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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.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.Some 31% of teens who have met a partner or partners online, indicate that they have been involved in a romantic relationship with someone online they never met face to face, while 69% of teens who have met a romantic partner online say they have met them in person. One high school girl describes falling down the rabbit hole of a crush’s profile.Overall, 3% of all teens have met a romantic partner online but never met them in person. And we talked for about a week, and then I decided he actually seems kind of chill. And then I took it slow, like, ‘cause meeting someone over the Internet isn’t always the best idea. Such a move, she noted, will reveal to the profile owner via a notification that you’ve been looking through their profile.Teens in our focus groups related their experiences meeting partners through online venues. So if you’re going to do it, like do it very carefully.”“Well, I said…we just said, like, do you want to hang out at the movies sometime? And we kind of met there and then we just kind of became romantically involved. And if the feelings aren’t reciprocated, such liking of old photos can border on disturbing.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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"Although micro-cheating may not be physical cheating, it's certainly testing the borders of emotional cheating. And flirting is the act of fanning a spark that can easily spread to a flame,” Winter said. The conscience judges this one," another chimed in.

For example, there is a 15-point gap between older and younger teens when it comes to sending flirtatious messages (37% of older teens and 22% of younger teens have done so), but a substantially larger 49-point gap between those who are or have been in a relationship of some kind and those who have not (63% of teens with relationship experience have sent flirtatious messages to someone, compared with just 14% of those without).

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.

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