How Texting Works
  • | August 31, 2016
Texting’s been around for quite some time now, but it still feels kind of new and uncharted for a lot of guys. And justifiably so – even people who feel comfortable doing it are still often lacking certain skills when it comes to texting women.

So why is texting so hard? Well, to put it simply, there are some fundamental differences between talking in person and texting someone – there’s no eye contact, there’s no body language, the context and the perspective of what’s being texted are often much harder to notice, the list goes on. As a result, it’s not uncommon for misunderstandings to occur, and by misunderstandings, we don't just mean big quarrels, but even small, slight gaps in what’s being said and what’s being received. After all, it’s common knowledge by now that at least 90% of human communication actually happens through the body language and the tone of voice of the speaker, both of which are not present when texting.

Rules of Thumb

  1. Don't look like a creep. Additionally, when we are talking about texting, we’re often talking about texting a girl or a woman after a date or after you two just met, in an attempt to secure a date. And that brings a whole lot of new issues. After all, even just talking with someone in that situation can be hard and intimidating, let alone texting her.The most obvious advice here is: Don’t let your texts make you look like a creep. If the girl or woman you're looking to date takes a while to respond, be patient. Nothing looks more desperate than a guy sending multiple messages in a row when not given an immediate response. You also don't want to be too forward. Sure, a kind compliment here and there is a good thing to pass along via text, but don't let it get out of hand. If you get over-eager and start pushing the boundaries of comfort, her instinct will be to pull away from you, and all hope of a future date will be lost.There are all sorts of other “rules” when it comes to not-looking-like-a-creep in our pop culture – the “three-day" rule, the “text her first” rule, the “don’t text her first” rule, etc. And they're all bullshit. Not because they're not accurate from time to time, but because too often they are inaccurate, which immediately turns them into non-rules and just myths.

  2. Avoid misunderstandings. So the first and most obvious thing that should be kept in mind when texting is that we need to avoid everything that can be misunderstood or that needs visual context to be fully appreciated. Yes, emoticons help, but even they are too simplistic and insufficient in too many cases.Pay attention to your own expressions and feelings when texting, and think about whether or not they need to be observed for the context to be understood. If a simple smiley is not enough to convey the ironic grin on your face, for example, then maybe you need to be a bit more clear with your language.Simply put – always think for a second before pressing “Enter.”

  3. Make it about her. The main “rule” that you need to keep in mind when texting a girl or a woman is that there are no rules. If you want your texts to be well-received, you need to treat the girl or woman on the other end of the texts as an individual. The things you write should not be some generic crap you memorized from a movie or a sketch (or read the internet), but should be derived from something you two talked about when in person or something that you know about her. Even if you two just met for half a minute in a coffee shop and you know absolutely nothing else about her, text her about coffee. Or if she had a shirt with a band name, text her about similar music, about a venue nearby, etc.It may look ridiculous and inconsequential, but this approach would be much more powerful than just, “Hey babe, wanna hang out?” or some “Did it hurt when you fell from Heaven?” stupidity. At the very least, it would show that you paid attention, that you care about her interests, and that it’s not just something you send to every girl whose number you get your hands on. And that matters.

So there’ll be no list of phrases to memorize here. Sorry. What you need to understand instead are the underlying principles of texting:

  • Mind the context of what you're texting to avoid misunderstandings.

  • Don't sound like a creep and don't use clichéd, pop culture lines – they can be funny sometimes, and "funny" is generally "good," but you can't always rely on that when texting.

  • Make sure everything you text is somehow related to her. Whether you two have been friends for a while, have been on a couple of dates already, or you’ve just met yesterday, there’s always at least one or two things you know about her. Start from those.

Good luck!