1. Keep your cool (as much as possible).
Think of how many texts you would like to send to this person in a single day, how many things you imagine you have to say to them, how much time you want to spend exchanging precious morsels of information. Okay, now cut that number in half. And subtract 10. And divide by six. You don’t need to be the most aloof sex kitten to ever endorse a perfume brand, but just because you had a successful date does not mean you need to spend the next 72 hours peppering them with messages about how great it was. Best to be a little on the coy side, rather than the electronic equivalent of throwing a brick with a note on it through their window.
2. Don’t reveal the full extent of your creepdom.
Perhaps it would be best to make an actual list of information you acquired legitimately vs. information that you harvested from Facebook/Google/old blogs/other unfortunate sources, and remember to check it frequently until you have it memorized. If you are in the middle of a conversation and suddenly spring some incredibly private detail about their cousin that they made the mistakes of writing about in a place your creeping ass could find it, there is no guarantee that they won’t run as far away from you as possible before you have a chance to make a three-piece suit out of their skin.
3. Don’t freak out over silence.
While there is obviously something amiss if you text your crush and they take two days to respond to you, we do have a tendency to exagerrate things in our mind when we are in the throes of anticipation. And nothing is more upsetting than turning your phone off of silent to find three missed calls, or ten text messages with nothing but a crazed “????” Chances are that they are just in the middle of something, or don’t have their phone on them, not that they are avoiding you whilst cackling maniacally and making passionate love to your best friend. Or maybe they are, but it’s still better not to call them five times.
4. Always be yourself (no matter who that is).
The temptation to tell someone whom you are temporarily obsessed with that you just loOOOooOoOoOoOoooOve all of the things they love is great, but terribly misguided. Sure, you can tell the championship-skiing object of your infatuation that you yourself are frequently found cruising gracefully down a double black diamond, but what is going to happen when you actually have to put your money where your mouth is and get on a hill? This is merely the romantic version of putting “fluent in Spanish” on your resumé when you only know how to say taco, burrito, and hola — and we all know how that ends up.
5. Not everything needs an in-depth analysis.
Sometimes “hey” just means “hey.” Sometimes “fine” just means “fine.” And sometimes “What’s up? :P” means “Come over to my house, sexy, because I want to alternate between having sex, eating pizza, watching Arrested Development, and complimenting you on your hair. But now is probably not that time — some things can just be taken on face value, and don’t need an intense analysis by a profiler for the FBI over what the hidden code could possibly be. (Except for winky faces, that is international code for “let’s fuck.”)
6. Your friends don’t need the liveblog version.
We’re all here to help each other in times of need, and what time is more needy than when you’re in the middle of possibly falling in love with someone who makes you feel like your whole body is made out of rainbows. But there should be a limit to how much you can make them listen to before they’re allowed to punch you in the face mid-sentence. If you’re on hour 20 of a monologue about what your crush’s hair looks like in the sunlight vs in the moonlight, you deserve nothing short of the Black Plague.
7. Remember you have a whole other life.
While having a crush can take up every last cell of our brain with thoughts of “Which shirt best says ‘I love you more than life itself but am perfectly willing to take this relationship at your pace,'” it is best to keep the rest of life in perspective. Outside of your crush, you have friends. You have family. You have a job. You have yourself who, remember it or not, used to be a fully functioning human being with interests and talents and memories. If you can reserve at least one hour per day to thinking and doing things that aren’t directly related to your crush, you will probably find it much easier to avoid texting them once every 20 seconds.