Are you, like many of us, ‘trigger happy’ with text messages? While it’s a fun, fairly spontaneous type of communication with your friends, certain texting sins can make or break your relationship with a new guy. It’s truly amazing how just a few little words on a screen — or too many — can evoke a series of negative emotions, from boredom to annoyance and outright anger.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t be free to express how and when you like. Of course, you can and you should! But, it does pay to be mindful of how you come across via words, without the benefit of body language and tone of voice. Also, it’s never a good idea to bring up important issues in a text, just because you don’t feel confident to do it face to face. Just remember, back in the day everyone had to pick up the phone and (gasp) talk. If they can do it, so can you.
Before you spend precious minutes re-reading sentences, re-thinking emojis, deleting, and agonizing over your next message, check out the top 10 texts not to send.
And calm that trigger happy finger.
Here are 10 cringe-worthy texts men dislike getting from women:
1. “Entertain me” texts
When you’re sitting at home, bored and looking for some entertainment, think carefully before you text your new date something like, “Hey, what are you doing? insert random, no matter how cute, emoji here.” While he might respond, chances are it’ll be with something just as basic. Why? Because you haven’t put any effort in.
Rather than expect him to come running to save you from boredom if you’re going to text at all, you might as well highlight some of that sparkling wit, intelligence, or humor he likes you for. If you send texts with no thought often, chances are he’ll be too bored to even read them.
Photo: cottonbro studio/Pexels
2. Rapidfire messaging
Don’t. Send. One. Word. Per. Message. This particular texting sin is a bad habit that you need to deal with, no matter who you’re sending multiple texts to. No one wants to feel their phone vibrate or, worse, hear it go off at work 20 times in a row, with messages from the same person.
It’s not cute, witty, or funny, for the most part, unless it’s a ‘had to be there’ thing. The very simple fix is to send him one message, in a paragraph. That way, you reduce the risk of him throwing his phone at the wall in a moment of sheer annoyance and blaming you for the cracked screen.
3. Overly-long texts
Save the essays for college assignments. Or just talk about what you want to say in person.
On the flip side, don’t send him a 2000-word essay on 10 different topics. Your years of university working on dragging out topics is not a skill that needs to be practiced in men. Plus, no one has phones so they can read for minutes at a time. More than likely, he’ll only scan a novel-sized message, therefore missing any important bits. Or, he’ll glimpse it and put the phone straight back in his pocket. The chances of him getting back to you any time soon, are therefore pretty slim.
So, if you’re about to send a text like this:
“Hey! So I got to work today and my colleague was telling me about her roommate Sarah, a different Sarah from the one I know. Oh, Sarah is also the name of my first cat. I love cats, they’re so much better than dogs. Especially because they don’t need much food. Speaking of which, I’m so hungry. I’m craving Nandos but Subway could go alright. Want to join me for food later? Did you hear about what happened to that subway dude Jarred?”
Try this, instead:
“Hey! Want to catch up for Nandos tonight?” And save the rest for face-to-face time.
4. Passive aggressive texts
Passive aggressive behavior is incredibly hard to deal with in person, let alone via text. For example, if you’re mad at him and he texts to ask you out for dinner, resist responding with one-word answers like, “K”, “Dunno” or “Nope.” Sure, he’s going to get the point that you’re ticked off, but it doesn’t mean he knows why.
Men aren’t mind readers and he’ll probably just shake his head at the phone in confusion, rather than write back, “Babe, what’s wrong?” like your friends might. Be open and honest if you have an issue and either call him or arrange a time to catch up, so you can let him know what it is, in person.
5. “I have no life” texts
So, you sent a text at lunchtime on Friday, asking what your guy is up to on the weekend. It’s now early evening and instead of getting ready to go out with the girls, you’re sitting on the couch checking the screen every minute. Finally, you’ve had enough and you text, “going to message me back?” Can you hear the clingy, needy tone in those words? You can be sure he will.
These types of texts make it sound like you see him as a priority and that your life comes second to him. Given the above example, that’s exactly what’s happening. A high-value woman isn’t waiting around for a man to respond to her text. She’s not even necessarily thinking about it, because she’s already at the bar with her friends, immersed in her stuff. Right where she should be.
6. “Validate me” texts
If a guy is dating you, it stands to reason that he likes you. That being said, it doesn’t stop insecurity from creeping up, so that you feel like you need validation. Here’s where you hide your phone, give it to a friend, or distract yourself, so you’re not tempted to send something like, “You do still want to see me, right?” Or, worse, “Why do you even like me?”
Any message that you send to gain some form of security about his feelings for you, is a bad message. First of all, insecurity is something that can send the best of men running for the hills. Secondly, but most importantly, it means you’re looking for it in all the wrong places. Security and self-esteem come from within, putting it firmly in the arena of your responsibility, not his. Start building self-confidence to be the best you, without the need for external validation.
7. Relationship status texts
If you don’t know what your relationship status is and feel you need to, that’s perfectly fine. However, under no circumstances is this a chat you should have by text message. This is one of those uncomfortable issues mentioned before, that might seem easier to confront with a screen, but never is.
Put yourself in your guy’s place for a moment. Say he’s at work and receives one of these texts from you:
- “What are we?”
- “Are we exclusive?”
- “Should I update my Facebook profile to say we’re in a relationship?”
There’s nothing like a bit of pressure to move things along, right? Wrong. For one, this makes it pretty easy for him to avoid the topic, given you’re not in front of him. Or, the shock of having to think about it so suddenly, right in the middle of a fantasy about your body last night, might make him back right off. Give him the respect he deserves and ease into the conversation, face to face.
8. Stalker texts
Have you ever been on the other end of stalker texts? As in, your friend tags you in a photo at a restaurant, and a guy you had one date with texts immediately with, “How’s — insert name of restaurant here.” Feels pretty creepy, doesn’t it? You have to wonder if he just ‘happened’ to see it pop up, or if he’s sitting at home stalking your Facebook page. If he is, while it might be flattering for a second, you’ll be hitting the ‘unfriend’ button pretty quickly.
If you do this with a guy you’ve only been dating for a few weeks, more often than not he’ll be wondering if he should get a restraining order.
9. The first “I Love You” text
Ok, so everyone can be forgiven for a one-off, random drunk text saying the Big Three Words, much the same as when you’re at a club and say it to a total stranger. Other than that, it certainly takes all the meaning out of such a statement, wouldn’t you agree? If you feel like you only have the confidence to say “I love you,” or “I think I’m falling in love with you,” in a text, chances are you’re just not ready to say it at all, so hold back until the time is right.
In terms of his response, you also run the risk of no response or one you’d be better off not having to analyze. When the relationship naturally flows to the point of love, there’ll be no missing expression, so let it happen in real life, off-screen.
10. The break-up text
No one. Wants. To. Be. Broken. Up. With. By. Text. Period. It might seem easy to send something like, “Hey, this isn’t working out for me,” but do you think it’s ever the right thing to do? Just reverse the situation and imagine happily sipping your coffee one morning, only to pick up your phone and see, “It’s over.”
Taking the easy road, in this circumstance, means disregarding common decency, just because you can. Pick up the phone, at the very least in rough circumstances, or arrange to see the poor guy! You’ll feel much better about yourself and the breakup, plus, you won’t end up in one of those, ‘My girlfriend broke up with me on a text message’ posts.
At the end of the day, if you’re tossing up whether or not to write something in a text, don’t do it. Keep it sweet, simple, and cute — and leave the rest for your ‘off-screen’ life.
Mark Rosenfield is a dating coach who writes to help women find love within and without. He is the author of Make Him Yours: Beating The Odds Of Modern Dating.
This article was originally published at Make Him Yours. Reprinted with permission from the author.