What do you mean you need help with this? Flirting with a girl over text is way easy, so long as you understand that there is a fine line between the words we use and what we actually mean, which tends to be the polar opposite, UNLESS, of course, we’re being flat-out direct. Come on, dude!
If you haven’t mastered this by now, that’s totally on you. But don’t worry -- we’re not here to blow up your spot. Just read this handy guide ASAP and you’ll be well on your way to understanding what the hell we’re trying to say to you.
What it really means: That wasn’t even a little bit funny and this is about to get borderline awkward. How you should respond: Call out the awkwardness. Nothing gets genuine laughter like acknowledging an awkward situation.
She says: Hahaha!
What it really means: Congratulations, you’re hilarious! How you should respond: Leave it be! She’ll be thinking about your charming one-liner all day. No need to be overzealous.
She says: U up?
What it really means: I’m horny and would like to exchange pics, but I have no use for you during regular daylight hours. How you should respond: Send some pics!! But don’t be out ring shopping anytime soon.
She says: xx
What it really means: She’s British and is not actually sending you a kiss (or a hug, or whichever the “x” is). For some reason, this is how all Brits end text messages. How you should respond: An “x” or an equally ambiguous emoticon should suffice.
What it really means: I’m making a serious suggestion, but just in case you don’t agree I’m going to add a "lol" to make it sound like I was totes joking. How you should respond: “Great idea! Let’s do it!”
She says: It’s fine.
What it really means: It’s not fine. How you should respond: Ask her what’s wrong and get her to tell you the problem because anything else that you say will make you seem dumb/insensitive. Then make it better.
She says: It’s tooootally fine.
What it really means: It’s totally fine. How you should respond: Not even necessary.
She says: Ugh, this creep totally hit on me at the gym.
What it really means: I am desirable and you better recognize this immediately and treasure me. How you should respond: “Well, obviously. You’re gorgeous.” Obviously she’s looking for validation so you should just give it to her. How would you feel if nobody liked your gym selfies on Instagram? We all need a little validation.
What it really means: I love you, but I’m not saying it first. How you should respond: Do you love her? If so, please don’t text that. Please say it in person. If you don’t love her, this may be time to reevaluate the situation.
She says: Anything referencing another dude
What it really means: “I sense you have a slight crush on me and this is my way of friend-zoning you without having to have that wildly uncomfortable conversation.” How you should respond: It’s best to just accept you’ve been friend-zoned and say something supportive. Anything skewing toward flirty or bitter will make this infinitely more uncomfortable for everyone.
She says: Last night was fun!
What it really means: If you didn’t hook up, she’s saying, “You will see me naked if you ask me out again right now.” If you did hook up, she’s saying, “I would like to be naked with you again.” How you should respond: Ask her out, dumbass.
She says: Text me later
What it really means: She’s either busy but wants to continue the conversation later, or can sense that maybe you’re trying to edge out of the conversation and wants to see if you’ll pick it up again at a later point. How you should respond: If you’d like to keep seeing her, text her later.
What it really means: I’m going out with my friends and you should come meet up when we have a few drinks in us so we can FINALLY hook up. How you should respond: Something that says you also have loose plans with friends but will be out and about so there’s the definite possibility of meeting up.
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Meagan Drillinger is a freelancer for Thrillist and lived among females for years trying to learn their code. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @drillinjourneys.