5 Ways to Be a Better Texter

By Eliza Krpoyan

David Tsay
David Tsay

These days, most of our communication with our dates is happening via text. While there's a huge upside to this--we can think through our responses, construct thoughtful messages, and don't have to talk on the phone--the downside is that texting has caused a decline in the quality of our communication overall. We jump the gun and write too much, overuse emoticons, and commit all sorts of faux pas. So before the next time you press Send, make note of the below dos and don'ts of texting.

1. Minimize the use of lol.
Overusing the acronym can come off as schoolgirlish. If you think you're the type to go lol-crazy, mix in a haha (or if it's really funny, bahaha, and in the case you're devising a wicked plan, muahaha). See, isn't that better than a simple lol?

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2. Show more certainty. Cut out some of the question marks and get straight to the point--there are enough miscommunications over text as it is. Relationship coach Matthew Hussey suggests instead of texting a lengthy, "What are you up to this weekend. Do you want to come and join us when we do blah, blah, blah." Say, "Hey, I'm doing this thing this weekend you should come." He explains that being assertive communicates a much deeper level of confidence.

3. Don't text too much/too little.
If you text your guy during a workday and he hasn't responded to you don't assume he's ignoring you (he's at work!). Rather than sending a follow-up text, which can be annoying if his boss is hovering over his desk, give him time to get back to you. He'll likely return the message once he's free later in the day/night. And in the case that he was ignoring you, you're better off not responding anyway. On the other hand, there is such a thing as texting too little. You want your guy to know if you're interested, so forget the "rules" about playing hard to get. If you hardly text him or purposely take hours to text him back, you're likely sending him the wrong signal (read: I'm not into you). Don't be afraid to be friendly and return his texts in a timely fashion.

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4. Mind the tone.
If you haven't already built up a witty repartee in person, sarcasm will likely be lost via text message. Unless of course you are the queen of sarcasm (notice what I did there?), just be mindful. A cheeky wink face is one way to show your tone is lighthearted, so always use props to help the meaning come across until you know he gets it. And avoid any sarcastic comments that are in any way digs at him--no amount of smiley faces will undo the awkwardness of offending him.

5. Take a second.
I can't tell you how many times I've been confused by a text message and responded right away with a question mark. As I've grown older and wiser, I've learned that it's OK to take a minute and understand what the message means or is referencing before responding. You can save yourself a lot of back-and-forth by not being so quick on the draw.

Do you agree or disagree? Any other text messaging dos and don'ts you'd like to add?

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