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A majority of teens with dating experience (76%, or 26% of all teens) say they have only dated people they met via in-person methods. One-in-five (20%) of all teens have used their social networks to find new partners by following or friending someone because a friend suggested they might want to date them.Still, a quarter of teen daters (24%, or 8% of all teens) have dated or hooked up with someone they first met online. Older teens are more likely to do this than younger ones; 23% of 15- to 17-year-olds have followed someone at a friend’s behest for dating purposes, while 15% of 13- and 14-year-olds have done so.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.A high school girl described meeting a boyfriend online: “For me personally, it was from Facebook and it was a friend of a friend. And then we started Skyping, and after that we just kind of started a relationship.”“I’ve met a person over Instagram, actually. But it didn’t last that long.”“I was dating this girl that I met through a social website that probably hardly anybody knows about. A high school girl explained: “It looks a little more creepy.
And just over half of teens (55%) flirt or talk to someone in person to let them know they are interested.
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.
When it comes to “entry-level” flirting, teens who have never been in a romantic relationship are most comfortable letting someone know that they are interested in them romantically using the following approaches: As noted earlier, older teens are more likely than younger teens to have experience with dating and relationships – and as such, older teens are substantially more likely than younger teens to say they have let someone know they were interested in them romantically in all of the ways measured on this survey.
The correlation between flirting behaviors and age, however, is not as strong as the correlation between these behaviors and dating experience.