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.
For teens who meet romantic partners online, it is common for those relationships to never actually progress to the point of a physical meeting. Given the number of years today’s teens have been using social media and the volume of content posted to social media profiles, potential suitors have access to a motherlode of material on their crush.
One high school girl explained: “A little bit more bold over text, because you wouldn’t say certain things in person. you just wouldn’t say certain things in, like, talking face to face with them because that might be kind of awkward. Cause they’re not really there.” Many teens use social media as a venue to flirt and interact with potential romantic partners, but for those on the receiving end of those advances, social media flirting can often turn in a much less desirable direction. Some 52% of teens say if they wanted to ask someone out on a date, they would usually do that in person.Facebook was mentioned 46 times in the open-ended responses to this question, while the second-most popular (Instagram) was cited only eight times. I still talk to her, but we’re not together.” And for some teens, online relationships, like offline ones, can be uncomfortable and devolve into creepy situations. Older teens ages 15 to 17 are more likely than younger teens to search for information online about current or prospective romantic partners, with 35% of older teens searching, while 16% of younger teens do so.Twitter, Kik and online gaming also were mentioned in a small number of responses, as were a range of other social media, video and chat sites (Hot or Not, IMVU, My Space, Omegle, Meet Me and Snap Chat each were mentioned once in these responses). One high school girl related the experience of one of her friends: High School Girl: “She met this guy through Facebook and … But he said he lived in Florida and then last weekend, she got a ring in the mail from him. Similarly, older teens are more likely than younger ones to search for information online about a past romantic partner – while 17% of 15- to 17-year-olds have searched for information about someone they dated or hooked up with in the past, just 7% of all 13- to 14-year-olds have done so.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.
Overall, 4% of all teens ages 13 to 14 have dated someone they met online, compared with 11% of all teens ages 15 to 17. A little more than one quarter (28%) of teens have searched for information online about someone they were currently dating or interested in.