By Kelly Coleman for GalTime.com
The prominence of texting in our daily lives has added a new layer to all types of relationships, especially our romantic ones. The huge problem with texting, however, is who really knows the dos and don'ts of the texting game?
While many people poke fun when we over-analyze texts we receive or put too much thought into the ones we send, David Coleman, a.k.a. the Dating Doctor and author of Making Relationships Matter, Date Smart!, and 101 Great Dates, asserts, "Before [people] hit SEND or POST or Tweet, they need to HOVER and really think about the message they're about to send and how it will be received by any and all who read it. Because once they hit send, they can never recall it or take it back."
To help you navigate the mysterious unwritten laws of post-event texts, we got some expert advice about the perfect thing to write for the five biggest new relationship scenarios.
Scenario #1: After an awesome date when you're totally hoping to see him again.
Laurel House, Screwing the Rules and No-Games Guide to Love relationship expert and dating coach, advises this hypothetical text (which obviously you'd personalize):
"Thank you so much for last night. Your upcoming trip to Bali sounds like a blast! Before you go out there and get caffeinated by arguably the best coffee on Earth, I would love to see you again."
Across the board, the experts agree that a post-great date text needs to accomplish three things: Show gratitude for the date, recall a happy memory from the date and then be transparent about wanting to go out again. "Men are like dogs (in a very good way); they need to be rewarded for good behavior," says House. This text accomplishes this by opening with a sincere "thank you" for the date. However, House also points out that, "Men are just as insecure as women and get nervous about asking us out if they aren't sure that we will accept. Don't make him sweat it. Let him know you're interested."
Scenario #2: After a drunk makeout you don't want to pursue.
Dealing with the consequences of our drunken actions is always unpleasant. However, we must take responsibility for them. While you have to acknowledge that the kiss was a mistake, you also don't want to completely blame it on the alcohol. Susan Casamento, LLC, founder of Fantasy Dating suggests texting something like this:
"My feelings towards you are not romantic, but I do appreciate your friendship. I hope last night's make out session won't affect that."
Being blatantly honest is difficult, but "it's not cool to let somebody wonder whether or not you're into him," Casamento adds.
Scenario #3: After you kiss a good guy friend.
One of those When Harry Met Sally moments will rock anyone's boat. This scenario is probably the one with the least black and white answers simply because this situation is so circumstantial. Depending on the background of you and this guy friend, this kiss could mean everything or nothing at all. If you kiss a good guy friend, "your relationship could get funky," admits Casamento. The best way to navigate this awkward time is to open a safe space for honest communication. And the only way you'll get the honesty is ask! Casamento advises "an open-ended text." Try:
"So, how do you feel about last night?" This puts the ball entirely in his court.
If you conclude that the kiss was you two simply getting caught up in a moment and only want to remain friends, that's a different story. This part is difficult because you want to ensure his ego stays intact, but also assert that you only want friendship. Laurel House suggests:
"Well, that was totally unexpected! Enjoyable, but unexpected. I hope our moment of extra closeness doesn't put a damper on our friendship. You're fantastic and I don't want to lose you as my friend."
This accomplishes several musts: it doesn't put him down by being sarcastic or dismissive, but rather reveals a slip of vulnerability on your end by acknowledging that the kiss was enjoyable. This text is honest, but complimentary. "You're fantastic," reminds him how you are so fond of him. "I don't want to lose you as my friend," however, is a straightforward statement that leaves no room for interpretation.
Scenario #4: After meeting his friends or family for the first time.
Officially being brought around to the friends or family is a big step in a relationship. You want to thank him for introducing you to the people who have helped mold who he is as a person and who he also cares for deeply. If you genuinely enjoyed meeting your guy's friends/family, recall a moment when you felt you connected with one of them.
"Thanks for inviting me to dinner last night with your friends/family. Your dad/buddy is hysterical. I really enjoyed talking to him. Gave me a little more insight into you too -- which was nice."
"Let him know that you enjoyed it, comment on the fact that you connected with one of them, then bring it back to him," suggests House. However, there's always the possibility that you did not enjoy the meeting. Susan Casamento warns, "Even if his sister is a total snob, she's still his sister. And in a new relationship, family will win." So if you didn't hit it off with his family or friends upon first meeting, don't mention it! "Just thank him," Casamento states.
Scenario #5: After sex with a new partner.
The experts all contend on one must when it comes to the post-sex text: Be sexy, not raunchy. Casemento suggests something like, "Last night was really hot. I'd love to do that again." It's straightforward, complimentary and leaves room for him to accept or deny your offer.
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