Here’s the problem with your text messages, guys: They’re loaded, and women know it.
A few weeks ago, my friend got a text from a guy she’d just met: “I so want to do you right now!” Horrified, she called me.
“Can you believe it?” she asked
“No!” I said. “Finally, a guy who says what he means when he texts.”
Here’s the problem with your text messages, guys: They’re loaded, and women know it. So we read subtext whether it exists or not (“Yes instead of yep? Is he mad?”). Personally, I appreciate honest, clear, and concise communication like my friend got, even if I have no interest in being done at that moment.
Below are three texts that men send. They seem harmless, and oh-so-cleverly open-ended—and they would be after we've been dating for a while. But early in a relationship, they send us scrambling for our delete buttons. Beware of . . .
. . . THE WINKY FACE
You type: “Wanna go out tonight?”
We think: Sure.
You type: “Wanna go out tonight? ;)”
We think: Go away—I’m not having sex with you.
No one winks or pokes in real life, so just stop. If you MUST use an emoticon, because you think we’re too stupid to know you’re joking*, then keep it to a smiley face. Winks cheapen—and creepen—your message.
. . . THE SUSPICIOUSLY TIMED SHOUT OUT
You type: “What r u doing?”
We think: That’s the best you’ve got?
This text is a lot more complicated than it seems. If it’s sent late at night, we assume you wish you were doing us. If we respond, you may get lucky. If we don’t, we’re not interested, so move on to the next girl on your to-do list.
If you send this text any other time, well, that’s not the most genuine way to start a conversation. If you’re really interested in my plans, be specific**: “What are you doing after work tonight?” If you’re just bored and looking to chat, start an actual conversation: “Did u watch Dance Moms last night***?”
And if you’re interested in us but can’t think of an ice-breaker, try: “Hi, just thinking about you, hope you’re having a good day.” If she responds, ask her out for a drink. If not, move on. Side note: If I respond with my plans and they don’t include you, don’t text me throughout the night to see if things are going well. If you don’t have a life, at least pretend to.
. . . THE "FLIRTY" TEXT
You type: “Hey princess”
We think: Crap . . . I forgot how to block numbers.
Girls do want to hear you think they’re attractive, but this method falls short. For starters, you can’t even see me right now****. And terms of obession like princess, sexy, and hot stuff make us think barf, creeper, and nasty.
If you genuinely want to tell a girl she’s beautiful, do it in person. If you have to text it, try relating it to the last time you saw her: “Hey, you looked beautiful tonight.”
On an online dating site, if you’re starting off a message telling me I’m beautiful based on my pictures, that comes across as superficial. Being told we’re beautiful in person, when all of our flaws are in plain sight, means so much more. Everything, actually.
From the Peanut Gallery
* Point taken, but let’s be clear: The female gender is to blame for the rise of the winky face. We KNOW you’re over-reading our missives, so you’ve conditioned us flag jokes and other voice inflections, lest we end up in the doghouse for saying “yes” instead of “yep.” It’s happened.
** We’re actually hoping that—this time, just once, pleeeeaaase!—you’ll respond with “I’m doing myself. Wanna watch?”
*** Yes, I did! Can you believe that Jill took Kendall to the Candy Apples studio! OMG!!!!!