I am all about the text messages. I've said it time and time again, if you want to contact me and get an answer in a reasonable amount of time. Text me. I love it. It's quick, nearly instantaneous and keeps a certain amount of pressure off both parties communicating.
With that being said, there are a lot of people out there in the dating-sphere who are doing it WRONG.
If they're sent to someone you want to date, texts should be fun, engaging, inquisitive, and always concise.
I could care less what you text your best friend Sally, but if you're looking to keep someone engaged in texting with you and talking with you and dating you, then you need to know that what you're texting could be jeopardizing your dating relationships. This is not a guide to texting your friends... this is a guide on how/how not to text people you're dating.
The following list of the Five Common Texting Mistakes in Dating are issues that I have seen time and time again, in my own dating life and in the dating lives of others. These aren't fairy tale mistakes, these are dating-trenches issues.
Hopefully you haven't done them, but if you have, now you know that you could be the one sabotaging your dating life.
1. Not Asking Questions
If you're trying to engage someone in a little textual banter, then the quickest way to ensure that the person on the other end of the phone understands that you're interested in them and interested in the conversation, is to ask questions.
Keep in mind that this texting conversation is not a date. It's a supplement to the date that you have had or will have.
If you ask questions, most people read them and want to respond. And in most responses you will get a question asked back, and then you'll ask a question, and then they'll ask a question, etc...
This propagates the flow of conversation and you'll learn something about the person you're dating in the meanwhile.
2. Texting too Often/ Not Quitting While You're Ahead
This mistake goes hand in hand with mistake number 3. I can't tell you how many times I get someone who wants to text me every hour they're awake.
If I'm madly in love with you that's one thing, but if we're still in the fledgling stages of dating, I'm not interested in you texting me ever 20 minutes of the day. In fact, most of those texts that you're sending every 20 minutes are pointless, because there is only so many ways to tell you that I'm editing something. Or that I'm on lunch.
If we've been on three dates, I dont need to know that your lunch was delicious or that you have a piece of spinach caught in your teeth, ESPECIALLY THROUGH TEXT. Granted if you're dating long distance this might be relevant, but if I plan on seeing you for dinner tonight, I dont need to you regale me with your day as it's happening, because you can tell me at dinner.
I once met this guy on the internet who we're going to call PsychoPants, and he and I had a great online conversation, and we were planning to go out on a date, so I gave him my number.
WORST. MISTAKE. OF. MY. LIFE.
Seriously. Within 48 hours of giving this guy my number, he had essentially texted me over 300 times. Only 1% of those texts had to deal with the date.
He fucking kamikazed the opportunity to date me, because he didn't quit while he was ahead.
Granted it was great for me, because I found out within 48 hours that I didn't want to get within 200 miles of this PsychoPants, because he'd probably never leave me alone, but had he texted me to set up the date and then stopped - we would have gone out. He would have had the opportunity to actually talk to me, instead of the barrage of textsanity that occurred.
And had he not texted me every 5 minutes for the next 4 weeks after I told him it wasn't going to work out, I wouldn't have given him the name PsychoPants.
Yes, this might be a really intense version of what I'm telling you is a mistake, but to him that was normal. To you texting every hour might be normal, or every time you sit down to eat food might be normal, or every time you go to the restroom.
I don't know, but I do know that texting too often is the quickest way to the dating chopping block because there's a fine balance between interest and clingy. Make sure you find out what it is, and STICK TO IT.
3. Texting Without a Purpose
Too often one of my friends will get a text from a guy, which says nothing. It'll say, "Ugh bored at work" or "Can't believe these metro delays."
Well that's nice, but how do you respond to that if you're neither bored at work or taking the metro. With a "yeah work sucks" or a "yeah the metro is always delayed?"
These texts without a purpose might also drive the person you're trying to woo crazy.
Let's assume that everyone is busy. Right?
Let's assume that the person you like is at work swamped with a shit ton to do.
Now let's assume that you keep sending these texts every one or two hours and then they feel obligated to respond, but because you're busy or waiting on the metro, you're more likely to respond back, then they feel obligated to respond back and then you text back, and then they don't.
Now you start to wonder... OMG... do they still like me? Why aren't they responding? Did something happen? Are they dead? Did they find someone else?
You might think I'm over-exaggerating, but I'm not. This will actually go through some people's minds. And then you're sabotaging your blossoming relationship, because they're not responding, and it's freaking you out, but in truth you're the one that started a pointless texting conversation. See mistakes 4 and 5 to reiterate the fact that while texts are a great place for flirty banter, not using them to launch into something more is due to a lack of using technology to the best of it's abilities.
4. The Hi Text
I have discoursed on this topic before. If you are trying to get someone to be interested in seeing you on a romantic level or attempting to continue the romantic spark you know you have, then sending someone a text with
and nothing else, is as ANNOYING as a bad bartender.
A "Hi" text gives the recipient nothing to respond to, because they don't know the context. Are you saying, "hi," because you want to see them, or do you want to know what they're doing, or do you know that they posted a blog post about you?
It's unacceptable to just send a "Hi," because in a text a, "hi" means nothing.
Acceptable "hi" texts aren't made up of one word. If you're thinking about someone then tell them.
For example you could say, "Hey just wanted to see how you were doing after the st paddy's day craziness"
Or you could say, "Heya, I just ran across that little book store you were telling me about, you were right, really cute!"
Or you could say, "I just read the most remarkable article I think you would enjoy."
As long as it's poignant to the person receiving the text, you can say whatever you want, because while a "hi" text might say I'm thinking about you, a "I just found out that there's a new pizza place opening up that you would like, we should go" text says a whole lot more.
5. Not Using Texts as a Jumping Board
How many times have you stared into the screen of your $300+ phone, stroked it's shiny clean surface and said, "you look beautiful here in the moonlight."
NEVER. If you have you need some help.
You can't foster a dating relationship through texts. You can't. You can flirt and banter and make plans through texts, but if you spend more time texting your potential and less time staring into their gorgeous eyes, then you might be doing it wrong.
Texting is not the only part of dating, in fact it shouldn't even be in the top 5 parts of dating, unless you're in a long distance thingy. To properly experience dating you need to actually GO ON DATES.
Really a novel concept if you think about it.
Back in the 70s when my parents were dating, they didn't have text messages or instant messages or that weird voice messaging thing I can't remember the name of. They actually had to go and spend time together out in the world. Imagine not relying on social media and technology while dating.
So that's what you should do too. Not rely on technology as the major factor in your dating life, instead, you should use it as a nudge, so to speak. As in use technology to gain more dates.
"Hi, so I was just passing by the Corcoran and remembered that you really liked xyz, and they're having an exhibit this month, wanna go?"