How Much Texting Is Too Much When Dating Someone?

Gone are the days of having your phone glued to your ear for hours every night, chatting endlessly and swooning over your crush’s voice on the other end. These days, it’s all about texting. It’s quick, it’s noncommittal, and it’s a lot more convenient than actually picking up the phone and dialing someone’s number. Especially in the dating world, texting plays a major role in keeping a connection alive until you can get together. However, how much texting is too much when you’re dating someone? While there’s no single answer here, there are signs that you and your love interest are doing too much texting and not enough actual dating.

  1. You have nothing to talk about when you get together. This is one of the most obvious signs you’re texting the person you’re dating way too much. Texting is a great way to stay in touch between dates, but when you’re having lengthy conversations about anything and everything on a daily basis, it only makes sense that you’ll have nothing left to talk about when you actually get off your phones and into the real world. Use texting as a means to an end, as in to say hi on busy days or to make plans for hanging out.
  2. You text more than you actually see each other. It’s obvious why this is a problem. Texting someone because you’re having a busy week or one of you is out of town so you can’t meet up is fine, but if most of your relationship takes place on your phone, you’re not really building anything real. If there’s any prospect of an actual relationship, you need to actually spend time together face-to-face. If you’re doing too much texting, you won’t be doing enough dating.
  3. You read way too much into their texts or lack thereof. Because you’re doing so much texting, you start to base your views of their personality and feelings based on the messages they send. That means overthinking and obsessing about what they’re saying and giving way too much importance to texting. Reminder: it’s impossible to read tone in a few words on your screen. Pay attention to how the person acts when you’re physically together rather than how much or how little they’re saying when you’re texting each other.
  4. Most of the things you know about them, you learned in a text conversation. You know where they went to school, how many siblings they have, what their favorite band is, and how they like their coffee. How did you learn that stuff? Not on a date, but during one of your texting marathons. Chatting about random stuff via text is fine, but if every valuable factoid you have about them came from your phone rather than from conversations you had while dating, you’re texting too much.
  5. You feel like the spark is starting to fade even though you’ve only been on a couple of dates. Uh oh, this is the death knell for any burgeoning relationship. You’ve only been out once or twice, but because you text so much, you’re already running the spark into the ground. It’s time to disconnect from iMessage or WhatsApp for a bit and start prioritizing being together in the real world if you want to stand a chance.
Sinead Cafferty is a writer who has authored four collections of poetry: "Dust Settling" (2012); "The Space Between" (2014); "Under, Under, Over" (2016); and "What You Can't Have" (2020). She's currently working on her first novel, a dystopian romance set in the 22nd Century, that's due out in 2024.

Sinead has an MFA in creative writing from NYU and has had residencies with the Vermont Studio Center and the National Center for Writing.