Stuck Behind the Screen? 10 Rules to Get You Further With Texting and Dating

Joseph Fields

Texting and dating can be tough, so here are the top ten texting tips to keep the fire in your romance.

Photo courtesy of sxc.hu
Photo courtesy of sxc.hu

As society has evolved with the rapid changes in technology, so has the way we deal with our relationships. It’s almost like we have dual identities. One we use in person and one we have when behind a screen.

In this day and age, the way we communicate on screen — whether through text or internet — can directly influence the way a person will perceive us. Not only in what we say, but in the timing of our responses.

Some of us may text back immediately, or even worse send multiple texts at one time, which can be a real turn off.

Several weeks ago, I met a girl at the Boca Town Center Mall. She had just arrived from Israel two months beforehand so most of our conversation was me teaching her English while she helped me attempt to pronounce her name properly.

There wasn’t necessarily a lot of substance in our conversation, but there was a lot of chemistry.

We both walked away from our meeting in the mall happy, but afterward the relationship turned into a total dud.

 She became nothing but a name scrawled across my phone. We got along in person, but our virtual personalities completely clashed.

I attempted to keep it going — we actually started to text in Hebrew, which was kind of cute — but the chemistry just wasn’t there. We eventually put our phones down and went our separate ways.

It leads me to wonder, if we had continued the relationship in person, would it have gone differently?

Perhaps we would have gone out a couple of times. She could have gotten better at English; I could’ve picked up some Hebrew. Maybe I could have even visited Israel with her.

I’ll never know because we couldn’t get our relationship past the message screen.

 Texting may have been a barrier in the development of that relationship but, when used correctly, it can become a bridge.

 So this year, in addition to the chocolate and roses, use these simple texting tips to help you snag that special valentine. The tips and advice below come from dating novels from “Textappeal for Guys” and “Textappeal for Girls” by Michael Masters. Also, “Text Her Into Bed” by Jon Sinn.

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1.   JK

JK is the limp dick of the texting world. It can be the most epic fail in a text message conveying weakness and insecurity to your significant other. No one likes it when a person is constantly saying just kidding after saying something really awkward because it just makes it worse. Best thing to do is change the subject and move on.

2.    One and Done

Do not, I repeat, do not send multiple messages back to back. The more messages you send at one time, the more desperate or needy you will come across.  I know it’s hard to resist; it’s awful to be left hanging. Simply put the phone down and find something else to occupy your time or text someone else to get your mind off of it.

     “I agree with both one and two. Horrible to say or do to your friends — let alone someone you’re interested in dating or your significant other,” said freshman and health care administration major Katlyn Dady.

Freshman Healthcare Administration Major Katlyn Dady poses with a statue of Owlsey after giving her opinion on texting and dating.
Freshman healthcare administration major Katlyn Dady poses with a statue of Owlsey after giving her opinion of texting and dating.
Photo courtesy of Katlyn Dady

3.   Take Your Time

Texting during a relationship can make things seem like they are going in slow motion, but this can be a good thing because it puts time on your side. During down time, think of something fun or interesting to say. One conversation can go on for hours or days but that time in between gives you a chance to perfect what you want to say.

     “I think that texting can ruin possible advancements in dating if you don’t do it right. You might come off as needy, you might come of as [having] too much interest. You can give the girl too much power by letting her be in control of when she responds back.”  said management major Brian Shand.

   4.   Switch Up the Frequency of Texts

When we vary our message times it gives off the illusion of mystery and can build excitement. You don’t want to seem too eager and text back immediately all of the time, but you don’t want to seem uninterested either. When we watch a sports game or read a novel,  part of the excitement comes from not knowing what’s going to happen. Be a little unpredictable because sometimes it’s all about the chase.

 5.    Emoticons   =D

Emoticons can be your best friend when talking through a screen. You can use them to convey sarcasm or playfulness. For example, I hate you 🙂  versus I hate you. Without emoticons, the meaning of the message may be misconstrued.

    “I have a boyfriend and I always think we’re fighting when we are texting and then he’ll call me and be like, ‘heyy….’ And I’ll be like, ‘I thought we were fighting?’ And then he’s like no,” said social work major Kara Coloma.

 6.   Beware of Using Too Many Emoticons

As great as emoticons are, there is also such a thing as too many emoticons, which brings us to our next tip: Do not overuse emoticons or acronyms. For example, many people use LOL too much. Reading a text that says “lol nice meeting you the past day lol,” “you are so funny lol,” or “had such a great time lol” can get annoying fast. Emoticons are like swear words, use them too often and they lose their power and significance.

 7.  Silence is a Weapon

Sometimes the best way to get into someone’s head is to not say anything at all. Put the brakes on and wait a couple days, then send something fantastic. But don’t wait too long because people can be impatient and will lose interest.

      “Silence is a weapon mainly used by the women who are not completely interested in a guy….or doesn’t care enough because 10 other guys that day texted her the same thing, ‘hey what’s up.’ Men can use silence too, but it’s mainly used by the players who get a lot of girls,“ said senior and communication major Aaron Shapiro.

Senior communication major Aaron Shapiro poses with a friend in the Breezeway while emceeing an event.  Photo courtesy of Aaron Shapiro
Senior communication major Aaron Shapiro poses with a friend in the Breezeway while emceeing an event.
Photo courtesy of Aaron Shapiro

8.   You Vs. U

Be careful with this one. Some people are totally cool with u, others not so much. Personally, when I see someone text “I love u,” I cringe. I’d recommend using “you.” It’s definitely the safer option.

      “This one makes a big difference. When texting, we need to remember that it is our only voice the other person hears because you’re texting and not calling. So, if you are not using proper grammar then you’ll sound like an idiot, or a 17 year old high school girl,” said Shapiro. “Treat texting grammar like you would if you were to write a persuasive speech, at least in the beginning. So, you should think of your audience, use strategy when using your word choices, and rethink and restructure before you send to make sure you’re sending the correct message. There is nothing worse than sloppy texting and mass confusion.“

9.   Junk Texts

Who needs them? Don’t be boring. You don’t want to be the person that just says “hey” or “watsup.” Insignificant texts like this make it easy to forget to text back. Also, replying with texts like “nm” can make it hard to keep a conversation going. Try to liven things up by sending a joke or asking them random get to know you type questions.

10.   Recognize the Real Deal

If your relationship is something serious, meet in person or call. Certain actions — breaking-up, saying I love you for the first time, proposing for marriage — should be done in person or at least over the phone.