Texting has completely changed the way we communicate with one another. Who would have thought, twenty years ago, that we would be able to test the waters with someone we met online using instant messaging before asking if they want to meet face to face and start dating?
Yet with texting we can now get to know someone using our smartphones before taking the plunge and finding out more about them in real life.
Play it smart
Making the leap from texting in your bedroom to meeting the object of your desires face to face over coffee is not exactly a precise science, but it is a bit of an art. You need to know what to say as well as what not to say, and you also need to know when to make your move. Make a few mistakes, and that meet-up might be history.
And because texting is constantly evolving – does anyone actually know when it’s appropriate to send someone an eggplant? – No? I didn’t think so. The rules of the texting game are changing all the time.
If you’re seriously thinking of moving this fledgling romance from your handheld device to a real-life setting, here are a few things you should know.
Are you on the same page?
Okay, so you’ve been texting every day for a while now and you know a few things about them. Let’s say you know their tastes in music, films and TV shows. You know about their family and friends, and job.
But do you know what their romantic intentions are? It can be really easy to get your wires crossed. If you met online, the onus isn’t really on either of you to reveal your intentions just yet.
However, it’s a good idea to try and figure it out face to face. After all, it is an important ‘bit’. Have they ever talked about the joys of looking for love? Have they ever complained about being single? Yes? No? Meeting up in the flesh gives you the chance to find out more about each other and determine where this thing is heading.
Wait until they are feeling good
I know it always seems like a good idea to offer your support when someone is feeling blue. If they’re texting you about a bad day at work, you might be inclined to ask if you can buy them a coffee.
– I just feel so stressed out because of work, I just wanna get into my pajamas and watch Netflix and forget about the world.
– I know, I know. Wanna meet up?
This isn’t really a good idea. When a person you’ve never met is feeling low and stressed, what they want is a bit of cheering up. Planning a meet-up isn’t going to remedy their situation.
The saying ‘strike when the iron’s hot’ rings true here, and it’s a much better bet to ask if they want to meet up during a high point in the conversation. When you’re making them laugh and really establishing a connection, they’re going to be feeling pretty darn good about you and life in general. Endorphins will be flowing, and they’re much more likely to respond positively.
Guide the conversation toward activities
If the two of you keep texting about intangible, abstract topics, such as the weather or your jobs, you’re not really opening up the possibilities of taking it to the next level.
If, however, you slowly direct the conversation onto more personal topics including activities you both enjoy, you’re planting the idea in their head that maybe you could have fun together sometime soon.
For example, if you both play tennis, you could talk it up beforehand by saying something like, “Here’s the deal: if you win I’ll buy the drinks, and if you lose… I’ll probably still buy the drinks.”
Leave room for a few mysteries
There has to be an incentive to meet up with someone we’ve been texting. And while their personality, wit and looks are obvious incentives, mystery is perhaps the biggest one of all.
When we text someone, there should be something about them that we’re curious about. We know there is something they’ve not fully revealed, and this is incredibly exciting. It’s okay to be ambitious when you text someone – it leaves them curious. It leaves them wanting to find out more (which is the absolute key to seduction).
If, however, you lay all your cards on the table before you start dating, you’ve taken away a large part of their incentive for meeting up. The mystery is gone and the reality has left them feeling disinterested.
Ramp up the mystery. Don’t answer all their questions. If there is something they really want to know, say: “I’d prefer to talk about that in person”.