Facebooking, Tweeting, Instagraming, calling, Skying and texting — the ways we communicate nowadays are countless. Which means, the ways we can mess up our relationships have become infinite. Every new method of communication that's meant to make our lives more convenient has complicated the dating world.
Texting is arguably one of the most commonly used methods of communicating these days, and a lot can go down just from the slip of a fat thumb. As a matchmaker, I've seen grown women jump up and down upon receiving a four word text. I've seen adult men sulk after waiting three hours for a response text. So, in the early stages of dating, follow these five rules to become a dating textpert:
1) Don't text too much, too soon. A text is a nice way of letting someone know you're thinking of him or her. A text post-date that says, "That was fun," goes a long way. If work schedules get in the way of you meeting up soon after that dynamic first date, a text every other day or so sends the message that he or she is still on your mind. But, escalating the relationship too soon via text puts you in a danger zone. Entire conversations about your feelings, your background and your relationship history are better told in person.
2) No selfies early on. The selfie has no place in early dating. If you want to know more about how to avoid selfie sins in general, read here. But there are too many variables to consider early on, so just don't do it. How sexy should it be? Where should you take it? What does it say about you? Remember, this person doesn't know you that well yet. A lot can be misinterpreted from a pouty picture of you at the gym with your sweaty personal trainer in the background.
3) Tone your texts. Texts, like all forms of communication, carry a tone. I'm not suggesting you draft your texts like the next great American novel, but think about how they can be interpreted. Let's say your date texts you and says he/she got you reservations for a new restaurant downtown. The response text "nice" looks a lot different than "Nice!" The former could mean, "I guess that's cool. I'm busy right now, so good for you," while the latter says, "I'm excited. Thank you for doing that!" So put that 10th grade English class to use — pay attention to tone.
4) Time your texts. The time at which you send your texts and your response time convey a lot about who you are and how you see the relationship. Texting at 5 a.m. = inconsiderate. Texting at midnight = booty call. Text at a time that shows you value the other's schedule and that you value them more than a late-night tryst. Also, you can set and control the rhythm of the texts early on. If your date is a serial texter, make him wait a bit before responding so he doesn't get in the habit of spewing off texts all day and risk the "too much , too soon." If she takes a few hours or a day to respond, don't freak. Carefully thought-out texts aren't a bad thing.
5) Texting is a tool, not the final destination. When done correctly, texting supplements a relationship. But it doesn't become the relationship. In other words, use texting as a vehicle for getting to see your date in person. Move from messaging to face-to-face meeting as quickly as possible. Texting is not the final destination. Don't make it the forum for you to get to know your date, share your feelings or establish the relationship.
Texts can bring us little bits of sunshine during the day. But they can also sour things unintentionally. So be careful and remember: think b4 u text!