You’ve had a great first date. Now what? Do you text her when you get home? Wait for a few days? Wait for her to text you?
Here are some simple texting do’s and don’ts for when you start dating someone new.
1. Do: Just Do It
The three-day rule is no longer. It’s perfectly acceptable — and even welcome — to text your crush shortly after a date to let her know that you had a great time or that you think she’s hilarious. (Hint: It never hurts to fire off a compliment.) You don’t have to turn it into a long conversation, just break the ice.
2. Don’t: Play Games With Response Times
If he texts, text back. Don’t play games and leave someone hanging. If you have the time to respond, do so. (And if you’re certain you don’t want to move forward in the relationship, don’t just ignore texts until they stop coming. Ghosting is never cool. Be brave and end things.)
3. Do: Callback
Demonstrate that you were paying attention — and thinking of your date — by texting “callbacks”: references to previous conversations and jokes.
4. Don’t: Text One-Word Answers
No one likes having a conversation with someone who only gives one-word answers. The same goes for texting conversations. Show a little effort in the way you engage. Offer a thoughtful answer or a funny anecdote. Text in complete sentences. And if your text appears to cut off the conversation, initiate the next chat to indicate you’re still interested.
5. Do: Make Plans
Texting is a great way to figure out next-date logistics. If you want to see her again, say so — and then suggest a specific time and place. Avoid stressful vagueness. Be intentional with your texting, especially early on.
6. Don’t: Overwhelm
Don’t bombard your date with an endless stream of texts. He doesn’t need to give you a play-by-play of his day, nor should you overwhelm him with yours. When you first start dating someone, keep your texting sporadic and sweet. Too many texts can feel desperate.
(And, please, never, ever sext without explicit consent from the person receiving your texts.)
7. Do: Talk About Texting Habits
Some people text all day long. Others detest smartphones in general. Talk about your texting preferences. Do you prefer texting over calling? Are you emoji-generous? Does the buzzing of your phone stress you out? Be honest with your date about your relationship with texting, so he/she knows how best to communicate with you.
8. Don’t: Have Big Conversations Over Text
By now, most daters know that you shouldn’t break up over text. As a general rule, keep difficult or personal conversations reserved for face-to-face meetings. Don’t pick a fight over text, either.
9. Do: Watch Your Tone — And Your Grammar
Proofread your texts before you send them. Can they be misread somehow? Tone is difficult to communicate, especially when you don’t know someone very well. Try to leave very little open to interpretation. Avoid sarcasm, dry humour or too many emoticons. Check your text for spelling errors — autocorrect can only do so much — and grammar mistakes that might confuse your date and/or discourage them. (Most daters expect literacy from a future partner.)
10. Don’t: Let Texting Trump Face-To-Face Conversation
Texting can be great to help confirm date plans, establish inside jokes, and keep you connected with your crush throughout the week when calls might seem a little much. (You might text three times a day, but wouldn’t call that often.) That said, texting should never replace face-to-face conversation — or even phone calls. Tone, body language and the immediacy of a live conversation (as opposed to a well-edited text) are essential in really getting to know someone.
If you’re in a long-distance relationship — or one of you goes away on a business trip, for example — be sure to prioritize phone calls and Skype dates.
What texting guidelines would you suggest to new daters?