Once you score a phone number, or an online date, you can pretty much guarantee that life will become all about texting. (As if it wasn't already, I know.) But unlike texting a friend, or a partner you've been with for years, there are definite things you shouldn't do when texting someone you like.
Did a few of those things instantly spring to mind? That's because we all know the texting rules, but sometimes love can get in the way and make us act, well, not really like our normal selves. When texting a crush, you might monitor your phone, think about your replies for ages, or carefully wait X many hours to respond, so as not to look too interested. Am I right? (Don't worry, we've all done it.)
Texting is a definite art, and one that we all obviously know well. And yet it can also get out of hand. If you find yourself obsessing, stop. And if you find yourself getting anxious, stop. Dating is supposed to be fun, so don't get too wrapped up in the dos and don'ts of your texts.
However, if you want things to run smoothly (for you and your date), then do keep the following tips in mind.
1. Text A Lot Before You Meet
This one is tempting, but try to resist texting each other 24/7, especially if you haven't met yet in person. According to relationship coach Rachel Dack, MS, LCPC, NCC, in an article on eHarmony.com, "A major problem associated with too much texting between you and a romantic interest you have not met is that by the time you actually hear each other’s voices or meet in person, you have inaccurate perceptions and assessments of each other." Save the extensive chatting for the date itself.
2. Let Your Jokes Be Misconstrued
If you guys haven't met yet — or even if you have — be wary of sarcasm or flirty-ness that can be misconstrued. As Dack said "Think about it … when someone sends you a text, you assign meaning, voice tone, and much more to the words on your screen. Without knowing how the person sounds or how the person hopes to deliver his or her message because you do not truly know each other, you are bound to operate on assumptions." After you meet, then feel free to be your usual sarcastic self, as long as they know you're joking.
3. Rely On Texting Alone To Communicate
I know I'm personally horrified whenever someone calls my phone. I mean, I'm texting for a reason. But sometimes hearing someone's voice is necessary for proper communication. According to Kimberly Key, board certified counselor and mediator, in Psychology Today, "Let [texting] augment and support your relationship, but don’t let it be the main form. If your relationship begins to get out of balance because you’ve only been texting, then immediately plan some face time."
4. Let A Misunderstanding Get Out Of Hand
Again, since texts can easily be misread, do your best to fix understandings as soon as they occur. As Key said, share that you’re concerned a misunderstanding is occurring, and then move on from there.
5. Show Texts To Friends
I know this one is practically impossible, but try not to share texts with friends, especially if it's from someone you're officially dating. As Key said, context is crucial, and people outside the relationship will probably not know what they are talking about anyway. Keep the interpreting to yourself.
6. Give Yourself Anxiety
If your crush sends you the dreaded "K" text, don't drive yourself crazy trying to decode its meaning. As Theresa E. DiDonato, Ph.D., said on Psychology Today, without our non-verbal signals, messages can be misinterpreted or misconstrued, leading to uncertainty and anxiety. It's totally not worth it.
7. Have Unending Conversations
When you like someone, you may feel the need to be in constant communication. It can be pretty darn cute, but it doesn't exactly leave much to the imagination. As Alexia LaFata said on EliteDaily.com, "Normal conversations in person end when somebody either declares that it’s over or walks away. With texting, conversations truly have no beginning and no end." (So true.) LaFata also pointed to a 2003 study on the benefits of being alone, which you should tuck away in your brain. Separate time is important, even in the beginning of dating.
And with that, you now know what you shouldn't do when texting someone you like. Follow these tips, and hopefully everything will go smoothly.
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