Originally published on The Debrief at: thedebrief.co.uk/sex/relationships/the-one-basic-dating-rule-everyone-needs-to-remember-20160161525
So you’ve got someone’s number and sent them a text that you’ve spent hours planning. But why haven’t they replied to it? Did my hair get flat? Did I stumble into some bad lighting? (Clueless reference, guys).
Don’t panic guys (that was you panicking wasn’t it?) dating experts Patrick King and columnist ‘Dr Nerdlove’ have revealed their golden rule: know when to stop.
This means only send them three unanswered texts before deciding it’s time to admit defeat. There’s more to the world than that person you met in the gym. But it’s also important not to give up straight away, or as the dating experts put it:
‘One unreturned text could be tech problems. Two unreturned texts could be bad luck or someone being busy. Three unreturned texts is a message. Move on.’
So that’s it guys, total game changer. Three texts unanswered and that’s it, it’s time to move on.
They’ve also given some other tips to help you navigate the world of texting etiquette. They’re a bit obvious and basic, but we realised that we’ve all been guilty of a few of these. So here’s a referesher on how to maintain your dignity and keep your cool when you’re in that weird Whatsapp Roulette post date zone with someone you rilly, rilly like.
1- Don’t Waste Time
Sooner rather than later is always best. Dr Nerdlove said that if you leave it too late to text someone, they may forget about you or just think you’re not interested. So forget about all those stupid two-day waiting rules. Although if someone does forget about you after just two days… well, lets just say we think you could do better.
2- Suggest Plans
If you text too much before you meet, you’ll run out of things to say on your actual date. Cue awkward silence. But don’t be vague when you make plans. Ask them about going to a certain restaurant on a certain night. That way, you’ll get an actual yes or no answer rather than just waiting for something to fizzle out. Actually this isn’t a terrible idea at all – be bold and cut to the chase, even if (especially if?) you’re a bit scared of the response.
3- Don’t Harass Them
If they haven’t answered your text, wait at least a day before sending another one. They’re probably just busy, so just put your phone down and walk away. Again, obvious, but who here hasn’t needed reminding of that in the past?
4- Say More Than ‘Hi’
The authors of ‘Modern Romance’, Aziz Ansari and Dr Eric Klinenberg, said just saying hi or hey makes you seem lazy. Instead you need to say who you are and refer to how you met (casually reminding them how amazing it was to meet you…). Although we’d caveat that by suggesting that recounting every single detail of that breathtaking, life changing 2 minute conversation you had in the cloakroom queue might be a bit counter productive.
5- Re-read Texts Before You Send Them
Bad grammar and spelling are also seen as a turn off. The dating experts said most people don’t like text talk and want the person texting them to be clear in what they are saying. This also means not using full stops, which can make your text seem “insincere”. But then exclamation marks are seen as too over the top. Gah, it’s a grammar minefield. You know what, just try to spell right and speak nice, and you’ll be fine. Also remember how much you judged that guy who said he’d ‘meet you their’? That.