In this modern age of smartphones and quick-match dating apps, many people rely too heavily upon texting and social media to communicate with a new crush. But that’s not to say there’s no place for any of these convenient means of contact. Here’s how to text a guy or girl without ever again wondering about the appropriateness or awkwardness of the message:
Keep it Short
If you must text, a short, friendly
message is totally fine for reaching out and breaking the ice, just as a quick “Hey, it was great hanging out, call you soon,” is acceptable after a successful first date. Long, back-and-forth text conversations are only fun until someone starts to develop carpal tunnel syndrome.
…But Not Too Short
With that said, one-word answers and curt responses are rarely received well. Give the person you’re chatting with enough of an answer to prove that you’re paying attention and not playing Call of Duty while watching football with a dozen of your buddies at a noisy sports bar (though, if you are, be honest about it).
Be Careful with Sarcasm
A lot of people either have the problem of sounding too sarcastic over text, or being unable to convey that they’re making a joke. A cute, snarky message can be great now and then as long as you’re sure that the person you’re texting “gets” you. Avoid sarcasm altogether until after the first date.
Keep a Curfew
Unless you legitimately want to wish a person goodnight,
a post-11PM text will almost always be perceived as a booty text (yes, especially “hi”). Of course, if your intention is to send the message that you’re only in it for the booty, all the more power to you, Ke$ha.
Forget what your older brother told you: the 1-hour rule (“2-hour” if you’re old school, and “4-hour” if you’re just plain cruel) is no longer a statute worth abiding by. Sure, you want to preserve a bit of distance and mystery in the first few weeks of dating someone, but that can be achieved by merely spacing out plans and not bombarding your amour with constant messages. Respond when you can.
Use Social Media Sparingly
Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Kik, and Whatsapp are inherently unromantic. Any method of communication that could potentially be read by the public and is often accompanied by cat videos, Reddit-inspired memes, or dick-pics is not the best means of wooing someone that you’re interested in pursuing a relationship with.
Speak In Sentences
An emoticon now and then never hurt anyone, but avoid substituting long phrases with unending strings of nonsensical cartoon images. What do you mean by “ice cream cone, arrow, smiley postman, pile of poop”?? (Actually, that group of images makes more sense than I had intended.) Same goes for totes abusing “abreevs” and acronyms such as “LOL.” Stick to the language you speak each day as a real human to avoid confusing and irritating the text recipient.
Call When Possible
However, with the exception of quick exchanges (e.g. confirming the time and place for a date), I generally recommend bypassing text altogether and using the phone as your primary means of communicating. Picking up the phone to call someone shows a confidence that will help ensure that you’re both equally invested in seeing where things go. It’s also the best way to understand what your date is really like.