Texting Etiquette In Dating (10 Odd Things You Should Do)

by April Maccario

Great, so you finally got the chance to exchange phone numbers with that guy you’ve been crushing on. Now you don’t want to blow it. Since mobile phone technology became part of our daily lives, the outcome of your relationship with a person may literally hang on the first series of texts between you both. Simple right? After all, it’s just texting, what could possibly go wrong with sending texts? A lot actually.

As communication is key in every kind of relationship, misunderstanding of texts can make the initial spark between two people fizzle out really fast. So, wouldn’t it be nice if there’s an official memo or guideline to follow? Sadly, texting etiquette when dating is governed by unspoken rules. While the individual style of texting cannot be ignored, like the use of emojis and abbreviations, there are still some major rules and knowing them will make you connect well without all the awkwardness. 

Perhaps, you’ve been off the dating zone for a while or you just want to start, this article will run you through some of those rules. Though the list isn’t exhaustive, it’ll do just fine if your aim is using texts for effective communication in the dating world.

How To Keep A Guy Engaged When Sending Messages

1. Got A Message? Respond 

While there’s no constitution guiding texting, it’s a simple rule of thumb to respond to a message from someone you just started text dating. You are not obligated to answer right away, but if you can, that’s cool. It’s a non-verbal way of telling someone you just met they are worth your time. Not responding to a message or doing so a day or two days later is a red flag for lots of people. 

Yes, I understand it’s not very nice for someone to rush into a conclusion about you, especially when they are just getting to know you. But let’s face it, talking to someone via text message or in person are both ways of communicating. Take it from me, whether it’s the latter or former, it’s easier for people to think you are not interested when you response comes in very late or worse, you don’t even respond at all. 

2. Keep Your Texts Short And Sweet

I know you might have a lot to say, but texting it all might not be ideal. Research shows that the effectiveness of a text message is anchored on it being short and sweet. You just met remember? This isn’t the time to overwhelm him with an epistle of text messages. 

While you are trying to express how you feel perhaps, after a dinner date or a visit to the movies, you also want to make sure they are looking forward to the next date without sounding desperate or needy. Trust me, when it’s simple and direct, the remaining words left unsaid will leave his imagination running wild. Think of it as being mysterious in a sweet way. 

3. Keep The Negatives Out Of The Message

I’m going to emphasize this all through this article, “you just met.” There are more than a million and one things you can talk about through a text. Why would you want to text him about your horrible roomie or your college professor giving you a hard time? 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you shouldn’t feel free to express yourself during the “knowing each other phase”, I’m only saying it might be too early bringing in the negatives

More so, you might be sending a message you have a pessimistic view about things or people. Research shows that positives conversations breed positive results in relationships. 

Even if he portrays himself as a sensitive person with listening ears, spear him the negatives for now till when you are a lot closer and he sees himself as a shoulder for your to lean on with all the negatives and positives.

4. Don’t Text Under Influence

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “don’t drink while driving.” Well, we all know it’s not just a saying, it’s the law in every nation. In the dating world, “don’t text under influence” is equally a rule. Remember, you just started building the basics with someone new, so, your mind needs to be 10/10 when communicating in person or texting. I’ve been there, it wasn’t pretty. The weird part was that I didn’t remember what I sent in the text until I was told. 

When your mind is distorted by alcohol or any other mind-influencing substance, what you consider funny at that time may not be. No one wants to say something hurtful (they can’t even remember) to someone they’d like to date. Therefore, it’ll be good to have it at the back of your mind as a rule that any texting done under influence is likely going to be annoying or repulsive.

5. Sex & Text

I’m not going to tell you it’s wrong or right to mix sex and texting - which usually called ‘sexting’. That’s another article for another day. No doubt, sexting can be a good way of connecting with a guy you just met if you are not ready for real sex. 

It also comes in handy if you met online and haven’t had the chance to see in person because you are too far away. On one hand, you are not sure if he’ll like the idea of sex via text, so you want to find an appropriate way of introducing it to him without chasing him away. On the other hand, even if he’s a love interest and not a fling, be sure if this is a guy you can trust

No doubt, it’ll be a total disaster if he’s the kind of guy that doesn’t mind showing his friends intimate stuff he shared with other women. So, if you are thinking of sharing pictures via an email address or other platforms like Facebook, you might want to think it over; you never know, you might just be chatting with a fake online profile loaded with fake images.

6. Don’t Load You Entire Text With “Funky” Abbreviations 

Abbreviations are extremely common among teenagers. It’s the usual style of texting among their circle of friends and demography, so it’s not a bad thing. If it’s your texting style too, that’s fine. 

However, if you’re texting a guy you just met, the aim is to keep it cool so the friendship doesn’t end as quickly as it started. More so, bear in mind he might not be used to your style of texting. And since there are so many uncertainties when you are just getting to know a guy, it’s best to stick with what you are sure of, which include texts. 

The occasional OMG (oh my God!) might not be a big deal, as most people might relate with that easily. But when you generally have an abbreviation or a codified way of constructing your texts, I need not tell you - it may not end well if he can’t understand you right from the start. 

Since he’ll likely flow well with basic English language, just keep the funky texts among you and your gang and use texts with plain simple English. It’s awkward and tiresome if one has to ask the meaning of  every text content.

7. “Looking Forward To Seeing You” Texts

If you like a guy and you want to continue whatever you have going on, it’s essential to send texts after dates and perhaps, a couple of times before another date. This makes him know you enjoyed the last time together and you are looking forward to seeing him again. It’s neither a needy nor desperate move; rather, it’s a way of keeping the excitement alive before the next date. Guys always think it’s their duty to make sure every date goes well, so a text or phone call from you is an assurance they are doing something right.

8. Confirmation Text

Okay, so you guys hit it off right the first time. It’s also important to communicate via text as a follow up to an earlier arranged date. This is a confirmatory text you guys are still going out as planned. His plans might have changed impromptu yet he’s still hoping he’ll be able to make it. Also, he may have totally forgotten due to workload. Don’t get me wrong I’m not trying to be biased here, I’m actually in your side and I think it’s ideal for him to call or text if there’s a change of plans. However, there’s no point going through all the hassles of making your hair, picking an outfit, looking good, only to realize there’s no date. A simple text would have saved some stress.

9. Send Appreciative Texts

Being appreciative shows good manners. A simple thank you doesn’t hurt in real life, it equally won’t hurt over the phone. If you had a nice time with him on your first or second date, this is where you appreciate his time and effort with a simple text. It doesn’t have to be right away, you could hit him up in the morning after. 

Believe it or not, some ladies feel entitled to a dinner or lunch in a fancy restaurant because a guy asked them out. So, a thank you shows you are kind and thoughtful, especially if he paid the bills. Not that you can’t pay your own bill, but because he offered to take care of it like a gentleman. That’s not all; texting him is also an opportunity to let him know you are totally open to another date next time.

10. Respond equally

When two people are dating or getting to know each other first, text conversations are meant to carry heartfelt emotions and opinions. Depending on the nature of the text, it is expected that the content of your response should relatively address what was initially sent well enough. 

For example, if he sends you a text asking how you found the food at the restaurant and if you had a nice time out with him, such a question requires some pouring yourself into the test by describing the place, the nice or mean waiters, the food, etc. 

However, when your response is simply “OK” or a thumbs-up emoji, this might mean you are uninterested, or you didn’t like the whole date. Don’t get me wrong, short responses are perfectly okay if you use them occasionally. But when it’s your usual way of texting, it could be a red flag since it’s difficult to read tone in a text.

FAQs

What Are The Texting Rules For Dating?

While there’s are no official texting rules to dating, there are some unspoken rules you need to follow, if your aim is to effectively communicate with a guy you’re into. This includes responding to your texts on time, keeping texts short and simple, and responding relatively equal. 

How Often Should You Text In A New Relationship?

Texting is virtual and simple approach of keeping in touch when you can’t be with your loved ones in real life. As a lady, at the early stages of dating texting, you might want to make sure you text well enough to show you are interested in dating him, yet not too much so that you don’t give off needy or desperate vibes. 

How Do You Keep A Guy Interested While Texting?

When it comes to dating, guys love mystery and like to do some chasing. The simple key is don’t give off too much. Make it simple and sweet, so he’ll have room left wondering about you. On the other hand, don’t ghost him by being radio-silent. It’s only natural for him to think you are uninterested. 

How Often Should A Guy Text You?

Because guys love to impress ladies with words, they do more texting while trying to win you over. e.g texting for a date, to check on you, etc. Therefore, It’s not uncommon for guys to message 3-5 times in a day. More so, if you have regular conversations via SMS, then you should expect more texting from him.

Do Guys Like When Girls Text First?

It is generally believed that guys love to do the chasing. However, men like the feeling of being wanted by their female counterparts. In fact, it’s a huge turn-on for many guys when ladies are bold and make the first texting move. What men don’t like are texts that have desperation written all over. 

All In All

I hope you enjoyed the article. As earlier mentioned, the list isn’t exhaustive but it covers some major rules that will help improve your dating etiquette, especially when sending text messages to you love interest. 

Also, since you don’t know that new guy well enough, and you don’t want to blow your chances with the wrong texting etiquette, it’ll be safe to stick with the certainties rather than communicate in a way that would chase a guy interested in you away. Whether it’s by text or phone calls. 

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April Maccario
I'm a huge nerd when it comes to understanding how relationships between men and women work, and what drives a certain behavior. I spend much of my time getting into the nitty-gritty and try to share my findings on this site with the hope of making life a little easier for women that are struggling in their relationships or love life.

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