Texting feels so casual and like anything goes, but that’s misleading. If you play it wrong, texting can actually wreck your chances of dating success. You might not realize you’re making texting faux pas until you have an amazing guy on the other side of your screen and your excitement messes you up. To prevent text mishaps, avoid these kinds of mistakes to keep him on board:
- Asking where he is. You’ve been apart from your new guy for a day or so and you’re wondering where he is. OK, fess up — you’re actually wondering why he hasn’t contacted you. You fire off a “Where are you?” text and wait. You might think this is harmless since you’re always told to keep your texting clear and direct to ensure a response, but this is too direct. It feels pushy and he’ll see that you’re really wondering why he’s been quiet. Why not ask him how he is instead of where he is?
- Sending multiple paragraph-length messages about your day. Although it’s good to share your experiences with the guy you’ve started dating, you should be careful to avoid really long texts. These are daunting to read and feel like TMI. Instead, save the long chats for face-to-face conversation and stick to the most interesting things about your day to mention. Give your poor thumbs a break!
- Resorting to sexting to try and keep things interesting. The conversation has hit a brick wall, so to keep his interest going, you decide to send a saucy pic of yourself. Um, no. For starters, it comes across as sleazy and like you’re just looking for attention. Second, if you haven’t been seeing each other for long and you’re suggesting this out of the blue, it can feel awkward — yes, even for him. If the conversation is thinning out, it’s the perfect time to say goodnight or that you’ve got somewhere to be. Always end the chat on a high so you prevent it from becoming boring.
- Letting emojis dominate your texts. Emojis can be cute, but not if you’re overusing them with someone you hardly know. They should never be substitutes for words. If you like the romantic thing he said, say so rather than sending five smiley faces. Emojis can also become annoying or childish if they’re splashed all over your texts. Remember, texting is impersonal enough without using images to make things confusing. Some emojis can give the wrong idea, like that grimacing emoji. Is it an angry emoji face or a grinning one? Arrrgh!
- Not having a filter between your brain and fingertips. If a guy texts you after a date to say he had a great time, you might be tempted to quickly suggest another date. But this is too eager (read: desperate), so instead agree it was lovely and leave a bit of anticipation in the air. If the date was as great as he says, he’ll want to see you again. Of course, you could suggest meeting up for something casual, like coffee, if he still hasn’t made plans by the weekend — but keep it chilled. Tell him where you’re going to be and suggest meeting up in the area so that you’re not saying you’ve cleared out your entire day for him.
- Being all about the one-liners. You might think that since guys don’t want lengthy texts, you’re doing fine to send one-liners, but this is texting suicide. You’re supposed to be chatting and learning about each other. Give him snippets of your personality and don’t just text for the sake of keeping communication open. If you have nothing interesting to say, wait until you do.
- Using texting as your gateway drug. It’s been over a day and the guy still hasn’t messaged you back. You’re impatient to chat with him again and decide to send him a message via email or Facebook instead to try to get his attention. This is bad news, even if he’s shared those contact details with you. Stick to texting until you both agree to move onto another communication platform and never message bomb him to get a reaction. That’s a sure way to get him to reply… but with silence, and maybe a Facebook block.