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. 31

    Urgh, texts! LOL
    Actually, it seems that both genders are guilty of this. However, I’ve experienced more men using text messages as a form of communication. I was at a Comedy Club and the Comedian made a comment about woman texting! I think the problem is with all this technology today, yes it can be fast and easy but when it translates into getting to know someone initally, that usually is not the most effective way to build a relationship. I agree with Evan about ways to communicate on text. Of course if it’s done in moderation between getting to know eachother on phone and perhaps a few texts “Good Morning, Meet me at 7, I’m on the 2nd table in the Restauarant”… etc…etc… is fine. I’ve actually thought about disabling my text messages but the truth is they are good ways to get a fast way to communicate through if you need something quick and to the point to say. Anyways, I’ve thought about it and yes I’ve responded back to men who’ve texted me and had a little bit of conversation on it. I guess I’m slowely getting used to the fact that people text and it shouldn’t be taken personally. However realistically I’m not taken someone as seriously at that point and it’s like the book “You’re just not that into him either” when it comes to responding back and making quick chat. If I really was interested in a man it would be that he was making more of an effort. And, thinking about it not going to be responding back to anymore texts!! LOL

  2. 32
    Hot Alpha Female

    hmmm great post and interesting comments. I would have to say that texting is ok. Its good to keep the contact going. BUT if you want to arrange a date or something. Then just bloody pick up the fone and give the chick a call. It looks way more assertive and confident than fart assing around with your fone for the next hour texting back and forth!

    Hot Alpha Female


  3. 33

    I once dated a guy that only wanted to communicate through texting. I texted with him for 4 hours straight on more than one occasion. After the second time I did that, I slapped myself silly and dropped the bum. What the Hell? Looking back on it now, that was the most retarded thing to do. Any man that wants to text you 4 hours straight but not talk to you by phone is an a*s hole….and I was just plain silly for going along with it..

  4. 34

    all guys i met and dated form these online dating wedsite, only text. and they were all players. so i have this conclusion:

  5. 35

    all guys i met and dated form these online dating wedsite, only text. and they were all players. so i have this conclusion: guys who only text u = players

  6. 36

    Wow Evan…I read this and got my answer to a question i sent in. lol
    This post was soo close to the texting truth my eyes were glued reading and laughing too.I mean people who text generally can’t be bothered talking. I Aways text if i dont want to or cant speak to someone.
    Your reasons: 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.

    I loved the Nothing will turn off a guy faster than: I HATE TEXTING. IF YOU THINK THAT LITTLE OF ME, GO TAKE A HIKE, DOUCHEBAG! as i could see alot of angry women doing that one lol.

    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.

    I couldnt have put that any better myself.This artical rocked i wont be forgetting it anytime soon.

    Thank you 😀

  7. 37

    Alas, I am here to share my horrid experience with a text-cloaked guy. Three months of casual gym time, one airport run and compensatiory dinner and movie for the airport run…never had one phone conversation with him on the phone. He even went so far as to suggest (via email) we see a Broadway show. I accepted. Last straw was yesterday. I “called” him live, ON THE PHONE, and left a message seeing if he’d like to go work out today. LO AND BEHOLD!!! He texted me back an invite to run instead. After initially accepting, I sat down and emailed him that his choosing to respond to my phone call via text sent a huge message. Told him to have a good run and a good day. AND, no, I don’t think I rate important enough on his last for him to give me phone time.

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  10. 38

    I feel that using text is not a good way to communicate as calling and speaking is easier than using your fingers to type specially when you want to show emotions.. Its frustrating to do that through a text!!

    If you really want to date someone i feel its better to talk than text coz that’s what you are going to do on a date!! How do you expect to spend good time with a guy with whom you cant hold on a conversation for ten minutes.. how else do you know whether on a date you will actually be able to talk or not!? For some reason i have never been attracted to any guy who depends on messages to talk to me! I just reply to them when i am getting really bored. And i never talk to my boyfriend through messages except to tell him i miss him!!

  11. 39

    Lets face it, if we called the girl, she wouldnt answer anyway, or is already on the phone with one of her girlfriends, her mother, or another person. Once you finally get her on the phone, she doesnt let you go, and then you get this huge bill and wonder who did it. ILL STICK WITH TEXTS thank you.

  12. 40

    Have to disagree to a certain extent – texts have many useful facets. For example, I would feel uncomfortable calling a girl during the day because she might be busy, with friends, etc and would feel obliged to answer and not to hang up, but it might yet be a bad time (and vice versa her with me). Texts are great in this scenerio because you can read them at your own leisure and reply whenever you get a chance (not to mention you can keep a text conversation going while in the company of others too and not be the rude one who leaves the room for 15 mins because you want a bit of privacy in your phonecall).

    Often times I get the “best of both worlds” by starting off with a couple of texts, and if the girl is replying pretty quickly and it is obvious that it is a good time for her then I often just ring and pick up the conversation from there.

  13. 41
    A girl

    I don’t see the big deal about this. Some people don’t like talking on the phone (I’m one of them). Talking about inconsequential shit like “Oh, I TOTALLY hooked up with so-and-so last night.” on the phone not only consumes my time but make me really uncomfortable. Unless it’s business…everyone knows that texting me is the way to get a hold of me.

    Oh, and as far as guys “disrespecting” girls because they text as opposed to picking up the phone…that is such B.S. I think when there is someone that I’m thinking about during the day and we’re both busy there’s nothing more sweet than “Hello! I hope you’re having a nice day!” It’s not intrusive, I don’t have to stop everything I’m doing to talk, and it shows the other person is thinking of you. I prefer it. I don’t think it’s a sign of laziness, just a sign of the times.

  14. 42

    A girl, I think what Evan’s referring to is when people text INSTEAD of calling. I share Rikki’s frustration. If you’re in a committed relationship with someone for a couple of months and the ONLY way he wants to communicate is via text, it’s kind of a let down. How are people supposed to forge relationships and grow closer if they don’t even bother to make the effort?

    If a guy calls me to check in, it tells me he’s truly intersted in how things are going in my life and makes me feel closer to him. It’s making time for each other and doesn’t have to be in the middle of the day. Txt messages don’t achieve the same goal.

    If you don’t have time to speak to someone on the phone, then honestly you may not be ready to make the time for a relationship.

  15. 43
    Bill Thompson

    I had an hour long conversation with someone on text when it was after nine and a five or ten minute conversation would be free. This girl that I met online claims to really really like me, but I find this to be agitating. I think texting someone instead of calling them is a form of hard-to-get for the 21st century. I actually see it as a major red flag that a woman/man can’t pick up a phone and talk for 5 minutes that they might be socially inept possibly? WOMEN PICK UP THE PHONE AND CALL US AND WE’LL RESPECT YOU MORE!!!!!

  16. 44

    Great article, and terrific insight. I personally was dealing with a “gexter”, that would be “girl texter”….I viewed her texting instead of phoning as a major red flag. What I didn’t know was how to deal with it . Decided to go with the odds that she is full of crap, and she is basically lying about her interest level by substituting text messages for voice calls… I now no longer respond to her text messages ( hilarious that she texts me asking why I haven’t texted her back ) If she actually does call ( which I doubt will happen ), I’m going to lie to her and tell her that I’m not getting all of my text messages, and have spoken to Verizon about it, and they don’t know why. I’ll of course tell her that she should call me instead of texting, to make sure we don’t miss her messages. Now of course I agree 100% this is childish, and totally resent having to resort to such tactics, but you know what….All is fair in love & war, and being honest in the adult dating game in your 40’s is like fighting with both your hands behind your back. And really what am I going to do ? Tell the person that is texting me instead of calling me that it is an uacceptable level of primary communication ? Maybe I should also explain to her that it is easier to breath without a plastic bag over your head. What I don’t need is someone that I need to educate on proper manners & common courtesy.
    Excellent article…I hope my experience helps someone else.

  17. 45

    I really think it has to do with a age not gender. I am 25 yrs old and the fact that I text somebody does not mean I like them more or less. It just means I am thinking of you and can’t have a conversation right now cause I am BUSY! Which is actually good because eventhough I am busy at work or wherever it means I am thinking of that person and going the extra mile to communicate with them.. If you don’t like it then tell the other person and be honest about it.. STOP PLAYING GAMES period!

  18. 46

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one that finds it revolting to receive text messages from someone I’ve been seeing for 9 mos. Yes, he’s the IT manager for some big company but it’s no excuse. He’s 56 yrs old. C’mon. Way past GEN Y. It’s cute to get a “thinking about you” text in the middle of the day but a phone call would intensify the intimacy level a hundred times more and make a woman feel so special instead of a text. I told him.
    Texters and emailers remind me of all the men that attempted to cheat on their wives or girlfriends by being “my friend” and amusing themselves with a “secret” friend they can text. It happens a lot and when I start to see this pattern I tell them so and stop responding to their emails or text. I hate that…..So guys, don’t pretend to ask a female for her email because you “want to keep in touch”. Fix your problems with your current partner first before insuring that you will have someone waiting for you. Don’t worry, you’ll find that someone. It’s not a big deal but don’t cheat.

  19. 47

    I disagree with the article…especially when it says that guys dont think of you and ONLY want to get into your pants when they text you instead of calling. My bf and I have been together for a year and a half and its been a 80:20 ratio to text and calling. It only means we have our own different lives and do different things but still take out time for each other to send a small text all through the day. Especially, with the new Black Berry messenger thing, its so quick if both of you have a blackberry, you can even get to know if the other person has read your text or not! Yeah, sure I would be mad if the relationship was based only on texting but if you see each other everyday or a couple times in the week and talk on the phone when you really want to, then its not like you have too much to talk on the phone. With texting, you can even send a quick and spontaneous thought about what you were thinking and what you are doing. Wouldnt it be too suffocating if your partner called you like every hour saying what he/she just thought about and is so eager to share it with you? I say, that too much of everything is not good either. So if a relationship is only based on texting then somethings wrong but it wont hurt either to text everyday and talk a couple of times a week apart from the time you spend with each other physically.

  20. 48

    If a guy calls me instead of texting he’s very likely to get my voicemail, and that irritates me because it takes longer to check voicemail and if I’m in a noisy area (like work) I can’t hear it well. I’d much rather he just text me.
    I also have great conversations in person but find talking on the phone diffucult. I have a hard time understanding many people if I can’t read their lips.

  21. 49
    nikki T

    Well i must say i got a guy i met like about 3 weeks ago and we had sex the 3rd day from the day we met (my choice) because thats what i wanted to do with him all alone, (i approached him first by the way), anyway the first day we met we talked on the phone for like 3 hours, and 2 days later i met him at a bar and later that night we did it and he only still text me, but even in person he really doesn’t have that much to say (but blush) and he told me he was shy because whenever i leave the room he text me. actually we only talked on the phone like 3 times these 3 weeks we’ve been communicating, but hey i don’t want no relationship with him, look i said all this to say just cause a guy would rather text you instead of call doesn’t really mean that he is just not that into you, he could just be shy, young, not really a phone person, or a complete clown, but in my case he’s shy cause after we had sex he texted me “will i still call him tomorrow and how was it” and he’s been texting me every since, i think he want to sex me again but just don’t know how to ask me………..LOL

  22. 50
    April Braswell

    Hi Evan,

    I am already ROFL. Don’t you find that there are differences between the Millenials aka Generation Text folks who simply live on the cell phone texting vs. the folks over, say, like 30 years old whose natural inclination is to actually (gasp) SPEAK to one another? I hear both men and women complain about this and also say something akin to, hey, what’s the big deal? I am totally giggling now. The men think the woman is “high maintenance” because he texted her, “Hey.” Like it was a life altering massively connecting phrase. Yet really it left forming a conversation completely up to her, didn’t it?

    I have both of your books and think you are marvelous.

    Mazel tov

    April Braswell

  23. 51

    Excuse me, everyone.

    I’m an 18 year old guy. From what I read most of you are older than that, one generation ahead of me.

    That’s fine, but I think you should know what people my age think of texting.

    We prefer it. It’s more convenient. The reason is not because we are less “intimate” and don’t want to talk on the phone — we do. We like talking to each other as much as the next person. However, texting allows you to communicate at times when no other form of communication is socially acceptable.

    For instance, while AT work, or while in class, or a meeting, etc. There are numerous examples. I have a roommate. While he’s asleep, I can text my girlfriend instead of calling her, which would disturb both her roommate and mine.

    We’re mobile people, as well. Much of the time, I’m walking down the street when my girlfriend calls. It’s often so noisy that it’s not worth trying, yelling at each other over the phone. Texting is easier, and if you get to know how to use it more extensively, you will get better at reading tone, inflection, etc in the text. And you will develop your own style.

    I can tell if it’s not my girlfriend texting me, but someone on her phone. It’s actually really easy to read her “voice.”

    And why talk on the phone so often when you can just see one another in person? This is obviously superior. There are so many things about talking on the phone that are problematic. You are often distracted by what’s happening in front of you, or there is noise or interference, or the poor sound quality on phones in general or your girlfriends quiet voice make it hard to communicate. A text is written there for you to read, and even to analyze. You don’t have to respond RIGHT away. You can finish writing this paragraph and THEN text back. Perhaps that’s what appeals to us most about texting. You can have a conversation with someone you like/love at the same time you are doing something else.

    My two cents.

    1. 51.1

      Well-written, thoughtful post.

      And many of us above age 50 realize that texting is a way to keep in closer touch with our children who are very busy and away at college. I got into texting initially because it was a better way to keep track of my teenagers.

      It is a very natural means of communication for many of us. If you don’t want to text, don’t do it. If I did not text, I wouldn’t communicate with my children nearly as often. If I didn’t text, I wouldn’t be able to communicate with my boyfriend while at work.

      However, when I was doing online dating, I would message on the site, then text, but would insist on a phone call before agreeing to meet.  Scammers want to get you texting and emailing and off the dating site so they won’t get reported and banned from the site. The foreign scammers don’t want to talk to you because they don’t want to reveal a heavy accent and poor English.

  24. 52

    How old are you people?, 50?, sending a text message to tell that you care for someone it is not lazy communication. 

  25. 53
    Jane Doe

    I think the major details were left out…like how old were these guys and did she sleep with them on the 2-4 dates.  As a 36 year old woman who had the exact same thing happen with 4 men 30 and under over the course of one year, I will say this…they are looking for entertainment, to keep it casual and to not lead you on.  If they wanted a "relationship", they would make plans, set dates and call.  If you want to "date", my recommendation would be to not give out your number, and just set up a date.  If he does not ask you out on your next date, consider it over.  If a guy is into you, he'll want to know when "next time" will be.  Don't make yourself so available.

  26. 54

    I live in a country where the language is not my first language. And while I LOVE phone calls, I am so much more comfortable with texts – while I’m fluent in the local language more or less, it’s hard to understand people on the phone and I get insecure about being able to talk without looking the person in the eye.  Text messages really help because I can make sure I understand and respond well.

  27. 55

    I think this person has it right, “With texting, you can even send a quick and spontaneous thought about what you were thinking and what you are doing. Wouldnt it be too suffocating if your partner called you like every hour saying what he/she just thought about and is so eager to share it with you? I say, that too much of everything is not good either. So if a relationship is only based on texting then somethings wrong but it wont hurt either to text everyday and talk a couple of times a week apart from the time you spend with each other physically.”

  28. 56

    Actually, you dont need to call, you can txt, why? Well, they may be trying to save minutes, they could be in a place where they cant talk/hear you very well, and lastly, they could be too embarrassed to call, cus they can be out in public most of the time, im a person whos like this, so look at the possibilities of why he might need/prefer to txt you… If you pressure him to call, he will be going out of comfort zone, you dont want that cus all sorts of things could happen. so plz. do us a favour and just suck it up…. You will feel better later on…

  29. 57

    Oh and some guys are too nervous to make the first call if on a dating site, so dont assume theyre all players. one. because you could miss out on a great guy, two, because that makes you a asshole…. I made my point, flaming me will do you nothing but getting the FBI called on you… Good Day Sirs/Madams

  30. 58

    Am I the only woman in the world who prefers texting to the phone? Seriously, when a guy says he’s going to call, I’m, like, uh-oh- but if I get a text, I’m relieved…lol- does this mean I have issues? 😀

    For the record, even with friends, I generally prefer either meeting in person or texting/e-mail. THere’s very very few people I’m comfortable talking on the phone with.

  31. 59

    Nope, sayanta. You’re not alone. I prefer meeting them in person, text or msn.

    I don’t talk on the phone except to check if the person I’m meeting is on the way to our meeting place or we got lost in the crowd. Or call back to see if there’s dinner at home. Something like that.

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