Contents

How to Go From Text Pals to an Actual Date

At Dating with Dignity, we believe texting can be an effective way to communicate and begin to bond with someone you’ve just begun dating. But when utilized too heavily before the first date, texting can cause the relationship to stall in a faceless comfort zone, especially if the guy in question is a little timid about making the first move.

This conundrum is a common one in this day and age, so I’m here to help you out with four tips for steering your constant chatting to an actual face-to-face date!

1. Make Sure You’re on the Same Page

Before you embark on your quest to turn your text friend into a boyfriend, make sure you’re clear about his intentions. If you met each other through a mutual friend, get a read on the guy’s history and current situation. Depending on your comfort level with this said friend, you can even straight up ask whether or not he’s expressed an interest in you romantically.

If the guy you’re texting with approached you and asked for your number independent of any mutual connections or a group social situation, you’ve got your answer: it’s on. If you met him online, on the surface it seems you both have mutual goals; face-to-face interaction to determine if the connection is worthy of pursuing.

2. Flirt Like You Mean It

Once you’re sure the interest is mutual, you’ve got the green light to get flirty. Try to sneak in as many flirtatious comments as you can without being overtly sexual. Remember, men are actually thinking about what YOU think of them. He doesn’t want to come across as too assertive, he doesn’t want you to think he’s a creepy stalker, and he doesn’t want to get kicked into the friend zone. Your flirtatious encouragement could be just the nudge he needs to confirm you’re interested in more than just a digital conversation.

Make sure to avoid conversations that are focused on how busy you are. And, remember this is not a professional relationship. Texts such as “Thanks for your text, Todd. I’m also looking forward to tomorrow’s meeting” are NOT hot. Even though it may be out of your comfort zone, opt for something a little more feminine and open such as, “Hey Todd! Love the hike idea and am excited for a little walk and talk in the woods!”

3. Don’t Reveal Too Much

Try not to share too much personal information about yourself as you chat, or you won’t leave him with any incentive to get to know you better in person. Texting is not the forum to have an actual conversation. Save it for brief “thinking of you” interactions and a sharing of information and/or logistics only — especially if you’re in the beginning stages of courtship.

If he’s incessantly asking you questions, you can even leverage one of them as a call to action (i.e., “That’s something I’d love to tell you more about in person” or “This one is better suited to a real convo. Call me tonight. I’m around between 7-9.”).

4. Steer the Conversation Toward Activities

The more you discuss activities both of you enjoy as opposed to less tangible conversation topics, the more likely your conversation will lead to a date. If you find the conversations are getting a little too existential, find a natural opener to steer the conversation toward something more activity-oriented. Once you get talking about something you both enjoy doing, the natural progression is for him to suggest you enjoy it together!

Discover how you can manifest authentic relationships and happiness with the latest dating advice from renowned dating coach Marni Battista.

“What are you up to this weekend?” he texted me.

I rattled off a few plans, noting my obvious windows of free time, should he want to meet up: “Dinner with friends on Friday night, relaxing on Saturday, a Baptism for a friend’s child on Sunday in the morning, but relaxing again in the afternoon. What are you up to?”

His response arrived shortly: “Sounds fun! I hope you have a good weekend! I’m just relaxing all weekend.”

Hmmm. Not quite the way I expected this conversation to go.

We had met on a dating app, and after a few weeks of nearly daily texting, we still hadn’t met in person. I had hinted at my openness a few times—“oh, our offices are so close to each other. We’ll have to meet up sometime!” I’d write. That’s about as direct as my old-fashioned dating ways would allow me to be. “Yeah!” he’d exclaim, with absolutely no movement to making it happen. Yet, every single day, he found a reason to text me, and so our conversation would continue.

According to his profile and through our texting, we discovered we shared a lot of values and aspirations for life. We had some similarities in our upbringings, including some cities we once called home before moving to our current city. But I’ve dated enough to know that those checklist details and a connection online are not a barometer for actual compatibility. The elusive spark we call chemistry can really only be determined by meeting in person and seeing if our personalities match, if we find each other actually attractive (instead of just objectively good looking via our profile photos), and so forth.

The longer we texted, the more invested I felt, and yet I also could feel my growing resentment toward him and toward this whole modern dating approach. Here I was, spending time every day considering the right words, phrases, and timing of texts (you know you do it, too), when we could easily establish in one coffee date if this “relationship” is even worth either of our time.

He continued to text over the weekend, and I responded when I was able, which meant longer than normal delays, and not as well thought out texts. Sunday night rolled around, and around 9 pm he texted “I’m bored, lol. You should come out, haha.”

I wasn’t laughing. I was in sweats at home, and planning to head to bed in the next hour. He was supposedly free all weekend, we have never met, and this is how he wants a first meeting to go.

Blame it on my tiredness, and my dear roommate who also fumed with me at the half-hearted invitation, but I texted back what I was really thinking.

“Well, this is unfortunate. I thought I was talking with someone who would be a bit more thoughtful about an invitation to meet for the first time. I’m also not looking to ‘entertain’ anyone, I’m looking to get to know someone. I can’t come out right now, because I’m about to go to bed.”

The text was unusually bold and direct, especially for me and my personality. Some friends wondered, in a supportive way, if I should embrace the casual nature of dating today, and that it wouldn’t have hurt to have taken the opportunity to meet up.

I had few regrets about how I handled it, though, especially when he finally texted back. It was early evening Tuesday, and he wrote:

“I think my text came off the wrong way. I’d like to make it up to you by taking you out for a drink or dinner when you’re free and it’s convenient for you. Let me know.”

Now, that’s what I’m talking about! I wasn’t trying to be mean or play hard to get. I just wanted an opportunity to meet for the first time in a more intentional manner—when I could look nice and be a bit more awake.

A few days later, we met for drinks at a wine bar in between our apartments. The conversation was fun and lighthearted, but it was clear to both of us by the end of the date that we weren’t a match. Yet, I walked away from this encounter with more confidence and a better approach to my dating life, online especially.

Relationships are about give and take, and it’s important that we’re able to communicate with one another what we need and want. This sharing of expectations is part of the process of determining compatibility, too. We don’t have to go with the flow to an unending degree, even in the early stages of dating.

A little directness, properly placed and politely stated, can go a long way in helping to sort out what you desire and deserve, and whether a man is right for you.

Editors’ Note: Dating Unscripted is a column in our Readers’ Write section. Submit your own story here.

Verily’s mission is to empower women to be less of who they should be, more of who they are. If you support this mission and you want to see us go to print, subscribe today to Verily Yours. You’ll receive exclusive, quality content that will simplify and elevate your everyday, while supporting empowering women’s media.

How to Go From Texting to Dating

I was once in a wedding where one of the bridesmaids spent every other minute on her phone. Between the heels, essential bridal party Starbucks cup, and the phone glued to her hand, she was a veritable life-size Barbie. After one particularly obvious texting episode that took the girl out of the room, the bride leaned toward me and said – apologetically – “It’s this guy she likes… they text all the time, but he won’t just ask her out.”

Sadly, our constantly-connected culture has made situations like this far too normal. But from a purely practical standpoint, long term texting makes perfect sense: Protected by a screen, we can communicate about almost anything without the vulnerability of face-to-face conversation. We can ask questions we are too scared to ask in person. We can communicate when and where we desire, and can stop the conversation with the press of a button.

But the things that make texting so practical are the same reasons many singles can’t move past the “just friends” stage. Without vulnerability and face-to-face (or voice to voice) contact, relationships lack depth. And when conversation is about control and people are shut off when they cease to be convenient, commitment isn’t even on the table.

So today I’m sharing four ways to quit texting and actually date somebody, because it’s time to get real about this problem.

Talk On the Phone

Confession: I hate talking on the phone. After five years working in or around a call center, if I never hear a phone ring again it will be too soon (I actually get annoyed when I see a voicemail on my phone, and rarely leave voicemails when I call other people – it’s epidemic). So if you’re averse to phone calls, I can identify with you.

That said, I make myself call my husband when he is out of town in order to take care of our relationship. I would much rather just text him. I would much rather utilize the convenience of stopping the conversation when I want instead of dealing with the, “Just a sec -” and “Can I call you back?” moments. But voice-to-voice contact cannot be replaced. It’s part of how God designed us as relational beings. Since texting cannot translate tone, any healthy relationship should have at least some regular face or voice time. This personalizes the conversation while also proving that commitment, not just convenience, characterizes the relationship.

Stop Responding Within Three Seconds

First rule of thumb for singles: don’t be too available. There is nothing more sad than the person who misses life because she’s waiting for a text.

Confident, healthy relationships are built by confident, healthy people. These people have individual interests and responsibilities that prevent them from being too available. Their lives are too full to be captivated by the next text they’ll receive. And because they’re busy working or serving or climbing or running they aren’t going to respond to texts immediately every time they’re received. That’s not rude. It’s living life unplugged.

This approach encourages both parties to focus outside their phones. It would be even better if the phones were shut off and you went on an actual date, which brings us to my next point.

Suggest Something to Do

Can girls ask guys out? I’m writing about that soon on Project Inspired, and I talked about it a little in this post. My general rule is to let the guy do the pursuing, because the more they work for a relationship the more they tend to appreciate it (at least in my experience). But biblically speaking, I haven’t found anything indicating female initiative in a relationship is beyond God’s approval. To the contrary, our girl Ruth was the one to approach Boaz in the classic post-Abrahamic love story we all know so well.

I don’t think this means chasing down every guy in your college group, but I think it opens some doors we’ve been closing in the church. If you’ve been talking with a guy for months with no follow-up, he might be oblivious to your feelings. If you want to get to know him better, suggest something to do. A few things I did in my single days:

  • Host a group movie night with mutual friends
  • Host a casual party with football, bonfire, and s’mores (or just s’mores if you’re limited on space)
  • Do something of mutual interest: hiking, baseball game, concert
  • Invite him to join you in a volunteer endeavor
  • Mention something you’re planning to do in his area of town, and invite him to join you

In doing this, keep in mind that unless you tell him it’s a date, it’s not a date. Dates don’t equal marriage, and hang outs don’t equal dates. Just as you would want clarity on that subject, give him clarity. But don’t be afraid to take some initiative.

Cut Him Loose

Long term texting isn’t always headed toward commitment. Sometimes people do it because the attention is easy and affirming. In a sense, they use their texting buddy to get the ego boost they need, but never intend the relationship to go anywhere. Chances are, if your texting cohort refuses to talk on the phone and doesn’t want to hang out in person – or is awkward when you do – he’s only interested in a sounding board. There are a lot of nice guys who can fill that role for him.

Know your value. There is a big difference between being someone’s friend and being his savior. No one is designed to fill that role except Jesus Christ. It is not selfish or unkind to set boundaries, recognize your value, and stop a riding someone else’s emotional roller coaster. It may be time to cut the guy loose. (Read more about that in this post)

The beauty in letting go of an emotional leech is that you’re free to engage in real relationships. Your world will be open to meeting people who talk to you because they want to know you – not just because it makes them feel good about themselves. Free from your phone screen you’ll become a better communicator. You’ll be more vulnerable and authentic, and that will translate to all your friendships – guys and girls alike.

Cutting back on texting doesn’t mean the guy you like will ask you out, but it often leads to a better knowledge of his intentions. Less availability leads to more clarity. It requires that the contact people DO have with you be meaningful and direct. And the promise of deeper relationships is incentive enough to shut off the phone, get some coffee, and talk face to face – just like old times.

How about you? How do you manage relationships and technology? Share below and don’t forget to check out this week’s podcast on choosing contentment.

Join the Driven Women community!

My weekly newsletter is a more personal look at Christ’s impact on our faith, work, home, and relationships. You’ll get a short devotional, links to my weekly favorites, blog updates, and more!

Thank you for subscribing!

You can unsubscribe at any time. You information will be kept completely private.

Photo: Getty Images

Scoring the phone number of someone you’re interested in feels like a major victory, and it is. But it’s also just the beginning. Once you’ve got that number in hand, you have to figure out what to actually text the person, and when, and how often. So no pressure, but your entire romantic future here could be determined by your first few text messages. Here’s the best way to approach texting someone you want to date, according to the experts.

Don’t ‘wait X days to reach out’

The first text is always the hardest. How long do you wait to message that cute guy from the gym? If you ask around, some people will tell you to wait for “this many days” before you make contact, but that strategy is flat-out silly. Dating columnist Dr. Nerdlove told us that you should always touch base sooner rather than later. If you don’t text them relatively soon (or sit around hoping for them to text you first), a couple things can happen: that cute guy at the gym will either forget about you and that he gave you his number at all, or he’ll assume you’re not actually interested. Nerdlove recommends you text them in the same day or night to keep the emotional momentum going and to solidify yourself in their memory. You’ll become “that cute girl from the gym” instead of “some girl that I guess I talked to other day?”

Advertisement

What you say in your first text message is important (more on that later), but it isn’t nearly as important as you actually reaching out. Don’t be afraid of the initial text message. As online dating coach Patrick King explains, they’ve already given you their number because there is some mutual attraction there, so you don’t have to stress as much about the possibility of rejection. When you do send that first text, however, Regina Lynn, the author of The Sexual Revolution 2.0, suggests you follow the same etiquette as phone calls. Don’t text him at odd hours, like late at night or really early in the morning. Texting the cute guy from the gym when he’s trying to sleep will turn that “yay she’s texting me!” moment into “why is that girl waking me up?” Not a great first impression.

Don’t ever just text ‘Hey/Hi/Hello’

This was by far the most common advice you’ll find: don’t just text someone “hey.” In fact, if you browse some online dating profiles you’ll probably find people sharing the same advice. While writing the book Modern Romance, comedian Aziz Ansari and Dr. Eric Klinenberg, Professor of Sociology at New York University, organized hundreds of focus groups to decipher the modern dating landscape. When they asked the focus groups about their personal texts, they found that participants unanimously agreed that the “hey” text is a bad idea.

Advertisement

As Ansari and Dr. Klinenberg explain, the “hey” text seems like a perfectly harmless message to send, but that one word says a lot more than you realize. It’s generic, dull, and lazy. It makes the recipient feel like they’re not very special or important, and it makes you as the sender seem the same way. No information is being shared, nothing is being asked of the recipient, and it’s incredibly easy to ignore. A good first text will explain who you are and reference your previous interaction in some way.

Focus your early texts on making plans

After you’ve made contact, focus your early text conversations on making plans. It’s exciting when that cute girl from OkCupid seems way into texting you, but as Christine Hassler, the author of 20-Something, 20-Everything, suggests, too much pre-date texting smothers any spark you might have on your actual first date:

That can make you over-think what you say and do on the date, instead of being your natural self. It’s like you’re on your second date in terms of info, but you first date in terms of physical chemistry, which can make things awkward.

Advertisement

Emily Morse, the host of the Sex With Emily podcast, calls this problem “premature escalation”:

Since our whole world is so instant now, people can craft entire personas through their slew of texts. . . by the time you meet your partner for an actual date, you’ve built up this whole image and fantasy in your head of who you think they are, and then they turn out to be totally different.

Advertisement

While making plans, be as direct as possible. During their focus groups, Ansari and Dr. Klinenberg also noticed a texting trend they dubbed the “secretary problem,” where potential couples would spend so much time trying to “pencil each other in” they would burn out and the spark would fizzle before the first meetup. We asked Vanessa Marin, licensed marriage and family therapist and Lifehacker contributor, how to avoid the “secretary problem,” and she said it’s all about being specific:

Make specific plans. It’s easy to make a vague commitment via text, like, “let’s talk Friday about doing something this weekend.” If you’re genuinely interested in the person, suggest a specific day and time for your date.

Advertisement

Don’t text “Wanna do something this weekend?” Instead, say “Hey, I’d love to take you out for dinner Wednesday night.” If you can make a callback reference to a previous interaction—like a restaurant or type of food you both talked about—it’s even better. Say something like “Hey, how about dinner at that restaurant we talked about on Wednesday night? Around 8-ish?” As Chelsea Clishem at Patti Knows advises, texting should be the prelude to a conversation, not the conversation itself.

Advertisement

Keep calm and don’t be pushy

Don’t make your early text messages an interview. Not only will you use up all your conversation starters before you actually meet that “guy your friend set you up with,” you’ll probably create unnecessary stress for yourself. King suggests that texts dependent on responses will leave you feeling anxious and insecure. Did they get my text? Why aren’t they answering? Did I offend them somehow? Are they ignoring me? The fewer direct questions you send their way, the fewer responses you have to stress about.

Advertisement

Also, just because the guy you’re being set up with doesn’t answer right away doesn’t mean he’ll never answer you. Nerdlove recommends you always give them plenty of time to respond and always avoid being pushy:

Unless the two of you are already having a conversation – having moved from online dating to texting, for example or from when you met – text sparingly. If a conversation starts, great; if not, don’t stress it. Some people don’t text much… If you *are* already talking, follow the flow of conversation. Don’t try to force it; if things taper off, let them. It’s much easier to make someone lose interest by being too pushy.

Advertisement

Good text conversation, according to Nerdlove, is like a tennis match. When you serve the first text, wait for him to return the ball and send one back:

If you’re doing most of the talking or all you’re getting back are one or two word responses, then you’re pushing too hard and they’re losing interest. Dial it back (without calling attention to it – “Well, I’m clearly boring you” is annoying *and* passive-aggressive) and let them re-initiate.

Advertisement

If he doesn’t, wait at least a day before you send another. A good rule of thumb is to keep it to one text per response per day. If your conversation has seemed to completely die off, and you’re worried the guy you were set up with has lost interest (or forgot about your upcoming date), Nerdlove mentions that it’s okay to reach out cautiously. A text like “looking forward to seeing you tomorrow” isn’t a bad idea. It helps confirm that your date is still on and it shows your interest in a way that doesn’t come across as being overeager or pushy.

Grammar and spelling matter more than you think

While it’s debatable whether grammar and spelling matters in texts overall, you’re better off using proper English in your initial texts with someone you’d like to date. Ansari and Dr. Klinenberg said that bad grammar and spelling was considered a turn off in every interview they did with focus group participants. Generally, interviewees explained that it made the sender seem unintelligent and lazy.

Advertisement

Avoid using shortened “chatspeak” like “l8r,” “2day,” “b4,” and “plz.” It might be fine with your friends, but it will make a bad impression on someone you’re romantically interested in. Chatspeak can also be easily misunderstood if the receiver doesn’t know the abbreviations you use. All in all, stick to correctly-spelled words and clear language—at least at first. Don’t text the girl from work “fyi i frgt have an appt l8r idk if i can meet 2day.” Say something clear like “I forgot I have an appointment this afternoon. I’m so sorry, do you mind if we reschedule our date for tomorrow?”

The punctuation you use matters as well. Research suggests that using periods to end all of your messages can make them seem “too final” and insincere. At the same time, an exclamation point has been shown to make messages seem more sincere. For example, there’s a big difference between the texts “I’m fine.” and “I’m fine!” when you’re on the receiving end. The first almost looks angry, while the other one seems light and carefree. Also, if you’re asking a question, always use a question mark to avoid confusion.

Advertisement

Always mind your tone

As Nerdlove explains, tone is incredibly difficult to gauge via text. Even if you’re using emoji and emoticons, you need to be careful with jokes, teasing, and even flirting. You may think you’re being flirty and silly, but they might think you’re being serious and crossing the line. Use the other person’s real name early on, not nicknames or pet names. Yes, you want to let the cute guy from the gym know that you’re attracted to him, but only referring to him as “handsome” or “gorgeous” could be taken the wrong way, or worse, make them think you forgot their name.

Advertisement

If you want to use humor, Nerdlove suggests the safest route is to callback something from a previous interaction. For the cute guy from the gym, make a joke about the gym (or working out) since that’s how you met. You should be especially cautious, however, of using sarcasm in your texts. It rarely reads as well as it sounds in your head. If you really want to try, however, a study published in The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology suggests that using some emoji, emoticons, or an ellipses can help. A text like “I can totally out-bench you ;-)” reads a lot better than the matter-of-factly “I can totally out-bench you.”

If you have a feeling something might be taken the wrong way, stop yourself. Laurel House, the author of Screwing the Rules: The No-Games Guide to Love, suggests you take another look at your text before you send it and read it out loud to yourself. When it comes to sticking with safe subject matter, a good rule of thumb is if you wouldn’t talk to them about something in person, you shouldn’t talk about it over text. Lastly, keep your selfies and other pictures to yourself unless it has been okayed by them. Never send unsolicited anything.

Advertisement

Don’t overthink response time

While the world of romantic texting isn’t a large field of study (yet), there is some research that suggests you shouldn’t answer every text immediately upon receiving it. For Modern Romance, Ansari and Dr. Klinenberg found there was a general cultural consensus that you shouldn’t ever text back right away. According to their focus groups, texting back immediately can potentially make you seem overeager or desperate. It may seem a little strange to intentionally blow off a text, but it’s possible it will make you more desirable—at least in the short term. All that being said, Marin recommends you don’t overthink it too much:

So many people waste a lot of time and energy trying to figure out the exact right amount of hours or days to wait before responding. The thing is, we’re all so attached to our phone that we know the person has seen our message. Sure, you can wait a few minutes so as not to appear completely overeager, but just respond when you see the message.

Advertisement

It doesn’t hurt to wait a little bit if you’re really worried about coming across as overeager, but don’t adhere to some bizarre rule about “always waiting twice as long as they took to respond” or “always waiting three minutes to respond.” If you want to respond, respond. If you’re keeping your early text conversations focused on the right things (like making plans and carefully showing your interest in them), you shouldn’t have to worry about seeming overeager anyway. If things go well, after a few dates you’ll develop your own texting repertoire between the two of you and it won’t matter.

Know when to stop texting

Okay, so OkCupid girl hasn’t responded to your last text for two days. What do you do? Dating expert Joan Actually at the Zoosk YouTube channel suggests you shoot them a text that doesn’t beg for an answer to feel things out. Send something like “Just finished Making a Murderer on Netflix. It’s crazy!” or “On my way to the water park. So excited!” If you get any questions or other responses, they’re probably still interested. If not, it may be time to move on. When it comes to throwing in the towel, Nerdlove shares his golden rule:

One unreturned text could be tech problems. Two unreturned texts could be bad luck or someone being busy. Three unreturned texts is a message. Move on.

Advertisement

Of course, if you’re on the other end of things, it’s definitely polite to at least say something —especially if you’ve already met in person before. Marin explains that you should avoid “ghosting,” or completely avoiding any contact with the other person:

Don’t ghost. Texting is so easy and non-confrontational that there’s really no excuse for ghosting. If the other person is halfway decent, treat them with respect and let them know you’re not interested. Keep it simple with something like, “thank you for the invitation but I don’t feel enough of a connection.”

Advertisement

If they continue to bug you after you’ve said you’re not interested, however, ignore them or block their number.

Advertisement

This story was originally published on 11/19/16 and was updated on 5/10/19.

Texting is a part of modern life and it’s particularly important when dating. It’s not uncommon these days for some budding relationships to spend hours on the phone having full-blown conversations via text.

However, when a relationship is starting to flower things can get lost in text translation. So, there may be some texting etiquette to keep in mind before the romance can fully bloom and/or not die on the vine. Hopefully, like so many dating singles and couples I have worked with, these tips can help guide you while dating and texting.

Find your comfort level with texting

Don’t assume that everyone has the same comfort level with texting as you do. It may be your primary mode of communication or you may be a bit old-fashioned and prefer talking on the phone. The point is to not assume they think exactly as you do.

Your new love interest may have some good reason that they don’t text that often (maybe they spend a lot of time commuting or they are focused at work).

Whatever the case, if there is a discrepancy in the level with texting that you are uncomfortable with, have a straight conversation about it. It doesn’t have to be confronting. Just simply check in about their texting preference. Maybe they simply aren’t big on texting and maybe they are just not that into you. But through an authentic conversation, you may be able to get a good read on things.

If this budding relationship takes off, know that sharing your wants, needs, and expectations is an exercise in communication and compromise anyway, so have on your radar how you and your potential partner move through these kinds of conversations.

The constant lure of immediacy is not your friend

One of the wonderful things about technology is immediacy. We’re all so hooked on the expectation that things should happen with a click of a button. So, don’t necessarily get hung up if your friend doesn’t respond immediately.

According to Match.com’s Single in America study, 34 percent of daters in their 20s expect a response to a text in under 10 minutes (say what?!?!). If you’re over the age of 25 then your hands may be busy with work, driving, cooking, or I don’t know…maybe even being respectfully present with others and living a life.

While it is flattering to receive those sweet “thinking of you” messages and sending them with the hopes of a returned emoji, it’s important not to build that expectation (for yourself or others) without laying the groundwork of real communication.

So, if it feels right, go ahead and send a text with relaxed confidence. It’s called being “breezy,” and have no expectation of an immediate response. Breezing can be an attractive quality and if the person is genuinely interested in you, they will respond when they are best able to and in a timely manner.

Long or short texts?

There is a new saying – the longer the texts, the shorter the relationship. I know it’s new because I just made it up in the last fifteen seconds! On the surface, it may look like I just pulled this out of thin air, but as I reflect more and more on couples I’ve worked with, there is a sound basis for me to make this assertion. So, why do I say this?

It’s relatively simple. In the last 10-15 years, I’ve noticed that couples who rely on texting for the majority of their intimate and more important communications, tend not to establish as healthy an attachment to each other as couples who make the majority of their more meaningful conversations a priority to be in person, or at least on the phone if they are separated by physical distance.

Of course, there are exceptions such as couples in bi-coastal relationships, or couples where one or both tend to travel a good amount for business reasons.

Having said that, I highly recommend using text more for scheduling time together, rather than as your principal means of communication.

Is anyone there?

If you’ve had an encounter (a date, hook-up or budding friendship) with someone and they disappear without a trace – no call, no text, no nothing – then you’ve been ghosted.

It feels very much like the person just suddenly and unexpectedly disappeared into a fog, possibly never to be seen or heard from again.

Yes, it may sting a little bit and even hurt, especially if you didn’t see it coming. Try not to take it too personally because it is a poor reflection of them, NOT YOU. Simply say to yourself, “That’s rude and it’s better to know this now, rather than later on.” And then swipe and move on.

It may be hard not to obsess over the why and how of it all as scroll through the history of your text messages. But it’s important to not beat yourself up – it’s them, not you that messed up here. Have confidence that they are missing out on something special – you.

If you find yourself obsessing, step away from the phone because they clearly have.

Special note to the guys who are more likely to ghost: If you’re tempted to ghost someone, you need to man up and tell her either on the phone or in person. Never end a relationship by ghosting her or in a text. It truly reflects very badly on you, and hopefully, you don’t really want that reputation.

Don’t settle for being someone’s Plan B

While I’m all for spontaneity, if you notice that there are too many last-minute requests for hanging out and you’re uncomfortable with that, then kindly decline with a request to meet up again for a future date.

It may be something like, “I’d totally love to get together with you. I can’t tonight, but if you want to set something up for next Thursday evening that would be great.”

If they are truly interested in spending time with you, they will actively find a way to make it work (if not Thursday night, then they would find what will).

If the people that you are meeting are not living up to your standards, don’t lower yours. Don’t make excuses for their behavior.

Sexting

Flirting while texting is a wonderful way to build anticipation for your next date. However, I can’t stress enough caution when it comes to explicit language and sexy pictures sent over text.

Remember, texting is electronic communication. And it can come back to bite you weeks, months or years from now. The person that you are chatting with now may be the hot ticket, but 6 months later when the flames have died down and you’ve moved on to other interests, that topless or booty pic is still in their phone accessible to use as they wish. I’d encourage you to soberly, keep that in mind.

It is easy to get carried away in the sexual tension of sexting. However, remember that if the person likes you, they will want to have sex with you if you send explicit texts or not. If you are looking for a relationship, you may want to keep the sexting to a minimum and save the sexy talk for the real world.

If you choose to engage in regular sexting, don’t be surprised if your encounters only revolve around hooking up. You are sending a particular kind of message and setting the tone with how to engage with you.

Drunk texting is NEVER a good idea

Speaking of delusions. Drinking and texting do not mix.

Have you ever heard of it turning out well over text?

Probably not.

And if you do text while drunk or recovering from a hangover, you can probably expect that this will not be your finest hour.

You know better. Your guard is way down when you’re intoxicated. Don’t do it. It’s never a good idea.

Hide your phone in a drawer and go to sleep. You’ll be thankful you did instead of trying to explain your overblown emotions or the trip to Mexico you just promised with someone you’ve only known for two weeks.

Don’t be this couple

So, if this is how their wedding day looks, what do you think are the odds that they will still be together in five years?

Ain’t nothing like the real thing

Texting can create a sense of false intimacy. You may get a feeling that you’re really getting to know someone, but in reality, you’re only engaging in a very limited way behind a glowing screen.

You are very likely missing vitally important verbal and nonverbal cues that you would typically get being in another person’s presence. Over text you may not be able to understand someone’s humor, sarcasm, hurt, aggression, affection, facial expression, etc.

Texting like social media allows a person to hide behind a persona, especially if they are a good writer. Consider the possibility that this distance allows people to be a bit more bold, outrageous, witty, sexy than who they are IRL (in real life).

Take how your friend appears on text with a grain of salt. Maybe they are timid, and initially somewhat less engaging when they have to interact with others in the real world.

Ideally, always make it your highest priority to let the time in real time and in person, be the ultimate measurement for how much you want to engage with them – not the potentially delusional side behind a screen.

I hope that this article was helpful. Texting can be tricky, but hopefully, with a few of these guidelines, you can navigate the dating world a little easier. If you are ever in need of support for getting out there, I’ve helped people of all phases of life, gain the courage and self-esteem to start dating (again) and help them navigate the healthier ways of texting that lead to more fulfillment and better communication. I’d be happy to offer you a 15-minute free phone consultation to see how I may be of help to you.

Pooja Parikh Traveled Across The World For The HS Diagnosis That Changed Her Life Forever

A special thank you to Brittany and Kristi for the article inspiration, Anna for panel recruitment and research assistance, and to the panel of experts for contributing. I’m Priscilla

As single millennials, the “Should I text him first?” inevitably pops up in my friend group chats from time to time, followed by thorough deliberation. This time, I went straight to the source for the answers to what, if anything, is appealing about “the chase” when it comes to texting, what the game is about, and how to play. Five guys, ages 20 – 30, opened up about what goes through their minds before they hit send.

Our panel of eligible male millennials:
(Names have been changed.)
David, 20
Braden, 20
Cameron, 23
Ben, 27
Nate, 30

1. Are there “rules” to texting?

Let’s cut to the chase – pun intended. Four out of five of the guys said yes, there are rules to texting. According to Cameron, 23, the golden rules are to mind your grammar and abide by “three strikes you’re out” if he’s not responding: “Always use complete sentences and never send more than three unanswered texts.”

Nate, 30, says the golden rule is “No emojis if you are over the age of 16.”

Ben, 27, thinks it goes beyond whether or not you send those monkey emojis: “I definitely think there are unwritten rules to texting. A lot of these rules are generated by society and pop culture, and dictate how we converse with one another. I think these rules are also reflective of the relationship you have with someone. The frequency and type of text definitely differs between friends, work associates, girlfriends/boyfriends, best friends, crushes, siblings, parents, etc.

Ultimately, I think there is a general set of baseline rules that most people follow – like being polite, funny, respectful – and then the rest just falls into personal expectations.”

2. What is appealing about someone being “hard to get”?

There was a clear divide here. Two out of three of the 20 – 23 year olds said there is nothing appealing about someone being “hard to get.” David, 20, clarifies, “It makes them seem conceited and uninterested.” Nate, 30, weighs in with the younger crowd on this one, stating that “nothing” is appealing about a girl who is “hard to get.” He advocates the “straight to the point” approach: “I am always one who is aggressive and goes after what I want. You know pretty quickly if someone is into you or if you are into them. Whether it’s via text, at a bar or Steak ‘n Shake, “hard to get” is a thing of the past. I have noticed over past 3-4 years even females have been more aggressive in pursuit.”

On the other side, Braden, 20, says, “It makes them seem desirable; if lots of people want someone, then that person probably has something good about them.”

Ben, 27, sheds more light on the appeal: “ the old adage of nothing easy is worthwhile. I think everyone can agree that the more time and effort you put into someone, the more interested you are. But being hard to get is definitely a game and

I think it totally depends on the type of person you are. Each individual has a different threshold of “hard to get” that they are willing to tolerate. When you’re texting someone that you like and they are hard to get, it’s nauseating, exciting, and thrilling, waiting for someone to respond – the fact that it’s new and unknown is exciting. The anticipation and re-reading of texts can drive you mad but it’s that pain and agony that makes it so much better when they respond.”

3. How often is too often for a girl to text “just to say hey”?

According to Braden, 20, “more than once a day is too often,” while Cameron, 23, says texting “just to say hey” is “always fine.” Nate, 30, agrees that the text conversation should be “open-ended to keep the conversation flowing.”

Ben, 27, wants a more creative conversation starter. “If you are actively pursuing someone, you better come up with something better than ‘hey’ or you will lose their interest,” he cautions. But don’t underestimate the guy’s ability to play hard to get: “However, if I know someone is interested in me, and maybe I’m playing hard to get, just saying ‘hey’ after a lull in conversation can let them know that I’m still interested, but still give me the control.”

4. Is it a turnoff if a girl is always the one to text you first?

We have a consensus here – everyone answered no. Nate, 30, explains, “It’s 2016; Chivalry isn’t dead, but her texting first is kind of a turn-on, actually. It shows interest.” Ben agrees, adding that, “It shows that she knows what she wants. If I’m not interested, it’s not a turn-off, but it does become annoying if they continually

text you first when you don’t show interest.”

5. Are there “weekend” texts and “weekday” texts?

No surprises here – Weekday texts are more conversational, and are meant to serve as distractions while at work. They are also sober texts (usually). Weekend texts tend to get more flirtatious, and the senders are more likely to have a drink in the other hand (you don’t say).

Ben, 27, cautions the tipsy texters: “Once you start drinking, you start texting less with your brain and more with your emotions, which can lead to a disaster the drunker that you get.”

When asked the difference between a “weekday” text and a “weekend” text, Nate, 30, says that there isn’t one – “unless it is after midnight and the bars are closing.” I feel compelled here to remind everyone of the Jersey Shore wisdom of “Nothing good happens after 2:00 A.M.” (unless you’re at Steak ’n Shake – and Nate will be there with chivalry and cheese fries).

6. Is there a reason or strategy behind your texting habits?

Maybe the “bad texter” isn’t always a myth. Some guys generally don’t like texting as a whole. David, 20, dislikes communicating through texts “because of the inability to convey emotions properly through words.” Nate, 30, would also opt out: “I am more of a phone caller, shows more intimacy.”

Unfortunately, the fear that the guy’s inbox is full of conversations with other girls may be a valid concern. That is, at least, if you’re talking to Braden, 20: “I treat it like a game where I try to talk to as many people as possible at the same time.”

Ben, 27, is our breath of fresh air. “I’m not one for games,” he says, “and the older I get, the less and less I play them. But I do think it is important to not come off as desperate or clingy when first meeting someone, because you don’t want to spook them.” When can you expect a non-strategized text from him? “After 2 – 3 dates, I usually stop worrying about the time or frequency of my texts as strategic, because I feel that I have a read on them and whether or not we like each other.”

7. What is your favorite text to get from a girl?

I’ll let the guys speak for themselves here.

David: I dislike all texts equally.

Braden: hey (:

Nate: “pizza and hockey game?”

Ben: I think that depends on the girl; for example, I loved getting “hey there stranger” from my first serious girlfriend who I took to prom. The words didn’t necessarily mean anything, but between us it was an inside joke or something we always said to each other. So I think the best/favorite text to get from a girl is where they reference an inside joke; it shows they care without actually saying the words, and it’s unique to your relationship.

Cameron: Anything that means they were thinking of me (e.g. miss you/ something reminded them of me) and compliments.

8. When was the last time you “ghosted” a girl and why?

For questioning readers, I’ll save you the Google search: “Ghosting” is when someone you’re “dating” or “talking to” or “seeing” (#Dating in 2016 problems) ends the “relationship” by ending all communication without explanation or warning.

Interestingly, the 20 – 23 year olds weren’t as familiar with the term. David, however, appears well-versed in it. When asked when the last time he “ghosted” a girl was, he replied, “This week, I didn’t want to talk to her.” Fair enough.

However, sometimes ghosting is the simple solution to an online dating match gone bad. Ben, 27, last ghosted a girl after a first date. “She had a lot of baggage,” he explains, “and brought up that she recently broke up with a boyfriend she had been dating for several years… She was not ready to date – and that was what I was looking for.”

Nate last ghosted a girl last year: “She said she was a Cubs fan.”

9. Have you ever waited a day or longer to respond to a text? If yes, why?

Most of the panelists said yes, by accident – or yes, to not come off as eager. Nate, however, knows better than to wait too long to reply to your text: “You won’t find yourself anywhere but the doghouse if you don’t text back within a few hours.”

The takeaway? To summarize the findings, here is the most important graph. Send the text. Keep it thoughtful – If you were thinking about him, let him know. Mind your autocorrect, don’t spam him, and be your witty self – even if that calls for emojis (personal opinion). Happy texting.

“ He sure likes his blondes. Not a good date, though—too stabby.” — Simon Mirren on Criminal Minds

Julie T.

While text messaging is generally seen as pretty unromantic, it can actually be a very useful dating tool. A self-identified text message addict, I believe that, when done right, text messages are actually useful in the beginning stages of building a relationship. Think about it, texting allows you to have a constant stream of communication with an individual that you are seeing—not as an alternative, but rather an addition, to calling—an added-value to traditional phone conversation.

Specifically, I love getting text messages from people just to say good morning or good night. A basic How are you or a How is your day text message is a nice, welcome interruption in the middle of a day. Sometimes, the simplest text message can seem the most romantic. Something as seemingly mundane as an I’m thinking about you text message can be an incredibly sweet gesture, and when used correctly, a well-crafted text message can put butterflies in your sweetie’s stomach and stars in their eyes.

So what are some basic rules to follow by, when exchanging text messages with someone you meet online? Here’s some guidelines about text messaging and online dating:

Consider texting to be second base.
Don’t run to second base until you’ve passed first. What’s first base? First base is the first phone call. Don’t let your first phone interaction with someone be based on texting. That’s just lazy. Texts are great in addition to calling, but not as a replacement for calling. There’s no substitute for hearing someone’s voice for the first time, or for having a real, substantial phone interaction.

Whoa, slow those thumbs down.
One of the worst things you can do when texting is to send a string of messages in succession, before getting a response.

Hey what’s up?

Hello?

Where are you?

What’s up?

🙂

You there?

Um, slow down crazy! She was just at the gym, and she gets back to the locker room, opens her phone to check her messages, and sees 15 messages from you in the span of an hour asking what she’s up to? Yeah. That’s no good.

Don’t be aggressive.
Guys and gals, do not be super aggressive when texting, particularly if it’s sexual aggression. It’s not OK to send explicit texts unless you’ve spoken clearly about this before with the person and have established the parameters.

Drunk + Texting = FAIL
HJey, arf youu awkae? is not an appropriate text to send someone at 3:00 a.m. after you’ve had a few too many vodka sodas. You can ruin a good thing by drunk texting, so the best option is to simply give a trusted friend your phone and tell said friend to, at any cost, keep that phone out of your hands.

Wot RU up 2 UR HOT!! xoxo = Vomit
You might have a personal dictionary, inside which language is subjected to the abuses of your imagination, but there really is a proper way to spell things, and abbreviated emoticons are not it. Texting is not that difficult. You aren’t asked to compose a dissertation on metaphysics.

🙂 😉 :/ ^_^ = Use in moderation.
I like emoticons. But I start to question people when every single text they send me ends in a smiley face. C’mon. Emoticons are all well and good in moderation, but it can be really easy to go overboard with them. Coming across like a 12 year old is not an attractive quality in adults.

Texts are short. Please check your spelling. It’s not that hard.
The least you can do, in a text message that probably spans the course of three sentences, is check your spelling. It’s not like you’re being asked to proofread someone’s novel. If it takes 20 seconds to make sure you spelled the conjunction of you are as you’re and not your then I’d say it’s worth it.

DO wait in between texts.
I know it’s tempting but play hard to get, at least a little! Wait 20 or 30 minutes before firing off a response text message. Remember, you are busy and important.

DO give people plenty of time to respond.
Give people time to respond before shooting off a text piggybacking off your first text. Who knows? Maybe this person is somewhere they can’t get reception, or they’re at the gym, or they’re in a submarine at the bottom of the ocean for a day. In any case, you need to be patient and wait for them to respond. Why? Because adults have patience. And you are an adult.

DO send flirty texts.
Text flirting is great! But in text flirting, try to keep the subject PG, at least at first. If you’re into “sexting” make sure you establish with your date that they are okay with dirty texts before you start sending them stuff that might send them running for the hills. Keep banter light, friendly, and strictly safe for work at first.

DO send text pictures.
I love getting sent pictures via text. I often send my friends random photos—of food I’ve ordered at restaurants, funny signs, cute clothes in a window display, or whatever I happen to be passing by at the moment that might be of interest. These are great pictures to send via text, especially to someone you’re dating to instigate a heavy flirt session.

Texting can be a great way to flirt, get to know someone better, and feel intimate even though you’re busy going about your day. Take advantage of the benefits texting has to offer. You never know where your next text could lead!

Juliette is a freelance writer with years of experience covering dating and relationships.

10 Texting and Online Dating Tips for Tech-Savvy Singles

Last week, Match.com released its fifth annual Singles in America study, giving us interesting insight into how men and women date. Guess what? It’s a mad, tech world out there. Thirty-one percent of men and women met their last date online (as opposed to six percent in a bar), 34 percent of daters in their 20s expect a response to a text in under 10 minutes (!), and far more emoji users went on a first date last year than those who never dropped a winky face on the object of their textual affection (52 percent versus 27 percent).

All this begs the question: how do we most effectively date in the digital world? Fortunately, we rounded up some dating experts to spill on how to become the most tech-savvy dater you can be. (But don’t forget these 6 Online Dating Dos and Don’ts for Internet Safety.)

Don’t Text Until You Have a Date Set Up

Image zoom

Corbis Images

Laurel House, author of Screwing the Rules, suggests avoiding a back-and-forth until you have an actual date on the books. “It’s way too easy to get carried away, have sexually-driven texts, and kill the relationship before you have the opportunity to ever meet,” she says. In the initial stages of dating, think of texting only as the prelude to the real deal: an in-person meeting.

Pick Up the Phone if It’s Important

Image zoom

Corbis Images

Whether you’re just doing it because it’s how you began (i.e. online), or because you want to avoid saying difficult topics out loud, “nothing good comes from trying to discuss emotionally-charged issues through an electronic device,” says dating coach Neely Steinberg, author of Skin in the Game. This might lead to confusion or resentment (depending on the stage of your relationship). If it’s important, pick up the phone! Or hold tight until you see him next.

Think Before You Send

Image zoom

Corbis Images

Early on, you have to be careful. The person you’re texting doesn’t necessarily know you or your sense of humor. So re-read, double-check, and be careful: “Your texts are stripped of tone and facial expressions-no matter how many emoticons you include,” says House. “One way to test the tone is to imagine that he is sending the text to you. Say it out loud, minus voice inflections, and decide if it comes across as intended.” (You don’t want to end up like one of these Online Dating Disasters That’ll Make You Glad You’re Single.)

Let Texting Frequency Build

Image zoom

Corbis Images

“Since more of the human connection is lost, I encourage singles to simply use texting less frequently than they might be inclined to,” says Steinberg. “After a date, it’s lovely to send a follow-up note. If you’re stuck in traffic, let him know you’re running late. Send a funny or cute text to say that something you just experienced reminded you of him.” You just want to avoid long-drawn out text back-and-forths early on.

Pay Attention to His Style

Image zoom

Corbis Images

House says most people text the way they wish to be texted-so look at how he types his notes (hopefully he will do the same for you!). If he compliments your looks, maybe he craves physical compliments. If he keeps it brief, maybe he’s not a texting dude. Just make sure that the levels of interest are even. One good way to do this: check out the length of his texts versus the length of yours. If you scroll back and see that you’re wordy and he responds with just one word, ask yourself: “Are my levels of interest even with his?” They should be.

Don’t Play Games

Image zoom

Corbis Images

When in doubt, use a 1:1 ratio-he should initiate half the time, and so should you. That said, if you have something to say or reply, don’t play games with him. “Text is intended to be a form of immediate communication, so don’t wait two days before you respond,” House says. “That’s sending the signal that you aren’t truly interested, and that you are a game-player.” (And read 6 Texts You Should Never Send Him.)

You’re Not Required to Respond

Image zoom

Corbis Images

Steinberg says she sees a certain pressure nowadays to respond to texts and emails instantly. And if you’re free, go for it! That said, don’t think you owe a response in under 10 minutes-like data suggests many believe. “You have a full life and are not at this new person’s beck and call,” Steinberg says. “In fact, it builds anticipation if you take your time responding.” The bottom line: live your life. Texting should occur only when it’s appropriate, convenient and/or fun.

Use that Emoji

Image zoom

Corbis Images

The Match.com stats speak for themselves: Friendly emoji users are way more likely to get out on real, live dates. A smile or a wink helps the reader show you’re being light-hearted or flirty, both good text techniques and way better than a “haha” or “lol,” which Steinberg says can be a total turn-off for some. “Just beware that too many emoticons can also be a turn-off,” she says. “Definitely don’t use more than one in a single text. A well-placed exclamation point also helps too.” But, again, use the “rule of one” early on for those. “‘Looking forward to seeing you!’ is better than ‘Looking forward to seeing you’ or ‘Looking forward to seeing you!!!'” says Steinberg.

Build a Foundation Before Checking In

Image zoom

Corbis Images

House says a lot of guys will bolt if you abuse texting early on. That means no constant check-ins to check up on a new guy and no seeking for him to entertain you whenever you’re bored. “That said, once the relationship is a bit more established, those, ‘Hey handsome…thinking of you,’ ‘Waking up to you in my mind puts a smile on my face,’ or ‘Sweet dreams, sweetheart,’ are all very welcome, comforting, and appreciated, because you have a foundation and you truly care for each other,” House says. (Also, take note of these 8 Secret Tips to Go from Casual to Couple.)

Flirt!

Image zoom

Corbis Images

“You should flirt in texts. In fact, it’s great!” says House. But not any fun little text will do. Here’s an example of a good text, per House: “After a really interesting meeting with my boss about my new role (yay!), I went for a run to calm my body and mind. Wish you were here relaxing with a glass of wine with me. How was your meeting today? I’m sure you nailed it!”

Why it works: it’s not bland or canned. It’s engaging, and there’s deeper insight about the person being revealed, which can lend to more lengthy phone or in-person conversation later, she explains. “Plus, there was flirtation and enthusiasm with the bubbled words.” A good formula: first, share something that you did or will do to peak his interest, and then ask a question. Now, go forth and press send, ladies.

  • By Jenna Birch

The 10 commandments of online dating

Online dating is an emotional rollercoaster.

One minute you’re raving about your new #bae and all of the niche boxes they tick – “wears uniform, enjoys crime podcasts, identifies as gluten-free” – the next, you realise you’re sitting opposite a total stranger drinking lukewarm beer and wondering why on earth you swiped right.

In a sea of catfish and other equally complex creatures, when it comes to modern-day matters of the heart, it’s easy to feel like you’re drowning in the nuance of it all.

Download the new Independent Premium app

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

To navigate the murky waters of online dating and actually find someone you can tolerate, let alone fancy, you need to go in armed and ready. But preparation goes beyond knowing your ghosting from your breadcrumbing.

From abandoning “the waiting game” to rehearsing your bad date exit strategy, here are the 10 commandments of online dating, as supported by science and, well, common decency.

1. Thou shalt not say things thou does not mean

People like it when people like them, that much is a given. So when we meet someone we fancy online, it’s tempting to become an effusive people-pleaser in the hope that your affections will be reciprocated.

Yet going overboard with the compliments so early on (think: “your eyes are beautiful like the sun” and “you’re more irresistible than chocolate”) is risky, argues dating psychologist Madeleine Mason.

Either it will seem like you’re being inauthentic, she tells The Independent, or your over-enthusiasm will engender false feelings of hopefulness that will cause problems down the line.

If you mean it, say it. If not, keep shtum.

2. Thou shalt not be neither cat nor kittenfish

By dint of being exclusively online platforms, dating apps foster a culture of deception. This can take varying degrees, from lying about your height (kittenfishing) to creating entirely false identities, otherwise known as “catfishing”.

A study carried out by social media analytic professors at the University of Oregon found that men are most likely to lie about their occupations on dating apps, whereas women tend to have less photographs than men in that they’re either old images or recent ones that have been heavily edited.

The research revealed that most of the lies people tell on dating apps derive from wanting to present ourselves in ways we think the other person will deem attractive.

For example, if a match says they’re into fitness, you may lie about how often you go to the gym.

The repercussions of lying to a partner are obvious, but Mason says that it could keep you from finding love forever.

“Styling your online image that is not a true likeness of who you are will set your date up for disappointment and you will remain single,” she says.

3. Thou shalt not start a conversation with an emoji

Not only does this give the impression that you have the vocabulary of a five-year-old, it’s also downright lazy.

Remember that you do not know this person; if you want sparks to fly, you need to dig a little deeper than digitally enhanced fruits and vegetables.

Despite their popularity, a recent study carried out by dating site Plenty of Fish found that peaches and aubergines are the most-hated emojis when it comes to online dating conversations.

The research also revealed that only eight per cent of people think sending an emoji message will get you a reply in the first instance.

“Try and start out with at least a sentence or two, ideally including a question the person can answer you,” Mason advises.

“Basically you want to invite a conversation, not merely state your presence.”

4. Thou shalt not play ‘the waiting game’

Tempting as it may be, it’s best not to play games with your beloved when it comes to communication ie purposely delaying responses so as not to seem desperate.

While nobody wants to be dubbed a “keen bean”, it sets a toxic precedent if you’re obsessing over such trivial matters so early on.

A study from 2017 revealed that similar texting habits can be key to finding love online, but that doesn’t mean you need to match someone’s response time to the minute.

“Adopt the same ‘timings’ as you would a friend,” Mason suggests, “which is most likely to be when you have time and an answer.”

5. Thou shalt have a well-rehearsed escape routine

Whenever you meet an online match in person for the first time, you run the risk of spending an hour wincing with awkwardness, wondering what compelled you to agree to a date with this person.

In such circumstances, it’s key to have an exit strategy prepared.

Some general rules of practice: be polite (“This was great, but my Uber is waiting”), don’t tell a farfetched lie (“My cousin’s guinea pig just fell down the loo”) and never dine and dash (”I thought I’d paid via telepathy”).

6. Thou shalt ignore the advice of coupled-up friends who met IRL

When you’re single, your smug friends in relationships will inevitably try to offer their support, by repeating statements like: “you’ll find someone when you least expect it” and “patience is a virtue”.

The thing is, if they met in real life, your naive, loved-up friends know diddly squat about the labyrinthine dating landscape – they may as well be teaching a camel how to swim.

Woman dating ghosts explains she wants to marry and start a family with her ghost boyfriend

“There is a reason why there’s a rise in dating coaching,” Mason points out, “many people have little clue on how best to date successfully and for those who have met IRL, their empathetic, well-meaning advice is often inefficient, especially when it comes to things like what photos should go up on a dating profile.”

Don’t listen to your smug pals, dear single camel, you and your humps got this.

7. Thou shalt ‘play the field’ with caution

Dating apps endorse a degree of polyamory due to the way they work.

As soon as you swipe right or left on a dating app, another person’s profile appears on your phone.

If multi-tasking is what you’re into, go forth and, well, multiply, but note that things can get messy if you start dating several people at once.

Not only will you find yourself repeating stories because you’ve forgotten what you’ve said to who, but you’ll also struggle to commit to just one person due to constant distractions.

“It’s not to say you can’t go on several different first and second dates,” says Mason, “but once you start seeing someone frequently, focus on one person at a time.”

8. Thou shalt read verbal and non-verbal cues

In today’s #MeToo age, it has never been more important to be aware of what your match is and isn’t comfortable with in terms of physical intimacy.

This can be trickier with people you’ve met online, as you’re likely to have fewer ties to one another, which can cultivate irrational or erratic behaviour.

Today, we have consent apps to help assuage some of these grievances, but criminal lawyers argue these wouldn’t stand up in a court of law, rendering them futile.

Instead of clicking “yes” or “no” on a smartphone, it’s crucial to use your intuition when broaching matters of intimacy on a dating app date, even if it’s just a kiss.

“Dating is more like a dance than a game,” says Mason.

Facebook unveils online dating feature

“You work out where the other person ‘is’ and respond.” If you’re unsure, be straightforward and have a conversation about it. In these instances, it is always better to be safe than sorry, even if you feel it compromises your “playing it cool” facade.

9. Thou shalt split the bill on the first date, or at least try to

It’s a debate as old as time: in heterosexual partnerships, who should pay on the first date?

A YouGov study from 2017 found that 40 per cent of men think they should always pay for the first date while just 29 per cent of women felt the same.

People feel very strongly about this, which is why it’s best to avoid the risk of causing an almighty ruckus over something so menial and vow to split the bill early on.

10. Thou shalt not social media stalk (in excess)

Curiosity killed the cat – and it may well wreck emotional havoc on the person spending hours trawling through a match’s old Facebook photos.

What might start as an innocent browse through someone’s Instagram feed can easily descend into a three-hour-long social media deep dive, leading you to the Twitter profiles of distant family members and old flames – do not fall down this rabbit hole.

Obviously it’s fairly acceptable to engage in a mild amount of pre-date social media stalking to make sure the person you’re meeting actually exists, but Mason advises keeping your searching to a minimum so you get to know the person in front of you and not a fantasy version you have gleaned from social media platforms.

The Independent’s Millennial Love group is the best place to discuss to the highs and lows of modern dating and relationships. Join the conversation here.​

Elizabeth Entenman

Like it or not, there are many unspoken rules of texting. You may not agree with each of them, but when you’re getting to know somebody, it’s best to follow them to make the best first impression.

Texting etiquette has changed a lot in just a few years, so if you’re recently single, you might have some catching up to do. But even if you’ve been dating for a while now, it never hurts to do a quick refresh. To make sure you’re following the proper texting etiquette, follow these 10 unspoken rules of texting.

1. First thing’s first: When you get a text, respond to it.
Try to make a habit of responding to every single text you receive. You don’t have to reply the moment you receive it, but don’t ghost people, a.k.a. cut off all communication and completely disappear. And yes, you should respond even if it’s to (politely) say that you don’t think you’re compatible and you’re not interested in dating them.

2. Keep your texts short and sweet.
Don’t overwhelm someone with a wall of text. Think of texting as your means of communication between dates. You want to keep in touch, show that you’re still interested, and plan your next date, but you don’t want to run out of things to say. Try to strike a balance between available and interested, but still intriguing and mysterious.

3. That said, keep your texts proportional to theirs.
If they write a wall of text and you respond with “Ok” or “Ha,” it won’t make them feel good. That said, if you’re on the receiving end of an “Ok” or a “Ha,” there might be a reason.

4. Use proper grammar and don’t use abbreviations.
if u txt like this u def wont b taken srsly irl lol. The occasional “omg” is okay, but don’t overdo it. Bad grammar, typos, and abbreviations read as lazy, and will make them wonder if you’re lazy in other areas of your life, too.

5. Don’t use all caps, either.
THERE’S NO NEED TO USE ALL CAPS, BECAUSE IT MAKES IT SEEM LIKE YOU’RE SHOUTING. If you really feel the need to shout at someone, maybe the conversation should be happening in real life.

6. Watch your tone.
Of course, you know the tone of your text. But when someone is still getting to know your sense of humor, your sarcasm won’t necessarily come across via text. They could take your sarcasm literally, or worse, be offended. Until there’s a font for sarcasm, it’s best to avoid it.

7. Don’t get too deep or personal.
Texts are meant to be lighthearted, fun, and flirty. You can ask how their day is going but save the deep questions and personal stories for the date.

8. If you don’t receive a reply right away, don’t panic.
There are a number of reasons why people don’t respond to texts right away: they’re busy at work, their phone is dead, they forgot their phone at home, or they read your text and meant to respond but forgot to. Not getting a reply right away doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not interested, so don’t panic and assume the worst. And definitely don’t keep texting them until they respond, because that will push them away.

9. Text during business hours.
When you’re getting to know someone, keep your text conversations between 9 am-5 pm. Basically, don’t text them super early in the morning or late at night.

10. Whatever you do, don’t call them.
We know, we know: Phone calls are a basic form of human communication. But in today’s world, a phone call from someone you don’t know very well (or even someone you do, for that matter) can be awkward. This is one of the unspoken rules of texting might divide some people, but in general, don’t call someone until you get to know them better. Then, if they say that they like phone calls, go for it!

As you get to know somebody better, you can amend these rules, but, when you’re first getting to know somebody, it’s best to follow them the best you can. Trust us: A little bit of texting etiquette goes a long way.

Freelance Writer

Elizabeth is a freelance writer, editor, and advertising copywriter in Brooklyn. Right now, she’s probably somewhere Instagramming her dogs.

Dating in the digital age gives dating a whole new spectrum of do’s and don’ts. While I typically shy away from any hard fast rules, I do believe that some best practices and guidelines still apply. One of these is dating textiquette. Frequently you’re faced with the dilemma of “should I” or “should I not” give out my number, what and what to not send out and how long you should engage in virtual conversation before you meet in real life or face to face. Truth of the matter is that it all depends on you, your comfort level, your intentions as well as your expectations. Give out your number if you feel that’s what you would like to do, otherwise don’t. It’s up to you. This can also refer to any type of messaging you do online.

Dating textiquette is all about interaction with someone you want to get to know better. Although it has its benefits, it could also leave you lost and confused. The whole nature of virtual contact with someone can lead you astray. How so? Well, the person on the other end is showing you what they want to show you. They can be charming, flirtatious and funny leading you to fall head over heels for them. In reality, they could be a completely different person. We tend to waste a lot of time texting and getting to know each other virtually that we forget that it’s the face to face interactions that really matter most. This is why it’s important to not let texting linger too long or else you might just end up in a “textationship” which is when you’re texting all the time and never make an effort to meet in real life. It feels like a relationship but it really isn’t. Get off the phone and meet in person as soon as possible or else cut them loose.

This is why dating textiquette is so important. Texts should never replace actually speaking with someone or face to face interaction, they should be a way to “touch base” and should be used more as a “thinking of you” rather than “my day went like this blah blah blah”. So you’re probably wondering how do you text effectively? You’re in luck! I’m here to help.

Top 5 Tips for Dating Textiquette

The following are some guidelines to keep in mind when you are communicating by text:

Short & Sweet

Keep in mind the “lucky 7” rule which is that each message should be 7 words or less. Keeping your message short and sweet ensures they are concise and to the point. Text messages aren’t meant to replace emails. Keep the longer discussions to voice conversations or when you meet in person.

Limited

Make sure your messages are purposeful. Say what you have to say and stop. You also don’t need to message them countless times a day because it looks needy and desperate. Best practice would be sending a short “just want to say thinking of you” or “looking forward to seeing you later” which says it all without seeming clingy. Avoid having entire conversations over text and never, ever, ever, ever end things with someone over texts.

Strategic

Use text messages to your advantage. They are a great way to touch base and show someone that you’re thinking of them but over texting can have the opposite effect and scare them away. A nice “good morning and wish you a good day” or “how was your day today?” is always welcome. You don’t need to go on and on nor should you expect them to. You can also send texts to refer to things they might find interesting or to confirm your plans.

Discreet

Don’t text personal information about yourself or anyone else because once it’s out there you no longer have control over it. Many people will ask for more photos of you, but a good best practice would be to not send any additional photos unless you’ve met the person face to face. Also, if you have not met the person you should not be “sexting” or sending suggestive pictures of yourself because as I mentioned before once they are out there you have absolutely NO control over what you sent.

Timely

The timing of text messages is also very important. If someone sent you a text message responding in a timely manner is essential. If you’re not interested then be honest, don’t just ignore them or ghost on them or even keep texting and leading them on. We all have known the agony of waiting for that response or date request, so don’t be that person. Another good best practice would be to be respectful of their time and not text too early in the morning or too late at night.

Keeping these 5 tips for dating textiquette in mind will help you have a more positive dating experience overall. Also be mindful of giving more weight and importance to face to face interactions because it’s only in real life that you can truly get to know someone in a real way.

The Psychology of Texting Back

Recommended listening: Quit Playing Games (With My Heart) – Backstreet Boys

“Don’t leave me hangin’ here forever”

The three dots and screenshots. Navigating the rules of texting and dating is one of the less fun aspects of dating in the 21st century.

I can remember the anticipation I felt waiting for texts back from the man I would eventually marry, before the three bouncing dots, read receipts, and sending screenshots to friends were even a thing. Maybe I’d forward a text or two of his to a friend, followed with “What could this mean??”

The experience of texting has morphed into something much more complex than anticipation and a spike in dopamine with each “good morning” text.

With technology almost inseparable from the process of finding and building a relationship, the dating game is unrecognizable from days past. Unspoken rules dictate the usage of messaging and apps to communicate with potential romantic partners.

And it seems that we don’t really know what the rules are…

In these questions, there is an avoidance of direct expression of one’s interest (or lack thereof) in another person. With the spirit of hookup culture—play it cool—guiding texting behavior, no one wants to be the first to express interest, state preferences, or communicate needs.

Doing so requires risk and vulnerability, with the possibility of interest being unrequited. A text back too soon may signify a surrender—losing the game of emotional chicken characteristic of the early stages of modern texting and dating.

Taking that risk can be scary, especially in a dating environment where it’s not cool to care. There’s discomfort on all sides, whether you are making the first move, waiting for a reply, responding, or directly saying “no thanks.”

When the other person is not physically present, it’s easier to do nothing rather than face the discomfort of communicating interest, letting someone down, or breaking the rules of the game. So, the bouncing three dots disappear…no reply.

But at what cost? Our shying away from discomfort means shutting out other opportunities that come with it.

Perhaps what is missed is a night out with a person you’d genuinely like to get to know. There’s also the energy lost in deliberating over timing and content to craft the perfect casual text. What used to be the exciting initial phase of getting to know someone has shifted to one of frustration, missed connections, and worry.

Yet, texting and technology don’t have to be a relational stressor and have the potential to enhance relationships when used to communicate how we feel, especially among young adults. How do we get there?

Choose Values Over Avoidance When Texting Back

When you hear yourself asking, “Should I…?” take a step back. “Should” questions and statements often guide us away from our values and what we want in life, shifting our mindset from what we think to worry about what others think.

Instead, think about what kind of partner you hope to be, and start practicing those values and behaviors now. This could mean stepping out of the game and sending a text when you would like to talk to or see that person of interest.

If someone you like texts you, a text back can communicate trust and care to that person, increasing their positive emotions associated with hearing from you.

If you decide to end a texting relationship with another person, consider that the discomfort of not knowing where he or she stands could be more distressing and energy-draining than knowing you’re no longer interested.

While technology has changed how we meet and interact with potential partners, the science of building connection remains the same.

Outside of hook-up culture and the millennial generation, emotional needs and dependence on another person also get a bad reputation. Yet, according to attachment research, having a secure partnership is empowering to our individuality, known as the dependency paradox.

Security is established when we build trust with our partners, through consistent communication patterns, validation, and emotional availability. Even as we use texting and apps to communicate, we can ask for what we need, state how we feel, and respond to others who do the same.

Texting and Dating Etiquette: Practicing Self-Care

While in the midst of an unavoidable texting dilemma, practice self-care.

  • Practice non-judgment: Our brain tends to work on overdrive to relieve uncertainty and ambiguity; while we wait for a text back it will make up all kinds of stories to fill in the gaps. Rather than engage with the struggle of judging the situation to be chill or not chill, simply note the facts of the situation.
  • Own your communication needs: The truth is, there is no right or wrong way to text back. Texting should be tailored to match you and your partner’s styles of communication and attachment. It’s okay to say that you’d like something to be different, and collaborate to find a workable solution.

Decoding the rules of texting back is one of the growing pains that come with using technology to connect and communicate with romantic partners.

Where it has been easy to stay comfortable behind our screens, we can choose to use texting as an effective and fun tool for connection and expression.

Texting Tips: how to keep their interest between dates

by eharmony

Texting is key to keeping your dates interest while you’re waiting to meet up. Dating expert and coach James Preece shares his top texting tips

If you want to keep the momentum going before, after, and between dates, then your phone can be the greatest tool at your disposal. A few texts every now and again can work wonders to keep you at the front of their mind. Even so, so many people get this wrong as they don’t know what they should be saying in those texts. So today, I’m going to give you my Dating Coach advice so you’ll know exactly what you need to do in order to build attraction over text.

Assume that you already know each other

The first thing you need to do is to act as if you’re already close – this immediately puts the other person at ease and takes the pressure off. Keep the conversation light, as if you’ve been dating for ages, even if you’ve yet to meet. By doing this you will be much more friendly, relaxed and playful in your texts. Never be too sexual as this can scare them away, but don’t be afraid to use emoticons or emojis to show that you’re flirting.

Some great examples are:

‘Hey you, so, what have you been up to today? :)’

‘So, how did your meeting go? I bet you nailed it!’

Create intrigue

Treat your texts as if they were little gold nuggets: use them sparingly and they’ll be much more powerful. Give the person you’re texting space and let them wonder what you might be doing and thinking, rather than bombarding them with messages every five minutes.

When you do message them, make it count and make sure you get them thinking. Something like this perfect:

‘Bet you can’t guess what I’m doing right now…x’

‘Don’t plan anything Friday…because I’ve got plans for you! :)’

If they don’t text back for a little while, don’t panic. It doesn’t mean that they’ve lost interest, just that life has gotten in the way.

The worst thing you can do is send another text a few minutes (or hours) later to ask if they got your first message or to demand to know why they didn’t reply. This can look needy and desperate, killing off any excitement and destroying the air of mystery.

Make sure you’re always in their thoughts

Texting last thing at night is often the best time to get their attention – that way you’ll be in their thoughts just before they head to bed. If you text first thing in the morning or in the middle of a busy work day, then it might be quickly forgotten as there will be other things on their mind.

Why not be a little cheeky and send them something this:

‘Hey! Stop thinking about me ;)’

Build momentum

Effective text flirting is really just like the two of you dancing together. One of you will say something and then the other follows or counters. The process continues until you get to know each other, so make sure that you keep the conversation flowing without it fizzling out. To do this, you have to be creative and ask questions that might surprise them.

How about:

‘You have a cheeky smile – when you were younger, what did you get in trouble for?’

Pick up the phone

While texting is an incredibly useful thing to do between dates, don’t forget that the main purpose of a phone is for talking! This is something that so many people seem too afraid to do nowadays, which is a real shame.

The whole point of flirting over text is to build up your relationship to the point where both of you can pick up the phone and call each other directly. It’s only by having a proper conversation that you’ll be in with a chance of making things work long-term.

I hope that these tips will help you build your relationships in a much more meaningful manner. Just remember that the only real way you’ll make a true, long-lasting connection is by meeting face to face. So, start sending messages and setting up dates today – happy dating!

James Preece is one of the UK’s leading dating experts and dating coaches. He’s been working in the industry for over a decade and is a very experienced relationship expert, having helps tens of thousands of men and women to find love, build confidence and improve their relationships. James has his own Dating Clinic every Saturday on Talk Radio and is the author of 7 bestselling dating books, including Amazon bestseller ‘I will make you click!’ Find James on Facebook, Twitter @jamespreeceguru and at his website, jamespreece.com.

9 Online Dating Tips For Women: Tips & Tricks to Make Guys Interested in You

Websites and apps. Who’d have thought in this day and age that these would be the tools to help you meet a man? I’m constantly getting asked for online dating tips for women, so clearly it’s become such a popular channel…and yet women don’t really know how to own it.

Online dating is different from what happens when you meet someone organically. People behave differently when they can hide behind technology. It can be challenging to be able to read a man’s “body language” when you can’t actually see his body!

If you’ve just recently become single again, you may feel lost in this new world of dating through technology. It’s kind of scary, actually. That’s why I put together this video and article full of useful online dating tips for women to help you gain confidence in this new medium.

Once you’ve mastered these tips, you’ll be dating online like a pro!

Your Coach,

P.S. The key to succeeding with online dating is confidence. If you need a little boost, . You’ll learn how to start a conversation with a man, as well as how to get a guy you met online to ask you out.

Introduction

I don’t know about you, but I think online dating shouldn’t be called online dating. It should be called “online chatting in order to find an offline relationship.”

But that doesn’t sound as good…

But seriously, when you’re dating online, don’t allow yourself to fall into the trap of building an online relationship.

What I mean is: if you invest so much energy in talking to a guy for weeks online without meeting him, a) you just have a pen pal and b) you are putting yourself at serious emotional risk. Until you meet a guy in person, you can’t know if you have chemistry. Certainly, you can — and should — get to know him through text or chat before you even know if you want to meet him, but don’t let the chatting go on for too long before you meet him.

After all, we’ve all heard of catfishing! Until you meet a man face-to-face, how can you be sure he really is who he says he is? In 2011, the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center had 5,600 complaints from victims of “romance scams.” And those are just the ones reported. I have met countless women who have struck up a conversation with men online who, it turned out, were using someone else’s photos and lying about everything.

Now I’m not saying this to scare you off. There are a ton of legit guys on dating apps, and I know just as many women who have found great partners through online dating. But I do want you to be careful and meet this man before you start to get emotionally involved with him. Put your own safety (and sanity) first!

Okay, now it’s time for those online dating tips for women I promised you!

Online Dating Tips for Women #1: Keep Messages Short and Sweet

Don’t write a book when you text him! Keep it short.

There’s a striking difference between how women message on dating apps and how men do. Most women will take the time to read a man’s profile and say something that shows they’re paying attention:

Hey Scott! I love the pic with you on the mountain. Where were you?

Howdy Rob. I love ice fishing too! I went to Alaska last year. Have you been?

Men, on the other hand, don’t come up with something witty nearly as often. A lot of them don’t even bother to read that profile you carefully wrote:

Hey.

Hi sexy mama.

WTF?? How are you supposed to be impressed with a guy who barely texts an entire sentence? Still, I’m going to say that you should take note of the brevity of men’s texts and do the same. You can say more than hi, but don’t go overboard telling your life story when you first start messaging in the dating app.

The conversation should be two-sided, so always end your response with a question to keep the conversation going.

I work in technology as a project manager. What do you do?

I saw you listed photography as a hobby. What do you like taking photos of?

Also, keep in mind that texting really isn’t the best way to get to know someone, so your goal should be to get on the phone with this guy. Yes, we’ve moved away from talking on the phone as much (a shame, in my mind), but talking to a man you’re considering going out with can help give you a better sense of whether he’s a good match for you, and you can talk faster than you can type, so you can get to know one another faster.

Psychotherapist and author of The Relationship Fix, Dr. Jenn Mann says: “If you have met someone on a dating app, the usual protocol is to first text and then talk on the phone before asking someone on a date. It is important to see if there is good talking chemistry before meeting in person. Most women feel safer after talking on the phone first.”

Keep those messages short so you can encourage him to actually dial you once you give him your number.

P.S. If you’re a little nervous about what to text, practice on MeetMe. It’s a dating app that’s really text-centric. What have you got to lose?

Online Dating Tips for Women #2: View Online Dating as a Marathon, Not a Sprint

It’s easy to get disheartened after a few weeks of using dating apps with no great results. You may have good conversations with men you find attractive, only for them to ghost. You may go on dates with duds. You may find no one that sparks interest. You might feel rejected if you get few messages.

I need you to know: this is all part of it. Online dating is a tool to find interesting people, not a magic wand that will automatically fulfill your desire for a boyfriend. And it takes work. Just like you have to apply for dozens of jobs when you’re looking for a career move just to get a few interviews and hopefully at least one job offer, you’ve got to put in the time on dating apps to make it work.

Some sites prioritize the profiles of people who are online, so if you spend more time online, you’ll get more results.

Look at going on dates, even if they don’t work out, as practice. Especially if you’ve been out of the dating game a while, you can benefit from texting, talking to, and going out with men.

Online Dating Tips for Women #3: Make Him Come to You

He should be willing to come to you for a date.

One of the best online dating tips for women that I can offer is to know that you are a prize to be earned. That means he drives to meet you, not the other way around. Choose a coffee shop or restaurant close to your home so that you put in minimal effort to go on this first meetup.

However, do NOT have him pick you up at your house!

On a first date (really first meet), you don’t know this guy well enough to trust him with your address. Again, safety should be your top concern. Don’t give him your phone number early on either, because he can use that to find your address.

Creepy.

(An alternative to giving your number is to use a phone and messaging app so that your phone number is shielded.)

If he’s not willing to drive, screw him. You don’t want a man who’s not willing to put in a little effort to meet you.

Online Dating Tips for Women #4: Assume He’s 50% Less Attractive Than His Pictures

Look, we all do it. We put our best pictures online. Hell, some of us even doctor our photos to make us look even better than we actually look!

Men may post pics from high school because they’re too embarrassed to post recent pics that show they’re balding and overweight. It’s silly, because clearly, you’re going to find that out when you meet him, but he’s hoping you’ll have fallen madly for him by then and will overlook the little white lie of photos that don’t quite tell the whole story.

There’s also the opposite situation to be aware of: some guys just take bad photos. They’re not the selfie queens that women can be, so they can be clueless when it comes to posting photos that actually look good.

So another online dating tip? Don’t put so much stock in his photos. He’ll look different in person, so if he seems even remotely attractive, he may be even more so in person. If the information in his profile interests you, it’s worth getting to know him. Worst case is he ends up just being a friend.

Online Dating Tips for Women #5: Don’t Lie

One of the best online dating tips for women: be honest!

If you expect a man to be honest with you, whether it’s by showing photos that accurately portray him or being real in his profile, how can you expect to get away with lying yourself?

And yet, 54% of people lie on their dating profiles!

It really goes back to the confidence thing: if you are secure in who you are, there’s no reason you should fudge your online dating profile. You’re a sexy, rockin’ lady, and any man would be happy to have the opportunity to take you out.

Online Dating Tips for Women #6: Don’t Be Shy With That Block Button

I wish I could say that every man who tries to get your attention online will be a quality dude, but the fact is, there are a lot of scummy men out there. I said it earlier: people like to hide behind technology. They feel they can say things they would never say to your face because there’s a degree of anonymity online.

But remember: you are in control. You do not have to put up with men’s bad behavior online.

If a guy sends you sketchy photos…

BLOCK.

If his opening line is what’s your favorite position?

BLOCK.

If he just plain creeps you out…

BLOCK.

Online Dating Tips for Women #7: Prequalify Him Before Meeting

Make sure he meets your requirements before going on a date.

While a few tips ago I told you not to spend too much time online with this guy before meeting him, I absolutely encourage you to have prerequisites for you to decide a man is actually worth meeting. Again, you have all the power, so decide what’s important to you.

Here are a few examples of what I’m talking about when I say you need to prequalify him:

You want to have had a phone call before you meet (then you can tell if he has an annoyingly shrill voice and save yourself the trouble of meeting him in person).

You want a man who asks you questions, not just talks about himself.

You want a man who takes initiative and texts you regularly.

You want to know at least basics about him, like where he works, maybe high-level details about past relationships (divorced? kids?), and what he’s looking for.

Make a list of these requirements and before you agree to meet, make sure the guy hits everything on your list.

But also realize that you don’t need to know everything about this guy before you meet him. That’s what makes those early dates so much fun: when you sit face to face and get to know each other, you’re already starting to bond. So don’t turn your beginning texts into an inquisition! Save something for later.

And if he pushes you to meet sooner than you’re ready, you probably won’t like this guy anyway. Don’t agree to meet him until you’re ready.

Online Dating Tips for Women #8: Consider The First Date a First Meet

I tell my clients this all the time: a first online date is NOT a date. It’s a first “meetup”. Here’s how I see the difference:

A date happens between two people who already know they have chemistry and like one another.

A meetup is what you do to see if you have that chemistry. Chatting online is not the same thing as being in one another’s presence, and without being together in person, you can’t know if there’s opportunity for a relationship to blossom.

In an article on Bustle about chemistry, relationship and dating expert Margaux Cassuto said:

“Romantic chemistry is an effortless attraction between two people that can feel magnetic and addictive. It’s to blame for many second dates. It can come in the form of a physical, emotional, or even intellectual bond. Scientists believe that chemistry is a result of the chemicals in your brain determining compatibility.”

Shifting your mindset from “date” to “meet” can take some of the pressure off. Have absolutely zero expectations about meeting a man you’ve been talking to online. Even if you two hit it off via text, you don’t know that you will hit it off romantically. You’re just two people meeting over coffee. If the conversation takes off, great. If not, give it an hour, shake his hand, and move on with your life.

Online Dating Tips for Women #9: Have a Sense of Humor

Allow him to make you laugh!

Men like women with a sense of humor. Research published in the Journal of Psychology showed that individuals with a sense of humor were rated more attractive than others. So if you’re witty, let it shine both in your online dating profile and in your texts.

Keep in mind that, especially early on, you are being assessed in everything that you say. If you had a bad day and really want to vent about it, realize that you don’t know this man well enough to do so, and you might come off as negative if you do. Instead, find a way to make light of your bad day.

Him: How was your day?

You: Oh, you know. The usual. Had a flat tire. Spilled my coffee all over me. If I can make it to bed without getting run over by a semi, I’ll consider today a success!

And let him know that he’s funny! Men love making you laugh, and it’s a great indicator that you’re interested.

Conclusion:

Hopefully, these online dating tips for women show you that dating apps and websites aren’t something to be feared, but something to have fun with. Don’t take it so seriously! Enjoy the sport of flirting online and looking at photos and profiles of hot guys.

And don’t rely solely on online dating to meet a man! Get out there and participate in activities or go to places where you’re likely to meet men to maximize your opportunity.

What has your experience with online dating been? Do you have other online dating tips for women to pass along in the comments below?

Before you leave, make sure you check out the Men Love Confident Women ebook. There are some pretty amazing bonuses that I include that will step up your dating game.

So you have set up your online dating profile and are now into the wonderful new world of messaging before meeting other people.

If you are a guy, this will usually mean you are making contact with females you find attractive and interesting.

Don’t for one minute think that you will get many ladies initiating message contact, although it’s meant to be the age of equality, for some reason most women seem to act like it’s the 1950’s when it comes to making that first contact.

If you are a girl, this will usually mean getting horrifically bombarded with 50 to 100 messages per day, most of which are too disgraceful to talk about the content of here.

Don’t think for one minute that in this age of a quality guys will treat you with respect. This can be a great natural filter however, because you can simply look for the guys who make an effort.

So which ever way round it is, at some stage you are going to need some online dating texting tips.

What Is The Online Dating Texting Etiquette?

That is a very good question, and one that nobody can answer!

The reason for this is communication styles and preferences vary between individuals. What makes one person interested may make another person run for the hills.

So you’re going to have to work things out as you go along, looking for the signs within the words the other person writes to you.

Your first message, whether you are initiating the contact or responding to it, should be around three paragraphs in length. For security reasons don’t give away any personal details, and always look to establish some basic facts on compatibility from the start, so you don’t both waste time.

For example, after the initial hello message, it’s perfectly okay to ask somebody roughly where they live within the area you are. This can weed out lots of people straight away.

A lot of dating sites you will see that people basically lie about where they live. The reason for this is that they want to appear to live in the largest, most accessible location.

So they will often list their location as the biggest city or town in your area, when in fact they live in an outlying area that could be as much as 30 miles away.

How Often Should I Message A Prospective Date?

When it comes to online dating texting frequency, again there are no hard and fast rules.

But usually you will find a natural rhythm quite quickly.

After sending your first message, or first response, sit back and see how quickly it comes back. Then leave approximately the same time before you respond again. You should find that contact will either speed up as interest grows, or gradually dies away.

What you should never do is to start hitting people with message after message. If someone takes a day to get back to you, don’t instantly reply.

If they don’t reply quickly, don’t hit them with another follow-up message (even if they show as online!!). Sending them one message every day through the online dating messaging system, if they are responding at the same rate, is usually enough.

People take things within online dating a different speeds, and if you fall out of rhythm with them too much, especially if there is the warning sign of slow communication, you will find them backing away. One of the quickest ways to send someone running for the hills is to not have the same online dating texting frequency, especially messaging too much.

So generally, the etiquette for texting or messaging is to keep a steady rhythm, speeding up only when you feel the other person speaking up responses as well through interest.

Like it? Please Share It:

Texting tips for dating

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *