Texting can be a super fun way to stay in contact with a girl, and to build up rapport and interest with her prior to a date, or even to a conversation – sometimes your first conversation.
But where do you start? It can be a bit overwhelming, especially for the guys out there who traditionally have stumbled on their words around women or never know exactly what to say. That's why, in this article, I'm providing you a how-to on text messaging girls.
Let's go over some ground rules first. These are the basic rules of text message flirting – the ones you always want to be mindful of. Before we do, I want to refresh one of the fundamental rules of seduction: The Law of Least Effort.
The Law of Least Effort states simply that you never want to appear to be putting more work or have more investment in an interaction, conversation, or relationship than the woman you're having it with – because the instant you do, the tables turn, and you're chasing her. The challenge of her pursuing you and competing for you disappears, and her interest in you wanes. To prevent this from happening, it's crucial to maintain at least a balance of effort or, ideally, place yourself in the position of having her putting more effort in than you. The Law of Least Effort can be seen in most of the following basic recommendations:
- Avoid questions in your initial text. “Hey, wanna grab a coffee today?” “Feel up for hanging out?” “Do anything last night?” All these come across as needy, for this reason: the woman receiving them instinctively knows that the man sending her these texts was sitting there thinking about her and is now asking her for something. We'll cover what questions are OK in texting a little further down
- Keep your texts short and concise. Avoid the temptation to tell her about the four days since you last saw her in detail, and instead keep texts short and to-the-point. Long texts tell her you're putting a lot of work in – and they also ask her to put a lot of work in (reading your text). Double whammy. Keep things concise and you'll be more likely to keep her interest
- Make your texts personal. Use her name, or, even better, nicknames for her, whenever you can. Throw in call-back humor or an inside joke the two of you have when possible. Most people dislike receiving mass texts – they feel impersonal and as if the person sending them just didn't bother to take the time to write a personal message. Instead, when you use names, nicknames, and call-back humor, what you're doing is recalling the connection the two of you have to her mind, and making her feel more warm and positive toward you
- Be cool – not crazy. I see a lot of men going the crazy / entertainer route in their texting to girls, e.g. “OMG! Just had this homeless dude walk up to me, stare at me like he wanted to kick my ass, then shout in my face like a madman! Get me outta here!” Stay away from this. Women may laugh when a guy acts like a clown, but their panties stay dry. They can tell he's looking for laughs – and when a guy is seeking a reaction, it's a turnoff. It's far better to be fun, chill, interesting, and intriguing than it is to be over-the-top, outlandish, and hilarious. Err on the side of subtlety and you'll do swell
OK! That's Texting 101 for you. And now that those basics are out of the way, how about we delve into some slightly more advanced stuff, shall we? Let's take a look at some of the right ways to text the women in your life and get results.
Rather than go the outright attention seeker route of coming out and telling a girl blatantly about some crazy thing that happened to you, use a little intrigue to make her curious and get her to ask. So let's say you just found a twenty dollar bill on the ground and you want to use that to text a girl you've just met. Here's a wrong way and a right way of going about it.
“Whoa, just walked outside and found $20. Must be my lucky day.”
This guy did a lot of things right. He was concise, he was interesting, and he avoided asking any needy questions on the initial text. But he made a more subtle mistake: he's seeking a reaction, and that's obvious. He's not saying this just to make conversation – he's saying it to get the girl he's texting to say, “Wow, that's awesome!” That costs him, but he might not even notice it because it's so subtle. Additionally, he failed to make the message personal – it ends up feeling like it's all about him; he just wants to tell other people about himself. For all this girl knows, he sent out a mass text and won't even notice if she doesn't reply.
Here's the Right Way:
“Finding money in the strangest places today. How's your day going, missy – lucky as mine?”
Again, concise and interesting, although a question was used. I'll show why that's OK just after this paragraph. For the moment, focus on the intrigue he generated, and the way he generated it. First, he makes it clear that something unusual has happened – he's found money in a strange place. But he doesn't say where. The girl getting this text is going to think to herself, “Hmm, I wonder where?” and will probably ask him about it. This engages her curiosity and makes her want to write back far more effectively than in our other example. Furthermore, our guy made the message personal, by asking her how her day is going and including a nickname. He also makes her think about him again by asking her if her day is as lucky as his. This will make her compare the two of them together – it's effectively a “we” statement (covered below, after we discuss questions), and gets her thinking of him and her as an item, or a potential item.
Our second message here is a lot more likely to get a response than the first.
Typically, you'll hear me tell you two things about using questions in text messaging: first, don't use questions in the initial text of a new text conversation with a girl, because you make it feel like the only reason you're contacting her is because you want something; and second, don't ask more questions than you're being asked, or else it seems like you're trying too hard to force rapport.
But, there are exceptions, and here they are: you can use questions to expressinterest in an initial text that might otherwise be too impersonal, and you use questions to build excitement and intrigue in a text conversation that is building up steam.
Here are some wrong and right ways to use questions in text message flirting.
“How's your day going?”
It's boring, and it seems like the sender is trying to force rapport. It also implies that he had nothing better to do than start up a conversation with someone who isn't even around where he is. That's OK – maybe – if they've been seeing each other a little while; even then, pretty borderline, just because it's such an inane text. But especially if she's a girl he's just met, he might as well send her a text saying, “FYI, I have no conversation. Thought you might like to know.” Avoid at all costs.
“Hi Crissy. Is today a good day to meet up?”
Well, at least he used her name. But this is all wrong. He builds no suspense, intrigue, or excitement about the meet up, and leaves everything completely in her hands. 95% of the women who receive this text are going to ignore it or reply back that today is NOT a good day. There's nothing in that text message to make them want to meet up with this guy – they only way they will is if they're already really into him and have already decided that they definitely want to see him. Even then, this text is so terrible they might have reason to rethink that decision! Stay away from this too.
“Wow, I can't stop thinking about how good that dinner we had last night was. How about you?”
Better. At least, it's better than our other two Wrong Way examples here. It's more interesting, and gives the girl more incentive to reply. It's personal too, because the guy here is referencing something they did together. But it's still not very good, because it still comes off as him trying to force rapport, at least a little bit.
“Hi Crissy. How's my favorite bandicoot enthusiast? I was thinking about getting into chinchillas, just to ruffle your feathers.”
It's clever, it's funny (but not in a goofy, over-the-top way), and it uses a question to make the message feel more personal. It references some kind of call-back humor; we assume that the two of them were joking around before about something relating to Crissy and bandicoots (small, furry rodents). Because the question is sandwiched between two statements, the text neither begins nor ends in a question, and that also lessens the feeling of rapport-seeking while allowing the personal touch to remain.
“Getting some cravings, sugar, and they have to do with you. I'm in the mood for ice cream – thinking we should get some, pronto. How's your schedule?”
This message starts off with something that sounds very suggestive – cravings that have to do with her – then transitions into something innocent: him and her getting some ice cream together. She's almost guaranteed to smile at this one – he's going to have her thinking about him hard, and she may very well reply with a playful, suggestive message of her own. He also uses “pronto” to throw a sense of urgency in there – a very good thing for two reasons: 1) it makes her feel like he really wants to see her, but also that he is telling her he does rather than askingher for her permission to see him, like most men do, and 2) it makes her feel social pressure to meet him sooner, rather than put it off like she may be inclined to do with a less interesting / demanding man.
The more “we” statements you use, the more things you talk about the two of you doing together, and the more you paint situations where the two of you are doing something jointly, the more you create a feeling of “us as a couple” in her subconscious. She hears it enough from you and she'll believe it herself – so long as it's an idea she accepts and welcomes (no amount of “we” statements in the world will make a girl feel close to a guy she doesn't like at some level!). Another great way of doing this is using “us vs. the world” – a sound way of making her feel like it's the two of you in something together.
I'm not going to use a Wrong Way example here, because there's almost no wrong way to use “we” statements (aside from using them too early or too often, and making it feel like you're trying to force rapport). So here are a few Right Way examples (in addition to some of the ones listed earlier):
“Better get your stuff together, five-o is coming for us and they mean business. You rob another burrito joint or something? I can't leave you alone for five minutes, troublemaker.”
“Us vs. Them”, a cute little joke at her expense (nothing harsh), and the implication that he's got to keep an eye on her, and she's trouble – he's making her feel naughty (the next thing we cover).
“Virtual smile and wink for last night. We make a good team.”
Whatever last night entailed – whether it was food, conversation, drinks, or intimacy – this cool little text reminds her of the time you spent together and makes her feel closer to you.
Making a girl feel naughty around you is exciting for her, and freeing. Most women, no matter how they act or what they tell you, feel constrained and judged by society and the men and women in their lives. When they meet a man who can joke around with them about being naughty and not get worked up, judgmental, or on a crusade, it's refreshing, and lets them relax around you – and see you as a man they can become intimate with all the more readily.
“Hey, dirty girl. Was just thinking about you – in panties. What do you say we hang soon?”
This is kind of alright, but it risks going into the territory of making her feel promiscuous – not something you want to do with a girl, especially if you want her to get intimate with you faster. If a man makes a woman feel promiscuous, she'll start pulling away from him.
Making a girl feel slutty is a cardinal sin of naughty texting – unless you can tell she gets off on it (some girls find being called slutty a turn-on). Otherwise, steer clear and stick to naughty.
“Just found this old bottle of white zinfandel in my fridge and no one to share it with. Want to help me polish it off? …but only if you promise to behave...”
This is great. It sets up the scenario – drinking wine together, something people typically do prior to sex – then goes on to reinforce that idea by telling her to behave. The guy here is placing the girl into the chasing position as well, by implying that she's the one who will need to behave. Women find this kind of teasing witty and fun, since it's typically the men who are chasing them, and they also find it exciting. When you say things like this, it triggers little switches in women's subconscious that say, “He's hard to get. And I must be chasing after him – because he says I am. Which means I must like him a lot.” If she does like you, this only confirms what she was feeling – and escalates it.
Another thing to note here, especially for text message beginners, is the use of punctuation. Note that the “...” implies a thought that's kind of trailed off and has been left unfinished, as if there is more to say. Had the text ended with a simple period, it would be an abrupt ending to the statement and have an entirely different “feel” (and meaning).
Before wrapping this post up, I want to add a few more tips for good measure.
- Don't be the funny man – be the intriguing one. If you send a witty text, like the one to bandicoot girl about how you're going to get into chinchillas,immediately get serious after that. Sending one funny text after another gets a guy slotted firmly into “comedian” territory. Sending one funny text, then getting real and having some real conversation, gets a guy into “interesting” territory.
- Use texting to get her on the phone or in person. Some guys use texting to set up dates, and you certainly can. It's becoming more acceptable. I'm still a big advocate of phone conversation, though. If you are halfway decent on the phone, getting girls on the line with you will only help your cause. Use texting to facilitate – if she enjoys texting with you, she'll want to talk to you. It's important to focus on getting girls on the phone and in person – you can't get to know her via words on a screen. And you can't touch her through your cell. Get her in-person – that's the objective.
So that's that. Use these tips to take your text message flirting to a higher level, and start getting some of the results from texting that you've always wanted. And check out "How to Text a Girl" for our most advanced, highly comprehensive post on everything you want to know about building rapport and getting women on dates via text message. It's a wonderful medium – you deserve to use it to the fullest!
'Til next time.
UPDATE: This post was written in April 2010, and while the information in it then was pretty good, it's a bit dated now, as the way people use technology's changed and evolved. These days, we recommend using your texting solely for handling logistics, and proposing the date before you ever ask for the phone number. You can read the most current, cutting edge stuff on texting right here: How to Text Girls: 20 More Tips and Techniques.