How many times have you texted a new guy or girl and then reread your text, agonized and obsessed over it, wondering if your message was clever, witty, or funny enough, what the other person thought and whether or not they’d respond, only to finally receive a response and agonize all over again? In our increasingly busy world, texting is one of the easiest ways to communicate and keep in touch; it’s also one of the easiest ways to flub a budding new courtship when the wrong text is sent or someone misinterprets your message. Below, some of the most common texting mistakes and how to avoid them!
1) Keep it short and sweet. Don’t text a novel. When texting someone new, if you’re the kind of person who sends lengthy texts, drop this habit (at least for now) and keep your messages short and simple. It doesn’t need to be too brief or sound abrupt, but think more flirty and to the point. Example below:
“Hey you! I was thinking of going to the fair this weekend and was wondering if you wanted to come. I went last year and had a great time and I think you’d love it! They had the best beer, turkey legs, and jalapeno corn dogs, and they had this awesome beer-drinking contest that my friend entered and won. Free beer for a year from your favorite bar – hell yeah!”
“Hey you! 🙂 What are your plans this weekend?”
“I’m not sure yet. What did you have in mind?”
“Want to go to the fair this weekend?”
“Great! 🙂 Pick you up at 2!”
When dating someone new, texting should be for making plans and saying hi now and then, NOT for getting to know one another. The days of PenPaling are over; if you are not in a long-distance courtship, the getting-to-know-you phase should mostly happen in person, NOT through text. One of the other major reasons why you’d want to keep things shorter when texting is because you want the other person to miss you, not to get their “fill” of communicating with you satisfied through text. For instance, if you have lengthy, “deep” discussions via text, what will you end up talking about when you see them in person?
As you’re probably already aware, things said in person can also often lose their effect when said in text; something meant to be said in sarcastic jest, for instance, when said over text, can easily come across as rude and smartassy. To avoid this from happening in the delicate beginning stages of a courtship, save most of your witty repertoire for in-person flirt sessions instead!
2) Text length. Although you don’t want to have lengthy conversations over text, you also don’t want to seem rude or brief. This can very easily happen over text, since you can’t see the other person’s face or hear their voice to understand the subtext of their message. If the person you’re seeing sends a lengthy message, your response doesn’t need to be just as long, but try to address what is said in the message and/or match their “tone”. For instance, if they text:
“I had a great time the other night! Hope your day’s going well. I still can’t believe that couple having a screaming match in the middle of the restaurant! Maybe we should grab Mexican next time instead 😉 I know a great place in Uptown.”
And you respond with:
Most would see this as brief and kind of a diss. It doesn’t address anything the other person said, and seems dismissive in comparison. You don’t need to text a novel, but responding with more than a one word answer to a lengthier text is more in-line with texting etiquette. If you’re busy, just wait until you have the time to respond to avoid unnecessary texting drama.
3) If you’re texting during regular work/school hours, don’t expect an immediate response. This should be a no-brainer here, but you’d be surprised how often people can get irritated or upset over this. People have work, lives, and busy schedules, and, although texting is easy and convenient, it’s still a distraction and some workplaces don’t allow it during work hours. If you text a new guy or girl while they’re at work, don’t stress if they don’t respond immediately…just because you may be able to text freely doesn’t mean they’ll be able to, so give it some time for a response.
4) When in doubt, use emoticons. Sometimes, you just don’t have the time to think of a witty response or engaging text, especially when you’re busy. How do you get your message across without sounding curt or short? Just add a smile 🙂 or wink ;). As silly or ridiculous as this may sound, emoticons help get the message across that simple words can’t always.
5) Don’t read too much into things. Finally, try not to read too much into things when texting. Some people are just naturally brief in written communication (usually men), so driving yourself nuts and getting worked up over a text just isn’t worth it. Instead of trying to read between the lines of a message, wait until you see or talk to the other person if something they said in text is bugging you. More often than not, that seemingly rude message will just turn out to be miscommunication instead of an intentional diss!