Don’t let texting ruin your dating life

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If you’re intent on texting before a date, then try to keep these texts to a minimum, with the purpose of determining the logistics of the date. (iStock)

How many times have you said the following to your friends, or have they said something like this to you?

We were talking online, and then he asked for my number to make it easier to schedule the date.  Well, it’s been a week, and all he does is text with no date in sight!

Or…

I don’t know… I guess I pictured him differently in my head from all his texts.

Or, how about this one?

OMG—I love this girl!  We’ve been texting every day, and I’m really falling for her. 

It happens all the time… someone puts his or her phone number down on a dating site or app and says, “Text me” or “Reach out to me.”  Does it really make communicating easier?  Isn’t it just as easy to check your email or your Tinder/JSwipe/Hinge as it is a text?  (Okay, maybe it’s not quite as easy, but still…)  And really, is there a need to text before the date, except to confirm the day before?  (Very important: do this)  My recommendation is simply to exchange numbers a day or two prior to the date so you can 1) confirm and 2) contact each other the day of in case something goes awry (you need to cancel, you’re running late, etc.).  As a side note—and I know I’ve said this before—if you’re cancelling the day of the date, especially if it’s within a few hours of when you’re supposed to meet each other, please do have the decency to call. 

Besides the never-ending text relationship that might form with no date in sight, by texting (or emailing) too much before the date, you run the risk of building a false impression of this person that may not equate to what he or she is like in real life.  We often have a tendency to share things behind the screen that we may not reveal to someone in the flesh until much later.  The New York Post even has a name for this—premature escalation.

The article says this: “It’s a trend we’ve coined ‘premature escalation’… since our whole world is so instant now, people can craft entire personas through their slew of texts… by the time you meet your partner for an actual date, you’ve built up this whole image and fantasy in your head of who you think they are, and then they turn out to be totally different.”  Sound familiar?

What’s the solution then?  If you’re intent on texting before a date, then try to keep these texts to a minimum, with the purpose of determining the logistics of the date.  Whitney Casey, a love expert for Match.com agrees: “If your date starts sending you ‘How was your day?’ texts, it’s on you to cut him or her off — nicely.”  Saying something as simple as this should do the trick: “Hey—I’m not really a huge texter, but I’m really looking forward to seeing you on Wednesday!”  

Now, I’m not saying all texting is bad.  In fact, I love texting!  It’s great when you’re in a relationship to check in with someone during the day or to send a sweet inside joke.  But just as I would never advise anyone to “friend” a potential date on Facebook before the first date, I would strongly advise you to just set up the date and go from there.  The sooner you meet, the sooner you’ll know if there’s chemistry.  And then text away!

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