Textiquette – The sequel
In February, I gave some advice about texting and dating. For many, texting is now the sole form of communication, especially in the younger generation. In many ways, texts are great. They can be fun, flirty, and fast. When dating, though, there is a definite line that needs to be drawn between the cute text and the annoying text, and, as the person writing the text, it’s sometimes hard to tell the difference.
Let’s break up the rules into the different stages of a relationship:
- Before the first date
- After the first date
- Early on in an exclusive relationship
Before the First Date
For better or worse, the days of calling a woman and asking her out are slowly becoming a thing of the past. (If you are one of the men who still calls, then I have a lot of respect for you.) A phone call is still the best method to ask a woman out if you’ve met her in person already or a friend is fixing you up. If you met online, though, I recommend just scheduling the date over e-mail, sans the call.
Texting, of course, has its advantages: Rejection seems less painful, you can do it anytime and anywhere (even from the comfort of your own bed… or bathroom), and it doesn’t take as much courage to ask someone out. If you should decide that you’re not going to buck up and make the call, then the text should be clear, concise, and most importantly, nice. In addition, it’s best to confirm (generally done by the guy) a day before the date. Something like, “Really looking forward to seeing you tomorrow at 7” should do the trick. Your date will be thrilled to see that you’re on the ball.
Texting is also great if you’re running late, can’t find parking, or can’t find your date for some reason. (Let’s just hope it’s not because his or her profile pictures were from ten years ago!)
What not to do at this stage: Cancel via text on the day of the date. If you have your date’s phone number, please have the courtesy to call. This goes for both men and women.
After the First Date
My favorite use of the text after the first date is the “thank you” text, for both men and women. If you had a good time and want to see this person again, send a text saying thanks. It can be flirty, funny, or just plain sweet. Especially for women, if a guy paid for the date (and on the first date, he should), he’ll appreciate another thank you, either over text or e-mail. Assuming your date also had a great time, it’ll put a smile on his or her face to see your name pop up on the phone.
How soon do you follow up after a date, though? The advent of modern technology – texting, Gchat, and e-mail – has completely compressed the “three-day rule.” When it comes down to it, if you like someone, it’s so easy to get in touch. By waiting the antiquated three days, it’s assumed that you’re probably just not that into the other person.
What not to do at this stage: Have a long, detailed conversation over text. (It’s just too much.) Also, please don’t use pet names over text yet. You just met!
Early on in an Exclusive Relationship
In the early stages of a relationship, texting can be the most fun! Here are a few examples:
- A middle of the day flirt: “Just thinking about how cute you looked last night.”
- Good morning/Good night: “Good morning, my Sunshine!”
- One random, funny thing that happened: “You won’t believe what happened at the supermarket today… I saw a woman eat an entire frozen pizza before she even got in line!” (Yes, I saw this once. Yes, it was ridiculous. And yes, she did pay for it.)
In the beginning of a relationship, there are hormones flying, butterflies dancing, and the possibility of a true connection. What’s not to love? A good text can only heighten the excitement.
What not to do at this stage: Break up with someone via text. (This is such a no-no, although for Sex and the City fans, I suppose it’s better than a Post-it.)
When you finally make it to long-term relationship territory (yay!), don’t let these cute texts fall to the wayside. Make sure between texting about who is picking up the dry cleaning and what you’re making for dinner, you throw in a sweet “thinking about you” text now and then. It’ll go a long way.
Happy dating in the world of technology!
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