Remember back in high school when you would get a phone call from a guy you liked? You’d practice your flirting skills using a phone that was attached to a wall, and your mom would get angry because nobody else could get through and the line (the only line in the house for the entire family) had been busy for an hour. Today you text your significant other while talking to your coworker via air pods and cooking dinner using that recipe that Alexa remembers for you. Flirting has gone digital, and it’s time to learn some ground rules. Whether you’re dating, looking for Mr. or Ms. Right or trying to connect with your spouse of 20 years, it’s time to master the art of flirting via text. Here are some do’s and don’ts to get you started.
DO be yourself
If you’re engaging with someone new, you don’t want to represent anyone other than the person they’ll be spending time with when you have that IRL date. If you’re texting your spouse, they already know what makes you tick and they obviously like it. Have fun, engage, don’t be shy, but stay true to yourself. Don’t type anything you would never say, and trust that you’re engaging, attractive and interesting enough, just the way you are.
DO be funny as often as possible
The more comfortable we get with texting as a sincere and necessary method of communication, the more we can laugh and get a laugh on the (very) small screen. With a little time to pause and let your inner witty genius speak, a truly flirtatious texting exchange should entertain and amuse, making the object of your affections excited to spend time with hilarious you.
DO think before you text
Nobody is standing in front of you watching your face or body language, so take advantage! This is a great opportunity to briefly consider if your message conveys what you really mean before pressing send. Take a breath, think about what you want to say and cast that magic iSpell.
If someone is truly interested, there’s something very exciting about seeing that notification pop up with your name. If you’re flirting with your spouse or established romantic partner, making the first move is exciting and energizing. Don’t wait for them to make contact. Send the first text and see where it goes.
DO be emoji-tional
Since they can’t see your face or read your body language, you need to rely on other methods to clearly convey what you are feeling. If you’re an emoji person, go for it. If smiling kissy faces make you feel silly, you have two other options. One is to start your statement with a word that explains your feelings:
Them: “I can’t wait to see you”
You: “Smiling…. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Or you can just state your feelings:
“It makes me so happy to hear you say that because I’m really looking forward to seeing you too.”
DON’T play hard to get
Texting is removed enough. Don’t put more distance between you and the subject of your flirting. If you like them, let them know. They’ll reciprocate. If you’re lucky, you’ll even get a cute GIF.
DON’T ask why they aren’t replying
Sometimes it takes a moment for the other person to reply. It’s not an indication of their level of interest, it’s just life … or maybe they’re driving. Once you send a flirtatious text, slow your roll and wait patiently for a reply. Pushing them to answer you only makes you seem needy.
DON’T reply too quickly
Remember: Think before you text! Take advantage of that distance and give your flirty responses the benefit of a breath. You might think of something funny or enticing to say.
DON’T forget your spelling and grammar
There are plenty of acceptable text-specific spellings, like “U R the best” or “Luv U”. But nobody ever fell in love with the way someone else confused “your” with “you’re.” Srsly, people!
DON’T text the wrong person by mistake
Need we explain this one? Women are multitaskers by nature, and most of us have had simultaneous conversations with our spouse, child and mom. So check the name of the recipient before you send anything sexy (or any messages complaining about your mom!).
Everyone needs a girlfriend!
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