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Fully 35% of all teen girls have had to block or unfriend someone who was flirting in a way that made them uncomfortable, double the 16% of boys who have taken this step. ‘I don’t know you.’ I’m like, ‘Why are you talking to me? Girls are far more likely than boys to wait for the person they’re interested in to initiate contact.
Notably, this phenomenon is not just limited to older girls who might have greater exposure to dating and relationships. Nearly half of girls (47%) say they usually wait for someone they are interested in dating to ask them out first, compared with just 6% of boys.
There also are some modest differences relating to race and ethnicity in terms of the ways in which teens show interest in potential romantic partners. And then I didn’t want to talk to her anymore because it was creepy, and she tracked my phone to my house. She was on the lawn and she used lots of vulgar language …” Flirting and otherwise letting someone know you are interested in them is typically the first step to building a romantic relationship, and teens approach this in numerous ways across a range of online and offline venues.Social media interactions, along with in-person flirting, are among the most common ways for teens to express romantic interest in someone.Other ways in which teens let someone know that they are attracted to them include sharing something funny or interesting with them online (46%), sending them flirtatious messages (31%), making them a music playlist (11%), sending flirty or sexy pictures or videos of themselves (10%) and making a video for them (7%).Certain types of flirting behavior are relatively common among teens who have never dated before; others are almost entirely the purview of those with past experience in romantic relationships.
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Indeed, 25% of all teens (representing one-third of teen social media users) have unfriended or blocked someone on social media because that person was flirting in a way that made them uncomfortable. However, other approaches – online as well as offline – are relatively popular as well: Around one-quarter of teens (26%) say they would not ask at all – that they would wait for the person they were interested in to ask them first – while 6% indicate they would ask the person out using some option other than the ones listed above.