Texting truly is an art form. This is especially true when you're trying to impress someone or win them over. When you first start dating someone new, it’s natural to want to put your best foot forward. You might find yourself paying extra close attention to your appearance, or censoring everything you say to make sure you’re conveying your feelings well. It’s easy to fall into a web of worrying, especially because sometimes, what girls text might vs. what they really mean (or anyone, regardless of gender!) might not match up. That’s why I reached out to dating expert and CEO of Cyber-Dating Project, Julie Spira, for insight on what girls really mean over text during the ultra-confusing pre-DTR phase. Plus, Michelle McSweeney, a researcher and linguist, detailed some of the most common miscommunications in early relationships.
“Both men and women overthink every text,” Spira tells Elite Daily. “If they have read notifications on and don’t reply, it’s easy to get anxious or even angry. If they respond too quickly, is it because they happen to be by their phone and aren’t into playing games, or is it because you’re showing signs of being too interested and needy? It’s exhausting thinking of the possibilities.” She has a point, especially when it comes to how different everyone’s texting habits can be. At the beginning of a relationship, when you are just getting used to each other’s communication styles, each text can feel loaded with meaning. If someone takes “too long” to reply, you might think they’re not interested. If you add an exclamation point, you might worry about sounding “too intense.”
Well, enough of that. Here’s what Spira and McSweeney had to say about common texts and what girls really mean when they send them.
Enthusiasm Indicates Interest
McSweeney previously told Elite Daily that texting at the beginning of a relationship will “tend to have more of a play on words, more jokes, and more references to activities that the couple does together.” Expect lots of flirtation and a light-hearted tone. If the relationship is going well, you’ll also probably find enthusiasm and a clear desire to make plans. “A text that says, ‘I’d love to see you. Are you free to go to a movie on Friday night?’ is a clear indicator they not only want to get together, but they have a plan in mind,” says Spira. “You can even take it a step further and name the title of the film in your text.” Specificity is a good sign that you’re on their mind.
But what are some other signs that show clear interest? Here are a few examples over text:
- “I woke up thinking about you today. :) It would be even better to see your smile. Would you like to meet for drinks today or tomorrow?”
- “I had a great time with you last night, and don’t want to wait an entire week to see you. Are you up for a hike on Saturday or Sunday?”
- “I’m still smiling from last night’s goodnight kiss. ;) Should we continue where we left off? I can meet you tonight or tomorrow.”
- “I just scored two tickets to the football game on Saturday. Want to come with?”
- “Going to a party this weekend. You up for being my date?”
- “Should I make a reservation at that restaurant we talked about? Full disclosure: I already looked at the menu and know what I want to order.”
Compliments and mentions of future dates are always a good indication of where your relationship is headed. Tl;DR: when you’re in a strong relationship, their texts won’t leave you guessing where you stand with each other.
Flakiness And Shortness Might Mean A Lack Of Interest
In an ideal world, someone who’s not interested in pursuing a relationship with you will tell you to your face. Unfortunately, not everyone feels comfortable taking that approach and might resort to ghosting or disinterest in texts instead.
But it’s also important to consider that someone’s tone doesn’t always come through accurately in writing. “Unlike in face-to-face conversations, where it is possible to get some feedback when someone misunderstands, in texting, that feedback can be very difficult to interpret,” McSweeney explained. That said, consistent, unenthusiastic texts probably mean something is up.
If someone’s losing interest, Spira says their texts will probably look a little something like this:
- “Can I get back to you?” (“This text is rather lame because it doesn’t even indicate if they’ll be getting back to you in a few minutes, a few hours, or a few days,” says Spira. “It shows you’re lower on the totem pole than a better option with someone else.”)
- “Sorry. Busy this weekend.”
- “Maybe some other time.”
- “I don’t think I can make it. Sorry.”
- “Stuck at work. I’m going to have to cancel.”
A lack of follow-through over text is typically sign that your relationship is in trouble. A couple texts that seem off aren’t always a red flag, but if it becomes consistent, it’s worth addressing with your partner.
What her texts really mean ultimately depend on the individual relationship. Only you can compare the enthusiasm in their texts at the beginning of your relationship to what they look like now. If your recent communication hasn’t been as energetic as it used to be, it might mean they’re ready to move on. Either way, texting isn’t everything, and if your chemistry IRL is still as strong as ever, your relationship might be better off than you think. The only way to know for sure is to talk about it directly, so don’t be afraid to ask about whatever’s on your mind.
Julie Spira, dating expert and CEO of Cyber-Dating Project
Michelle McSweeney, researcher and linguist
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