For better or worse, a pretty big portion of relationships takes place via text these days. But just like there are some things you should never say to a guy to his face, there are some messages you should never send our way either. If you send us any of these 10 texts, don’t be surprised if you don’t get the response you were hoping for (or any response at all):
- “We need to talk.” What is this? Does it mean, “We’re about to break up,” “I’m pregnant,” or “I want to take our relationship to the next level,” or “I have herpes (and you do too!)”? Who knows? There’s just too much potential for angst here, so it’s far better to send a message like,
“Want to get a coffee? I’ve got news!” At least that doesn’t get every single alarm bell going at once.
- “I’m late.” Please, for the love of all that’s holy, never ever ever EVER send this text message. If you ARE late, then you need to tell him preferably in person and at LEAST over the phone. Because the next conversation is going to impact both of you, so there’s no point in trying to half-heartedly address it through a text (even if you’re freaking out inside).
- “So how was your trip to Australia in 2005?” We all do a bit of Facebook stalking from time to time, but if you’re going several years deep, it should go without saying that you should NEVER be bringing up what you learn via text. That’ll just freak us out — wouldn’t you feel the same? And please don’t kid yourself — the winking smiley face does not absolve you of all sins ever.
- “Running late!” (Especially when sent 5 minutes after you’re supposed to be somewhere.) First, this is the height of rudeness. You knew 15 minutes before this message that you weren’t going to make it on time. Don’t wait until past the last minute to get in touch. Second, it’s redundant. If you’re not here, we already know that you’re running late. Third, if you ARE going to be late, at least give us a call. It’s just polite.
- Aimless emojis. Use your words. It’s a text — there should be some form of language there. Emojis are, at the best of times, a little confusing. When they’re used in the place of words, it’s downright nonsensical. Plus, it’s lazy. A well-crafted text message is the crème de la crème of dating communication. We’ll be a lot more appreciative of the effort that goes into being witty with words rather than a smiley face and a poo emoticon.
- “Lol” at the end of a serious question. “So want to go out on Saturday? Lol” is just weird. What’s funny? Are you thinking about a prank you’re going to pull on us then? It’s confusing, bewildering, and frankly, we know that you’re not laughing out loud. Save your lols for quality banter.
- Passive aggressive texts. Texts like, “Okay, go and have fun with your friends” when you CLEARLY mean the opposite are really, REALLY annoying. Passive aggression will achieve nothing and only infuriates both parties. No one wins. We’ll be mad and feel manipulated (and guilty) and you’ll feel bad because either we go out (and don’t respect your feelings) or we come home grumpy. Either way, your night is tanked.
- “So are we ‘together’?” This is obviously a conversation to have in person if you have to have it at all. At the very least, put the phone to your ear and talk it through. There’s a lot of nuance here that will get missed through text, which might just screw up the whole thing. It’s totally fine to ask us where things are going (and frankly, we should be having this conversation with you anyway), just… please don’t do it via text.
- “I love you.” (Especially if it’s for the first time.) Just no. That is a total cop-out. If you feel that way, then please tell us to our faces. I mean, what do are you supposed to do with that? If we reciprocate, then we have to text back “I love you too” for the first time. And that’s not a great experience for anyone because it should be a special moment that we’re actually together to share. Alternatively, if we don’t reciprocate, what then? THERE’S NO WAY OUT! Keep your first ILU for in-person. It’ll keep a few more days.