How To Get A Guy To Open Up Via Text

Most conversations with our friends, family, and significant others (or potential significant others) happen via text. It’s simply quicker and less intrusive to fire off a quick message than it is to pick up the phone and call. Sadly, that also means it’s harder to get to know a guy when all you have to go on is a few one-word replies on your phone screen. Here are some tips for getting him to open up via text.

  1. Don’t pressure him by asking too many personal questions. If he’s shy with text, he might feel a bit exposed if you keep asking him questions about his family or past relationships via text. That information will probably come out eventually, but likely during a face-to-face interaction. Instead, ask questions that are a bit more fun. If he has tattoos, text about where he went to get them — and what the experience was like. If he likes music, text and ask for a good recommendation. Start the conversation out in a fun way.
  2. Learn his texting style. While you might be glued to your phone every day, your guy may not be and it’s important to figure that out early on. That way, you can tell if it’s just him, or if it’s a diss when he ignores your message for three hours. He likely won’t change overnight, but if he knows texting is important to you, it’s possible he might try and respond a bit more timely if he knows it means a lot to you.
  3. Try not to gossip. Texts can easily be screenshot, so he might feel a little strange if you talked to him about mutual friends or situations. He may feel like he’s being set up, especially if the gossip comes from nowhere. Plus, unless you really feel comfortable with someone, gossip can be a little polarizing. If you want to gossip, keep it about a shared interest. If he’s into baseball, you can gossip about the team’s lineup. Try to find some common ground.
  4. Never put him on the spot. Ultimatums or big questions through text may be tough to answer. If your first text to him reads “do you like me?” that might feel awkward. And, it’ll also be tough for you if he leaves you on read for a few hours. Texting should start out as being lighthearted and fun. Instead of “wanna go on a date with me?” maybe ask him about his weekend plans first. Then expand the conversation from there.
  5. Use emojis. Emojis seem a little silly sometimes, but they can liven up your text. With a new person, it’s also a great way to set the tone. Pretend he texted you a joke. A response of “you crack me up” might be seen as sarcastic. But, adding a “crying laughing” face will let him know the joke actually landed. Just make sure not to overdo it. The words should outnumber the emojis.
  6. Ask fun, open-ended questions. Texting is a great way for you to learn more about each other, and fun texts are also a great way for the guy in your life to engage more with his text messages. Fun questions like, “what are your top 5 favorite albums of all time?” and “what was the best series finale you’ve ever seen, and the worst?” will get him thinking. The best part about questions like these is that there’s no shortage of them. They’re also great ice breakers. For example, when he answers the series finale question, you’ll learn more about the shows he likes and can think up conversation topics that extend from that.
  7. Write in complete sentences. Text like a grown-up when you can. When you don’t know too much about someone, texting style definitely matters. Texting in full sentences makes it obvious that you care about what you’re sending. While a “U up?” may always get a response of some sort, an “I just can’t fall asleep tonight for some reason!” looks like a text you’d send to only him, and not all the single guys on your phone. He’ll find it more sincere.
  8. Prove that you’re trustworthy. Guys will open up to someone they can trust. In the early stages, it’s best not to break that trust by sharing all of his texts with your girlfriends — as tempting as it may be. He’s a real person with real emotions, and he’ll open up more if the two of you start forming a bond. If he knows that everything he says is being shared with five strangers, then he might get turned off.
Karen Belz is a New Jersey native who is currently living in Maryland. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication with a focus in Broadcasting and Print Media Studies from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Since graduating, she has written for sites like LittleThings, HelloGiggles, and Scary Mommy and is currently an e-commerce editor at Bustle.

When she's not writing, she enjoys making her phone run out of memory after taking too many photos of her dog. You can find her on Twitter @karenebelz or on Instagram @karenbelz.