Like it or not, text messaging has become, in recent years, the preferred method for communicating with girls. Those cutesy, old-fashioned telephone conversations—where you actually got to know each other—have gone the way of dial-up Internet. It’s almost to the point where getting a girl to answer the phone is actually harder than getting her in the sack. I know some guys that have had straight-up relationships with girls without ever talking with them on the phone.
A lot of guys complain incessantly that all of this has made planning dates more difficult, made flaking easier, and added undue challenges to building up a girl’s comfort level with you. Those are all fair criticisms. But don’t waste your energy bemoaning things you can’t change. Girls have been difficult since time immemorial. Cavemen probably complained that their girls were so stubborn they needed to be dragged by the hair into their (literal) man-caves. Some things will never change.
Texting is a double-edged sword, to be sure. It has its definite downside, but also built-in advantages. And, like anything else, it requires its own set of rules. Your goals with texting are simple: to minimize flaking, maximize response rates, and get a girl to go out with you.
Here are ten text game tips for getting dates with girls:
1. When in doubt, keep it simple. Know the limits of the technology. Don’t try to charm your way into a girl’s pants in a black-and-white, 160-character message completely divorced of tone and delivery. It never works. Also, you can bet your bottom dollar that, if she’s cute, she gets dozens of texts per day. She reads them with a cursory glance, not with a keen eye for your subtle nuance.
2. Largely ignore the rules of grammar. It’s a sad state of affairs that good grammar makes you look bad with girls but, when it comes to texting, it often does. A perfect text communicates that you’re trying hard and that communicates neediness—a kiss of death. Don’t come across as a totally illiterate moron but, unless your target is a Ph.D. student in English Literature, leave a few capitalization and punctuation flaws in place.
3. Use jokes, emoticons, and exclamation points sparingly. Don’t fall for the trap of trying to soften a risky statement with a smiley face or trying to manufacture excitement with all of your exclamations points!!! Emoticons, except when they’re absolutely necessary, make you seem timid and girlish. Real men use periods.
4. Follow the old phone-call commandments. Some of the same things that were cardinal rules when you used to actually call girls are cardinal rules with texts: wait 2-4 days to text a new prospect (especially resist the suicidal, same-night “it was good to meet you” text); suss out her future availability in person, while you’re getting the digits; and end the “discussion” on a high note—preferably by not responding.
5. Apply the “Jumbotron Test.” It’s annoying as all hell, but girls share everything with their stupid girlfriends. Keep that in mind when you’re thinking about pouring your bleeding Romeo-heart out in a last-ditch effort to regain her interest. If you would feel comfortable with it being projected on the big-screen at a sold-out New York Knicks game, proceed with confidence.
6. Cultivate a Zen-like patience at all times. Texting girls can require nerves of steel. Irrespective of how friendly she was the night she met you, know that she won’t respond to your texts right away, for a variety of reasons: she’s genuinely busy, she’s trying to seem uninterested, or she’s actually trying to ignore you. Resist the temptation of sending a desperation follow-up text. When she does respond, wait as long, or longer, than she did to respond to you (without seeming obvious about it by doing it at precise times). Your goal is to seem comfortable and non-needy.
7. Insulate yourself from flakiness by leaving the discussion open. When you succeed in making plans with your girl—which should be the principle function of your exchange—don’t leave the conversation in a place where you won’t have a reason to talk before date-night. This is especially important if the date is more than a couple of days away. For instance, leave the location or exact time undetermined, so you can re-open the discussion with something like, “hey, you ever been to big ron’s house of cheap beer?”
8. Know when to shut up or give up. Less is more. Even if a girl is vibing you and sending you a bunch of texts, don’t correspond endlessly with her because, sooner or later, you’re going to overstay your welcome. What’s more, the more you say, the more likely you are to say something stupid that will dry up her panties. Conversely, if a girl is obviously not interested or clearly avoiding making plans with you, let the conversation go.
9. Use the “restart text” wisely. Even if you don’t succeed in setting a date with a girl initially, you can often resurrect the exchange a few days later with a simple, random hello-text. This is especially the case if you didn’t overkill things in the first place. I’ve often succeeded by sending a restart text long after she forgot some stupid thing I said or because I caught her in a hornier mood.
10. Don’t over-think things. Always remember this: she’s not agonizing over the texts she’s sending you. If you find yourself staring at your phone for minutes at a time contemplating what to punch in or asking your friends what to say, go back to #1.
These tips apply to girls you haven’t banged yet. Once you have sex with a girl, you can somewhat relax on these rules, but until then you must be almost obsessive about keeping your text game tight.