10 Signs She’s Flirting

Not sure whether to make a move? Get clued in to the signals she’s sending with this guy’s guide to flirting.

By Bob Strauss

here are two types of guys in the world: those who think anything a woman does (scratching her nose, asking for the time, bending down to adjust her pumps) is an invitation to an immediate come-on, and those who can catch a casually tossed keycard in a crowded hotel bar and think to themselves, “Golly, she must have mistaken me for a bellboy. I’ll just leave this with the bartender and he’ll give it back to her when she’s sober.”

If you’re the second type, read the list below immediately, lest that gal who’s desperately been
Watch for a blouse that isn’t as closed up as it might usually be.
trying to engage your interest move on to someone a bit less obtuse.

1. A smile.
This is the simplest flirt there is, and the hardest to misinterpret. If a woman smiles at you from across the room, this means that she wants you to talk to her. Really. (Though once this happened to me, and as I approached the lady in question she said, “Oh, I’m sorry! I thought you were someone else.”)

2. The hair twirl.
Just about every person I interviewed mentioned that the girly, unselfconscious habit of playing with her hair means that a woman is open to your advances. So if you say hello and she’s wrapping her locks around her finger, well, all signals say: Keep chatting.

3. An unbuttoned button.
Watch for a blouse that isn’t as closed up as it might usually be, says image consultant Dianne M. Daniels. “No, she won’t be stripping off her clothes in front of you, but if she doesn’t immediately rewrap that scarf so you don’t see her cleavage, it could be a sign that she’s interested.”

4. A cry for help.
“If a woman asks you for assistance in any way, such as, ‘Excuse me, could you help me figure out the tip on this bar tab? I’ve never had to pay one before,’ she’s flirting with you by indulging your psychological need to feel like a hero,” says Py Kim Conant, author of Sex Secrets of an American Geisha.

5. A well-placed double entendre.
Says Debbie Mandel, author of Turn on Your Love Light, “When a woman is flirting, she’ll invest the conversation with subtle double meanings, and
Be subtle about glancing under the table.
most everything she says will have an erotic undercurrent, even unremarkable phrases like ‘I really like your tie.’”

6. Happy feet.
“Consciously, a woman may play hard to get by twisting her upper body away, but her feet show where her interest really is,” says TV personality Dr. Diana Kirschner. “A clueless guy should ask her some friendly questions, then watch carefully to see if she starts opening up nonverbally by pointing her toes in your direction.” (Note for beginners: Be subtle about glancing under the table.)

7. Fidgeting.
This one cuts both ways, but the experts concur: If a gal constantly tosses her hair, twists her pinky ring or snaps her hairband, this counts as flirtatious behavior if and only if (and these are big “ifs” and “onlys”) she maintains uninterrupted eye contact. If she keeps glancing away, she may very well be repulsed by you and wants to get away as soon as possible.

8. Proximity.
“If a woman stays inside a ‘safe distance,’ then she’s probably interested in you, especially if she’s not the touchy-feely type,” Daniels says (of course, this advice doesn’t necessarily apply if you’re talking in a crowded, noisy club). “Also, watch for any lingering touches where she doesn’t immediately remove her hand.”

9. Lively banter.
For many women, flirting is a non-button-popping, non-toe-pointing no-brainer: They merely listen to what you have to say and interject meaningful, encouraging comments. If she’s not interested, she’ll yawn during your yarn about parachuting behind enemy lines during Gulf War I. If she is interested, she’ll expostulate endlessly about how fascinating the shoe business can be.

10. Lack of inhibition.
I’m as cloddish as the next guy, but I still fondly remember the time I met a gal at a cocktail party and, within five minutes, we were talking about how old we were when we lost our virginity. (Alas, she already had a boyfriend, but I still cling desperately to the belief that it was a genuine flirt maneuver.)

Bob Strauss is a freelance writer and children’s book author who lives in New York City. He’s also written the Dinosaur guide on, the online information network owned by the New York Times.
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