Over the past few years, it seems that almost every dating dilemma I hear about from clients or girlfriends has something to do with texting.
Texting today has certainly complicated dating and relationships; but I’m going to give you the straight talk on what texting really means and doesn’t mean. Most importantly, though, you’ll learn how you can take control of the situation like a grownup.
1. Texting is NOT dating
Don’t assume that getting a bunch of texts from a guy means you’re in a relationship with him.
While he wouldn’t be spending any time texting you if he wasn’t having fun or attracted, that doesn’t mean he’s showing signs of wanting to get to know you in a meaningful way. Expecting him to move on to something more serious just isn’t realistic.
A ‘text relationship’ is a sort of a game – creating a false sense of connection that sets up unrealistic expectations. I’ve seen countless women create complete fantasies and get drawn in — often before they even meet a man.
2. Some men use texting to string you along
If you are getting texts along with calls and dates – excellent! He’s interested in getting to know you and likely looking for a relationship. But BEWARE: these exchanges are extremely rare.
On the other hand, you probably know the guy who texts once in awhile to check in. He tells you how much he likes you and even acts super interested in your life, but ends it there. I call men that act this way “pingers”.
Hunting for an ego boost, a pinger wants to make sure you’re still a willing option. He’s put you on the back burner – and you deserve better. If you’re involved with a pinger, you need to call it quits.
3. Texting is generally for boys, not men
If you haven’t met him yet and he’s texting to see if you can get together on short notice, don’t be flattered. He’s either impulsive or, more likely, using you as a backup when his other plans fall through.
If you are willing to give him a chance, then respond with something like this: “It would be great to see you, but I have plans tonight. I’d love to get together with a little more notice next time”
Put it out there and see what happens. A grownup guy who truly wants to get to know you will get the message and ask you out ahead of time. A player will text you again in a few weeks wanting to see you that night. Take it for what it is — he’s probably not serious about dating and he’s going down his list, hoping you bite. Don’t answer.
It’s time to get beyond texting.
I can see why even good, solid single men love texting. If he sees your picture and profile and wants to meet you, the hunter in him wants to get directly to the result: meeting you. This is also true of some women I know. They feel that chatting first just gets in the way and would rather skip the phone and/or email.
If you want a little more, like a phone call first, it’s up to you to get off the texting treadmill and ask for what you want. If he is serious about meeting a woman for a real relationship, he will step up.
If he seems to be stuck on texting, try something like this:
“It would be great to hear the voice connected to these great texts and emails. I’d love a phone call when you’ve got time. Hope that works for you! 555-555-1212”
“Thanks for getting in touch. I’d like to get to know you but I find texting isn’t the best way. But catching up with you over coffee might be ;).”
The bottom line: Text sparingly, wisely and, most of all, don’t read too much into it. Remember, real life and real love happen in person, not on your phone or computer.