Communication is difficult.
Communicating when you aren't face-to-face with someone is even more difficult.
And, text-based communication may be the most difficult form of communication there is.
So, how do you intend to text your next date? When can you text him? What can you text him about? And, what’s a good way to keep him interested until next time?
Well, here are some do's and don’ts of texting etiquette.
The important thing to remember is that these tips are just as much about you as they are about your phone:
Don’t: Be afraid to text.
At some point, you have been in that situation where you want to call or text someone, but you are afraid of making the first move.
Meanwhile, he has the exact same problem. So, both of you sit around, wait for the other to move, and then nothing ever gets sent.
Sometimes you have to make the first move. Give him some room after the date so you can think about how it went, what’s good about him, what’s not so good and so on.
And, if he doesn’t send anything to you, send something to him. Keep it simple and polite.
But don’t make it sexy. Just don’t.
Do: Use his first name.
You want to establish some level of familiarity with your date, but you don’t want to do too much of it.
You want to appear warm and familiar with him, but make sure not to overdo it.
Start by using his first name in your texts.
As Dale Carnegie of “How to Win Friends and Influence People” observed almost 80 years ago, “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”
Don’t use pet names like “honey” or “darling.” That just makes you seem overly aggressive and clingy. Keep some space between you and your date.
You are not 13 years old anymore, and “Omg lol kewl” is no longer... kewl.
Abbreviating does not make you seem busy or hard to get. Rather, it makes you like an illiterate idiot.
So, use proper words and grammar in your texts. Also, try to keep your texts not too short, but not too long either.
Anything more than a paragraph will once again make you seem like you are not worth the effort.
But, if a guy writes out something to you and you respond with nothing more than an “Okay” (or worse, “K”), he won't feel engaged.
Do: Ask questions.
I don't mean questions like, “What’s the meaning of life?” or, “Who do you support in 2016?” unless you want a short and contentious date.
But, asking simple questions like, “What’s your favorite movie?” or “What do you like to do?” is a great way to keep a conversation going both through texts and in face-to-face interactions.
Asking questions keeps your partner interested and also lets you know more about his habits, his likes, what he likes to do and so on.
By doing this, you may be able to learn whether you two are a good match before you even meet up.
Don’t read too much into your date's texts.
If he tells you he’s tired, take it to mean he’s tired after a long day at work.
Don’t take it to mean he’s tired of you. This can be applied to pretty much anything he says.
You’re going to need trust to make any relationship work. That doesn’t just mean trusting he cares about you; it means trusting his word is his word.
If his word is not his word, he is not a good match for you anyway.
Let me repeat this one again because this is very important.
Do: Put away the phone.
You’re a busy person. You have that party to get to, that assignment to finish and that errand to run.
Sometimes, you wonder how humans survive with just 24 hours in a day.
But, your date is busy, too. So, when he’s there, don’t pull out the phone. Turn it off and enjoy yourself.
I swear you can survive three hours or so without it. In fact, your relationships may be better with it gone.
Texting can be tricky. Words that mean one thing when used in a face-to-face conversation can mean an entirely different thing when used in a text.
Miscommunications and mistakes will happen, just like they happen in all areas of dating.
But, if you relax, stay positive and proactive, you can avoid a lot of the problems and gain a great way to communicate with your date.
But, always remember there is no substitute for face-to-face communication.