[Welcome to a special edition of SPEAKSLEAZY, where editor-in-chief Holly Coletta pretends she knows things about relationships and gives advice about flirting via Facebook.]
I’d love to be wined and dined just as much as the next girl, but let’s get real: those days of “conventional” dating habits are dead. In their place is a cyberworld of likes and pokes and weird penguin-y emoticons.
How the hell are you supposed to know when a boy likes you or just “liked” you? How many times are you allowed to click “see older posts”? When do you need to step back and reevaluate your life: before or after you’ve stalked his high school girlfriend (and that random better-be-a-lesbian who’s posting Mumford & Sons videos all over his wall)?
Guys. Facebook flirting is simple, really.
Actually, no. It’s not. It’s a painstakingly, highly strategic game of cat and “don’t accidentally click your mouse.” It’s an art form, and people who aren’t any good at it are jealous and call it “Facebook stalking.”
I call it “investigative journalism,” and I’m here to help you ace it on all three levels: the friend request, the liking and the chat.
And, yes, please do take my advice seriously because it’s not like I’m just some single white female with a penchant for feline-print sweaters (and ballet flats. Did you know they make flats with cats’ faces on them? They do. Or so I’ve heard).
STEP 1: THE FRIEND REQUEST
The friend request is the most crucial part of the whole process: it’s the most nerve-wracking and the most time-sensitive. The timing of your friend request defines whether that Person of Interest (in this story, we will call him “Kyle*”) thinks you’re just a cool girl he met at a party, or a creepy girl he sort of met once at a party but really she just stared and/or drunkenly complimented him.
I have semi-rules for friend requesting boys. I usually wait until at least two interactions with the boy, or until I’ve (drunkenly) introduced myself to him in the hopes that he won’t be like, “Who the—?“ when he sees a friend request from me.
Probably not okay after the first interaction, especially if there’s no viable answer as to how you could possibly know his last name other than “checked the OU online database.”
It’s always nice when you crush on friends of friends, because then you can creep through said friend’s profile and go down the list of Kyles** until you find the one.
But if you don’t have this luxury, then definitely wait at least two interactions. Or weeks.
When that second interaction happens(or after you’ve drunkenly complimented him again, ugh), you arrive at the next obstacle: when the request should be sent. Do not (I repeat: DO NOT) go home and friend request him at 3 a.m. That is never a good idea, because nothing good ever happens after 2 a.m. (credit: Ted Moseby). You can, however, go home and go back to looking at all his super-adorbs pictures through your aforementioned friend’s profile (unless a kitten walks across your keyboard and accidentally likes one of his Christmas pics from 2010 because that is seriously not going to be okay).
Wait until about 3 p.m. the next afternoon because everyone is on Facebook then and it doesn’t look like you got up that morning with serious intent to make him your boyfr—uh, Facebook friend. Also a good idea? The “group” request. You know, when you go and friend request like six people at the same time so it doesn’t look suspicious (this is why it’s important to introduce yourself to lots of people at parties. Also because you’ll want to escape after drunken compliment number three).
Once you get the confirmation – you’re in. (Sidenote: totally don’t freak out if he doesn’t reply in, say, five minutes. Five hours? Eh- minor freakout allowed.)
STEP 2: THE LIKES
My best friend recently pointed out to me that Facebook flirting is a lot like Pokemon, a reference I didn’t really get at first because I totally ignored boys when they were all, “Hey, look at my Pikachu card” because I figured, “Well, that game is lame and won’t last so I better just keep watching ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.’” (Don’t worry- I’m totally time-traveling back to my fifth-grade self and telling her she’s a dumbass and, why, yes she does in fact want to see your Pikachu card, super-nerdy boy who is a present-day Abercrombie model or something). But it makes sense when you think, “Gotta catch ‘em all” sounds a lot like “Gotta like ‘em all.”
And you do gotta. Like ‘em all, I mean.
That way, Kyle*** can see your name pop up in his notifications. There are some semi-rules to this, too, though. Obviously, you can’t just like any of his statuses (out of the question: ones that are just quotes said by his roommate/best friend/someone you’ve never actually met or drunkenly complimented; statuses from anything earlier than like three weeks ago, and/or only one click on “see older posts”). It also helps if you avoid being the first one to like a status. You should probably wait 12 minutes to like it. (Liked within the first 42 seconds? Uh, creepy.)
If he posts a new prof pic? Prime attention time, my friend. Like that shit, ASAP. Even if it’s a stupid picture that’s like not actually him and is a character from a movie or an event poster. Whatever. He’ll see your name and probably subconsciously will want to date you.
There are exceptions to this step, unfortunately, because for some reason not every guy is obsessed with Facebook. If you’ve unfortunately fallen for one of those guys who like never posts anything, has a total of 13 profile pics (even though the first one is from like THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO/2008) and doesn’t even bother to like musicians or books or anything else worthy of breaking the silence with an awkward “So yeah Quentin Tarantino is pretty cool hahaha amiright” then, well, you’re out of luck. You can try to check back frequently (like once a day), but if he’s not into Facebook as much as you are, he’s probably going to think all of your liking or commenting is creepy and weird and I mean, WTF, why are you even attracted to someone who doesn’t know how to use Facebook, anyway?
STEP 3: THE CHAT
Congratulations, you’re a ballsy badass. If you’re Facebook chatting with Kyle****, then you’re practically dating and I have no more advice other than be wary of having multiple chats up at once because sending “dsfinskjgnvcin omg we’re facebook chatting omg we’re practically dating” to the wrong person can be, uh, embarrassing.
And what happens if none of this works? Well, I suppose you could just ask the person to get coffee sometime or something. Weirdo.
*Named after my kindergarten boyfriend. We held hands once during music time (we were learning about the color yellow)
**But by recess he was all, “Heyyyy, Kellyyyy” to my best friend Kelly.
***So I cried.
****And totally tattled on that douchebag the next time he tried to copy off my vocabulary test.
Now go employ these methods and/or harass Holly on Twitter for her poor relationship advice. Stay tuned for next time, when she assesses the damage done by forgetting to put Spotify on “private session” while listening to Christina Aguilera’s “Dirrty” for like 3 hours.