If you've ever started a text conversation that lasted for hours, you know that this is a great way to connect with other people. That's the good part about texting. The negative is that you have to make sure things don't get awkward and keep the conversation going!
So, you've met someone new and you really want to get to know them better. Ideally, you'll make a great friend, but maybe a text session will turn into a date! Either way, the key to taking things to the next level is learning how to communicate via text. These tips and guidelines should help with that.
Text is a great way to talk to someone you want to know a bit better. It works as a synchronous form of communication. That means you can use it to have a conversation in real-time.
Text is also ideal for asynchronous communications. You can send a message now, and the other person can choose to read it later!
This flexibility allows you to engage in great, getting-to-know-you conversations, send thoughtful messages and updates, and even make plans to get together. Thanks to modern technology, you can use text to send pictures, videos, links, and voice recordings.
Finally, so many people see text as a safe way to get to know someone at the start of any relationship. It's much less intimidating than meeting face-to-face and offers a real sense of security.
Sadly, things can go wrong when you try to get to know someone over text. You can't use body language like you would in real life. This can make it difficult to get a sense of one another's true feelings. An edgy remark that might be funny in person may be taken the wrong way, for example.
Also, some people simply do better talking in person or over the phone. They rely on auditory methods to pick up social signals, or simply process things better speaking than they do writing.
Despite these drawbacks, we still believe that text messaging is a great way to make a connection with somebody new.
So, what now? You have a new friend, and want to connect with them on a more personal level. You have to get things started, but don't want to be creepy or come on too strong.
Sending that first message can be intimidating. You want to get the conversation right, not fumble over your words. Fortunately, this isn't as difficult as you might think.
Believe it or not, the key to connecting over text is sincerity and directness. Try these steps:
Start with your name and a reminder!
Hi, this is Stacy! We met at David's barbecue last week.
Now a bit of a compliment
I really enjoyed our talk about the work being done by the neighborhood planning commission.
Take it to the next level
Anyway, I was interested in getting to know you a bit better. I think we have quite a bit in common. Feel free to message me back!
That's it! There's no need for clever one-liners. Just reach out to people! Yes, it can be intimidating, but consider how you'd react to a sincere, friendly text. Most people embrace the idea of a new friend and appreciate it when someone else is the one to reach out to first. So, be that someone else.
Now that you have sent that first text, you are on your way to making a great friend, or perhaps something else. Now for some advice on using text to talk to people and really make a great connection.
Be yourself and you never have to worry about putting on a persona. Are you a geek at heart? Embrace that! Would you rather spend an evening playing board games at home than a night dancing at the club?
Put that out there! Share who you truly are, and you will know that the relationships you build are the real thing.
If you are unavailable to respond to an initial text message from a friend, that's fine. But, once the conversation starts flowing, stay engaged. If you have to drop out of the convo to do something, say so. Don't just leave them on read. Otherwise, they won't know what happened and may worry that they've bored or offended you.
You want to be sure you are clearly understood when you send a text. That's an important responsibility. However, receptive understanding is equally important. If you are ever unsure of the other person's meaning or feelings, don't risk misunderstanding or misconstruing their message.
Whatever you do, don't laugh or say something sarcastic as a way to cope with something that might be awkward.
Instead, ask for clarification. Use "I" and "me" words. For example, say, "I want to make sure I understand what you mean." or "can you help me better understand what you're feeling right now?"
This will give both of you the chance to clear up any misunderstandings before they cause a rift that could be avoided with a bit of clarification without accusation.
The connection doesn't happen if you aren't willing to share about yourself. You have to do more than joke around or talk about the latest pop-culture phenomenon. Even if this person isn't destined to become your best friend, they will appreciate it if you are able, to be honest about your experiences, even the bad stuff.
You don't want to unload on somebody when you first start communicating, but eventually you should be able to say, "I'm having a rough time right now."
Think of it from the other side. Imagine that you have been texting someone for a while. You've mentioned struggles you're having at work, and how you are worried about your elderly dog. Meanwhile, they haven't shared how they really feel about anything important.
Wouldn't you feel a bit put off by that? It would feel as if you were more invested in this new connection than the other person. That can seem like a real rejection. So, be willing to share the bad stuff too. If you can't, maybe you need to reevaluate things.
You won't deepen your connection with anybody if you aren't willing to risk rejection and become at least a bit vulnerable. So, don't be afraid to put yourself out there. Yes, eventually that vulnerability might include acknowledging a sexual or romantic attraction, but more on that later!
Are you a deflector? This means you are someone who doesn't deal very well with intense or emotional conversations. So, you:
Deal with your discomfort by making a joke when things get serious
If you're asked to share something about yourself you give a flippant response
You send a gif or funny meme when the tone shifts and gets a bit more intense
When you do these, you are communicating that you just have no real interest in their feelings or experiences. You may think you are keeping things light and fun, but they think you just don't want to listen to their experiences.
Sometimes, questions come up over text that just don't have an easy response. You want to express yourself well. That's actually a good thing. Sadly, we've come to expect instant responses because technology allows for that. But, don't be afraid to put things on pause. There's nothing wrong with explaining you need time to gather your thoughts.
Just be sure to let the other person know. If you don't, they might feel as if you are avoiding them. That's a bad look, especially if the question has to do with the future of your friendship or romance.
Did you know that most successful romantic relationships and friendships happen between people who share similar texting styles and frequency? It's true, and it makes sense if you think about it.
For example, if you tend to pace your texts out at once every hour or so with a nice long paragraph, you will most likely form a better connection with someone who does the same. This is also true for rapid-fire texters who send bursts of shorter blurbs every few minutes.
This doesn't mean you need to change your approach entirely. It's simply that it can help if you compromise a bit to match their "frequency". It's just a small thing that could make a meaningful difference.
You meet someone at the club or over a dating app. You've been messaging, but it's mostly been the same convos you would have with a pal. Now, you want to cross the bridge into more romantic territory. How do you do that without making things really strange or torpedoing a great friendship?
Unlike an actual spoken conversation text only has an implied tone. For example texts with proper punctuation are seen as more serious. While texts with a lack of proper punctuation and spelling can be seen as more serious.
Of course, that's just the general rule and the person you are messaging may not follow those rules. Take the time you need to read into the responses for certain signals. Do they seem to text back reasonably fast? Do they tend to use an endearing form of speech? By taking the time to understand the signals that they send you may be able to determine if it's time to move forward.
The last thing you want is for them to think that you are addicted to your phone or that you are obsessed with them. Remember that you want to be available to talk when they really need you but you don't want to be going out of your way to answer all of their messages immediately.
If you fawn too much or you find yourself to be overly available to them you may end up sending a message that your romantic interest in them may be more like an obsession, and that can push them away.
"Hey, Hello, You There, What's up?" While sending these on occasion is perfectly reasonable, if they aren't responding that is not a signal to keep sending these in hopes that they eventually respond back to you.
Doing this can make that person very uneasy about speaking to you at all and even make them want to stop all forms of interaction in general. Just as there are positive signals there are also negative signals. As much as you may like them they have a life away from their phone and it should not be assumed that just because they are listed as available online that they are available to talk.
This is just one example of a toxic approach. Other examples of being toxic in this situation can include attempting to convince them after they had said no, or threatening your own safety and blaming them for that is just a couple of examples. Always respect their space and time.
This also includes using conquest culture approaches such as negging. That's creating insecurities in the other person by subtly degrading them and making them easier to manipulate. It's gross. Don't do that.
Don't beat around the bush when it comes to finally admitting that you want to take things a step toward romance. Remember that text only has an implied emotion behind it that may or may not actually match your intentions.
Be clear and simply state that you think that you want to be more than friends. This way there is no confusion between your intentions and your relationship, and the person you like can also be clear with their own acceptance or refusal.
Remember that it was your friendship that made you realize these feelings and that it is your friendship that has allowed you to ultimately feel comfortable with wanting to pursue a romantic relationship with them. Let them know that no matter what happens you don't want to lose your friendship with them.
Not everybody is a fan of this form of conversation. However, it's important to embrace it. Remember that just as many people prefer this as they do talking on the phone, perhaps more so.
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