You can learn a lot about someone by the way they do or don’t use texting. Nothing can replace in-person interactions, but the reality is that most of our day-to-day conversations happen over the phone, so texting style isn’t just relevant, it’s informative. Here are some things you can learn about him from the way he texts you.
If he can take initiative
It’s a red flag if you have to send the first message to start every conversation. If he’s always ready with topic starters or checking in just to see how your day’s going, then it’s clear he’s confident and able to take action.
How he handles awkward situations
One of the struggles with texting is that tone is often missed, which can lead to some pretty awful misunderstandings and awkward moments. How he responds to those mess-ups, either on your part or his, tells you a lot about a guy.
Whether or not he’s impatient
It’s one thing to expect a response from someone within a reasonable amount of time but another thing entirely if he’s blowing up your phone with “????” when you’ve taken more than two minutes to write back. A chill guy will understand that you’re not glued to your phone and sometimes you aren’t able to answer right away.
If he’s attached to his phone
If a guy answers every message you send 30 seconds after you send it, even if he’s sleeping, at work, or out with a friend, that’s not cute—it’s concerning. You want someone who knows how to unplug and be in the moment, at least sometimes.
How attentive he is
The best kinds of guys remember things you say over text and bring them up later without being prompted. If he does, it shows that he paid attention to your conversation, and wasn’t just answering with mindless stock responses like “sure,” “yeah,” and “lol.”
How intelligent he is
If you’re unsure about the kind of schooling a guy had you’ll learn pretty quick when you see the extent (or lack of) of his vocabulary. If he talks like the kid you babysit on the weekends, you probably don’t want to pursue him any longer.
His communication style
Though not the same as in-person conversation, how a guy prefers to communicate can still come through over texting. Does he send one-word answers or does he elaborate on his thoughts, ideas, feelings, etc.? Does he seem super serious or playful? Is he afraid to say what’s on his mind or open with what he shares?
Whether or not he can handle your venting
If you have a crappy day and send a novel about how much you hate your boss, and he just sends “I’m sorry,” he clearly didn’t bother reading your rant. If you want someone who’ll take your side, validate your frustration, and then distract you with a funny story, you’ll be able to see if he fits the bill via text.
His listening skills
It’s pretty obvious whether or not he’s actually reading your texts by how quickly he responds. If you send three paragraphs and two seconds later, he’s typing, he didn’t bother to finish your words—and he’s probably a jerk. Also, if he mentions something you said over text the next time you hang out, he’s clearly paying attention.
How he processes his thoughts
Some guys send a lengthy text that they’ve typed and edited 10 times to make sure they get it right. Others send spitfire short messages one after the other as soon as the thoughts come out of their head into their fingers. Both types of guys have their perks, but you’ll see which category he falls into.
What he thinks about grammar
This comes down to personal preference, but you’ll know very early on whether or not he cares about spelling or punctuation. Most smartphones make it hard to mess up thanks to Siri and spell check, so if he’s still sounding like an uneducated brat, he’s probably bad news. Besides, how hard is it to give a text a once over before sending it?
If he’s exciting or boring
Seeing what things he chooses to share throughout the day can give you a good sense of whether or not he’s the kind of person you want to be around. If he’s always texting about the weather, you might want to move on.
Whether or not he plays games
Unfortunately, the texting platform makes passive aggression really easy. If he’s always sending messages that require some serious reading between the lines, you’re going to want to look for someone a bit more mature. You need a guy who isn’t afraid to be real over text and isn’t playing hard to get.
If he’s super into you
Let’s be real—if he’s falling for you, his texts are going to show it. Pay attention to the way he responds, the number of times he initiatives new topics when the conversation dies down, and the kind of playful emoticons and gifs he sends. They’ll tell you a lot about his feelings, even if his specific words don’t.
If he’s over it
Just like knowing if he’s going strong, if a guy is clearly just answering you because he feels obligated, you’ll know that too. When every other text is “yeah…” or “sure…” or some other empty reaction to something you’ve said, do yourself a favor and move on.
What kind of boyfriend he’d be
Though not a fool-proof test (some people just suck at texting), sending messages back and forth can be a decent indication of the kind of man he will be in a relationship. Look for someone who is attentive, understanding, fun and respectful. If you have amazing chemistry over text, it’s only going to make the real thing that much better.
What you can’t tell about a guy from the way he texts you
If he’d be a good boyfriend
While you might get a good idea about certain elements of his personality and they might paint a pretty bright picture, that doesn’t mean that would translate into being a great boyfriend. He might have lots of incredible traits but they don’t really gel well with yours. That’s a pretty heavy question to answer when you’re only going off his texting style.
How interested he is
In a way, you would think that you could read into his interest in you by how often he replies, the types of conversation he makes, etc. And while that’s true in a way, there are a lot of other factors that come into play when it comes into someone’s communication style, particularly when it comes to texting. In other words, you shouldn’t write him off entirely if he’s a bit slow to respond or if he’s the kind of one-word answers because it may not tell the whole story.
Whether he’s talking to other women
Even if he’s super engaged when talking to you and he seems really into your conversation (and you), that’s no guarantee that he’s not also talking to other women behind your back. I know there aren’t that many hours in the day, but players are gonna play, as they say, and if he really wanted to play the field and talk to multiple women, he’d find the time.
If he’s looking for a relationship
Sure, you could just type him a message and ask him outright whether or not he wants something serious, but short of that, you really can’t tell by a guy’s texting style or even the content of his messages (unless they say “I’m anti-relationship and love keeping things casual,” of course) whether or not he’s looking for a relationship. Try not to read into things too much in this regard because you’ll never get a valid answer.
Whether he has commitment issues
Does not texting back right away mean that he doesn’t want you to get too attached because he has commitment issues? I mean, that’s a stretch, but we’ve all convinced ourselves of some crazy things when it comes to dating. The truth is that you’ll only learn these important things about him when you’re together in person and really getting a read on each other. Texting is not all that telling when it comes to answering the big questions.