Dear Ty

Dear Di,

How do you know if a guy’s flirting? Picture this: You’re in a club, but in a big group, and you and the guy are sitting close together. You don’t know if it’s because of space constraints or because he wants to be. You’re yelling because you can’t hear, so you get closer together, and then you have a really long conversation about nothing. I’ve known this guy from work for a long time, but except for that one time at the bar, there hasn’t been a spark. I think I want something more, but I don’t want to pursue him if he’s not interested…

—New At This

Dear NAT,

Ah, flirting. A waltz of words mixed with meaningful looks. But how do you know when the looks are actually substantive and the words mean he wants more? Your question has confounded more than one young soul in the dating world.

I wish I could give you a clear, definitive answer: If he tilted his head to the left and blinked three times in a row, chances are exactly 97.6 per cent that he was flirting. Unfortunately, that’s not how the real world works. There are some tells, however, that should clue you into how your crush feeling. Physical contact is a big one. Did he make any excuses to touch you? A shoulder brush here or a little footsies there indicate interest.

You didn’t talk about nothing; you probably talked about a lot of things. Did the conversation turn at any point to your dating lives? Even if it seems platonic or it has a teasing tone, a chat that includes your love life shows your guy is interested in finding out more on some level.

I am a huge advocate of going for it. Regardless of whether or not this dude was flirting, if you were interested, why not make a move? The worst thing that can happen is that he’ll say no, and work will be awkward for a week or two. If that occurs, no big loss, since there wasn’t much of a spark anyway, right? On the other hand, if things go well, you might have just ignited yourself a smoking fire! Ask to get together again—but this time don’t go in a big group. See how things go one-on-one, make sure your flirting signals are a little bit more obvious, and enjoy!