March 18th, 2014 by Nina Atwood
Some people say you donít need rules for texting – itís anything goes. Itís a great tool and itís easier than picking up the phone and calling, so why not use it in just about any scenario?
I say, it IS a great tool, but like any tool, it can be used to build something or it can be used to tear something apart. When used the wrong way, texting can tank what might be a good relationship. Here are the top three texting rules for dating to keep new relationships on track for success.
Texting Rule One: this one is for the guys. Iím a huge fan of guys taking the lead early on. You demonstrate respect and care by pursuing, showing her that sheís special. So yes, the guy should be the one to initiate those early dates. But donít, I repeat, donít do it with a text! Asking for a date should be personal: it should foster more connection and make a statement that sheís worth the trouble. Texting to ask for a date is the easy way out; itís weak, and it conveys a low level of interest. For all she knows, you hit the wrong button and texted her when you meant to text someone else.
Pick up the phone, call her and ask her for a date guys! You will stand out if you do that because, unfortunately, far too many men fail this basic dating test. Hereís the final thing about rule number one: if sheís a quality woman, with lots of choices in the dating world, she will not respond to a text for a date.
Ladies, if he texts you for a date, hereís how to respond (in your own words): Thank you for asking! I prefer to set up dates on the phone and I look forward to hearing from you.
Texting Rule Two: If you have conflict in your relationship, do not text about it. Don’t send those texts wherein you wax eloquent about your point of view on the issue. If the person youíre dating texts you to inform you of an issue, do not respond over text. Take it to a conversation – Iíll tell you how to do that in a moment.
Why not hash things out over text? Because with texting you are robbed of the massive amount of information you get from voice tone and facial expression. We are wired as human beings to understand one another and to connect through face-to-face and voice-to-voice interactions. Without those powerful social cues, understanding and empathy drop to almost zero. So youíre trying to work out conflict minus empathy or compassion, and thatís like trying to get clean in the shower without any water! Donít do it, not if you value the relationship.
Hereís how to handle it if the person youíre dating sends you a loaded text, one that is full of content with potentially negative emotions behind it: ďIím glad you contacted me. Letís talk. I look forward to your call.Ē Thatís if youíre the woman. If youíre the guy and she texts you with a loaded message, pick up the phone and call her. Yes, Iím suggesting that the initiation of the resolution over the phone or in person should be the guy. Think of it as another leadership opportunity.
Texting Rule Three: do not cancel a date with a text. Cancelling a date is a huge emotional take-away, and in a brand new relationship itís usually a sign of someone pulling away unless itís a true emergency. People often use texting to cancel because they know deep down theyíre not that into the other person and theyíre hoping that person will get the hint. But lots of people either donít want to or canít get the hint.
Donít drag things out with a texting cancellation! Pick up the phone, call, and explain your emergency with conviction, because itís true, or go ahead and shoot them. If you know itís not the right relationship, say this: ďIíve thought it over and I realize this is not a love connection, so I donít want to waste your time or mine. I really appreciate the time weíve shared and I wish you the very best.Ē Of course, if you’re cancelling for good reason, offer to re-schedule on the spot. Don’t leave the other person hanging.
Iím not creating a new rule here, but it goes without saying that you never, ever break up over text unless you have reason to believe that person is a threat in some way.
Following these three simple rules for texting and dating will keep your new relationship on the rails. The goal: a happy, healthy love that lasts a lifetime!