Dating in the digital age gives dating a whole new spectrum of do’s and don’ts. While I typically shy away from any hard fast rules, I do believe that some best practices and guidelines still apply. One of these is dating textiquette. Frequently you’re faced with the dilemma of “should I” or “should I not” give out my number, what and what to not send out and how long you should engage in virtual conversation before you meet in real life or face to face. Truth of the matter is that it all depends on you, your comfort level, your intentions as well as your expectations. Give out your number if you feel that’s what you would like to do, otherwise don’t. It’s up to you. This can also refer to any type of messaging you do online.
Dating textiquette is all about interaction with someone you want to get to know better. Although it has its benefits, it could also leave you lost and confused. The whole nature of virtual contact with someone can lead you astray. How so? Well, the person on the other end is showing you what they want to show you. They can be charming, flirtatious and funny leading you to fall head over heels for them. In reality, they could be a completely different person. We tend to waste a lot of time texting and getting to know each other virtually that we forget that it’s the face to face interactions that really matter most. This is why it’s important to not let texting linger too long or else you might just end up in a “textationship” which is when you’re texting all the time and never make an effort to meet in real life. It feels like a relationship but it really isn’t. Get off the phone and meet in person as soon as possible or else cut them loose.
This is why dating textiquette is so important. Texts should never replace actually speaking with someone or face to face interaction, they should be a way to “touch base” and should be used more as a “thinking of you” rather than “my day went like this blah blah blah”. So you’re probably wondering how do you text effectively? You’re in luck! I’m here to help.
Top 5 Tips for Dating Textiquette
The following are some guidelines to keep in mind when you are communicating by text:
Short & Sweet
Keep in mind the “lucky 7” rule which is that each message should be 7 words or less. Keeping your message short and sweet ensures they are concise and to the point. Text messages aren’t meant to replace emails. Keep the longer discussions to voice conversations or when you meet in person.
Make sure your messages are purposeful. Say what you have to say and stop. You also don’t need to message them countless times a day because it looks needy and desperate. Best practice would be sending a short “just want to say thinking of you” or “looking forward to seeing you later” which says it all without seeming clingy. Avoid having entire conversations over text and never, ever, ever, ever end things with someone over texts.
Use text messages to your advantage. They are a great way to touch base and show someone that you’re thinking of them but over texting can have the opposite effect and scare them away. A nice “good morning and wish you a good day” or “how was your day today?” is always welcome. You don’t need to go on and on nor should you expect them to. You can also send texts to refer to things they might find interesting or to confirm your plans.
Don’t text personal information about yourself or anyone else because once it’s out there you no longer have control over it. Many people will ask for more photos of you, but a good best practice would be to not send any additional photos unless you’ve met the person face to face. Also, if you have not met the person you should not be “sexting” or sending suggestive pictures of yourself because as I mentioned before once they are out there you have absolutely NO control over what you sent.
The timing of text messages is also very important. If someone sent you a text message responding in a timely manner is essential. If you’re not interested then be honest, don’t just ignore them or ghost on them or even keep texting and leading them on. We all have known the agony of waiting for that response or date request, so don’t be that person. Another good best practice would be to be respectful of their time and not text too early in the morning or too late at night.
Keeping these 5 tips for dating textiquette in mind will help you have a more positive dating experience overall. Also be mindful of giving more weight and importance to face to face interactions because it’s only in real life that you can truly get to know someone in a real way.