Part of dating in the 21st century means that most couples do a lot of their communicating via text messaging. Though convenient and easy, there’s a lot that can go wrong when you’re texting and sometimes the nuances associated with this particular form of communication can result in lost meanings and confusion. When it comes to dating, you want to make sure you’re texting in the right way, since your messages can be the difference between building a deeper connection with someone or losing them completely.
Whether you’re dating someone new or in a long-term relationship, here are some texting dos and don’ts to keep in mind.
The insider” text: A great way to build a connection with someone is to make the person feel like what the two of you have is very special, says dating coach and author of Love Texting, Adam LoDolce. “The easiest way to break rapport with another is to make them feel like the relationship is typical,” he says. “Insider texting should elicit a strong emotional response from the both of you.” Whether it’s an inside joke, letting the person know you saw something that reminded you of something you talked about, or checking in throughout the day, insider texts can bring you closer.
The “appreciation” text: Texting about how grateful you are for something your partner did will not only make them feel appreciated, but it’ll instantly get them thinking about you. Text them a thank you for cooking you dinner last night, or even a thank you for being the greatest boyfriend/girlfriend.
The “compliment” text: Who doesn’t like a compliment? “Compliments are little gifts of love you can send any time of the day. They’re tiny bits of positive energy that’ll inject happiness into other people’s lives instantly,” says LoDolce. Text your partner about how beautiful they looked in the morning or tell them how much you miss their perfect smile.
The “anticipation” text: Mystery and anticipation is a huge part of attraction. The great thing about texting is the buildup you create before the next real life encounter. An “if you were here right now…” text to your partner will make them go wild wondering what it is you’re talking about.
The “sext” text: When appropriate in the relationship, sexting can help build the bond between two people. “Men get turned on by new stimulation. If they’re not used to getting a sext from their partner, it can be seen as something new and different. For women, a sext can help validate the relationship, making her feel safe especially when apart,” says licensed sex and addiction specialist, Robert Weiss.
The “formal” text: Dating and relationships aren’t always easy breezy, but texting should be. Your texts should be light, conversational and engaging, says LoDolce. “Instead of texting I truly wish to participate in that event with you try Wanna go to the movies? instead. Text like you talk. This sparks a much better conversation,” he says.
The “TMI” text: If your text reads more like a novel than a haiku, you’ll need to learn to control those thumbs. Over sharing too much won’t leave them wanting more, because there is nothing left to want. Not to mention, lengthy texts can be boring and annoying. Save the long conversations for the phone or in person.
The “wet blanket” text: Texts that are negative in any way, shape, or form, will make you look like a negative person. And, who wants to hang out with someone like that? Avoid texts such as the I hate this/I hate that or my job stinks.
“Texting is not a place to share your inner deep fears or concerns about life,” says LoDolce. “Save that for the real world.” (Or the therapist.)
The “interrogative” text: There is no conspiracy taking place if they’re not texting you back right away, so avoid the ? text or the Where are you? text or any other texts that ask why they’re not texting you back. “They read your text, they saw it, let it go,” says LoDolce. “They’re either busy or they’re not really into you.” Instead of going all search-and-rescue on them, wait it out, be patient and let them come to you.
The “sext” text: Some sexts are good and some can be uncalled for, depending on the relationship. Make sure the sext is welcome, says Weiss. “Sexting shouldn’t just come out of the blue. Doing so out of context can create problems and can also be perceived as pushy, suggestive, and even lewd.” Don’t send a sext without talking or hinting about it with your partner first.
Texting can be a fun, easy way to get to know someone and get closer to them in between dates. It keeps you fresh in each other’s minds and can help build a closeness. Follow these easy dos and don’ts and you’ll have it mastered in no time.