Textiquette: Drawing the line between cute and inappropriate

The first, and my favorite, use of the text in the early stages of dating is the “thank you” text.

I have an app on my iPhone that tells me the keywords people use to get to my website. When I checked the list of keywords for the last month, the top 10 results (excluding the name of the business) were:

- Text after first date
- Second date ideas
- After first date text
- What to text after first date
- Good second date ideas
- The reasons for a bad date
- Second date protocol
- When to text after first date
- Texting after second date
- After a date who texts first

Notice any trends? I realized that if so many people are typing the words into the little Google box, it was worth an article discussing the etiquette of texting, or textiquette, as it shall now be named. (I thought I was clever for coining that term, but it appears that Urban Dictionary beat me to the punch. Foiled!)

In general, I love a good text. It’s nice to wake up to a “Good morning” or get a thoughtful “Thinking about you :) ” in the middle of the day. But where do you draw the line between cute and inappropriate?

The first, and my favorite, use of the text in the early stages of dating is the “thank you” text. If you had a good time on a first date and want to see this person again, send a text either later that night or the next day saying something to the effect of, “Thanks again for a fun time last night!” What are other variations of this, you may ask? The flirty thanks: “Thanks again for a great time last night. Too bad we had to go to work today. ;) ” The suggesting-the-second-date thanks: “Thanks again for a great time last night. Next time the ice cream’s on me. :) ” Especially for women, if a guy paid for the date (and on the first date, he should – blog post on this to come later), he’ll appreciate another thank you, either over text or e-mail. The “thank you” text advice goes for both men and women – why not remind your date of you the next day? Assuming your date had a great time too, it’ll put a smile on his or her face.

Some other appropriate ways to use texts:
- Middle of the day flirt
- Good morning/Good night/Can’t wait to see you
- One random, funny thing
- Running late/parking

And the inappropriate ways to use texts:
- Canceling a date (Never do this. If you have the phone number, have the courtesy to call.)
- Having a conversation (It’s too much for a text.)
- Asking someone out (In order of preference, it’s phone, then e-mail, then text.)
- Breaking up with someone (This is such a no-no, I don’t even want to discuss it; although, for Sex and the City fans, I guess it’s better than a Post-it note.)

And that does it. Happy texting!

Erika Ettin is the Founder of A Little Nudge, where she helps people navigate the world of online dating. Her services include: writing unique profiles to get you noticed, helping to choose your best profile pictures, writing one-of-a-kind emails to get someone’s attention, and planning dates. A Little Nudge has been featured in The Washington Post, NPR, Talk Philly, Good Day Philadelphia, JMag (JDate's online magazine), and Ask Men. Want to connect with Erika? Join her newsletter for updates and tips.