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Flirting With Disaster? 10 simple rules for Instagram flirting

Posted by on in Social Media
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Valentine’s Day was so simple before the age of social media. If you had a crush, all you had to do to make your feelings known was give him or her a chalky candy heart or a cheap foil valentine. But in the age of Instagram, flirtation has evolved into a more delicate art. Thanks to a bevy of dating apps and social media platforms, your crush’s phone is constantly being inundated with push notifications from potential suitors, which makes it impossible for you to stand out from the fray.

So how do you get bae’s attention then? You need to make a strong social media play. It requires a delicate balance of subtlety and shamelessness. Luckily for you, we got notable experts to deliver the ultimate guide to Instagram flirtation. Follow these simple steps and you’ll find yourself #taken in no time.

1) Keep your selfies fresh

If Catfish (the TV show) has taught us anything, it’s that carefully curating your digital image is key to luring your beloved. Compose a siren song of snapshots that highlight your best features, and then filter the hell out of them. Since it’s likely that your crush will be clicking through from her Activity page to see who this mysterious liker is, make sure that your profile photo is as enticing in thumbnail as it is full-size.

Remember, there’s no shame in deleting a selfie if it doesn’t get the likes you were hoping for. You want to send a message that you are sought-after and highly desirable, so avoid tagging your photo with self-deprecating, unfunny hashtags. No one wants to date someone that refers to themselves as an #instagay or#singlelife.

2) Thirst responsibly

There’s nothing more thirsty than liking a bunch of your crush’s photos in succession. While that kind of desperation might be helpful when you’re at a bar waiting for closing time to see what drunken mess you can drag home to bed, it is not going to help you get laid on Instagram. On social media, you have to “thirst responsibly”.

3) Only like recent photos

Whether you’ve just followed someone or you’ve been lurking in his photos for quite some time, resist the urge to broadcast your presence by liking the first photos he posts to Instagram. Yes, it’s important to familiarize yourself with your future soulmate’s back catalog of pictures, but it’s imperative that your finger not slip while you’re scrolling, or risk looking too desperate. (See rule No. 2.)

When it comes to checking out your crush’s photo anthology, consider the rule of “look, but don’t touch.” If you like a photo that’s more than six months old, you might as well be announcing, “I drank a bottle of wine and spent my entire Saturday evening immersed in your Instagram feed, imagining our life together.”

4) Send a message with selfies

I polled a wide range of both men and women on the topic of Instagram flirting, and if there’s one thing we could all unanimously agree on, it’s this: You must like your crush’s selfies. “That seems to make more sense than liking food photos,” BroBible’s David Covucci says. “Like, I want that bod, not [eggs] Benedict. But don’t limit yourself to solely liking your crush’s selfies. ONLY liking selfies is kinda the Insta version of always complimenting someone on their looks, instead of their mind and talent. Win your crush’s affections by liking a few under-appreciated photos that seem to speak to her interest, such as her love of dogs or the beach.

5) Comments are key

Sure, you can go on an Instagram-liking spree till your thumbs are sore, but if you really want to make your intentions known, leave a comment on a photo. A well-timed, clever comment is worth 1,000 likes. But keep the comment simple. Even if you just post a funny emoji, the impact will still be the same.

6) Be careful with emoji

Sometimes it’s fun to let the emoji do the commenting for you, and with them, you can easily ramp up your affections. Commenting with one of the smiley faces is always a nice reaction, and as your relationship builds, adding in a thumbs up, raised hands, or fireworks can be encouraging and cute. If you want to make your intentions a bit more clear, using face with heart eyes or one of the kissing faces can get your point across. However, be sure to use them sparingly. Posting 14 emoji in a row will just make you look like a hyperactive teenager.

Also, be careful you don’t accidentally become too forward in your emoji flirtation. The eggplant, peach, cherries, and sweat all carry extremely sexual overtones, and some even use them to find porn on Instagram. So even if you’re just trying to say that the eggplant parm sandwich your crush posted looks nice, leave the eggplant emoji out of it.

7) Wait for reciprocation

Much like oral sex, flirting on Instagram should be a mutually beneficial pursuit. If your crush isn’t following the breadcrumb trail of likes and comments you’ve been leaving them, then it might be time to take the hint. Once you're commenting with no reciprocation, you’ve crossed into straight-up fan mode.

Social media is a public domain, so everyone knows who’s commenting on what posts all the time. You don’t want to be that girl who keeps commenting on so-and-so’s posts. So if your crush isn’t responding to the tiny digital signals you’ve been sending out, it might be time to move on.

8) Do your research

If you want to have a fairytale romance with your Instagram crush that ends with the two of you posting selfies from your honeymoon in Fiji, then you’re gonna have to do your homework. Be prepared to delve deeper into his or her Insta activity by seeing who’s consistently liking or commenting on their photos. That way, you can see if you have any competition. 

But beware—the truth can be painful. Look at who they’re following to see if they’ve liked other friend’s photo. If they’ve liked 30 party shots and ignored yours, well, you have your answer.

While cyberstalking can be fun, never lose sight of your end game. You want to end this digital tête-à-tête with your crush asking you out, so you can get dinner or drinks. If you’ve already established a relationship online, don’t be afraid to take things a step further. Send a private message and say hello, or become friends on Facebook or Snapchat. Everyone loves getting PMs, so it’s likely they’ll appreciate your friendly gesture.

10) Don’t overthink it

Above all else, Instagram is fun and frivolous, and Instagram flirting is the same way. At the end of the day, flirting on Instagram is just like flirting in real life, and you don’t need to follow any of the above rules to capture the heart of the photogenic object of your affections. All you need to do is be your fabulous, flirty, emoji- and selfie-loving self and you two will be posting those Fiji honeymoon photos in no time. 

I'm a Melbourne based beauty, glamour and lifestyle photographer specializing in modeling portfolios. With a dark and moody approach to creativity and a penchant for the dramatic, my love for shooting beauty and glamour has allowed me to travel and work with professional and aspiring models across New Zealand and Australia.

Reggie Singh is a accomplished professional photographer, digital strategist and social media influencer based in Melbourne, Australia.