This week's question comes from Katy:
“Hi Orna and Matthew,
I love the advice you give out on your blog and in your webinars. I’m wondering what you think about texting… is it good or bad? Is it bad for me to text a guy I like?
How can I text with a guy so that it moves the relationship forward and doesn’t turn him off?
I feel great when I see this one guy, but in between dates I feel awkward texting with him.
Do you have any advice for me?
Thank you for asking us about texting with a guy you like. This is one question that we are certain many in our community have because like you, in between dates there is a fair amount of texting going on.
We coach our clients to keep texting to a minimum. Overall texting is great for logistics like:
- I’m running 10 minutes late.
- I’m seated at a table in the back.
- I’ve arrived, just parking the car.
It makes sense that in today’s world texting is taking the place of phone conversations and it is becoming even more important to communicate clearly and effectively.
If you’re texting a guy here are 5 things to keep in mind to keep from turning him off:
Respond with equal or slightly less the amount of words or characters that he has texted you.
A love story between two people is like two ballroom dancers – one person has to lead. If both are leading there is no dance between them, and that is also true if both follow.
Let the guy lead which means your responses via text messages are best when they are roughly equal (or slightly less) than the amount of content he has texted you. Allowing a guy to lead and matching his communication style is a way of creating rapport as well as discovering if he is interested in a relationship with you (instead of just someone who is easy and convenient for some companionship).
You can also do this with the amount of time he waits to respond to you, although in this case you’ll wait about the same amount of time to reply or slightly longer as he did.
By following our advice, you’ll be setting up the energetics of the relationship in such a way that you’ll never have to ask him, “Where is this going?” because he’ll be showing you every step of the way.
Ultimately, a guy who wants a relationship with you will pursue you for a relationship. It’s your job as the woman to simply let him know that the water is warm – that you’re interested in him.
There are a lot of ways for you to do that via text message – continue reading for more ideas…
Ask about him rather than share about yourself.
Send him texts that let him know you are curious about him. You’ll want to bond over goals and dreams (rather than swapping dating horror stories) so find out what it is that makes him tick. What’s his favorite ice cream flavor? If he could choose a superpower what would it be? What was his favorite book that he’s read over the past year?
You’ll discover more about him if you ask what inspires him which will give you the information you need to discover if the two of you are a values match should things develop further. When people have shared values that is the key to longevity in relationship.
The interesting thing about discovering what a person values is that you must find out over time. This is not something you directly ask someone because even a compulsive liar will know to tell you that he values honesty.
Being curious about him is great, as long as you still let him drive the relationship forward. When he leads, you respond – but you do not have to follow along. You can always respond with a redirect.
In order to suggest a different option than the one he has presented to you, be sure to appreciate and mention his efforts. He may not know your tastes yet, but a guy who really likes you will pay attention and will remember what you’ve shared with him about your likes an dislikes for future dates.
Acknowledge and appreciate something about him, or something he has accomplished or done lately.
Acknowledgment and appreciation is the fuel a man runs on in relationship. It’s also a great way of letting him know that you are interested in him. You can follow up and ask him about that meeting at work, or the project he was working on, or whatever it is you’ve discovered is important to him.
If he’s taken you out on a date and you didn’t hear back from him by midday the following day you can send a quick text of appreciation thanking him for the time you spent together the night before.
Keep your text brief and to the point. Do nothing else, and if he responds quickly, delay your response a bit.
Most of the women we speak with want to be in a relationship with a man who is successful, and then they lament about not hearing back from him right away (even when he just sent a text).
There are a million reasons he may be distracted and not able to reply to you quickly and most of them have absolutely nothing to do with you.
The best way to avoid this is to have low expectations during the workday. So you can send him a short text during his workday, just don’t be attached to having a text conversation with him in the middle of him being at work.
Just as you want to be with someone who has a full life – you ought to have your life full as well. Send the text, think nothing of it, and if you’re lucky enough to hear back quickly, don’t assume he’s suddenly available for a conversation.
One of the first personal growth books ever written is, The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck. In the book he goes in depth into the concept of “Delayed Gratification.” There are many ways to implement this strategy and texting is a really great way to hone your dating skills along with delaying gratification and setting things up in an energetic dynamic that will serve you for a lifelong relationship.
Keep him wanting more is what you can specifically do with your texts. Read on to find out more ways to have him eager to see you again…
Send enticing texts with an ellipsis at the end…
Leaving an open-ended text can be a great way to flirt with your guy via text messages. Some people call this an open loop where you send part of your thoughts and don’t finish them allowing him to wonder what the details are.
After a great date with a guy send one of these texts:
- I’m still thinking about…
- I’m still smiling about…
When he asks for clarification you respond with one of these:
- The great time we had last night.
- The great meal from last night.
- Our last kiss.
Leaving the ellipsis leaves space in between for him to fill in the blank. For him to wonder about what you mean. The more he thinks about you, the more he is going through the date in his own mind.
You want to be on his mind – so this is a great way to inhabit more of the thoughts up there. You don’t have to share too much. Just short sentences like the examples above leave the door wide open for him to ask you out again (if he didn’t already).
Women are generally stingy with praise and want to make a guy work to earn it. Be liberal with praise, and simply take the relationship slow. This will give you time to discover more about him and to find out if there is more than just attraction between the two of you.
Attraction and even deep love doesn’t come with mind reading powers so share with him what you like and don’t like, and what has you smiling the next day.
Whatever you do, do not send these texts above close together. Wait to respond. Set a timer if you have to because there is nothing sexier than anticipation. If you have it – he has it too.
There is a reason we call it sexual TENSION.
Mastering the use of ellipsis in your texting can be one of the most exciting things you can do in the dating process letting him know you are interested without you taking the lead.
Pretend you’re in the passenger seat and have zero access to the controls. Let him drive and discover where he wants to take you – that will tell you everything you need to know about what he is looking for and if he is interested in a relationship with you.
Best to use text messages for logistics rather than as a conversation.
Emotional conversations are best in-person, and second choice is on the phone. There is no tone in text communication so it is a perfect recipe for miscommunication and wreaking havoc on communication and emotional intimacy. We can assure you that sending multiple emoji’s isn’t going to solve the problem.
If there is an issue you want to bring up or an adjustment you’d like him to make, it is best to have the conversation in person or over the phone. You can use texting to arrange the phone conversation, but save the important stuff and anything emotional for when you have an opportunity to communicate in person.
Once you’ve made a bad impression over text, it can take a lot of work to smooth things out. Resist the urge to text when you are upset or angry as you can easily type things you’ll later regret (and they can’t be taken back).
To avoid miscommunication and needless conflict, make a phone call or arrange a time to meet over coffee.
The reality is that our brain tends to fill in the blanks and it can slant things toward the positive or the negative. When we’re face-to-face with someone we have so much more than just their words: tone, vocal inflections, facial expressions, and body language to inform us of intent and meaning.
When we’re reading an email or a text message (or an old school written letter) all we have are the words and nothing else. Our mood can even affect how we perceive the words on the page.
During the dating process we do not want to give a stranger the benefit of the doubt. Even the most handsome of strangers do not deserve this because you’ll be doing yourself a disservice.
People show you who they are through their behavior so pay attention to how a guy treats you and that is all you need to know to see if he is a match for you, or not.
Besides mishaps with your text communication, there are many other ways that you can block yourself from the love you want. Find out the 7 Major Mistakes Single Women Make That Block Them From True Love … and how to avoid them in our free special report.
Love and Abundance,