So what's the advantage to flirting via text when you can talk on the phone or in person? For one thing, it's easy.
"Flirt texting is good for getting to know one another throughout the day because we don't have time and we're busy. It's also an easy, convenient way to connect," says Olivia Baniuszewicz, co-author of Flirtexting: How To Text Your Way To His Heart. Sending a text message is less of committment than a phone call or an in-person meeting. It's a quick, simple way to show you're thinking about someone, without much risk.
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Kevin Sullivan, 32, agrees. "I definitely think text messaging is easier [than a phone call] and it's good on the starter level to find out if you are actually interested in someone," Sullivan says. "If you say something that she doesn't like or she says 'no' there's no embarrassment."
On the other hand, a well-timed text can pique your interest in someone. "You meet a guy and are on the cusp about him and he sends you something funny and cute and then you think, 'OK, now I'm a little bit more interested,'" Baniuszewicz says.
Texting and technology are also a great ways of communicating in a long-distance relationship. "Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan are texting and emailing their partners and that keeps the connection going," says Dr. Sue Johnson, author of Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love.
What To Say
Unsure of what to type? Try being coy, sassy or a little bit cocky like you would if you were flirting in person. For instance, if he texts something like "I miss you," Goldstein and Baniuszewicz recommend saying something like "I know, aren't I adorable?" or "Yeah, I'd miss me if I wasn't around too."
Flirty texts can and should be used even when you're already in a relationship. Try sending your husband an "I love you" message or a simple "I'm thinking about you" text. To spice up your texting sessions, text him what you love him doing to you in bed or what you'd like him to try next time. If you're out on a dinner date, try this tip from Flirtexting and let him know via cell that you aren't wearing any underwear. Learn To Flirt Like A Pro
If he wants you to send a dirty picture, be careful. Secret, sexy photos can be scandalously exciting, but pictures can easily be transferred from mobile phones to the internet, and before you know it, your "private" photo could be floating around the web for anyone to see.
A few more notes about texting and online communication.
1. Response time is important.
How quickly you respond to a text message can indicate your level of interest. At the office, responding to emails right away is impressive; in dating, a quick reponse to a text can seem desperate. Conversely, if you're not used to communicating via text message you may not respond at all, but to a habitual texter no response might seem like a dis.
"I think if you are casually seeing someone who responds too quickly it seems too eager, and if you don't respond at all it's a good clue you're not interested anymore," says Amanda Smith, 25.
Sullivan agrees: "The quicker they respond back the more I think they're interested."
It's exciting when your love interest contacts you, "and that feeling makes you want to respond right away," Baniuszewicz says. But that might not be the best thing to do. "Just put [the phone] down for an hour, relax and you might think of something better to write in the meantime," she advises.
2. Subtleties can be hard to convey.
It's hard to judge someone's tone in a text message, so sarcasm easily can be mistaken for genuine feeling. Before you send a text make sure your words can't be misinterpreted. Emoticons can be helpful in this situation. If someone suggests brunch at your favorite spot, you might reply, "That sounds awful ;)". The wink makes it clear you're not being serious.
3. Avoid T.U.I. (Texting Under the Influence).
Texting under the influence, much like drunk dialing and drunken hookups, often seems like a good idea at the time, and regrettable the morning after. It can be hard to ignore the urge to drunk-text your crush dirty thoughts, or fantasies of your future marriage but trust us, it's best to put the cell away until you sober up.
"I would be in jail if it (T.U.I.) were illegal," Smith says, noting that she'd rather forget most of the drunken messages she's sent to men.
4. Know that he may be a text message player.
Newsflash: Men are sending out mass text messages to all the women they want to date and then picking and choosing amongst those who respond to them.
"If I send a message out to a bunch of girls, I try to make it sound like it's personal," Sullivan says. "I send out 'Good morning sunshine, haven't seen you in a while,' see who wants to hang out and then I respond to the one I dig and I ignore the other ones."
5. Don't text another man when you're on a date. It's just bad text etiquette. Is Technology Ruining Your Relationship?
Don't text someone else while you're on a date. Not only will it distract from your current date, remember point number one, and make your other text buddy wait until you've composed a clever response.
Text messaging can bring you closer to your next relationship or spice up an existing one. But remember, communication through technology should only be part of your relationship.
"It's good for meeting someone initially and good if you have a relationship and have that connection as a way to reassure each other when you can't be with each other physically," Dr. Johnson says. "It's tricky to have a whole relationship [via typing]."
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When used correctly, however, text messaging can increase your dating pool by helping you stay in touch with people, connect you with your loved one via a quick text while at work, spice up existing relationships, and assist those who are less forward in making the first move.