Today, communication has gone digital and fast-paced; even when it comes to your love life. The dating world has evolved tremendously with the times. Emails have replaced written letters, Facebook messages and Skype IMs with love notes, and even online dating has become a craze in today’s culture. But the most basic form of flirting? Texting. Since its debut in 1995, texting has become both a fast-paced and convenient form of flirting, and you don’t even have to be face to face. Usually around the first date, both men and women expect a flirtatious text or two from their partner afterwards.
It is today’s form of romantic expression through language; Dr. Susan Herring, a professor at Indiana University’s School of Library and Information Science, says, “Language is sexy. It is a powerful vehicle for flirting and making oneself look attractive, in a gender-appropriate way.”
However, texting can become a game that is oftentimes tricky to navigate. Flirt-texting (flexting?), as opposed to just talking, is strategic and makes people more aware of the way they use words and symbols. But today, language plays a huge role in letting those sparks fly. So I have compiled a list of do’s and don’ts so that you can spice up your relationship— using just your thumbs and a cell phone.
DO: Check before you send the message. Sometimes, an accidental after-thought (or an accidental delivery to the wrong person!) might be sent out… and trust me, you don’t want to deal with that drama.
DON’T: Overdo it with the emoticons. While a smiley can be cute and flirty, a winky face might make things too obvious or even desperate. Keep it light to make your partner (and you) interested!
DO: Keep it short and simple. No one really wants to read anything too long or wordy on a text. Besides, not including every single detail of your day will really make them wonder.
DON’T: Feel obligated to text back right away. Kendrew Abueg, 20, an academic at California State University Fullerton, says, “Texts aren’t instant messages. If you’re busy and don’t feel like you have the time to text back, the other person will understand.” Your first and only obligation is to yourself.
DO: Be courteous. It is hard to display sarcasm or feelings over text, and the other person might not always understand your humor. Remember: chivalry ain’t dead, ladies.
DON’T: Make texting your primary form of communication. A few flirty messages are nice here and there, but you should get to know your partner as often as you can in person, if possible. Hanging out and going on dates is the simplest (and least ambiguous) way to learning about each other—and getting significantly closer.
DON’T: Get upset or angry when it takes someone a while to reply. We’ve all been there—sending out a cute text and not getting a decent reply or, worse, the oh-so infuriating one-word answer. The waiting period is usually the worst, and sometimes we want to get revenge by taking twice as long to text back. But don’t fret! Sometimes, they are legitimately too busy to respond right away. Busy yourself with other things instead of waiting by the phone.
DO: Keep in mind the other person’s expectations of being grammatically correct, abbreviations, and all of that. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. Some people like abbreviations, and some don’t. Remember learning basic grammar and rules of the English language in 2nd grade? They weren’t “JK”-ing…there was a reason for it!
DON’T: Text while driving or under the influence. C’mon, it’s the law! And as entertaining as a drunken text may seem, it’s often embarrassing more than not… and you might end up saying something you don’t quite mean.
DO: Remember that spoken words are always better than text. It’s a simple fact that people tend to forget, time and time again. Don’t text when you have something important or truly meaningful to say. Rather, call or say it in person. Think; if it deserves an emotional response, it’s probably better left said.
Photo by Adamr