Texting: How to Do It Right

hands texting “Textiquette”

Texts are great.  They can be fun, flirty, and fast.  When dating, though, there is definitely a line that needs to be drawn between the cute text and the annoying, over-the-top text, and as the person writing the text, it’s sometimes hard to tell the difference.  Let’s discuss the etiquette of texting, or textiquette, as it shall now be named.  (I thought I coined that term, but it appears Urban Dictionary beat me to the punch.  Darn it!)

Let’s break up the rules into the different stages of a relationship:

1. Before the First Date

For better or worse, the days of calling a woman and asking her out on a date are slowly becoming a thing of the past.  (If you are one of the men who still calls, then I have a lot of respect for you.  A phone call is still the most appropriate method to ask a woman out if you’ve met her already or a friend is fixing you up.  If you met online, though, I recommend just scheduling the date over e-mail, sans the call.)

Texting has its advantages:

Rejection seems less painful, you can do it anytime and anywhere (even from the comfort of your own bed), and it doesn’t take as much courage to ask someone out.  If you should decide that you’re not going to buck up and make the call, then the text should be clear, concise, and most importantly, nice.  In addition, it’s best to confirm a day before the date.  Something like, “Really looking forward to seeing you tomorrow at 7” should do the trick.  She’ll be happy to see that you’re on the ball and have not forgotten.

Texting is also great if you’re running late, can’t find parking, or can’t find your date for some reason.  (Let’s just hope it’s not because the pictures were from five years ago!)

What not to do at this stage: Cancel via text on the day of the date.  If you have a phone number, please have the courtesy to call.  This goes for both men and women.

When it comes down to it, if you like someone, it’s so easy to get in touch.

2. After the First Date

My favorite use of the text after the first date is the “thank you” text, especially for women.  If you had a good time and want to see this person again, send a text saying something to the effect of, “Thanks again for a fun time last night!”  What are other variations of this?  The flirty thanks: “Thanks again for a great time last night. Too bad we had to go to work today. ;)”   The suggesting-the-second-date thanks: “Thanks again for a great time last night.  Drinks are on me next time. :) ”  If the feeling was mutual, it will put a smile on your date’s face to see your name pop up.

How soon do you follow up after a date, though?  The advent of modern technology – texting, Gchat, and e-mail – has completely compressed the “three-day rule.” A survey performed by the company LoveGeist found that after a first date on a Saturday evening, most daters will get in touch by 11:48 AM on Monday with a call or text. Thus, 1.52 days is the average time spent waiting for a follow-up message.

The three-day rule is now cut in half!  I don’t, however, recommend a first date on a Saturday night, especially a first online date.  A weeknight or Sunday evening date works well, and then if you want to see each other again, you can plan for the coveted Friday or Saturday night slot when you already know you have some chemistry.  When it comes down to it, if you like someone, it’s so easy to get in touch.  By waiting the antiquated three days, it’s assumed that you’re probably just not that into the other person.

What not to do at this stage: Have a long, detailed conversation over text.  (It’s just too much.)

3. Early on in an Exclusive Relationship

In the early stages of a relationship, texting can be the most fun!  Here are a few examples:

A middle of the day flirt: “Just thinking about how cute you looked last night.”

Good morning/Good night/Can’t wait to see you: “Good morning, Sunshine!”

One random, funny thing that happened: “You won’t believe what happened at work today.  My boss put her dress on inside out!”

I miss you: “Thinking about how I can’t wait to see you later.”

In the beginning of a relationship, there are hormones flying, butterflies dancing, and the possibility of a true connection.  What’s not to love?  A good text can only heighten the excitement.

What not to do at this stage: Break up with someone via text. This is such a no-no, although for Sex and the City fans, I suppose it’s better than a Post-it.

When you finally make it to long-term relationship territory (yay!), don’t let these cute texts fall to the wayside.  Make sure between texting about what you’re having for dinner tonight and whose turn it is to do the laundry, you throw in a sweet “thinking about you” now and then.  It’ll go a long way.

Happy dating in the world of technology!

About Erika Ettin

Erika Ettin
Erika Ettin is the Founder of A Little Nudge, where she helps people navigate the world of online dating. Her services include writing unique profiles to get you noticed, helping to choose your best profile pictures, writing one-of-a-kind emails to get someone’s attention, and planning dates. To connect with Erika, join her newsletter for updates and tips.
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