A texting etiquette for the early dating stages.
How do you really, actually, honestly text in the early stages of dating?! The shortest answer to that is: keeping it genuine.
Some start texting before dating, some after; some do it right, some do it wrong; and all that is very understandable.
Not having a clue what you’re doing while texting, especially during the very early stages of dating, or even a relationship, is the next ‘very understandable’. There’s too much pressure: you want to keep them interested, so do you show them your crazy, do you show them your texting generosity, do you do you?
With all that pressure, common mistakes that are made, and though innocent, they can often break potential relationships. Texting everyday for months will have you both show ‘imperfections’, and that’s a beautiful thing rather than a problem.
The problem is in the way that texting is practiced, and the expectations on how it should and could be practiced. Before I get to the etiquette, we have to tackle a few things first!
Early stages of dating – Crucial things not to miss out
What exactly defines the early stages of dating?
The early stages are the period of time in which both people involved are getting to know each other. Where both people involved are ‘studying’ and deciding whether the one in front of them would make a good partner in the future.
Dating is about not immediately jumping into a relationship which requires commitment, and in monogamous relationships it requires exclusivity (emotional, sexual, etc).
What’s the difference between ‘dating’ and ‘relationship’?
It’s the exclusivity. Whether you have that talk or not, once you become exclusive for one another (monogamous relationships), you kind of step up the ‘dating game’ to the relationship game.
There’s mutual agreement to a certain way of doing things together, for one another, and having the sense of a team.
In dating you get to meet up, spend hours together, maybe sleep together. While in a relationship the meeting is more frequent, and longer (at most times).
What are some things to do and not to do during the early stages of dating?
– Take things slow. Take you time to actually know this person before jumping into something more than dating, something that requires more effort and energy.
– Hear the person and actually listen to understand and know more of the person, rather than listen just so you can speak.
– Be clear on your intentions. Not scare the person away by telling them they’re the one that you’ll do certain things with, rather tell them what you generally expect from life and dating; where you see yourself and what you look for in the ‘dating world’.
– Respect their personal space. Understand that they’ve got a life before and after meeting you. Be patient, respectful and understanding when they’re not available to you.
Tackling a few texting and dating/relationship things
Is it OK to text someone early? Like texting too early in the morning?
Early in the morning? Yes. If you care about them, and it’s reciprocated, then go ahead and start their day off with a sweet text message.
On the other hand, if they don’t seem to be into you, then it might not be the best idea to text them early in the morning.
Does it matter who texts first in a relationship?
Ideally, it doesn’t matter who texts first in a relationship. Realistically, however, it’s good to have a balance of this ‘initiation part’. Both partners should show care, affection, and effort to at least check in on the other partner.
The initiation of texts should be balanced, just like other ‘giving’ actions in the relationship.
Should a guy you’re dating text every day?
Not really. You’ve got your own spaces, your own ways of doing things, and you’re just getting to know each other. Hence, everyday texting is not an obligation if one doesn’t feel like doing so, not just in dating.
Early stages of dating: how often to text?
In the early stages of dating, you should text often enough not to lose connection & touch. That means, texting as much as you both feel comfortable with; there’s no rule on how it must be done for things to work 100% fine. It’s all about your energy and vibe.
How often should you text someone you’re casually dating?
Avoid games at all costs. Even though it is casual dating, it doesn’t mean you have to restrain yourself from texting a person less than you want to or push yourself to text a person more than you want to.
Whatever makes you comfortable, and makes you feel good after doing it; do it.
It is not ok to ghost someone. No matter what stage of dating you’re in, and no matter how much the term is normalized by society.
There are countless ways through which you can let a person know that you’re no longer interested in seeing/dating them, countless better ways of doing it when compared to ghosting.
Ghosting is often perceived as a form of abandonment, and it causes the affected person to feel an unpleasant or even painful emotional state.
7 rules to follow that lead to healthy texting habits at the early stages of dating:
1. Having a balance in the consistency & effort is important
Too much texting in dating, especially in early dating, is not having a balance to a point where one of you is uncomfortable by the constant amount of texts being received. If you’re in that sweet early dating try to find a balance of texting:
Consistent, not overdone texting. If you’re looking to create a relationship out of this stage of dating, then consistency is pretty crucial. It’s important not to be pushy and overdo texting at the initial stages of dating. Follow the energy, and find something you’re both comfortable with.
The ‘good morning’ and ‘good night’ texts might soon kick in. With consistent texting, comes a ton of room for the ‘good morning’ and ‘good night’ texts. If it’s something you’re both into, it’s a pretty enjoyable thing to be part of. Texting early in the morning, and at night before bed, it’s a pretty flowery phase, so enjoy it.
You don’t owe each other all your time. You’re knowing more about one another, you’re into each other, and the need to keep each other interested is understandable. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to devote your entire time and days to one another.
2. Feel what you text: Don’t just text them for no absolute reason
Texting at the early stages of dating has its ways to go wrong, especially if you’re bored and want to ‘fill your nothingness’ by texting with this person. It can be taken as offensive and disrespectful.
Avoid the generic, boring, texts. Those (generic & boring texts) usually come out of boredom, so keep them in and do something else other than texting them when you’re bored. You can send them memes, pictures, songs or anything else that reminds you of them. Make texting fun!
Text them when you genuinely feel like texting them. Not when you’re bored and have nothing else better to do. Text them for a reason, a good, genuine reason; it makes the conversation flow easier, and be more of a genuine conversation.
Reply when you can. Drop the games to ‘win them over’ and reply when you can, or when you feel like replying. If they don’t feel comfortable with your way of texting, see what you can do about it, and if you can find a common ground in this particular area.
3. Don’t be something you normally aren’t just for the sake of impressing the person
Texting in early dating has the potential to be not so original because of the ‘pressure to impress’ the other. It’s best that you embrace what you are, and do exactly what you are. Be honest if honesty is what you’re looking for.
Ask interesting questions. Of course, if you feel like asking them, and if you’re curious to know the answers. It makes room for opening up and knowing even more about one another.
You can be flirty. There are tons of fun ways to make a texting conversation get flirty. If flirty is your nature, use it, make it fun n’ flirty!
Don’t fake interest. If you’re not interested in knowing something about them, then don’t ask the question. Fake will get you fake, it won’t get you real. So whenever you ‘catch’ yourself almost faking it, take a minute and ‘unfake’ it.
4. Having a life: a.k.a your universe doesn’t depend on texting that person
It’s beautiful to be feeling what you’re feeling right now, and I’m not saying you should suppress anything, however, I’m reminding you that you’ve got a life, and to not forget to do things you did back when you didn’t know this person existed. Unglue your eyes from the phone for a sec, won’t ya?
Be patient. You both got separate lives, right? Be patient when you’re waiting for a reply. Do something else instead of waiting around for their reply. Pushing them into texting you faster won’t make things better.
It’s good to have enough. It’s good to be rational, and be satisfied with the amount of texting you’re exchanging with one another. Leave the thoughts of ‘should be texting more if interested’, they’ll stop you from enjoying the conversations you have in the moment.
Don’t glue yourself to the phone. It’s understandable that you’re curious, you’re feeling the need to ‘keep them interested’, that’s understandable too. Unglue yourself from the phone, and reply when you can, and do something else instead of waiting around for a reply.
5. Be mindful & avoid games if a real connection is what you want
Dating the right person takes mindfulness, even through texting. Genuine conversations take genuinity and lack of games. Be mindful while texting too:
Avoid waiting games. Please do. If you’re looking to develop something real and genuine, then it’s easy: avoid games, especially those waiting games. Text them back when you can.
Don’t fake ‘enthusiasm’ nor ‘coolness’. Don’t pretend to be super excited if you’re not, nor be very cool n’ cold if you’re the opposite of it. Be as you as you can be. If your energy levels don’t match in real life, they won’t match through text either.
Actually enjoy the text conversation you’re having. Be as present as you can, no faking, no games, be honest, and actually enjoy texting with this person; that’s important if you’re looking to create a connection with the person.
6. Don’t expect your date to constantly initiate texting conversations
They don’t owe you texting you every day, and you don’t owe them either. If you’re honestly interested in one another ‘who texts first’ shouldn’t really be a problem. The social norms of ‘a man should be the one texting first’ put undeniable pressure on men (especially in heterosexual connections), I believe it’s time to drop that standard.
Reciprocate. Again, it’s about the balance. It’s good to give space to one another to initiate. Of course one might be initiating more than the other, but that’s ok as long as reciprocation is on the table.
Initiation is a good thing, a sign of interest. So, if you’re both interested you both will be showing signs of interest and initiate texting. At least, ideally. If you’re interested, give off the signs.
Drop the ‘chase me’ mindset. If you feel like texting them first, text them. Especially if you’re a woman: text him first! Them chasing you eventually gets them tired; you breadcrumbing them through texting gives you an indecent way of doing things, conversations. ‘Chase me’ it’s not a good start, drop it and get real.
7. Much into sexting? Let’s talk consent and respect first
When consent isn’t taken into consideration, especially while texting during the early stages, that’s one of the early signs that you’ll be heading to a toxic relationship.
Sexting is fun when it’s enjoyed by both parties, it’s not fun nor okay when boundaries are pushed and one or both of you are uncomfortable.
Careful with the pictures, please. Your urge to impress the other person with your naked body is also understandable, but has a lot of potentials to make the other uncomfortable; especially if you didn’t discuss any ‘naked’ things yet.
Consent & respect, please. Sexting (including nudes) is amazing when there’s consent from both sides. When you communicated the no-nos and the yes-yes’, and you respect those fundamentally. It’s only fun and done right that way: with consent & respect.
Don’t be pushy if they’re not into sexting, please. Understand when you get a no, when you get a ‘I’m not comfortable’. Not respecting the other’s boundaries when texting (or any other form of communication) is not the way to go.
Take with you: Important things to have in mind while texting in early stages of dating
- They don’t know you very well, they cannot see your facial expressions, nor hear your tone of voice.
- Healthy texting habits in early stages of dating leads to healthy texting habits in a relationship too. Don’t play games, keep it healthy!
- ‘We text all day!’ As long as you both enjoy it, there’s nothing wrong with it. Though, keep in mind to have separate lives too, it’s very important to do so.
- Who’s texting first in a relationship shouldn’t be counted. Keep it genuine.
Questions about Texting during the early stages of dating
1. Can you develop feelings through texting?
Yes. However, ‘falling for someone’ through texting can easily be misunderstood with falling for an imaginary vision created through the ‘data’ you collected for this person by texting with them.
You can develop feelings through texting, it’s true. But there’s room for not fully grasping and understanding the person, hence I mentioned the imaginary version of the person you create in your head.
2. How often should you text a girl you just started talking to?
Text her often enough to let her know you’re interested, but also pay attention to her reciprocation. See the vibe, and follow it.
If you feel like texting every day is something you’re both comfortable with, then go for it. If you feel that you must do it in order to keep her interested, don’t do it.
3. How often should a guy text you in the beginning?/How often should you text a guy you just started dating?
There’s no ‘this is how often a guy should text you in the beginning’. Each person, each guy, is different on their own, but also different when in relation with other people.
If he’s interested, he’ll find his ways to show you. Even if it is infrequent texting, as long as it is consistent, it is a good indicator of interest.
It’s all about the energy, chemistry, and freedom you have in the presence of one another.
4. Is it normal for texting to slow down in a relationship?
Yes; In fact it is very normal for texting and other things to slow down in a relationship.
When in a relationship (except ldr) you get to see each other more frequently, and texting will only complete that picture, instead of being the main source of contact between you.
5. Does texting matter in a relationship?
It does. Texting it’s a tool through which you keep in touch with one another, especially if you’re in a long distance relationship.
Communication is key in relationships. If you don’t see each other very often, then the texting has to have some quality and consistency to keep things nice and clean and well connected between you two.
6. Should the guy text first every time?
Absolutely not. It’s time to drop that mindset, and actually have things balanced, have the effort made at healthy levels by both partners.
7. How often do you text early in a relationship?/How often should you text the beginning of a relationship?
As often as you both want to, and as often as you both feel comfortable. Don’t put yourselves and ways of communicating into frames. See what works best for you, and do that.