Texting for Dates: Top 3 Rules You Must Follow

 By Nina Atwood

Before you hit “send” on that text, stop and think. You may be tanking a perfectly good relationship. Here’s how to keepyour new loveon the rails.

texting best picSome people say you don’t need rules for texting – it’s anything goes. It’s a great tool and it’s 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. I’m a huge fan of guys taking the lead early on. You demonstrate respect and care by pursuing, showing her that she’s special. So yes, the guy should be the one to initiate those early dates. But don’t, I repeat, don’t do it with a text! Asking for a date should be personal: it should foster more connection and make a statement that she’s worth the trouble. Texting to ask for a date is the easy way out; it’s 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. Here’s the final thing about rule number one: if she’s 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, here’s 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 you’re dating texts you to inform you of an issue, do not respond over text. Take it to a conversation – I’ll 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 you’re trying to work out conflict minus empathy or compassion, and that’s like trying to get clean in the shower without any water! Don’t do it, not if you value the relationship.

Here’s how to handle it if the person you’re dating sends you a loaded text, one that is full of content with potentially negative emotions behind it: “I’m glad you contacted me. Let’s talk. I look forward to your call.” That’s if you’re the woman. If you’re the guy and she texts you with a loaded message, pick up the phone and call her. Yes, I’m 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 it’s usually a sign of someone pulling away unless it’s a true emergency. People often use texting to cancel because they know deep down they’re not that into the other person and they’re hoping that person will get the hint. But lots of people either don’t want to or can’t get the hint.

Don’t drag things out with a texting cancellation! Pick up the phone, call, and explain your emergency with conviction, because it’s true, or go ahead and shoot them. If you know it’s not the right relationship, say this: “I’ve thought it over and I realize this is not a love connection, so I don’t want to waste your time or mine. I really appreciate the time we’ve shared and I wish you the very best.” Of course, if you’re cancelling for good reason, offer to re-schedule on the spot. Don’t leave the other person hanging.

I’m 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!

Entry Filed under: Advice for Men,Advice for Women,Communication,Dating,Personal Growth,Relationships


  • 1. Lety  |  August 2nd, 2014 at 11:03 am

    OMG..! this is scary… Im in kinda the same issue.
    I’ve been seen this man for 7months. I read his dating profile and it caught my eye.. after 2 days of chating we exchanged numbers and talk on the phone for 1wk. From day 1 that we talked I was intrigued by his conversation. I felt strongly attracted for this man I hadn’t even met in person. Despite the fact that He is 5 yrs younger and that He made a negatIve comment on mix racial relationships 2 things that normally would cause me to move. For the first time ever I agreed to a friends with rights type of relationship. No commitments no questions. We me in person after 8 – 9 days a fell head over heals there and then for this man that is not close to my discription a of my Ideal type of man. He drIves an hr dIstance 1 – 2 x’s per wk to come see me . And as the days & months pass I’ve started realizing I ain’t going nowhere with him. I confessed my feelings for him, but He don’t pay much attention to wat I day. He has made it clear and remInded how he felt. I have attemted to 2 x s’s to let him go but I cant.

  • 2. Nina Atwood  |  September 9th, 2014 at 9:21 am

    Lety: I’m sorry that you are going through this. It sounds like you are tolerating the intolerable: letting a guy use you for sex with no emotional commitment. What would it take for you to see yourself as worthy of far more? How do you need to work on your life so that you raise yourself UP and realize your value? If you go to work on those things, in time you will be unable to tolerate this kind of “arrangement for sex” and you will be able to move on to something far more representative of who you are. I wish you the best!


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