A woman wondering "Should I text him?" texting a guy she likes.

Remember the three day rule? After meeting a girl, a guy had to wait three days before he could call her so he didn’t seem too excited but didn’t seem uninterested either. I’m not sure if those days are easier or harder than today. Because now you don’t have to call after meeting someone. In fact, most people don’t. Who uses a phone for calls anymore? No, you’re most likely going to text after a date, and you’ll probably do it right away. But there’s another big thing that has changed over the years.

Who’s going to text who? It used to be expected that it would be the man reaching out but that’s not the world we live in anymore. For one thing, not every couple is a man and woman so, in those cases, who does the reaching out? And if it is a man and woman, the woman has the power to reach out herself. But there’s still something in the back of a lot of women’s heads that says, “Is it okay for me to text him?” There’s still a stigma that says that guys always do the asking on dates or to prom or to marry.

But let’s start small. The answer to the question, “Should I text him?” is yes.

Here are some tips to help you go about it.

When do I text him? 
Say you met a guy a coffee shop in the morning and you exchanged numbers. At the end of the day, he hasn’t texted, but you really liked him. Don’t get in your head and start asking why he hasn’t texted. The answer is probably just that he had a busy day. Don’t overthink it.

If by the end of the day, he hasn’t texted, shoot him a quick text to tell him it was nice meeting him. When it comes to dating, guys are nervous too. And they’re wondering if you’re interested too. Reaching out to him on the same day, after a little time, shows that he was on your mind. Also, if you wait too long to message him, your meeting won’t be fresh in his mind.

How do I communicate my intention?
Your intention could be a number of things at this point. Maybe you just want to talk and get to know him better. Maybe you want to try going on a date with him. Maybe you just want to hook up. No matter what your intent is, it’s totally okay but it’s important to make sure your intent is getting across.

Watch your wording. Convey what you want and don’t be afraid to be a little direct. He wants to know what you’re interested in. And if you want different things, it’s okay to tell him so.

Also, since this is texting, think about how texting can be construed. If you’re using emojis, think about how those emojis are usually taken. Some are obvious, like if you’re using an eggplant, he can kind of guess what you want. A heart might be flirting. Winky face might mean you’re flirting, but flirting how? Sexually? Or just being cute? It’s hard to guess.

Texting can often be a minefield. Saying “k” means you’re mad. “K” with a period means you’re really mad. “Okay” means it’s actually okay. “Kk” also means it’s actually okay. But if you add a period to either of those it means it might not be okay. It’s a lot to worry about. Which is why I say it’s really important to be as direct as possible with what you say.

How can I make him understand my intent?
Short answer: you can’t. All you can do is try to be as direct as possible. And if you find him saying something that seems like he doesn’t really seem to be getting what your intent is, remind him. You have the power to tell him what you’re feeling and you don’t have to compromise what you want.

You can only control how you convey your intent. You can’t control how he takes the meaning. What might also help with this is limiting how long you talk over text. If you want to talk and get to know him better, set up a Facetime date. Or a casual date in person. It’s easier to get to know people better and to convey intent and understand meaning when you can hear and see someone. It’s easier to make a better connection this way as well.

Maybe I should just wait for him?
No! There’s nothing wrong with being the girl reaching out to the guy. In fact, guys appreciate you showing an interest. Guys like being shown that you’re into him the same way you want him to show that he’s into you. The idea of a guy wanting to do some chasing is honestly pretty outdated. Because the only guys who want that are the ones who are pretty immature or stuck in the past. More mature guys who are ready to meet women want to feel that there’s equal attraction.

So text him. Let him know you’re interested. It’s the best way.

Jacqueline Gualtieri

Freelance Writer

Jacqueline Gualtieri is a writer and blogger whose best friend once told her to quit her job and become a couples and sex therapist. Since she’d miss writing too much, she figured writing for The Date Mix would be the next best thing.