Is She Flirting Or Just Being Friendly? Tips For Queer Femmes In Crisis

Welcome to The B Spot, a monthly queer advice column catering to your personalized sex, relationship, and dating questions Google just can’t answer. Submit your burning gay questions to our candid team of queer editors at [email protected]. The B Spot appears here every month.

Dear Betch,

I recently came out to my friends and family as bisexual. I’ve only dated men in the past, but I’m excited to dip my toes into the queer dating scene finally. I recently met a girl at a work event, and we totally hit it off — the problem is I can’t tell if she’s just being friendly or if there’s something more there.

We exchanged numbers and have been texting, and I feel like there’s definitely a connection, but I can’t tell if it’s purely platonic or if there’s some romantic interest on her end.

I’m trying to flirt in little ways (like sending emojis, etc.) but not overdo it because I don’t want to scare her off. She laughs at all of my jokes, initiates the conversations, and seems genuinely interested in getting to know me better. She even asked to get dinner next week after work.

I just can’t shake off the feeling that there might be something more here — there’s a spark that I’ve never had before with other girls, but I’m not sure if that’s because I’m newly out for the first time or there could really be something between us. We haven’t talked about our sexualities at all, and I don’t want to misinterpret her actions or make any assumptions, especially considering I’m new to this whole dating scene.

Right now, I’m mostly looking for help and tips on distinguishing between friendly gestures and flirting in these situations. How can I tell if girls I meet in the wild — aka not on dating apps, lol — are actually interested in dating me vs just trying to be my friend?

A Flirt Who Doesn’t Want To Get Hurt

Flirting on the phone
Image Credit: Shutterstock


Dear A Flirt Who Doesn’t Want To Get Hurt,

Welcome to being gay! I feel like this is one of the quintessential queer dilemmas – that and the urge to U-Haul, which honestly might be in your near future.

First of all, she asked you out to dinner?? I totally get it. She’s a girl. What if she just needs a friend? This will always be a little confusing even after gaining some experience, but luckily, I can almost promise your gaydar should start to improve to the point where, most of the time, you’ll be able to pick up on a vibe. But for now, although I’d never want to prescribe TikTok as an antidote, look up what are some tell-tale signs of queerness and study.

It will save a lot of possible heartbreak for you if you learn what kind of relationship she is looking for and if she’s queer or curious right from the get-go. ALLUDE to things! I’d straight up tell her you’re queer (subtly, of course), to gauge how she reacts. I know she’s a coworker, so I’m not saying to be super blunt with it, but maybe share a few hints, such as talking about a fake crush or an extremely queer musician?! More often than not, romance blossoms from a friendship, so there’s nothing wrong with feeling the water out and taking it slow, but if you feel this girl will start consuming your mind (especially at work), knowing what she’s after will prevent the soul-crushing rejection you’re trying to avoid.

Flirting or friendly?
Image Credit: Photo by Ketut Subiyanto

You’re not going to scare her off at this stage. It’s undeniable your coworker enjoys hanging out with you and wants to get to know you better, which is exciting in itself. Notice her communication when you talk in person. Is she leaning in a little too much? Is she laughing a lot?

Yes, there is the chance she’s solely trying to connect with a new bff to make her work days a little easier. Please get to know her a little bit before planning the wedding in your head. (No shame, been there done that.) It will save your little baby gay heart in the long run. I’m a firm believer in not leading people on too much, and hopefully, if you allude to your sexuality, she’ll open up more about her intentions. The girl is texting you after work, and although it’s light, I’m definitely starting to smell something fruity through the screen.

All this to be said, prioritize yourself and your needs. Rejection after someone has potentially led you on can be really painful, especially from a straight person who may not even realize what they’re doing. If things start to go south and she’s not as interested in you as you had hoped, set a boundary and interact less until you’ve moved on. I hate to say it, but heartbreak is often unavoidable. Would you rather continue dancing around your feelings and stay confused, or get a little vulnerable and potentially kindle a romance? Flirty people usually get hurt, but they also have a lot of fun while doing it.

A Betch Who Knows Best

Jillian Angelini
Jillian Angelini
Jillian (she/her) is a displaced New Yorker, writer, and occasional hot yoga-goer. When she’s not writing about sex, relationships, or queer things, you can find her reading about sex, relationships, and queer things. Follow her on Instagram @jnangee, or don’t; she really only ever posts her cat.