Why Do Guys Send Text Messages To Keep In Touch While Dating?

Over the last several months, I have dated 3 men (not simultaneously) that I met on Match.com. They all seem to have one thing in common: after 2-4 dates, they like to touch base with me during the week by sending me text messages to my cell phone! Although I appreciate them thinking about me in the middle of the day, if we have gone out on several dates, at what point is it appropriate to expect a 5 minute phone call a few times a week? Is it too early in the dating process for phone contact? How are you supposed to progress the relationship if you never “touch-base” by actually speaking to one another? Is this typical of people you meet on line? Or, am I just old fashioned (39) and not used to this new aspect of dating?


Dear Rikki,

Guys across America are saying, “Hey, babe. You’re not important enough to get five minutes of phone time. Please accept this weak form of communication and allow me to keep on sleeping with you.”

You struck a chord with this email.

I HATE text messaging. I think it should be used exclusively for only a handful of things:

Letting someone know that you’re lost or running late.

Telling someone where you’re located in a crowded theater or bar.

Writing flirty or dirty notes to be provocative and naughty.

Everything else should be banned. I mean, email is bad enough. And I say this as a guy who lives by email. But anyone who’s ever used it knows how conversations can easily take a wrong turn. There’s no context, tone, voice, or facial expressions to modify your message. The next thing you know, you’re having a vicious argument that could have been easily avoided in person. Plus you have a transcript to commemorate it!

Texting is ten times worse. You’re encouraged to misspell, you’re discouraged from saying anything deep or meaningful. Essentially, texting is emailing for the lazy, illiterate and mobile. You send a text when you don’t want to talk to someone, but you want to let them know you’re thinking of them. And what can be more flattering than conveying, electronically, the idea that you DON’T want to talk to the woman you’re courting? Essentially, guys across America are saying, “Hey, babe. You’re not important enough to get five minutes of phone time. Please accept this weak form of communication and allow me to keep on sleeping with you.”

And as long as you let them do it, they will continue to do it. Because texting is only enabled by the person who writes back to the text. If you don’t respond to texts, guess what? You’re letting him know that it’s a poor way to reach you.

If you don’t respond to texts, guess what? You’re letting him know that it’s a poor way to reach you.

Understand this about men: they will usually do the least that they can to maintain their relationship. So if he can text you at 11pm on Friday night after a week of silence and charm you with something like: “UR 2 hott! Cum over now?”, well, you get what you deserve. But here’s the real problem: there are women everywhere who are complete suckers for this crap. Maybe it’s a low self esteem thing, but as long as some desperate girl lets him get away with it, he’ll always have a low-maintenance sexual outlet. Therefore, he’ll never feel the need to do all the heavy lifting of relationships such as “calling” and “dates”….

But the truth is, Rikki, you don’t need men who won’t call you. It’s a self-selecting process. If he’s a good man who is genuinely interested in you, he will make the kind of effort that reveals this. If five minutes on the phone is too much work for him, it speaks for itself.

As to how you redirect a lazy man to give you more effort, the trick is to do it with wit and charm. Nothing will turn off a guy faster than: “I HATE TEXTING. IF YOU THINK THAT LITTLE OF ME, GO TAKE A HIKE, DOUCHEBAG!” Try to redirect his energy in a positive way that encourages him to keep working for you.

As long as he’s working for you, you’re still in control. So maybe the next time he texts, let him know that you turn off your cellphone at work, and he can best reach you on your regular phone. Or maybe you tell him in a flirty way that the way to your heart is through your voice – and that, if he’s lucky, he might be able to catch you on your cell at 7:30 before you go out tonight. What you don’t want to do is sound like a stick-in-the-mud, my-way-or-the-highway woman. But you can refuse to play his game and still make him feel attractive, which will keep him chasing you through whatever medium you choose. Good luck.


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  1. 151

    There’s always exceptions to the rule.  My boyfriend shares his home with three other guys and at times it’s hugely difficult to talk on the phone (be it too noisy, lack of privacy etc).  As a result, texting is our main source of contact. 

  2. 152

    I find this very narrow minded. There are plethora of reasons why an additional method of communication can really positively impact someone’s ability to social use and date and give them an opportunity to showcase their personality. Dating is not confined to the verbally talented and high self esteemed alone.  What of the person with as a speach impediment, or is very shy, or the single parent who wants to be discreet in contacting a new date but has kids with big ears, to name but a few reasons why just because texting is used in a social situation it should not be perceived negatively. 

  3. 153

    Emergencies are one… life emergencies .. the “WTF, I’ve got to go” texts
    If an employer were to text me saying “You’ve got the job” and it was a job I wanted. Would I refuse the job because it was received by text, email, any written form.  Actually no I’ve got it in writing.   If I accept, it’s a form of a legal contract.  
    Location texts, are usually acceptable: “Lost you in the store, where are U” – “What highway are you on”
    Plus lets look at the big cool.  Texts are usually covered under phone contracts as FREE. Which in itself is a great thing for ANYONE.  Phone minutes are not FREE, you have so many a month and then you’re paying.  You can use that as a thermometer over time.
    Other than those “important calls” everything else is “negotiable”  One should realize that you’re actually “writing” when texting, so be aware of the legality of texting, sexting, stalking, shopping”  
    If you cannot say it in person to a face or a voice, you should not be texting it !!! Such us men who text sexual innuendos that they’d be cowards to say to your face.  I’ve called back a man to ask him what he texted, to actually say it to me, he hung up.  So talk is cheap, texting is cheaper.   So keep in mind, anything that is free, is easy.  People you know can text you, people you’re getting to know cannot.  Simple rule.
    Emailing a letter is something else.  It’s a letter, not a memo, not a note, it’s a form of expression and style.  It’s also telling a person you value their time and they can read at their leisure.  It also says I value my space and time while still keeping in touch.  It’s a wonderful old age method of communication, and one that you can have a record of, like a diary a history of sorts.
    So when you text “WazUp” – “Howzit” – “YeahU”  be VERY aware, your character is shouting loud and clear,  just how you expect people to treat YOU. Unless I know you very well as family, c0-worker or friend, this is viewed as cheap toe testing.  Like Marc said in an above post.  ”Get in the Real World”  The advantage of texting is being able to use it as a “value” meter.   As my friend and I say “NVA”  No Value Added. 

  4. 154

    In defense of texting. I hate talking on the phone I avoid it at all cost!   Please don’t call me, I’m a text girl only. My current SO and I even had a strictly texting “date”last night (It was a joke).He’s a teacher and his grades were due. So in between working on grades he texted me all night long. At the end he thanked me for making a normally horrble night into a night of fun. We texted pictures (taken and drawn) gifs and YouTube clips… It was a great time in between living my Wed night. I get so much more out of texting then out of phone conversations. I think this whole anti – texting thing is a generational thing. The only time to use the actual phone would be if someone is not in the city you live in. My whole relationship from start to finish  for my last 3 boyfriends including my current one has been through text… I dont see a problem or that they are being lazy or disrespecting me. It’s just another form of communicating, one I prefer. Also there is a giant difference between lazy texting and legitiment, thoughtful texting… We all should know the difference.  It’s a false dichotomy by saying a guy is either into you or solely texts you.  

  5. 155

    One more thing to show times are changing, in my last two jobs my coworkers and managers have relied solely on texts to communicate outside of work.. If we are going to be late, if we are sick and can’t make it to work, if we had an emergency, or if there is an emergency or question at work and the other person isnt at work. One of those jobs I worked with lawyers at a nonprofit and my current position is with a school district. 

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