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.

Join our conversation (236 Comments).
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  1. 91

    Update! I must say he has totally turned around sinceI sent that message..he has called several times since then, fast learner……… ok that may be an overstatement but better late than never  …lol!

  2. 92


    :), awesome!  See it works, and we have to be patient with men.

  3. 93
    terence karkabe

    ok you guys – I’m way old compared to you kids and I text my GF all the time. I like texting. I text my brother (he’s 52) I text my friends. I do so because we all have busy lives and text allows us to send a message which is received instantly but does NOT demand an instant reply. I HATE voicemail. Listening to three messages to get to the one I want is annoying. It also wastes phone minutes and a lot of valuable time. Yes we talk on the phone – AFTER we text to see if it’s convenient. I love getting a smiley face at two in the afternoon while I’m pulling a toilet or plumbing a sink. I HATE having to drop what I’m doing to answer a phone call. It’s another version of the old days when I had no cell phone and spent hours searching for a pay phone to tell a customer I was running late. Now I spend minutes working my way through multiple messages, taking notes and logging phone numbers to call back later. You wanna talk to me??????????? TEXT me and let me know when to call. If I can do that I will. If not? I’ll text you and tell you. It’s faster, more accurate and far more convenient.

  4. 94

    I just broke up with a man that text me up to 100 times a day because he told me that is how he communicated to women when he dated them I went along with it because is this the new way.
    I was very upset when I got a 300.00 dollar phone bill because my plan did not cover and his request was that I ask the phone company to write the entire bill off.  I did not do that I negotiated half of it to be removed.
    I found that I became controlled by the phone he obviously did not have much work he worked Real Estate and had a lot of time on his hands.  I work 30 to 50 hours a week and made time for him when I could.
    I rarely got a phone call which I found quite odd.  I know that I have made a lot of mistakes with this gentleman and I will set limits with the last.
    While I was dating him another gentleman was calling me to talk and nothing more.
    I guess there are still men out there that do know how to pick up the phone.

    1. 94.1

      I hope you broke up
      with him via text! 😀 

  5. 95

    Ahhh…kids, kids, kids…. Haven’t you heard the phrase “Everything in moderation”? Like, come on guys! Texting has been a wonderful development in technology that affords the opportunity to get straight to the point and leave a thought or message without the small chit chat. Obviously it shouldn’t replace phone calls or become some sort of rampant epidemic on your cell phone but it can be a way to be flirty and help build attraction IN BETWEEN your phone calls. Becoming a romantic robot is NOT what I’m suggesting because asking someone to go out or finding out how someones day has gone should be done directly, but leaving a message about how much you enjoyed the last date, how much you’re thinking of someone, how much you’re turned on by the thought of someone…. all perfectly fun and acceptable uses of texting!

  6. 96

    the 20’s & 30’s set are emotional wimps and avoid dealing directly with others when feelings are involved.  i told my 25 yr old g/f  to NOT text me if she thinks there’s a problem and call.  she refuses to do and continues to try to arbitrate emotional differences over text.  it’s as if this set has some uncontrollable FETISH and fascination “wow i can type into a phone” (!!). i told her i was going to disable texting on my phone, i don’t text with most anyone except her… and her response was “well then we can’t be together”. it’s often used a gutless emotionally wimpy way to passively control others.

    1. 96.1

      When you are having conflict with someone, texting can be a way of slowing things down and diffusing the anger. Then again, lots of people can dish out put-downs and call names in writing as well.

  7. 97

    Wow I’ve so been here many times of late and it DOES really annoy me – I’m so glad I’m not alone.  I’ve been trying to tell people to pick up the phone but then I have also perpetuated things by texting back. It’s actually a turnoff though.
    Guys: pick up the phone.
    Girls: don’t let them get away with it.  In fact you can say ‘I really appreciate real phone calls’ or something like that.  You can also just call them – not 10x / day but once or twice and see if they get the picture.

  8. 98

    OK the majority wins… I have ordered a bluetooth set online, so I can date properly as per rules and regulations, and still be able to do something around the house once in a while 🙂 Will see how it goes.
    Personally though, I still think that, for busy single parents, texting is a great way to keep in touch without letting household responsibilities slide. Plus, for people like me that no longer have a landline… it’s cheaper, too! Those 60-minute calls really do add up. But, rules are rules.

  9. 99

    oh and i guess everyone prefers a different form of communication, but i dont think anyone can be that busy that they cant spare one or two minutes of their day to call, it doesnt have to be a long conversation, even just before bed time or after u get off work would be nice.

  10. 100

    This is so true. I started to date a guy that texted me all the fricking time and then I told him that I thought it was lazy and that is why I did not answer his texts anymore. Well I got sucked back into it. He apologized and said that he did not KNOW this? Hmm….well he called a few times but fell back into it and I did it too.
    Then I started noticing that he never really asked me how I was doing over texts and only was flirting and sexting. I did it just last night and kicked myself for it this morning. Jeez…I really like this guy a lot but I just don’t even want him to even call me anymore almost. Or at least it is certainly getting there fast.
    I realize that he is really just not that into me and it makes me sad but there is really nothing I can do about it.

  11. 101

    I TOTALLY AGREE. I’ve had guys ask me out not only via texting, but also FACEBOOK MESSAGING. it is just PATHETIC. 

    i’ve also had guys apologize (for pretty serious things) via both facebook and text. i HATED accepting the apology, and nowadays, i just refuse to. if they don’t care enough to pick up the phone or talk to me face to face, then they are not worth my time. and i thought breaking up over the phone was bad!

    i am only in my 20s, so i can say it is NOT a generational thing- it is an insensitivity thing. maybe it is all this technology that has made everyone both insensitive AND overly sensitive to rejection at the same time. nevertheless, it just pisses me off. 

    a friend of mine keeps texting apologies and facebooked me too- it has been 4 months since we’ve spoken- u know what the one thing he didn’t do was??? CALL ME. 

  12. 102

    I am new to dating after coming out of an almost 20 yr marriage.     I got married young.  I am 38.   I am very busy.  Mother of 3.   I work in daycare and it is very busy during the day……plus I have my other 3 children to take care of also.

    I have already been hit by a player and he mostly texted me.  One thing I noticed,  he never said my name and that made it rather impersonal.   This guy at first texted me probably a hundred times a day.   It was too much.  I loved the attention though at first, I must say.  But I got hooked on his texts and came to lean on them and became upset when they slowed down.  This was not good.      I learned pretty quickly there was something wrong with the relationship, then realized I was dealing with a player.

    Fast forward dumping the player and onto new relationships.  –  I have found that most of the guys I date text me and it does not bother me at all!  In fact I appreciate it.  I don’t have time to be on the phone and my daughter or one of my other kids are constantly interrupting me when I do talk on the phone.
    I think it is a wrong assumption to say that men don’t care for you if they only text.    I believe it is also what they SHOW you with their ACTIONS  outside of phone use.  Are they asking you out every week?   Are they taking you out around their friends?   Will they let you meet their family?   Are they taking you out to eat or to a movie or something else that is fun?    If they are taking  you out regularly and you are meeting their family and friends…….and the relationship is slowly making progress, who cares if they mainly text you??!!  
    The guy with potential that I am dating only texts me maybe 2 times a day.  He doesn’t say a lot but what he says counts and he lets me know he is thinking of me. 
    Likewise when I am with him his phone is not going off constantly. (as it was with the player I dated.) 
    My new relationship is going great and when I spend time with him, his phone hardly goes off with a text.  What does this tell me?   He does not text me a lot, but he hardly texts anyone else either! 
    But he asks me out every weekend and is steadily showing me he cares.  
    I could care less if he phones me!  In fact I appreciate the text messages much more! 

    Just my 2 cents on the subject! 

  13. 103

    Personally, I hate texting.  I think it is effortless and very distracting during working hours.  What I do is give out my land line number.  I have a very inexpensive one and it is nonpublished.  If a guy does attempt to text me, it will give a message that a land line is being texted.  If he asks about it, I just say my cell phone is strictly for work.  Problem solved. 

  14. 104

    I think it depends, most people here have valid points for and against texting. For me in particular, my boyfriend and I used to text in the beginning of our relationship, and he asked me out via text, we could go on for four hours texting and I always use to laugh and he does also. We just understood each other and our sense of humour, we are both silly. I do hate it when you are texting a guy and the conversation is boring & not leading anywhere which also happens when u are on the phone with someone, it depends on how you utilise the texting. I love texting him and when we talk on phone and meet in person, we talk about  how we teased each other, and crazy stories we made while texting, its fun.

  15. 105

    I like texting as a form of communication.  I tend to be shy and so texting is a good way to get a better feel for a person.  However, I don’t think it should replace all other communication, I think there should be a good mix. 

    Recently, I started texting with a guy who is deaf.  I didn’t know this until we were close to actually meeting for the first time. 

  16. 106

    I am a 44 year old woman who looks 32.  I attract the younger males.

    I think its their generation – they don’t know how to inter-act face to face so they hide behind technology.

    I prefer a 2 minute phone call over a half ass attempt text to ask me out to gauge my availability or interest – being direct is a big turn on for me….know what you want and just ask for it.

  17. 107

    Whenever I am dating a woman, I find that after the second and third date (if I make it that far), the woman is still not showing signs that she is interested. Maybe I am doing something wrong, but heck, I’m making an effort.
    In this situation, I am not going to go out of my way to call…. only to get wishy washy signals in return from her (usually it is her not answering the phone). So I text.

  18. 108
    Downtown Muffin

    Lesson learned not to let my relationships revolve around text messages…. 

  19. 109

    i don’t think there’s anything wrong with texting at all. we live in modern times where there’s so much going on at a time that calling someone or someone calling you can be a bit intrusive. texting is fast and convenient. having a guy texts you more often than calling does not make him less interested. IN FACT!…i had a guy constantly calling me for dates—he actually picked up the phone everytime—however, this guy was a total player and sleazeball—he always had a new girl to take home every night! so what does that say?! it says you can’t really tell someone’s best intention by a text or phone call ALONE. you’ve gotta take account a guy’s behavior towards you in person and how he treats you period. 

  20. 110

    So, I can’t understand someone I have been emailing on the phone.  So it works for me.

  21. 111

    This has been sooo sooo helpful to me. I’ve never heard it so srt8 and clear. I get it now. He’s not that into me. I’ve moved on and am stronger each day. I made the right decision to leave . Thank you Evan!!!! Thank you!!!

    If you’re not being treated with love and respect, check your price tag. Perhaps you have marked yourself down. It’s YOU who tells people what you’re worth by what you will “accept”. Get off the clearance rack and get behind the glass where they keep the valuables! Bottom line: value yourself more!! #confidenceROKS!!

  22. 112

    To comment #109, you made a good point. Texting is all good and fun, and as a texter myself I don’t have anything against it. It is convenient, and you’re almost guaranteed to get a response from whoever you are trying to get in contact with. And by texting, a guy doesn’t show less interest, if he is interested, in a girl/woman, than if he were actually calling.
    But I think that both texting and calling (and maybe emailing and Facebook) have their places. Texting is good if you need to send a quick note and/or reminder to someone, or to let someone know when you’re going to be late and such. Stuff like that. It can even be used for “good mornings” and “good evenings”, and for those who are always busy, it is a better way of communicating with less to zero hassle.
    But texting has its downsides, too. For one, you really can’t have a meaningful conversation via text messaging, let along say all that you wish to say. There are costs and letter limits instituted when it comes to texting, and those things are not really an advantage. Also, I don’t think it’s wise to break up or to have a serious talk with someone via text, those situations are best reserved for phone conversations or even better, face-to-face interactions. I once dated a guy who, when he chose to break up with me, requested to talk things over with me in person, which I really appreciated.
    Calling is good because you get to hear the other person’s voice. If you especially are in love with someone, you would want to hear his or her voice. Of course, I know there are people out there who hate talking on the phone, but (1) you don’t have to be doing it EVERY DAY, and (2) it’s good practice for when you actually go on a date. You’re not going to be texting, are you? Because that would be rude. There is a rule of thumb: whenever you are with someone or at a social event, keep your phone out of sight, unless a family member (or close friend) is in the hospital. Of course, this rule not only applies to texting, but to phone calls as well.
    Also, calling is the best approach for serious conversations and talks.
    Basically, texting and calling complement each other, and will, if one utilises both tools of communicating properly. There has to be a strong balance, a moderation. If you are a busy person, for example, and mostly communicate via text that is fine, no hating, but don’t forget to communicate via calling and even through face-to-face interactions whenever you’re not busy, or even when you feel up to it. Those phone calls help one develop his or her communication skills, and those face-to-face interactions are crucial for making impressions. 

  23. 113

    I love this article, its true you cant really know someones true intentions through a text message or an email, keep it to phone calls and face to face even a phone call you can tell if someone is smiling so it says it all. If I had my way we wouldn’t have phones full stop. Just face to face, men and women have bad enough confidence these days as it is, we don’t practice our social skills enough anymore, get out there and just enjoy meeting new people. 

    Regards wink2date 

  24. 114

    I have been dating a guy who texts me and then when I text himi back a couple of times he cuts off the conversation.  Doesn’t say “bye” or “gotta go,” NOTHING.  It is like hanging up on someone while you are on the phone.  It is insulting to me.  He does this EVERY time.  He will initiate the conversation.  Then when i text him back he doesn’t respond and I don’t hear from him until the next day.  Really?  That is just plain rude to me.

  25. 115
    Katarina Phang

    Kristin, guys do that a lot.  I won’t take it personally and waste energy on that.  Just keep busy and don’t always be available to respond to texts either.

  26. 116
    Katarina Phang

    If it really bothers you, you can say “It feels really bad when you don’t respond to my texts and leave me hanging.”

    See if that makes a difference. 

  27. 117

    @Kristin, 114 – If you keep answering him back when he keeps treating you like that, then you’re part of the problem.   You’re reinforcing his bad behavior by rewarding him with answers.

    I’d block him.  But that’s just me. 

  28. 118
    Lucy McBees

    I have some wonderful female friends. Some single, some in relationships. Like you, they are all sexy, intriguing and intelligent women. Yet, you all suffer from a common condition. I call it Men-agitus. You caught it the first time some midget Romeo stole a kiss on the merry-go-round at pre-school morning break, and dropped you for a Tonka truck and a sandpit by lunch. As a result, you seem to spend a significant portion of your lives analyzing men’s actions and words
    Cheers Lucy

  29. 119

    I dont agree at all. It depends on personality. Men get an idea real quickly that I dont have time to talk and make negative comments toward that. Im sorry for the disappointment but Im always multitasking and if they want my attention Ill bypass a call unless its late at night. (and then only if I feel like it as I have children and a life) .. yet no matter what  Ill always answer the text and almost immediately. Texting is more private to me… definitely ages and personalities view it differently but I believe you who hate it or think its an insult are not giving different personality styles their due respect. I think if you process it knowing each person responds differently and give them their due you would be flattered to know they are thinking of you and took the time to convey that in any manner… takes different forms and many are just trying to make that contact…for what ever reason.

  30. 120

    Ok then… Answer me this all of you. With only 5 dates, after a chance meeting on “Match.com” How much do you know about this guy’s daily routine? How much does “this guy” know about YOUR daily routine? I’m going to take a gander and say, you did not tell them what you do as a daily life. I mean, it’s “Match.com” who wants to go spilling their personal life to a person who might be a stalking rapist? These people don’t know what you do in the middle of the day, so they aren’t going to hold a phone to their ear if they think you’re at work, or in the middle of a semi-important meeting (which we know never happens because you have the time to go spilling your guts to the world wide web about what you hate in texting). I mean, you wouldn’t want your phone to ring during work would you? Text messages make it real easy to flip your phone, read it, and get back to your guy when you have the chance. What can a phone call do? Well it can land you in a vacation for 365 days a year, call it unemployment.

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