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The Single’s Guide to Flirt on Instagram & How Couples End Up Cheating

Instagram is a wonderful way to reach out to new people, but Instagram flirting is great too! Learn how to flirt on Instagram and look for dating success. 

signs of instagram flirting

Instagram may have been built with photo sharing in mind, but it’s a hotbed of flirting opportunities too. Do you know how to tell the signs of Instagram flirting? And, do you know how to flirt on Instagram yourself?

Instagram isn’t about sharing thoughts, ideas, and rants about your day, that’s Facebook’s deal. Instagram is far more about ‘look at my outfit’ or ‘look at my new hair.’ Basically, it’s about ‘look at me.’ We all love to show off from time to time, and Instagram makes it easy. [Read: What is flirting? The science behind this common act]

Understanding social media and flirting

Correct us if we’re wrong, but a photo-sharing site is largely either for marketing or for flirtation. If you’re using it innocently enough, perhaps sharing pictures of your dinner or your latest outfit, you’re probably going to attract a few admirers. Some of those will probably be more about flirtation than general admiration.

Maybe that’s a good thing!

Either way, it’s a beneficial idea to know about the signs of Instagram flirting, so you can either steer clear of your new admirer or perhaps get your flirt on! There are many couples who met on social media and decided to take it offline a little while later. Perhaps you’re about to do the same too! When you learn how to flirt on Instagram, you can be aware of what’s going on around you, and you can flirt it up a little too! [Read: 5 different types of flirting and how to pick one that works for you]

How to flirt on Instagram, and the key signs someone’s flirting with you

We should point out that noticing one or two of these signs may not be a full-blown flirtation. It could simply be that someone likes what you’re posting. On the other hand, if you’re noticing several on a regular basis, you’ve got an admirer! Learn these tactics to figure out how to get your flirt on thanks to the reach of social media.

1. Sliding into DMs

There is no need to message someone who you don’t want to connect with. It’s that simple. You probably have many friends on your social media accounts who you never interact with away from likes and odd comments. You don’t have conversations with them via DMs.

If someone is sliding into your DMs then the likelihood is that they’re attempting to kickstart a conversation and get things going from there. The first message may not be flirtatious, but you might be able to spot an undertone of cheekiness if you look hard enough! This is one of the first things to master when learning how to flirt on Instagram.

Put simply, by talking to someone on a private messaging platform, you’re keeping it private and between just the two of you. That’s got to say something! [Read: 15 obvious signs of flirting between a guy and a girl]

2. Regular private messages

Not only do they slide into your DMs once, but they keep on sliding! If you’re noticing regular messages with new conversation topics coming your way, they’re trying to get your attention and build up a rapport.

A regular conversation ends at some point. There are often no messages for a while after. That’s what happens between friends. On the other hand, if you’re noticing that someone is constantly coming up with new topics to talk to you about, there’s a good chance they’re flirting and trying to keep your attention on them. It’s also likely that they’re always the ones starting the conversation. [Read: Easy tips to text flirt with someone you like] 

3. Serial liking

Serial liking is another of the tactics you need to use when learning how to flirt on Instagram. It’s normal to click ‘like’ on a post randomly, it’s a sign you simply appreciate the content. If you notice that the same person is liking mostly everything you post, especially posts that are a little sexy *i.e. you in a swimming outfit, you dressed up for a night out*, there’s a good chance that ‘like’ is a sign of flirtation. That’s a strategy you need to use.

It can however get a little annoying/borderline freaky when you get a notification of a ‘like’ and you already know who it’s going to be. Simply because they like literally everything. Annoying, not particularly enjoyable. Know the balance! [Read: Social media addiction – The 16 alarming symptoms and how to break out]

4. Suggestive emojis and comments

Winking face emojis are a definite flirtation in our book. If that winking face is accompanied by a suggestive comment, either one word or a full-on sentence, they’re not doing it simply for fun!

For instance, you post a picture of yourself before you head out to meet your friends. You get a “looking good” complete with a winking face. That’s flirtation. That’s someone saying “hey good looking” not “oh you look nice.”

Can you see the difference? Emojis are the addition you need to be on the lookout for and something to use when learning how to flirt on Instagram. They add a sense of playfulness, which is what flirtation is all about. [Read: 16 harmless emojis that make any conversation sound naughty]

5. Selective posting

Assuming you follow them back, you might start to notice strategic or selective posting. They might start going to a place you’ve been to a lot and posting about it. They add quotes that seem targeted towards you. This is a way of waving their arms around in cyberspace in an attempt to get your attention.

A good way to spot this is when you’ve posted something, and then see if they post something very similar shortly afterward. It’s like a game of chess!

6. Comments are often questions

We mentioned flirtatious comments with emojis. If you notice that most comments they post are actually questions, they’re doing this so that you have to reply to them. They then ask something else, and then something else. This is a public way of having those DM conversations we mentioned earlier.

It’s a way of creating a chat that builds up a rapport. You may then find that the comments start to air towards the flirtatious because they feel more comfortable doing so. Learning how to flirt on Instagram is about asking questions to keep things going too. [Read: How to flirt over text and intrigue someone with just your words]

7. Meet up suggestions

If someone asks you to meet up away from social media, there’s a very good reason for them doing so! It’s basically the shy way of asking someone out. You can hide behind your phone, tablet, or laptop, and if they say ‘no,’ you don’t have to make your excuses and run away. You simply go offline instead! If you’re a shy type, this is a great way for you to get your flirt on!

If someone asks if you want to meet up for a coffee, go see a movie, or they suggest a drink the next time you’re both at that cool bar you’ve both been posting about, that’s one of the clearest signs of Instagram flirting. It’s a clear attempt to take things to another level. [Read: Friendly vs flirty – 12 subtle hints to see the right signs]

8. Notice the time of day

If you’re regularly noticing messages and comments late at night, that’s a virtual world booty call right there! Online flirtation is no different than ‘in person’ flirtation. We simply become a little braver when we don’t have to face someone head-on.

For sure, maybe they can’t check their phone at work because of rules and they only get the chance to catch up on their social media activities at night. But it’s unlikely, as most of us are on our phones on a regular basis throughout the day! When learning to flirt on Instagram, you can use the time of day you comment or message to your advantage if you want them to be sure where your mind is headed. [Read: How to ask someone if they like you without embarrassing yourself]

9. Sending a prompt if they don’t reply

If you get a message or this person comments on one of your posts and you don’t reply for a while, you might get a prompt. This could be a question mark, comment, or another message. It’s basically a cyberspace wave to get your attention again.

A person who isn’t trying to flirt with you wouldn’t be too bothered if you didn’t reply to a message quickly or for a few days even. A person who is flirting would be a little anxious about the non-reply. If you’re going to do this, know that less is more. Once is probably acceptable, twice is desperation. [Read: Are you in a parasocial relationship? Is it healthy?]

Social media’s role in a relationship

If you think social media like Instagram doesn’t play a huge role in your relationship, you’re naïve. There are so many social media accounts specifically made for the purpose of showing what a “real” relationship looks

So not only do you have access to what your significant other is “liking” online, but you have the pressure of those expectations. You also want to show the world that your relationship is “perfect” by posting flattering pictures of you as a couple. The truth is, social media makes you feel like your relationship isn’t good enough.

There’s also the fact that Instagram flirting is very easy and can, in some cases, lead to the death of a relationship. [Read: Why social media is slowly killing your relationship ]

How Instagram flirting is secretly ruining your relationship

Now you know how to flirt on Instagram, you need to proceed with caution. If you’re single, go ahead and flirt up a storm. But, if you’re in a relationship or the person you’re flirting with is, know that it’s terrible for relationships. You flirt on Instagram. It’s just the reality of how social media works. Even if you’re in a relationship, you still probably send those DMs, comments, and likes to a certain hottie. We all do it.

But do you realize how much Instagram flirting is ruining your relationship without you knowing? Here are the different ways it’s harmful when you’re in a relationship. After all, it’s important to know the whole story.

1. Instagram flirting makes your partner insecure

Insecurity is a huge reason many relationships fail. One person doesn’t feel great about themselves for some reason and a ton of issues arise.

Instagram flirting is definitely a way to make someone feel insecure. They know that you’re out there flirting with a random person and it – for obvious reasons – makes them feel crappy. [Read: 12 things you do that make your partner insecure in a relationship]

2. Like it or not, you’re not being completely faithful

Firstly, we’re firm believers in other people not being able to tempt you to stray if you’re truly happy. However, if you’re engaging with others online and Instagram flirting, you’re not being faithful. And for obvious reasons, that can ruin your relationship.

3. It causes arguments

Nobody likes to fight. That being said, if you’re always flirting with people other than your partner on Instagram, it’ll cause arguments. You’re betraying your partner. No matter which way you look at it, that’s what you’re doing. And it’ll make them mad. [Read: Online flirting – Are you cheating without realizing it?]

4. Instagram flirting causes jealousy

Having a jealous partner is horrible for a lot of reasons. Mainly because it means they don’t trust you. If you’re Instagram flirting, it means you’re giving someone else attention. And that will cause jealousy and jealousy often leads to much bigger issues. [Read: How to deal with jealousy in a relationship]

5. You ignore your significant other more

When you pull up Instagram and are flirting with other people, it can be easy to get caught up in it. But that also means you’re ignoring your partner a lot.

This can cause a lot of problems with intimacy and the health of your relationship in general. If those issues don’t get resolved, it can ruin the relationship big time.

6. It makes you think your partner isn’t good enough

This is just the biggest issue. When you’re Instagram flirting and hearing how other people may treat you if you were actually with them, it makes you doubt your partner. You see them as less than great. You start seeing them in an unappealing light. And that’s just not healthy.

7. Your partner can see your interactions

When you’re on Instagram, you can see what photos the people you’re following like and comment on. This means your partner can see what you do on Instagram to a certain degree. This may cause them to get suspicious and even check your messages and comments. They will certainly get upset if that happens. [Read: Snooping in relationships – What it’s all about]

8. You compare your relationship to the ones online

Instagram is full of other couples. It’s even full of single people who want to have a relationship that emulates that of the couples on Instagram.

This makes you see your relationship as inadequate. And if you’re Instagram flirting, you’re probably engaging with people who also want those types of relationships. It can make you judge your relationship far too harshly.

9. You start thinking about being with someone else

This is harmful for so many reasons. Firstly, if you truly care about your significant other, Instagram flirting can make you start picturing yourself with that other person and not them. It can take your attention away from your current relationship and basically make you think you can do better.

But if you avoid flirting online, you’d never have those thoughts because you’d be able to better appreciate your true relationship. Those thoughts can definitely ruin your otherwise happy relationship. [Read: 14 valid reasons to end your relationship]

10. You stop seeking the “thrill” of flirting with your partner

Most of the fun in a relationship is flirting and building that intimate connection. When you get that online, you’ll stop seeking it in your partner. That thrill will be lost and they’ll feel distant. This definitely hurts your relationship.

How to stop Instagram flirting

If you want to save your relationship, you need to stop doing everything that’s harming it – including Instagram flirting. Here’s how to stop this destructive behavior. [Read: Is flirting cheating when you’re in a relationship?]

1. Spend less time on Instagram

Obviously, you need to get off Instagram. Spend more time in real life. The app is great for documenting fun and exciting moments in your life, but don’t forget to actually live in those moments.

2. Don’t engage with others who are flirting with you

There are always those creeps online who try to flirt with you. Don’t pay them any attention. You’re in a committed relationship. Act like it. If you actually want to flirt with other people, then you may need to reevaluate your current relationship. [Read: How to stop someone from flirting and hitting on you]

3. Appreciate the things your partner does offline

You don’t need to document every little thing your significant other does for you. If you start feeling like other couples have it better based on the photos they post, take a step back and appreciate the things your partner does for you every single day.

Something as small as a loving good morning kiss will never be posted online. So appreciate those little things and you’ll be much happier and won’t feel the need for Instagram flirting.

You now know how to flirt on Instagram, the signs that someone is flirting with you, and you know why it can also be dangerous. If you’re in a relationship, avoid Instagram flirting at all costs. But, if you’re single, go on right ahead!

[Read: 15 real relationship goals most couples have no idea about]

These signs of Instagram flirting can easily be mistaken for admiration or friendship. When you’re noticing several of these signs, flirtation is likely to be on the cards. What will you do about it? 

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Nicky Curtis
Nicky Curtis
Having stumbled from one relationship drama to another throughout her 20s, Nicky is now somewhat of a guru in the crazy world of life and love. Telling it how i...
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