(Credit: The Saturday Evening Post 1941, Cliff on Flickr)
(Credit: The Saturday Evening Post July 26, 1941, Cliff on Flickr)

BY SARAH LEWIS, Student Life Editor

A large gray area exists between the land of friendship and flirtation. This is also known as a very dangerous place. It can be pretty hard to tell the difference between flirts and people who actually do like each other since the line is often skinnier than Nicole Richie. Friends flirt, right? NO. You can be friends with someone without dating, I PROMISE.

Flirts are often labeled because they are usually the heart breakers. Although flirts are dangerous, there is a difference between flirting and flirts. Unfortunately, no one flat out says “I like you, let’s date” anymore, so it’s rather inconvenient to kick start a relationship.

Back in the days of high school when someone flirted with you, they most likely were actually into you. Now, everyone flirts with EVERYONE, so what’s a girl to do? Sometimes I just have to ask “Is this real life?” I’ll tell you the warning signs of falling for a flirt, and if you’re being inadvertently flirty, I’ll tell you how to tone it done.

Most importantly, you have to decide whether or not a person is a flirt or if they actually like you. Ask yourself a few of this starting questions:

A. Does this person moisten their lips whenever they see you and/or someone they find attractive?

B. Do they graze their hands over your butt or lower back as you walk by each other?

C. Do they tell you that they love you or that you’re their favorite person alive every time you see them?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, chances are you’re being played by a professional flirt. My advice is to run away. Flirts are trying to get everyone wrapped around their dumb little fingers, so unless you want to be one of their many options, it’s just better to do without them. I once knew a guy who would send out a mass text message to every girl he probably ever spoke to that read “Hey baby!” while he was doing the above A, B, and C. Let me tell you that his little game played out for quite sometime. He pretended he liked everyone in my circle of friends, and it took us a good few months to figure out he was talking to all of us like he was absolutely in love.

I guess that a flirt in most extreme cases like this one can also be defined as a player. Maybe people have told you that you’re a flirt, but I think that it’s easy to not fall into this categorization. First of all, don’t say things you don’t mean. For example, let’s say you like to tell every girl you see that she is the most beautiful person you’ve ever seen in your entire life. Yeah, that’s not a good idea. You’re clearly lying considering you say the same line to everyone, so why keep it up? Don’t lie to people. Only greet a girl with “Hello beautiful” if you actually like her.

Even if you think the person you like is 100% flawless, make sure they aren’t running around flirting with everyone in sight. What’s the point in going on a date with someone if they have sixteen other dates that same weekend? That’s right, dear reader, there isn’t a point.

People have told me that I’m a flirt because I hug a lot of my friends, and this is something that I don’t agree with. I think it’s perfectly fine to hug your friends without being labeled a flirt. In France, friends kiss each other when they meet. I know because I’ve been there, so no, I didn’t make it up. The minute I stepped off the plane strangers I met were kissing my cheeks left and right. Awkward for me? YEAH, so a hug has never hurt anyone.

Basically, you have to read ALL of the signs before you fall for a person. Cautiousness is not a poor quality by any means. Watch where you’re stepping because stepping into the hands of a flirt is equal to squashing your brand new Sperry’s into a pile of goose poop when you’re on your way to class. Not fun, and difficult to clean up, that I can promise.