From my research I have found that there are six ways that people can tell when someone is flirting with them, and many admit to using these signs to signal interest in others too.
I've created the acronym H.O.T.A.P.E. to help you remember:
H is for Humour.
Yes, they might have great hair and share your passion for ping-pong, but if you have to say 'only joking' after each wry comment, can you imagine doing it for the next 20 years? The more you bounce off each other naturally, the more likely it is that you're flirting.
O is for Open Body Language.
If they're squared up, facing you, with their feet pointed in your direct, it's all looking good. If their feet are angled away, simulating a quick exit, or their arms are folded, forget it.
T is for Touch.
Once you touch, you're definitely flirting. It should be used as an addition to an interaction that is already sizzling. Best stick to a light touch on the arm and then gauge their reaction.
A is for Attention.
Are they paying you more attention than anyone else? This moves us to...
P is for Proximity.
If they're moving in closer, it's a good sign that they are getting ready to flirt.
E is for Eye Contact.
This is the most powerful giveaway. Three or more seconds of eye contact takes you into flirty territory.
So, there you have it; the more H.O.T.A.P.E. signals are being displayed, the greater the likelihood that you are being flirted with. Remember these when you're next having a conversation with someone and see what happens.