Dating

The Etiquette of Texting

woman-texting

Much like how we speak, how we text is very important when building a relationship with someone. Our culture texts so much that it is only natural to wonder how texting is affecting us and our relationships, it’s a concept completely worthy of analysis and discussion. The prevalence of texting in our society naturally begets the question: how is texting effecting our day-to-day interactions and relationships?

In the real world it is common to be concerned with how we are being perceived when we meet someone and get to know them initially, our society puts a lot of weight into this idea of a ‘first impression’.

With such an emphasis on how others perceive us in a face-to-face interaction, I’m surprised we don’t give the same emphasis and thought to our online interactions and first impressions.

We seem very preoccupied with making sure we look the part and play that perfect social role when first getting to know someone so that we can project the best possible image of ourselves out into the world. With such an emphasis on how others perceive us in a face-to-face interaction, I’m surprised we don’t give the same emphasis and thought to our online interactions and first impressions. Actually, it seems as though we don’t think much about our online interactions, which truly effect and form our real life offline relationships. We never stop to think about how our texting etiquette or lack there of, is effecting the relationships we form and grow.  Like in face-to-face interactions, texting and the social media realm in general absolutely leaves life-long lasting first impressions and sets permanent boundaries and guidelines in our relationships. Let’s break down the golden rules and etiquette of texting:

A text is a prelude to a conversation, not the conversation itself

When texting with your new boo, or even a new friend you meet, it’s really important to make sure you’re asking all the right questions and getting to know them intimately, first in person rather than through texting. Texting with your new boo should be a follow-up conversation to your face-to-face interaction. If you’re not talking to your new guy on the phone or in person but rather are sending him paragraph-long texts asking him questions you should have asked in person, this is bad etiquette and not what texting should be used for. In person interactions should make up the majority of the delivery of our messages, not text! Keep your texts short and sweet (under 160 characters) anything more you should pick up the phone and call them or meet them in person to speak. Moreover, it’s best to keep texts short and sweet anyways because so much can be lost in translation when texting, so it’s always better to say anything that is not mundane, in person.

Let him text you first

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, making the guy initiate is crucial to your relationships in person and is no different in the social media and texting realm. Don’t ask me why, but it’s just always better to let him initiate the text. Much like in real life, the girl expects the guy to initiate the first dance, the first kiss, to propose marriage, etc. The texting/social media realm is no different. Assuming he got your number first, wait for him to initiate your first texting conversation. Definitely don’t be one of those girls who makes the first move, that’s never cute and you’re making it much too easy for him by doing this. Remember guys like to hunt why would texting be any different? Let him win you over.

Assuming he got your number first, wait for him to initiate your first texting conversation.

Once he has initiated a text with you, now this is your cue to make the ‘first impression’ and in a way, truly set guidelines on how you expect to be treated for your new relationship with this person. Things such as your response timing, how many words you use and your overall conversational pace when texting someone new can really play into your dynamic with them and can literally set the tone for the entire relationship. If you are one of those girls who responds too often, too much and too needy, this presents an undertone of ‘desperation’ and can result in lost interest. On the other hand, if you’re one of those girls who plays flakey games, only texting as an option, this can place him in the limbo zone and stunt your growth with him. Guys like to chase you but if you’re blowing him off and showing that you have better options, this could hinder any spark you two had together.

The Rules of Response

Ok when it comes to responding to a text message he sent you, there is a fine line between playing it cool and looking too cool/ being responsive and being needy. When he texts you first you always respond, unless you’re not into him anymore then feel free to ignore them J. We are all busy but we make time for the things that are important to us, so if this person is a priority you will find the time to answer their texts and vice versa- if he’s not responding to your texts, he’s just not that into you. Moreover, if he is taking two days or so to get back to a text message, he is setting the pace and you literally are given the same amount of time to get back to him and no one can get mad.

There is a fine line between playing it cool and looking too cool/ being responsive and being needy.

This works on the flip side too, if you are playing the two day game with him then you are setting the pace and he has every right to take the same amount of time to get back to you. Please note that if he is playing the two-day game with you, never respond immediately, make him wait girl friend! Lastly, if you texted him more than once in a row without a response then he’s just not that into you, and vice versa, if you don’t text him after he has texted you a couple of times or more, you are saying you’re just not that into him and setting a new pace in your dynamic.

Know when is it appropriate to begin intimate texting such as sending photos and sexting

Intimacy is something that should be left for in person relations, but when you have to do it over text, you do it sparingly and with someone you haven’t just met. If you get too intimate too soon this can quickly deteriorate a new relationship because it turns the dynamic into purely sexual rather than emotional. Intimate texting should only be done if the guy has initiated the intimacy with you first. For example, if you met a guy out at a party and all you two did was talk about sports, you wouldn’t send him a ‘sext’ later because you have not been intimate in person yet. You must make sure the intimacy is initiated (by him first) in person before any sexting or intimate texts happen between you two.

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