Here's Exactly How Guys Who Like You Will Flirt With You

by Annie Foskett

Flirting is an art form. As with works of art, flirtations can be visual (the rarely successful lustful wink), auditory (a well-crafted joke), and even performative (a casual strut by a certain desk at work, even though it's not on your way to the bathroom). There's modern flirting — a "you up?" text — and there's more classic flirting, like an actual love letter (emailed, of course).

It's hard to say if that macaroni necklace you made in kindergarten connotes art, and it can be even harder to say if that playful punch in your waist means that a guy wants to court you/bone you/love you. So, how will you know if a guy is flirting with you?

I've received many cute emoji texts punctuated by multiple drunken FaceTimes regularly from a male acquaintance as of late, but because we haven't gotten that beer we discussed, I have no idea if it's flirtation or friendliness. Am I narcissistically reading into things, or could he have a tiny crush on me?

I'm not very good at deciphering signs that someone is interested in me. I've been surprise-bomb asked out by a friend (and a doorman, and a bartender) whom I thought I was just being friendly with. I didn't see the signs. Luckily, there's a Reddit thread to help me out. Here's exactly how guys flirt with you when they like you, according to real dudes.

Don't read into things, because this guy will be explicit.

I like this as a "life policy" a lot, but not all guys are as straightforward in their flirting. If I still revert to middle school tactics like desperately hiding my feelings from the person I like, there must be guys out there who do the same.

This guy will say "I like you."

I guess men really are simpler creatures. Life is short. Why not be to the point?

This guy will use small talk as a feeler.

...but he still ends up being straightforward. Guys will make efforts to talk with you and feel you out during the initial flirtation, then they'll probably ask you out if they are into it.

This guy will make an inside joke with you.

Inside jokes are the best because they are usually excruciatingly embarrassing if put out into the world, but super adorable between you and bae.

This guy says he will just plain speak to you.

You mean like, if you have a boner for me, you're still going to talk to me the same way you talk to your cashier at CVS?

This guy calls BS on the "talk to you like a human" thing.

Simmer down, Reddit. But also, I agree. When I like someone, I treat them more warmly (or at least with more nerves) than I treat the millions of human beings I pass on the New York streets every day.

This guy will pretty much assault you.

Hard pass.

This guy will give you extra special attention, even if he's dating you already.

Very cute. Compliments and sweet kisses are definitely signs that a guy likes you.

This guy will embarrass himself.

See, flirting really is like art. Salvador Dali's art, to be exact. OK, so this dude is being very facetious, but it's kind of hilarious. When I flirt, I often make a fool of myself. If a guy is nervous, he might get totally whacked out and weird around you — though I'm not sure if that counts as "flirting."

The biggest takeaway here is that flirting comes in all different forms. Some guys will tell you they want to lick your booty (assuming that dude's also into catcalling), while others will go out of their way to make sure you are taken care of. The exact style of flirting depends entirely on the guy who is doing the flirting.

If a guy is getting flushed cheeks, making excuses to talk to and hang out with you, and telling cute stories or jokes, then they are probably flirting with you. Flirt right back. (As long as it's not the booty licker.)