Text messaging is often the fastest way to communicate with friends and acquaintances, but it’s not always the best one. Especially when it comes to texting with guys. Here at Crushable we aim to help you sift through all the subtext and emerge relatively unscathed – with a little help from our friend Amanda Ernst.
Texting is not just for the early stages of a relationship. It frequently becomes a modern couple’s primary form of communication, whether they’re planning their next date, catching up or sending flirty love notes. But even if you’ve mastered the art of texting with guys who you’ve just met, or are dating casually, or are only hooking up with, once you get into a serious relationship (i.e. you are now calling him your boyfriend) it’s easy to second guess your texting approach.
A friend recently lamented that she felt lame when she tried to be “cute” and “flirty” with her new boyfriend in text messages. He sends her sweet messages from time to time telling her he’s thinking about her and she’s beautiful and funny, and she finds it hard to send a reply that feels right. A guy’s randomly romantic text messages are like flowers: they can effortlessly send them without much thought and we’ll very much appreciate them, yet there’s no direct equivalent for women to send men. The big fear we have is that we’ll come across as too needy, as if we sit around all day dreaming about our man and counting down the minutes until we see him. Or, our response will sound too fake, too canned, and not at all like our real voice. However, if you are intimately involved with a guy already, you shouldn’t worry that you’ll come across as needy. He knows you and already likes you and cares about you. Any little note will be appreciated. Follow the cues of your conversations when you are together and use them as a guide for your texts, so your voice will come across as natural and not forced.
Still, if you’re questioning your technique, there are some general guidelines you can follow:
• Getting a text out of the blue is always a treat, so if you know your bf has a big meeting or is staying late at work, send him a note of encouragement or support to let him know you’re thinking about him.
• Start a tradition. For example, on weekend nights when you don’t see each other, send a goodnight text saying something you would say to him if you were sleeping next to him. Or, send a text every Wednesday morning. It will become your thing.
• Draw on inside jokes. Send a random text in the middle of the day that will make him smile, but won’t require more than an “LOL” in response.
• Send him messages about things that remind you of him. Maybe you just saw something on TV that you talked about with him, or you snapped a photo on the street of someone wearing the same shoes you’re always teasing him for loving. It’s a good way to say “I’m thinking about you” without actually saying it.
• Leave your underwear in his briefcase — virtually. Feeling naughty? Text him a sexy photo or entice him with a text telling him what you’re planning to do to him later.
• Start your own language. Just like inside jokes, many couples (and friends!) develop a shorthand that they use to communicate. Texts and other digital forms of communication are a great impetus to this kind of discourse. One boyfriend and I used to IM each other “ilu” instead of “I love you,” while another shortened my nickname to “lbp.”
Most of the time, however, these sorts of things need to be handled on a case by case basis. Like, he’ll text you something sweet and you don’t know how to respond. Has that ever happened to you? Leave your experiences and questions in the comments below, and you might see if featured in an upcoming installment of Textual Healing.