I received a text message from a guy with whom there was mutual romantic interest: “Plans for Friday?”
This guy was smart and ambitious, with a great sense of style. But him asking me for a first date by text was anti-climatic, at best, and showed a lack of confidence, at worst.
Here are five reasons why asking for a date by text is a setup for failure and what you should do instead:
1. It’s impersonal.
Every woman wants to be made to feel special, and there is nothing special about receiving a text message from some guy you don’t know well.
They take zero effort to send and undermine any gravitas for the subject at hand, especially since we know you’re probably texting a handful of potential dates at any given time. (We do it, too.)
She wants to hear your voice, not read faceless, lifeless words on a screen.
2. There’s too much room for misinterpretation.
You can’t hear the other person’s voice — there’s no tone, no inflection, no meaning, nada. The woman you’re texting will be left thinking you’re suggesting a friendly hangout, while you have in mind a hot night out for two. The conversation to clear that up? Awkward.
In-person communication always yields the most understanding, and the further you get from face-to-face interaction, the more opportunity there is for misunderstanding and misinterpretation.
The non-verbal and auditory cues missing from your text message only lead to anxiety and uncertainty for both of you.
3. It’s a waste of your time.
Texting something like a date request requires self-editing, composing, recomposing, leaving out punctuation, txtspk, etc.
By the time you’ve crafted the perfect text, you could have simply called and gotten an answer to your question already.
4. You might not get an answer.
Text messages are easy to ignore, both accidentally and on purpose. And then what? Anxiety for you, that’s what.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a text message roll in (“Hey, wyd?”) that just didn’t capture my interest, so I let it go unanswered. It might be days before I respond, if ever. Sometimes I don’t hear the notification and miss texts that way, too.
Also — technology is fallible. What if she never received your text? Sure, there are read receipts, but what if she turned them off or has an Android? You’re SOL, dude.
5. It says you lack confidence. Or effort.
Women want to made to feel special, fellas. Nothing says, “I’m not that interested” or “I don’t have the guts to talk to you,” than a text message you fired off in 3 seconds.
You’re also doing yourself a disservice by asking for a date via text message. That quick text sent reinforces your lack of confidence in that you’ll always feel more comfortable with texting a woman than actually talking to one, and that makes for awkward in-person interactions. (And the whole point is to get back to face-to-face scenarios, right?)
Some people put their stock in the stereotype that “women are good communicators, men are bad communicators,” but that’s simply untrue. While men and women tend to communicate differently, both are capable of communicating better — it takes coaching and practice.
How to Handle It Instead
Texting all the time also means you cheat yourself in practicing the art of interpreting nonverbal visual cues.
By not practicing how to read (and deliver) the nonverbal signals that account for the majority of human communication, you miss out on how to interact well with women in real life.
Next time you have something to ask or say — call. It says you give a damn and have the confidence to go for what you want. And confidence is sexy.
The Bottom Line
Asking for a date by text message runs a high risk for negative potential consequences. Be unforgettable: Make yourself stand out from the competition by giving your texting thumbs a rest and picking up the phone instead.