for like 2 hours after everyone had left just talking to me. The one thing that kept me from going for it was she was pretty damn Catholic, and she really liked that I was born/raised Catholic, oh well. She might have been into me idk.”

What we can learn from this:

Dude. If anyone waits with you through a bomb threat when they could be at home binge-watching the latest season of Stranger Things, it’s because they like you. This is more than just your typical good Samaritan behavior. With that said, just because someone has done something kind for you doesn’t mean you should jump their bones right then and there. There are other ways to show your interest. Even if you know someone is really religious, test the waters by inviting them to do something g-rated (“I really appreciate you waiting with me. Maybe I could treat you to pizza later?”) Worst-case scenario, you’ll end up with a friend for life — one who doesn’t mind keeping you company during a potential terrorist threat.

  1. Reddit user hephaestus shares:

“About a year ago these doctors I used to live with were in the area for a conference. We hung out in a hotel lobby, played a few songs, some of their colleagues and former students joined us for dinner. One of the women liked my singing and we talked a bit. After the dinner everyone besides her and I went back to their hotels, she asked if I wanted to get a drink. We wandered the city, found a bar across the river, talked for awhile and she paid the tab. We left the place, she opens the uber app, we say goodbye and she kisses me. I’m taken aback, but she says it’s just a goodbye kiss or something along those lines. Then her “phone dies” (I see her press the power button), she asks if I can get her a ride. I comply, and as it shows up she kisses me again, tells me I’m beautiful, and the uber driver waits for a few prolonged moments with me outside before taking her to her hotel, never to be seen again. Later I’m headed home in an uber, tell my driver about the ordeal, and she says I’m an idiot. In my defense I did suspect something the first time she kissed me, but I was just so confused by the whole situation.”

What we can learn from this:

If a woman kisses you first and tells you she thinks you’re beautiful, she’s into you. End of discussion.

  1. Reddit user Delha shares:

“So Rob has had a bad week at work. He’s burned out and just wants to unwind. So he calls up some friends who agree to meet up and grab some ramen, with the minor caveat that he needs to help his parents set up some tech stuff afterwards. They head on over to the usual spot, and he has a beer alongside his food. Mind you, Rob was (and is) a featherweight, so by the time he’s halfway through the beer, he’s feeling no pain. A few girls show up and sit at the bar next to him, and are talking over what to get. One of them wonders out loud if the spicy miso is any good, and being just a legit nice guy, he jumps in with “Oh, it’s great! Here, you can try some of mine, just grab from the side I haven’t touched so you don’t have to worry about cooties.” Her two friends are immediately ready to nope out, but the girl who was interested in the spicy miso isn’t quite scared off, and starts up a conversation.

It turns out that she’s here for reasons similar to him. She has just quit her job that she hated, and is out with her friends to celebrate that, but is now second guessing herself. Rob, still happily plastered, launches into full encouragement mode, along the lines of “No way, you’re doing the right thing! You’re young and the possibilities are endless! You’ve got to live life to the fullest and enjoy yourself!” By the time he’s done with his impassioned speech, all three are being solidly entertained by his antics. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and so the checks show up before long, and both parties settle up. As everyone is heading out to the parking lot, the first girl stops and asks “So Rob, what are you doing tonight?”

Without missing a beat, he replies “I’m going to Fry’s to buy a wireless router!”

What we can learn from this:

Rob did so many things right. He was friendly with strangers. He was gracious. He even took a risk (offering some ramen) that strangely, paid off. What he missed was that the woman was giving him clear clues that she was actually interested: she asked him what he was doing later. Women are used to being approached by men and often witty banter as described above can just be friendly. However, if we’re willing to let our guard down and put ourselves out there (ask what you’re doing later or for your phone number) it usually means that we’re interested in more than just friendship.

At the end of the day, I think what we can take away from these flirtatious interactions gone awry is this:  if you’re talking to someone that you’re potentially interested in, pay attention. If a woman is interested in you she will show some level of vulnerability on her part, either by making physical contact first, giving you her time or by letting you know that they’re interested in continuing the conversation further (ie. getting your contact info). All you need to do is keep your eyes, ears and mind open.




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