There is no doubt that messaging and email are becoming a second language. Capitalized words express enthusiasm or anger, multiple exclamation points translate to sheer excitement and emoticons provide the facial expression that can’t be provided by words alone. Even a simple question mark has as much meaning in a text message as a twenty word reply. Full conversations can be had simply by typing rather than speaking.
As social networking continually expands, the value of a conversation can often shrink. It becomes easier to hit reply rather than picking up the phone because of convenience, pattern or the fear of speaking. If you have established messaging and emails as a part of your dating language, be sure to treat those interactions the same as you would a regular conversation.
- Receive. Read. Reply. When you have received a message from your potential plus one, be sure to read it and promptly reply. Yes, you may not always have the ability to reply immediately, but as a courtesy, reply as soon as you possibly can. If a message comes in at 8:30 a.m. that says “Hi, how’s your day?” There should be some moment in time that you can reply and say “Hi. My day is good.” If you are busy and really can’t find time to engage in a messaging conversation, say so. Reply with “My day is good but busy. Let’s plan to talk when I get off tonight. Have a great day.” It’s a few more keystrokes but it is worth the few extra seconds to reply and send the message, than not to reply and send the wrong message.
- Converse like a conversation. It’s easy to get trapped into a pattern of speaking to a potential partner like a friend. Avoid the friend zone by treating your messages like actual conversation. Rather than using emoticon after emoticon to speak for you, use your words. Yes, speak like an adult. If the question is, “Would you like to see a movie this weekend?” Answer back with more than a picture of “thumbs up”. Answer as if they were sitting in the room with you. “Yes, that sounds fun. What should we see?”
- Text like you talk. If you tend to be more personable and outgoing via text, the person you are dating wants to meet that person. If you are funny, witty and clever online, that person should also show through when you are face to face with your potential plus one. It is very easy to hide behind texts, but the person you are with wants to know the real you.
Take your time when replying to messages and be sure that what you are sending is the same as what you would say in person. This way, your potential plus one is getting to know the real you and not the text version of you. Leave little to chance with interpretation and don’t send the wrong message. Don't be a different version of yourself through email and texting. Be yourself – online and in life.