Successful Texting in a Modern Age

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The way we date has drastically changed over the years. Our grandparents met friends at sock hops or dances, and went steady. Our parents stressed over calling each other, worried that they may have to ask a parent, “uh, oh, hi… is Stacy there?” These days we have Tinder, Snapchat, and texting to help us try to navigate the dating scene and hope we come out victorious.

One issue many single adults find in trying to lock down a date is how to do so successfully. Due to the dependence many of us have on our phones and laptops, we find face-to-face interactions daunting and at times almost impossible to arrange. Instead of calling for a date, many rely on text messaging, but that can lead to many issues. Maybe the person doesn’t respond in time for the date, maybe they accept, but think you’re just “hanging out” together, maybe they ignore you completely and claim they never received the text.  Clearly, texting is not an ideal form of communication.   

Actor Aziz Ansari researched what he calls our Modern Romance, publishing a book under that name with findings gathered from over two years of research, focus groups, statistics, and interviews all regarding how to successfully find love in our era ruled by modern technology.

Through his research he details three specific traits shared by successful texts sent in requesting a date.

  1. A firm invitation to something specific at a specific time.

There is a big difference between texting, “What’s up?” and “Hey, do you like Indian food? There’s a restaurant nearby that I would love to take you to if you’re free this Friday.” While the people sending these two texts may have identical intentions – to set up a date – the person receiving them may never know. The lack of specificity in “wanna do something sometime?” is often perceived as a huge negative. Generally, having a very specific (and hopefully interesting and fun) invitation is much more positively received.

  1. Some reference to the last in-person interaction.

Referencing something about the last time you were with someone signals to them that you were engaged in the interaction and remembered them. It can also be a great conversation starter, especially when compared to a simple, “what’s happening?” If you met and they told you how much they love a band, listen to an album and text them saying what your favourite song from it was. There are many ways you can reference your last interaction, and research shows doing so sets you apart from any other bland texter out there.

  1. A humorous tone.

This one is definitely more difficult than the other two to pull off. What if you don’t have the same sense of humor as the person you are trying to text? Ideally, the people you wish to date will have a similar sense of humor to you, so as long as you avoid being crude (which can be a big no-no for people), a good joke could be a great indicator of how compatible you are with each other. A good laugh can also make people feel more comfortable with each other, and remove the stressful aspect of trying to find exactly the right thing to say.  Just keep in mind that some types of humor do not translate well over text.  


Once you have set up the date, follow through and spend time together in person. A fall back of modern dating is the comfort we can have in interacting solely through technology. Relying on texting or instant messaging for developing a relationship can cause interest to fizzle out, or simply never go anywhere. Use technology to supplement your face-to-face interactions, rather than the other way round. Doing so allows you to make connections based on your real self, rather than your online persona. No matter how comfortable you feel with texting, be assured that you as a person are more interesting than words on a screen.

For more tips on dating take our RELATE assessment today.

Written by: Melece  

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