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Flirtexting: How to Text Your Way into His Heart

Microsoft IES logoMicrosoft IES 7/24/2014 Debra Goldstein and Olivia Baniuszewicz
© Microsoft


At this point we can safely say that everyone has jumped on the texting bandwagon. In the beginning you were skeptical and thought, "Oh it's just a trend like the beeper, it'll pass." You hated on our generation at first (no hard feelings) because you thought texting was taking away from human interaction and ruining our lives as we know it. Even as everyone around you started getting qwerty keyboards for easier texting, you stood your ground, preferred phone calls, and ignored SMS like the swine flu.

But look at you now. Today you stand white flag in hand, cell in the other, singing a different tune. You send over ten texts a day, pass on leaving voice mails, and have even accepted a date invite over text. If you're single, you've definitely sent a LNBT (Late Night Booty Text) a time or dozen -- not realizing there was a term for it. We're so glad you finally came around, and hope you're enjoying the endless benefits of easy, accessible and fast, communication 24/7.

Now that you've officially crossed over, we thought we'd give you some tips on proper etiquette for dating in a digital world. And while you're at it, don't forget your phone is also great for planning a date! Check out for all the best local restaurants, movies and reviews, jazz clubs and spas in your area.

Things the younger generation wants you to know about texting (quotes from Flirtexting's facebook page):

  • "Don't flirtext anyone you're too shy to flirt with in person."
  • "Pics are for experienced flirtexters. Stick to the words newbies!"
  • "OMG means oh my g-d, not oh my geezers."
  • "Don't write paragraphs, i.e. 10 messages at once. Keep it short and simple."
  • "Learn the basic acronyms and text phrases like omg, btw, lol, fyi."
  • "Don't text someone when you're upset."
  • "It's called a tweet when you do it. The platform it lives on is Twitter."

Is it acceptable to ask someone out or agree to a date invite over text?

Today asking someone out over text has become the norm, so it's definitely OK to ask someone out or accept a date invite that way. In fact, a recent survey said that nearly one-sixth of 16-35 year olds will be asking their Valentine out this year via text or a call. Since we both started dating before the texting craze hit, we understand the significance of a phone call. However if we wanted to continue dating in our twenties, we had to learn to reframe our mind set about the informal nature in which a date invite might arrive. Had we not, we would have gone on lot less dates the past few years.

What's the deal with texting symbols and abbreviations? Is it just for younger kids?

Symbols and abbreviations are for all ages. They're convenient and fun to use when exchanged among friends and family, but using too many with a person you just started dating is a turn-off. We always tell people, "If you don't want a date, abbreviate." In the beginning stages of a relationship it's best to just spell everything out. Undrstud?

If I'm married and my ex, or someone who is interested in me sends a flirty message, how do I respond and is this considered cheating?

This is the most commonly asked question we receive. Any sort of playful message exchange with someone other than your significant other could be grounds for infidelitexting (just ask Tiger Woods), so it's best to tread lightly when it comes to this matter. If the person sending you the messages knows you're in a relationship, it's okay to ignore them/and their advances until it stops. That should get your message across. If they don't know you're in a relationship, try sending: "I'm flattered, but you're X years too late. I'm currently not in the market for a jealous husband/wife. Hope you understand."

Can I "thank" someone via text post-date or do I have to call them?

Yes, feel free to send a "thank you" text post-date (even if there were no sparks), as it is proper Flirtextiquette. The same way you used to call someone the day after a date to thank them for a great time, you are now able to do via text. The post-date courtesy text is a small gesture that reaffirms your appreciation for the date and their company. However if you had the best date ever (we're talking you lots three pounds from all the excitement), it's OK to call the next day to thank him for the great time. If your date felt the same way, he will appreciate the reassurance.

Is it OK to break up with someone over text?

No, it's never OK and will never be OK to break-up with someone over text. Even if your relationship started that way, it's insensitive and shows a lack of respect to break-up with someone over your handheld device.

If someone doesn't respond to my text, can I send it again?

If the text is to someone you are dating, then no, you may not resend your text again, because odds are they got it and just aren't responding. Might we remind you how many times you've used the excuse, "I lost my phone" or "sorry, I didn't have service," when really you just didn't want to respond.

What's the etiquette behind researching your date online?

Do it, just don't tell them you did it.

You've had a strictly texting relationship so far and are ready to take it to the next level with a phone call. What is the proper etiquette to get someone to call?

If you haven't spoken on the phone yet and are frustrated that he hasn't called, don't ever convey that emotion to him. If you do, you run the risk of turning him off by coming across desperate. Two things are happening if he hasn't called. He either doesn't care enough to call (sad but true) or he thinks you prefer to texting to calling (some guys actually think that). Let him know you want to talk on the phone, but in a way that puts no pressure on him. An easy way to do this is if you've been texting back and forth is to say, "Can't type anymore running to a meeting call me later." That's gets your message across clearly. Trust that if he was thinking about calling you, he definitely will now.

What's the rule for accepting friend requests on Facebook?

Accepting a friend request is like welcoming someone into your home. You're granting them access to personal photo albums, feelings (status updates), videos, etc. Therefore be selective who you let in the door. It's totally appropriate to friend someone you are dating, or about to go on a date with. Just be sure to set your relationship status to "no status," as it just makes life easier that way.

What is the etiquette when it comes to using multiple forms of communication at the same time with someone you are dating? (ex: Facebook, email, text, phone calls)

It's important to find a balance between the different ways in which we communicate digitally. Just because we can -- doesn't mean we need to. If you saturate the communication lines early on your love connection will burn out quicker than you can type "game over". It's OK to use them all in moderation.


Written by Debra Goldstein and Olivia Baniuszewicz, authors of "Flirtexting: How to Text Your Way into His Heart."

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