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Auntie SparkNotes: Interflirting 101

Auntie SparkNotes: Interflirting 101

Hello Auntie,
I have read your guide to flirting and found it very informative and useful. However, it only works in situations where you see your crush in person. I was wondering how one goes about flirting through texting and facebook? I suppose I know the basic idea, but I can't seem to figure out how to do it in a more subtle way. For example, I do not want to send messages such as "Hey hottie! <3" That's way too obvious, and would probably scare guys off.

First, Sparkler, here's the bad news: if you're attempting to flirt via Facebook with someone you don't know and have never met, then the simple act of initiating contact sends a powerful message...

...And unfortunately, that message is not, "Let's have a strictly-platonic friendship based on our mutual interest in socks."

Because really, people just don't strike up Facebook conversations with total strangers unless it's for flirty purposes. (And even if you're part of the <0.0001% of the population who actually likes to make just-friends out of Facebook randoms, the other person will nevertheless assume that your intentions are flirty.) So basically, forget about subtlety; the cat's out of the bag as soon as you say hello.

But honestly, I hope that this isn't what you're asking about. Because relationships that live exclusively online are difficult, time-sucking, and generally result in little-to-no real-world payoff at all. Or, in other words: a crush who you've never met and have no hopes of ever seeing—or snogging—in person? Where's the fun in that?

So instead, I'm just going to assume that you simply want to add Facebook/texting/chatting to your flirting arsenal, for the purpose of continuing your contact with a crush you actually know in some other context than "random internetter." (And if that's not the case, then all I can suggest is that you think really, really hard about the wisdom of wasting your time and energy on flirting with a dude who lives in your computer—especially when there are probably at least a few far more flirtworthy flesh-and-blood gents in your immediate vicinity.)

That said, though, when it comes to flirting online, there's really just one rule: keep it light, via such internet-friendly activities as...

- poking wars
- trading YouTube links or playlists
- uploading a picture of a stapler, a three-toed sloth, or Paul Blart: Mall Cop, and then tagging him in it
- leaving Adventure Time gifs, cat videos, Sherlock macros, and other amusing ephemera on his wall
- emailing him funny/interesting links
- making witty comments on his photos
- texting him with a promise to "show some skin," and then following it up with a picture of your elbow
- ...and so on.

Basically, online flirting should be just like IRL flirting: playful, fun, lighthearted, and not so gooey or explicit that it makes other people want to vom. And, just as with real-life flirting, one of you will eventually have to make the jump from teasing and innuendo to saying, "Soooo, do you... y,'know, like anyone?"

Meanwhile, what online flirting shouldn't be—at least until you know each other well—is super-heavy, super-serious, or super-sexy. Not because it's wrong to be sexy and serious on the internet (although it is, as always, a catastrophically bad idea to take and/or send photos of your Naughty Parts! especially if they also show your face!!!), but because if you push it too far too fast, your next offline meeting is going to be a giant pile of Awkward. The internet's combination of anonymity and intimacy makes it incredibly easy to have deep conversations, to talk dirty, and to confess your undying love—all of which is great when it's 3am and you're typing to a username, but which also creates a truly bizarro disconnect when the actual flesh-and-blood person is standing in front of you and you realize how little you actually know him. And once that gap is opened, it's really hard to bridge.

The poking wars, though, are ON.
Have fun!

How do you flirt online? Tell us in the comments! And to get advice from Auntie, email her at

Related posts: How to Flirt

Topics: Advice
Tags: facebook, auntie sparknotes, texting, flirting, how to flirt

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About the Author

Kat Rosenfield is a writer, illustrator, advice columnist, YA author, and enthusiastic licker of that plastic liner that comes inside a box of Cheez-Its. She loves zombies and cats. She hates zombie cats. Follow her on Twitter or Tumblr @katrosenfield.

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