Here's How to Reduce Your Fear Of Texting When Dating Someone New, Because It Doesn’t Have To Be Scary
Texting can be so confusing. How often you should text, whether or not you should text first, how many emojis and exclamation points to add, and seeing their read receipts can all cause anxiety. Even if they seem like minor worries, for some, texting anxiety is real! But the good news is, you're not alone and there are plenty of ways to work on it. I spoke to a few experts about how to reduce your fear of texting when dating, and their tips could very well help you get over your texting anxiety.
"Texting someone new can make anyone nervous," online dating expert Julie Spira tells Elite Daily. "Since you can't hear the sound of their voice, you don't know how the text will be received. Add into it, the timing of the response: Should you respond late at night, or wait until the morning?" It's a lot to think about. You may be worried about coming on too strong in the early stages of a relationship, or doing the exact opposite and making it seem like you're playing hard to get, or literally just how they're perceiving you when all you want is to make a good impression. Regardless of the reason for your fear of texting, you may want to consider applying any of these six tips to your texting habits with your new bae.
1. Keep It Short And Sweet
One of the causes of your texting anxiety may be that you're trying to make your messages super thorough or answer right away, when you don't really need to do either of those things. "Respond if you're close to your phone, and keep it short and simple," Spira advises. "I [also] believe in adding in an emoticon of a smiling face or one winking to keep the flirty feeling going when you first start texting."
Dating coach and relationship expert James Preece agrees with Spira. "Keep [texts] relatively short and simple until you know them better," he tells Elite Daily. "Don't try too hard to impress or make them laugh." He recommends using texts to make small talk or arrange dates. "Nothing more complicated," he says. "That will help reduce fear as you aren't saying anything that could be misconstrued."
2. Don't Overanalyze
Unfortunately, overthinking can come way too easily, especially in a new relationship when you're first getting to know someone. "Why are they taking so long?" "Oh, no. They used a period, that means they hate me." "They left me on read, guess we're over." All of these thoughts may creep into your mind, but in order to reduce your texting anxiety with this new person, try to shut those thoughts down. "The worst thing you can do is to overanalyze the text you've received and how to respond," Spira says. "I recommend thinking about how you'd react to a friend's text and respond similarly."
3. Accept That Different People Have Different Texting Patterns
One of the first things you'll probably learn about this new bae is what their texting habits are like. Some people may be on their phone at all times and reply quickly, while others may take hours to reply. "Everyone has different texting patterns," Spira points out, and they may interpret messages differently. "One [person] can receive your text and decide that you aren't that into them and will put you in the friend zone, if you play it too cool. Another [person] could think your quick response means you're too overeager and needy. Then, there's the truly busy person who sends a text so short that makes you instantly think they aren't interested." The point is, everyone's different.
Accepting that the person you're dating may simply have a different texting style than you do can really help alleviate texting anxiety. Remember: "There's no one-size fits all formula for texting other than to keep the flow going, especially early on when the feelings are brand new," Spira adds.
4. Have A Purpose For Texting
As you're getting to know this fun new person, it's easy to want to talk to them at all times, even if you're not really talking about anything important. "We have all this nervous energy or excitement energy we don't know what to do with," intuitive dating coach and author of The Dating Mirror: Trust Again Love Again, Diana Dorell, tells Elite Daily. "So, we text, because it's easier than just sitting with the discomfort of our own feelings/thoughts."
But in an attempt to lessen your fear of texting, Dorell says it may be better to actually have a reason for texting your new bae. "Knowing why you are doing something increases the chances that the message has meaning versus just filling space."
Dorell recommends you and your partner exchange messages less often, but about meaningful things. "If you come across something that makes you think of that person or references a date you two went on or a joke, etc., send it," she says. "In the moment, keeping the text light is a good thing and adds value to the relationship." She suggests calling them or seeing them in person rather than just texting them 24/7. "So when you do receive and send texts, it's something special that adds value," Dorell explains.
5. Understand Where Your Fear Of Texting Comes From
In an effort to reduce your texting anxiety, it can be helpful to understand why you feel have those feelings in the first place. Laurie Davis Edwards, love coach and founder of The Worthy One, suggests asking yourself what, specifically, you're afraid of. Once you've answered that, she recommends figuring out what part of you that fear stems from. "When fear happens, it's so often that we are focused on the negative impact an action may have," she says. "But usually there are many more [positives] — for example, that it will create a deeper connection between the two of you, that you may make plans, that you'll learn something new about your date."
The root of your texting anxiety could be something engrained in you that you don't even know is there. It could be a fear of commitment, abandonment, trust, or even unworthiness, Edwards says. It could even be a fear of judgment, Dorell adds. "What will they think of me because I typed this? Will they read more into it than I meant? Will I come off as too needy or too aloof?" she says you may think. "Texting as a medium can be difficult because how it is received is 1) out of your control, and 2) has no tone or inflection, like a phone call would, to let you know if you are understood. Everything can get amplified in our own head and interpreted."
Above all else, Edwards says, "remaining focused on the possibility [of what good could come from your texts], rather than the fear-driven worries, will support you in following your heart." And on another positive note, this fear of texting probably won't last long, Preece says. "You'll soon get a good feeling about what sort of texts they like, which get them interested and which turn them on." So, hold on. There's light at the end of the texting-anxiety tunnel.