Should I Text Him? 7 Rules For When To Text And When To Wait

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The Real Answer To If You Should Text Him First

You should text him first if you genuinely want to and the situation calls for it. And if energetically you’re sending that text from a balanced and confident place. Both mentally and emotionally.

Let me explain. Many coaches will tell you that in this day and age it’s ok to text him first. Yet others will tell you that you should under no circumstances ever send him the first text.

However, I believe the best answer to this question starts with you. And the reason why you’re texting him in the first place.

You should text him first if, you’re reaching out to him to genuinely connect and communicate with him. If for any reason you’re texting him based on worry, fear or anxiety. Such as, trying to “keep his interest” or manipulating him to do something for you. Or to fill some kind of void in your life. Then the answer is no, you shouldn’t text him first.

Let’s dive a little deeper below…

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Follow His Lead

The same thing is true at the start of dating.

Follow a man’s lead:

  • If he texts, text him back.
  • If he doesn’t text YOU, DON’T TEXT HIM EITHER.

This is your best strategy to not waste time on men who are not genuinely interested. The truth is there are lots of men who will waste your time and string you along, BUT ONLY IF YOU LET THEM.

So, when you text because he’s gone silent, you are no longer “following.” You have taken up the lead and that does not work at the start of dating for most singles over 40.

It might not work so well under 40 either because dating is still an archaic mating ritual based in biology, not gender equality.

Most men like to think dating you is his idea. To create this situation, you don’t want to be too available and you don’t want to appear PUSHY OR DESPERATE.

But, that’s what happens when you take the lead, keep the texting conversation going, etc.

Part 3 When you are in a relationship and he says he needs space

10. If he’s said he needs space, please respect this

Maybe he has said to you that he needs some space

Maybe he has said to you that he needs some space or that he is not sure where he wants to take the relationship?

In this kind of situation (where he has specifically indicated that he needs some time) – the worst thing you can do is to send him a message.

A guy needs three or four days to think things through, so if you send him a message after two days, you’re back at square one.

He will feel pressurized by this…

Each time you send him a message asking him whether he has made up his mind, you pressurize him.

And as a result, he will only want more time to himself.

I know it’s difficult, especially if you are afraid of losing him.

I do understand that you want to reach out to him and hear back something positive from him.

But the chance that he will get back to you with a positive response is much smaller than if you just give him some time to think.

In case you haven’t heard from him for two or three weeks, it’s okay to send him a short message with something like:

“Hey, I know you need some time. I’m sorry for sending you this message, but it’s been a few weeks and I just want to know whether you want me to wait for you or if it’s better that I go on with my life? I would really like to know.”

So instead of sending him a message, take a look at this article of why men pull away. So you can get a better understanding of what he’s going through.

11. Only contact him if you have a GOOD reason

When your man has clearly indicated that he needs

When your man has clearly indicated that he needs space, the only time you should ever contact him is when you have a very good reason and it’s something really important.

Otherwise, it is better that you don’t.

Here are some important scenarios that can help guide you:

“Hey, I hope you’re great. I’m sorry for bothering you when you said you needed space… I just wanted to let you know that I’m going away to visit my parents and will be gone for 2 weeks. I’m still available if you want to talk. Love X”

“Hey I hope you’re good. I didn’t want to bother you but the kids’ school schedule changes next week and I just wanted to let you know when you can pick them up.”

You get the idea.

12. When a relationship problem has been resolved

Okay so you are in a relationship and he has told

Okay so you are in a relationship and he has told you that he needs some time to himself.

Then you must respect this and give him time and space, but there is one exception, and sort of falls into the same category as having a good reason.

Say he was angry about something and began questioning your entire relationship over that issue, but now that problem has now been resolved.

It could be anything from:

  • He was mad because you were still texting daily with your ex
  • He feels trapped in the relationship and never has time to see his friends
  • You spend too much time as a couple watching Netflix instead of doing fun and new activities together

Then you should let him know that this is no longer an issue. Tell him that:

  • You cut off all ties with your ex, blocked him, and won’t speak to him again
  • You’ve figured out a solution that’ll free up alone time for him or with his friends
  • You canceled your Netflix subscription and have made a list of fun activities and places you’d like to do with him

What Is Ghosting?

If you are asking what is ghosting, the definition is when a man stops asking you out and no longer stays in touch, even by texting. He seems to have dropped off the planet, leaving you wondering what the heck happened.

Next, what is ghosting in texting and how is that different? Most often this is when a man has been in touch frequently by text, saying good morning or wishing you a good night’s sleep. Maybe some other little text tidbits during the day too.

Or he may get more in-depth in his conversation, share a laugh or something about his day. The point is, he stops reaching out and basically goes completely silent, leaving you puzzling over your phone as if it might not be working right somehow. At least that’s your hope.

Find out why he stopped calling

6. Did they text you first?

Then responding is totally up to you.

If you recently went on a date with them and aren’t sure about texting them back, you’re probably on the fence about how you feel. So take some time and think about your response. Then, if you’re willing to give it another go, respond—but if you’re thinking this won’t go all that far, tell them you’re not interested.

Now, if their text gave you butterflies à la seventh grade, respond right back, baby.

Pro tip: They texted you, so you already know they’re interested. From this point on, don’t overthink things. You don’t need to wait 10 minutes, or 20, or 22 before responding to seem less eager. Bring up things that are happening in your life—recent music you’ve just discovered, a cool speakeasy bar you’ve been wanting to check out—and let the conversation flow.

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8. Initiate to Show Interest

When learning how to flirt with a guy over text, keep in mind that you shouldn’t make him initiate every conversation, since it’s easy for your crush to assume you aren’t into him and you’re too nice to say so.

If you’re wondering how often should you text him, then just go with the ‘half time rule’. The half time rule just means that you should initiate texting him about half the time.

After all, you do still want him to start conversations as well so you feel desired. You won’t always achieve a perfect 50/50 split on texting first, since life, schedule changes, and stress often get in the way. Simply make sure it feels like you’re making the effort, and be upfront if you’re going to hit periods where you aren’t able to text as much. You don’t want to leave him wondering whether you like him or not after you went through the initial trouble to get him to like you.

Rule 3: Did He Text You First?

There are a few situations where you might get a text from him first and wonder if you should text him back:

  1. Ask yourself if this is a guy that you are really interested in. If he’s not your type or your kind of guy – or your instincts are saying no – then just don’t send a reply text. If you text him back, you could open a can of worms. He might not take the hint, and then you’d be caught up in trying to be nice versus telling him to go away. And that’s not fun.
  2. Ask yourself if this guy is available. Sometimes you get a text from a guy that you know is in a relationship, or might even be married. Is this something you want to be involved in? Again, your gut should be able to tell you which situations should be avoided.
  3. Are you feeling an open sense of excitement with no reason to hold back? Well, again, be careful about how quickly you feel the urge to send him a text message. Very often that impulsiveness can make you text too quickly. You also don’t want to appear desperate to him.

Keep in mind that men are usually VERY conservativ

Keep in mind that men are usually VERY conservative when texting. So when a woman texts him with her:

  • Long storytelling texts…
  • Tons of Emojis in your texts…
  • Really fast text responses…

This kind of texting feels weird to him. And it’s one of the ways that women accidentally overwhelm a guy. She texts him like she’s texting one of her girlfriends.

Which leads me to the next Texting Rule:

Reasons why he’d wait for you to text him

I already discussed some of these above, but here they are once more, all nicely summed up:

He’s scared or intimidated

Fear that is built in him from past experiences, or intimidation can cause him to take space and wait for your move (as in, leave it up to you so you can lead it where you want it to).

He’s confused about how you could be feeling about him

This is one of the reasons why men stop texting for a while and then start again. He doesn’t know how you feel about him, he could fear he’ll irritate you if he texts you, so he keeps his distance and waits for your sign to let him know that you’re at least somewhat interested.

He’s got other options

When he’s got other options, he can spend effort and time elsewhere. In this case, he waits for you to text him and make the effort, and if you don’t he’d be fine with it, because he’s got other people to deal with. This does not make you worth any less or more, it’s just the way some men go for it. If you’re sure that this is the case for him, I’d suggest you leave and move on with your business.

It’s just his way of doing things

He’s passive, he’s used to other people to get sh*t done for him. He just is that way. He isn’t the one texting women or pursuing women. He’s that chill guy in the corner that’s fine if you approach him, but won’t really get out of the comfortable couch to come and talk to you. “It’s just sooo comfortable!!”

He overthinks it, and just decides to drop it

There’s the lazy type, and then there’s this guy. The type that overthinks it, will do his best to find topics that interest you, and to get your attention. The problem is, he’ll think of it so much, that at some point everything will seem stupid and pointless. So he’ll just give up, and wait for you to text him.

He’s read/heard some advice to wait in order to make you wait, in order to get you interested

Ah, yes! The “Make her chase you by doing this trick!” and the “She will fall for you instantly if you do this!”He’s giving it a try, he’s waiting, he’s hoping…

He wants to see if you’re interested or not

He stops texting and now waits for you to make the move. It is usually in the cases where he’s always the one texting first, and perhaps is getting the feeling that you’re not very into him, or that you’re not interested.

Could be that the only logical thing at the moment is to wait and see how you react to his silence, to see if you care how his day went, or how he’s doing today.

4. He shows signs he’s nervous around you

You can tell if he’s shy or nervous around you when you two decide to hang out, and he’s acting some kind of way. You can tell he’s a little nervous, and perhaps shy.

This happens to most of us when we’re around someone we like, it’s just some of us are better at hiding it.

In this case, he’s shy or nervous around you in real life, perhaps he gets nervous and shy when it comes to texting you. Perhaps he doesn’t know what to say, or how to start a conversation, so he just waits around for you to text him first.

It reflects a bit on his personality. Him being afraid to make the first move, could be considered as some sort of fear of rejection, so if you feel like taking the lead, go girl!

2. Hes Nervous Too

You might also forget that he’s probably nervous too, especially if he likes you. So if you’re wondering should I text him, then he’s probably asking himself the same question.

If things seem a bit awkward at first when you begin texting, keep this point in mind and allow things to develop naturally instead of worrying that he isn’t into you. Over time, you’ll learn to read some tone and emotion from the texts, such as knowing whether a one word response is typical for him or if it’s an indicator something is wrong. If one or both of you are feeling nervous, then it’s probably a good idea to hold off on sending the dirty text messages or sexting him something really explicit until you know each other better.

11. Are they an ex?

Well, that changes things.

Being that you and this person are no longer together, texting is probably best reserved for moments when you need something specific and have a clear goal for reaching out to them, Palmer says.

Related Story

Read This Before Getting Back Together With An Ex

Even if you’re both still single and there’s no risk of upsetting their new partner or yours, take a moment, appreciate the song that reminded you of them for a minute, and move on without hitting them up about it.

You broke up because you weren’t a good fit, so allow them the time they need to focus on their own life and develop new relationships. (And you do the same.) Plus, says Palmer, if you haven’t maintained a friendly relationship in the past, there’s a chance they’ll ignore your text, anyway.

However, if the purpose of your text is specific, a.k.a. you need to talk to them about the dog you shared or you need the number for a plumber who once helped you in a jam, go ahead and text them. Just make it a direct message and resist including too many pleasantries.

What Should You Text Him?

Things get more complicated when you’re caught up in wondering what you should text a guy – depending on the situation.

If you've just had a fight:

If you’ve just had a fight:

  • Save your emotional communication for being in-person, unless you think you were clearly in the wrong and you want to apologize…
  • Give him time to recover from the intensity of the fight first. Guys are deeply affected by arguments (contrary to what you might think) so he will need some time to settle down and come to his senses.
  • Don’t text him if you’re still extremely emotional. Texting is the worst way to communicate when it comes to important moments in your relationship. You run the risk of being misinterpreted.

But most important of all the dating tips I have for you when it comes to texting is that you have to know exactly WHY you’re texting this guy.

And when I say WHY – I mean, what is your motivation for reaching out to him?

Skip the superficial excuses you might tell your friends, like:

  • I just want to know how he’s doing…
  • I’d like to hear from him…
  • I don’t want him to forget about me…
  • I just want to be sure he’s okay…

Many times we come up with these “fake” reasons to justify our behavior because we are trying to rationalize our panicked emotions.

We have to admit that the most likely reason you want to text him that you’re anxious about your connection to him and you’re probably worried about losing him

– if you’re not already separated or broken up.

Admit that, then you can work to settle your emotional state and really look at the situation clearly.

Whether this guy is someone new that you want a ch

Whether this guy is someone new that you want a chance to date, or a guy you’ve been dating that has grown distant, or he’s an ex boyfriend you want to win back, it’s far less about what you text him and more about what you’re NOT texting him.

In other words, men will almost NEVER lose interest in you because you didn’t text him.

How to Text a Guy First Without Sounding Desperate

  • Don't just say "Hi." This is a pretty lackluster way to start a conversation, and it's highly unlikely that it will get (or keep) his interest. Instead of texting him "hey," try to come up with an opener that will actually create the possibility of a good back-and-forth.
  • Show him you have a life. Sending a subtle reminder that you've got a life (and an awesome one, at that) is never a bad idea. For example, send a picture from a concert you went to or a meal you think he'd like so that he knows you're thinking of him without just waiting around for him. Plus, this will open the door for you two to have a real dialogue.
  • Use emojis sparingly. Using an emoji here and there can be cute, but be careful not to overload your texts with them. They'll take away from what you're saying and make you seem incapable of expressing yourself without them.
  • Don't send a bunch of texts in a row. If you've already sent this guy a text (or two), resist the urge to send any more until you hear back. He might just be busy at work or with his friends, and picking up his phone to see 15 messages from you is not going to come off as sweet.
  • Mind your grammar. Another thing that doesn't come off as cute? Texting like a tween. Avoid abbreviating words and overusing acronyms. In short, ditch texts like "C u l8r" and "R u free 2nite?" in favor of correct spelling and punctuation.
  • Keep it brief(ish). There's no need to bombard your guy with a text essay right out of the gate. Keep it to a few lines, at most.

While most of the time, texting him first is a great idea, there are certain times when it should absolutely be avoided.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

When to Message Him First on Social Media

Most of the advice above applies to social media as well, but here are a few extra examples of when and when not to message him first via Instagram, Snapchat, or any other platform you two use.

DO Message Him IfDON'T Message Him If

You haven't talked in a while and you want to see if he's free to hang.

You already sent him a Snap and DM'd him on IG.

He just posted a pic from somewhere you've been or would love to go.

All you have to say is you want to be wherever he is.

He asks for recommendations about what to read or watch next.

You have nothing to recommend because you've been too busy peeping his accounts to do anything else.

Though it can be tempting to play the waiting game—he waited three hours to respond, so I will too—it's not going to help either of you in the long run.

Photo by Nadine Shaabana on Unsplash

Dateworks With Deanna Cobden

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