In middle school, it seemed like there was nothing better than getting a note from your crush. You could hold it in your hands, read it a million times over, and of course, show it to all your friends at lunch. Although these days, it's more likely that your crush will leave something in your inbox, rather than your lunchbox — if you just received a message that's totally sweet or funny, it's natural to wonder: Should you screenshot your crush’s texts? No matter how long you've been flirting with a new cutie, it's common to want to save a message they sent you — to hold it in your hands, read it a million times over, and (if you're feeling really excited about them) maybe even show it to your friends.
"A screenshot doesn’t tell the entire story — it only tells one piece of the story," relationship coach Claudia Cox tells Elite Daily. "Logistically it can complicate your relationship and your life." If your crush just sent you an amazing text, it's totally OK to want to keep it forever. According to Cox, even though saving screenshots of your conversations with your crush can be sweet, harboring a pic of your convo may ultimately lead to some unwanted anxiety.
If you're scared your crush may find the screenshots or you're nervous you'll accidentally send a screenshot of your convo to your crush (literally push me in a lake), saving your crush's text may cause some serious stress. "You may need to make sure that you delete the screenshot from your library, deleted the chat, and hope you don’t have a message from your friend mentioning the screenshot pop up when you’re with your crush," Cox says. Additionally, if you and your crush haven't talked about your texting preferences, finding out that you are saving their messages may make them a little uncomfortable. "If your crush finds out, they may feel as though you have broken their confidence or trust," licensed marriage and family therapist Nicole Richardson tells Elite Daily. "They may wonder if you are able to keep parts of the relationship private. And/or they may be embarrassed or feel exposed to learn that you had saved something that may have required some vulnerability on their part."
Of course, if you do intend on sending your friends the screenshots of your crush's texts, the experts share some other things you may want to be mindful of. "While it might seem like the easy route just to take a screenshot and fire away, always remember that once it’s out there, it’s out there," Cox says. "You no longer have control over who your friend shows it to or shares it with." According to Cox, paraphrasing your crush's text or just describing it to your friends can be a great way to express you feelings without overexposing your crush. Additionally, describing the texts to your friends and expressing how happy you are about your crush, rather than literally showing the messages to your friends, can limit any potential negativity or scrutiny from some overprotective pals. "Your friends could judge your crush based on that one screenshot," Cox says. "They could think your crush is only out for a little fun, is insecure, or is phony. Your friends might turn against your crush before ever really getting to know them."
If you know your roommate is totally skeptical of everyone you date or one of your besties seem to question everything, they may read a little too much into a screenshot of your crush's texts. "Our well-meaning friends and family oftentimes urge us to be overly cautious," NYC-based relationship expert and love coach Susan Winter tells Elite Daily. "They can fill our head with stories of 'what can go wrong,' and taint our excitement with fear." According to Winter, if you're feeling super amped about your new cutie, and you have some of their texts saved, you may want to save the screenshots for your besties that you know totally has your back. "New relationships are fragile," Winter says. "Trust your instincts. Mention it to close friends if you like, but keep the screenshots for your BFF."
If you've screenshotted a crush's texts, it may be helpful to know that you are not alone. In fact, the experts express that most people are guilty of hitting save on a sweet exchange. "[Screenshotting texts] is something everyone does," life coach Nina Rubin tells Elite Daily. "Though, it is probably not great for the privacy of your new relationship." According to Rubin, the best way to handle any screenshot stress is to talk to your crush IRL. "Ask your person and develop better and clearer communication," Rubin says. If your crush is super outgoing or they don't seem to be very private, they may feel fine about getting their texts screenshotted. But if they're on the quieter side or privacy is mega important to them, screenshots may make them uncomfortable. Whatever the case, though speculating with your friends about what your crush may be feeling can be exciting, talking to your crush directly is the best way to really know where they're at.
Of course, your phone is your own, and what you do with it is your business. Like an old paper valentine or a scribbly note your bestie once passed you in math class — a text from a crush can be something worth saving. Still, if you are newly seeing someone, you may want to consider how they would feel about having their texts screenshotted before hitting save. Though you may enjoy keeping sweet messages for yourself to reread before bed or sharing your messages with your friends over brunch, it can be important to respect your crush's boundaries. Just as there's no one way to send a cute text, there's no one way to receive one. But if you're feeling some screenshot stress, it may be time to take the conversation from URL to IRL.