Do's and Don'ts of Texting and Dating

If it’s been awhile since you dated, then you know how much things have changed. Online dating sites, mobile apps, social media, and texting have completely digitized the whole experience.

And while some of my clients have resisted using online dating sites or mobile apps as a means of meeting new people, there has definitely been no escaping using technology when they do meet that new person. Smart phones are, well, rarely using for “phoning” someone these days. Texting or messaging through social media or other apps is now the first mode of communication for most.

And while all this technology has made it easier in some ways to quickly communicate with someone, it has brought on a whole new set of issues. Remember email? Of course it is still used but less and less for personal communication. With email you miss out on tone, voice inflection, and body language, inevitably resulting in misinterpretations of the message. Well, texting is worse. Messages are written quickly and usually with one hand. And emojis have now completely replaced whole sentences and words. So if carefully crafted emails could be misconstrued then where does that leave us with texting?  And when it comes to dating and the initial stages of getting to know one another, it can be pretty important to convey the right messages. With that in mind, here are some dating and texting do’s and don’ts.

Don’t overuse emojis

Emojis, when used properly, can help convey the right message and imply tone. For example, a sarcastic remark followed by a happy face or LOL puts a light spin on it. Without the happy face, it’s just a sarcastic remark. But when you overuse it and punctuate all your texts with a happy face, for example, it loses its potency.

Also, if things are progressing and you want to start expressing how you feel in a text, I think it’s always a good idea to just say what you really mean instead of relying on an emoji to express it.  Saying something like “I’m thinking about you” or “You are on my mind” is a lot more specific and effective than sending a “kissy face” emoji (and let’s face it, more mature!).

Do re-read your texts before you hit send

At the beginning, you don’t know each other well and are still trying to figure out the other person’s communication style. You are also both in that hyper-aware stage where you are probably analyzing what is said and doing a lot of reading between the lines. And that goes for texting, too. It’s always a good idea to re-read the text from the other person’s perspective. Is there anything that can be misconstrued? Do I need to add or expand on something to make it more clear? Do I really need that emoji? :-)

Do use texting to check in

Texting is a great way of quickly keeping the lines of communication open and checking in. Sending a quick text to ask how their day is going, for example, can go along way and can let the other person know that you are thinking about them.

Don’t use texting as a substitute for real, human connection

But the flipside to the last point, is texting too much. There is the definite tendency these days to over communicate using texting in this phone-crazy culture. For all the mentioned reasons, it will never be a substitute for real, human connection. Avoid the tendency to want to say too much in a text. Save it for the next face-to-face date instead.



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