When It Comes To Dating, Are There Really Rules for Texting?

When It Comes To Dating, Are There Really Rules for Texting?

For some reason, my friends tend to frequently ask me for advice. Now, it’s not that I don’t appreciate that they seek my counsel and trust my opinion – it’s more that I generally feel like I have no clue what I am doing in my own life, much less do I feel qualified to offer opinions on anyone else’s.

But still, they ask, and I do my best to answer. Which is what happened last week when my friend Danielle asked me for some advice about a guy from Bumble she had been texting with. She hadn’t heard from him in about 48 hours and wanted to shoot him a text. But everyone was telling her that she had to wait for him to text her, because you never want to be the one that texts first. Her relaying of the opinions of others made me think of something I said recently in a column I had written:

Indeed, much like how “who texted first” and “who texted last” are indicators of who is holding all of the cards in relationships, where the control of the conversation matters, so too is “who ended the text conversation.”

Yes, those are words that I actually wrote . But it’s a girl’s prerogative to possibly change her mind and let’s be real honest here: what the fuck do I know? I mean, really? I’m perpetually single (by choice, motherfuckers), so most of my knowledge on this topic comes from listening to my friends regurgitate whatever some random website told them was the answer to all of these great dating mysteries (and yes, I realize the irony of that sentence.) So during this conversation with Danielle, instead of just spouting off what I’ve heard or even written myself, I decided to take it to the people. And by the people, I mean those adorable, fantastic people that are kind enough to follow me on Twitter.

Sure, the sample is only 94 votes…but holy fuck. 72% of dudes say it doesn’t matter who texts first? What the hell kind of lies have we ladies been feeding ourselves? Women have literally dedicated hours and hours, not to mention internet column after internet column, to this. We’ve developed rules and guidelines and theories and it doesn’t matter to THREE-FOURTHS of the male population? WHAT HAVE WE BEEN DOING TO OURSELVES?

Suddenly, I had an A-HA moment: what’s the worst that can happen if I, as the girl, text the guy first? He doesn’t answer me? So what? Because – here it is, my friends – if he doesn’t answer because you texted first, he probably wasn’t ever going to text you anyway.

Holy shit. This must be how Luke felt when he found out Darth Vader was his father. Suddenly, everything was different. I could text the two dudes that are currently in my life (the ex, and another dude that I’m friends with/sleep with on occasion) and say hey whenever the mood struck. I didn’t have to quell the urge to reach out. I could just go with it. And you know what? It was totally fine. In almost all occasions that I texted first, a totally nice, normal conversation ensued.

As for Danielle? Yeah, she texted that guy. And guess what? He answered her…and they chatted all day. And the next. And went on a date this past weekend.

So, ladies, here’s my proposition: how about we toss all of the rules about who texts first and who texts last and all of the other bullshit and just go with one, very easy-to-remember rule: don’t be a psycho. Sure, there is a lot that falls under that umbrella: don’t send ten texts in a row, don’t have a meltdown when you see he read your text, but didn’t answer within 43 seconds – but generally, it’s a pretty basic policy. It’s also one that’s probably just good to follow in all aspects of your life. But the most important part of it? Don’t be the kind of girl that actually sits around and worries if it’s ok to say hi. Because that’s where the real crazy comes in.

Image via Shutterstock

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Jenna Crowley

Jenna used to be known as 2NOTBrokeGirls, but then one of the girls actually went broke, so she's struck out on her own. Jenna spends her free time saving the world, one sorority girl at a time (usually while wearing yoga pants), questioning why she decided to get a doctorate, documenting her love of all things cheese related, and hosting the new PGP podcast Don't Take It From Us. You can ask her anything you want about football, using your boobs to get what you want, and pizza at @JennaLCrowley on Twitter or via email at

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