To text or not to text?

I’m often asked by men and women, “What’s the best way to manage texting?”

Provided below is an excerpt from my book, Still Single? It’s Not You—It’s Your Technique, with specific advice for both men and women.

“Men—Most single women agree that when texting or e-mailing is the primary form of communication, it makes a woman feel less secure about your interest in her and consequently leaves her  less attracted to and interested in you.

“Brief texts throughout the first week with few to no phone calls may be somewhat fun, but if done too frequently this can quickly become tedious and even make you look too intense, too needy, or too insecure. Texts in the second week with few to no phone calls may be tolerated, although they make a woman wonder if she’s just on your B list. But texts in the third and fourth week with still few to no phone calls or dates becomes deeply annoying and turns a woman off, unless you are only on her good-for-now or B list too. Additionally, if you use texting to ask for a date, you will look passive or timid because it seems safe—or even lazy.

“A woman wants a connection, and texting feels like the bare minimum effort needed to keep that connection. It also leaves too much room for misunderstanding and mind reading, especially when emotions are being discussed. Men may see it as a simple and time-effective way to keep in contact, but it requires so little time that it makes a woman feel like she’s not a priority. When you’re calling and taking her on dates, a woman may see a brief text as the cherry on top, but it simply cannot be used as a replacement for real dating techniques.

“So, guys, make yourself look like an A-list man, and make her feel like an A-list woman by calling her at least twice a week and then sending a brief text to say hi or to let her know you’re thinking about her in between phone calls or dates. A brief text to ask ‘When would be a good time to call?’ or to confirm the place and time of a date that has already been set is also nice. Better still, a quick text after your fourth date to state, ‘You looked beautiful tonight,’ is always great.

Women—When a man texts you frequently but rarely calls or asks you out, wait twenty minutes to respond to the text (which makes texting less rewarding because it doesn’t give him immediate access), and then respond, ‘I would love to talk to you about this. Please give me a call so we can talk about it. 🙂 I’ll look forward to hearing from you.’

“Do this whether he is saying hi, asking how your day is going, or asking what you’re doing on Saturday. If you respond to each of these situations with a request to have him call you instead, he will start to call you, especially if he really likes you. You can even explain to him, ‘I’m not much of a texter and don’t check my texts very often, so calling is the most effective way to reach me.’

“To combat your anxiety after using this technique, repeat to yourself as often as needed, ‘If he’s interested, he will hear my feelings and needs and will invest in meeting them, or someone else will.’

“Don’t be afraid of encouraging brief texts if they occur in between phone calls or dates, but don’t allow them as a replacement for these things. For the most part, men will treat you in the manner that you allow. If you warmly communicate what you prefer, they will give you what you need.

“It may also be wise to turn off your text messaging if the problem of men only communicating through text continues to persist. Most of your friends and family will call you if they can’t reach you by text. By turning off texting you eliminate the problem altogether.”

I hope this helps. Good luck,


12 thoughts on “To text or not to text?

  • Thanks Alisa! I”ve been wondering how to handle texting. You’re absolutely right…I don’t feel much of a connection with texting!

  • This is a HUGE problem I’ve run into. You give some excellent advice Alisa. Can’t wait to put it into practice 😉

  • I was hoping to see some advice for women regarding when it is appropriate to initiate texting with guys, and what their point of view is on the subject. I went on a date last week that went extremely well, and I’m positive there is mutual interest. It’s been a couple of days since the date, and I have been trying to restrain myself from texting him because I don’t want to appear desperate and I want him to feel like the pursuer. However, I don’t want to seem uninterested either. What is the right balance about this?

    • In general I recommend that you match his efforts not exceed them. If he calls you two to three times, call him just to say hi (always return his calls). If he texts you two to three times, text him randomly once as well. Trust that he knows his role. He knows how to play it and if he is interested he will call. In the mean time, keep your options open and keep flirting with others or you will get too into him too quickly and he will sense it. After a third date, however, I definitely recommend that you send a spontaneous text or email or call to say how much you enjoyed the date. Again its about rewarding and matching his efforts so that you support the process without taking over. I hope this helps.

  • What about women who like to carrie on conversations through texting? What advice would you give them?

    Personally if a womem wants to talk to me. Please call me, this feely feely stuff over text is just too much for me.

    • I suggest that when women text you, respond twenty minutes to two hours later (which makes texting less rewarding because they aren’t getting immediate responses), “I’m sorry I missed your text, but I would love to talk with you about that. When would be a good time to call.” I hope that helps. Alisa

  • So…I have a question. I am not much of a phone talker. In fact, I really hate it. I find it tedious and time consuming on my part…especially since I am usually at work or in school. Text or e-mail is MY preferred form of communication and I don’t feel like a guy is passive or lazy when texts me. I would rather they text than call because it’s just how I communicate. Is this bad? Do I have to talk on the phone and have them call me to know of their interest in me? I really do find it quite annoying. I always have.

    • Most women build relationships through talking and sharing about their day and life. They also want to feel that the men they date are personally interested in them and are investing in them. Texting from most women’s perspective feels like the bare minimum of investment to get contact and so they get tired of it quickly.

      That being said, younger women and women who date a lot of men often like texting. It’s faster and more efficient and doesn’t take too much of their time.

      For younger women, talking on the phone is often more stressful than it might have been for previous generations. However, too many miscommunications can happen over text and although men like texting too (because phone calls can be stressful and texting is easy) if you aren’t making a meaningful connection or keeping relationships beyond 4 to 6 weeks, texting is probably part of the problem. You aren’t really developing a meaningful connection so either you or the other person is losing interest (unless you make up for this during face-to-face contact). Texting also interferes in really getting to know someone (and their issues).

      In the case of women who are dating a lot of men, texts keep dating easy and less complicated. However, even in this case, these women still want time with the men who are on their A List and prefer face-to-face contact over texting. A women who is happy to text rather than talk on the phone or see a man face-to-face isn’t really interested in this man.

      So relative to your situation, I assume that even with the men you really like you prefer face-to-face over texting (which is fine, since he is probably good with it too), but if your texts don’t lead to dates, than I would question your interest in him or his interest in you. You can bypass phone calls as long as you are both feeling good about the connection you are building, but if you aren’t feeling a connection or you are experiencing miscommunications resulting from texts, I would move toward phone calls. You can communicate so much more (through tone and words) over the phone than over text.

      That being said, many men definitely won’t complain about you liking texting. My only concern is the connection you are making or not making.

      Best wishes, Alisa

      • Thanks, Alisa…I like that. The guy I am dating right now…though we text a lot…he also invests a lot in me by taking me out and making me feel good about myself. We both prefer face-to-face conversation over anything else, but with my horrible schedule, when we can’t talk face-to-face, texting is the easiest…and least annoying…way to communicate with him.

    • As long as you are making a meaningful connection that works for you and for him than there is no problem. If what you are doing isn’t working for him, than you need to stretch yourself and develop more skills.

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