​The right way and the wrong way to text your crush

There’s something so exciting about a new love interest. Maybe it’s the cat-and-mouse chase that revs up our heart rates, or maybe we just delight in the idea that someone could actually like us. Whatever the case, it’s fun to flirt with a crush — even if it is a little intimidating, at times!

Back in the day, people actually had to think things out and either put them into writing with a pen and paper or say them to their intended’s face. Both options usually involved an incredible amount of preparation (and, often, wads of crumpled up paper) in an effort to say just the right thing.

Nowadays, texting makes communicating with a crush really simple and, possibly, a bit too instant. It can be easy to send off a message without really fleshing things out and thinking things through. As I’ve explained to my psychology students and clients, it’s not just about the message or the sender, it’s largely about how it will be received — regardless of intent.

If you find yourself struggling to find that happy balance, here are some tips on the right way and wrong way to text your crush.

​Don’t text them all day, every day

You might be obsessing over someone and, in your excitement, go a little over-the-top with your messages. You can’t help that they are on your mind non-stop, but you have to also rein it in! Even if they like you too, remember that everyone has their own set of obligations and schedule. If you send too many texts to them throughout the day, you could start to feel like a nuisance, and that’s the opposite of what you want.

They will probably have a much higher opinion of you if you are respectful of their time and avoid sending countless texts throughout the day — especially when you know they are at work or school.

​Do send a single text — and wait

If you really want to reach out to your crush, there’s nothing wrong with letting them know that you are thinking of them. In these moments, the best thing you can do is send a lighthearted message and then wait to hear back from them. It can be agonizing if they take a long time to respond, but resist the temptation to send another text. Instead, think of how great it will feel when they finally do reply!

If, after a couple days, you haven’t heard back, it’s okay to send one follow-up message. If they ignore that one too, you should probably move on.

​Don’t forward every meme you find funny

Social media is teeming with great material. A good laugh can really help us get through the day. It’s normal, therefore, to want to share things you find funny with someone you care about, but in those early days with your crush, you don’t want to come on too strong.

Until you know each other a little better, squash the urge to forward a string o memes you think are hilarious. While they might genuinely be funny, you could annoy your crush by blowing up their phone. If you see some real gems, save them for later and send them periodically instead of all at once.

​Do send them a link to unique news

As you get to know each other, you may discover that you and your crush share some niche or specific interests. If, while scrolling through your feed, you see a bit of unique news that is relevant and thought-provoking, go ahead and forward it. It’s possible that they’ve already seen it, but either way, it could be a cool way to initiate or continue a conversation.

Again, don’t send a bunch of links. Keep it simple, and as always, give the other person time to respond to your message.

​Don’t text to ask why they aren’t texting you

We live in a world of instant gratification so, naturally, we want to get a reply to our texts immediately… but that’s not realistic or fair. For this reason, one of the most annoying things you can do is send your crush a text to complain about how long it takes them to respond (if they text back at all!).

I’ve had to be super honest with my students and clients about this, and it sucks, but here’s the truth: if someone is really interested in you, they won’t need a reminder. They will text you on their own, whenever they can. Excitedly. If they aren’t reaching out, back away. You don’t want to bully someone into communicating with you.

​Do text to check in after a couple days

Let’s say things have been going well. You either hung out with your crush or had a pretty decent text session — and then things got quiet. It’s totally acceptable to send a message to check in after a couple days.

Two days is a great amount of time to wait because it’s not too soon (it gives your crush a chance to miss you and reflect on the time you spent together/chatting!), but it’s not too long either. When you do send this kind of message, keep it light and fun. Don’t be dramatic and demanding!

​Don’t interrogate them about their friends

When you see your crush in person or scroll through their social media pages, you might learn more about their friends. It might even leave you with some serious questions. Still, it’s important to remember that these friendships existed before you came along.

Regardless of what you’ve seen and are curious about, it’s almost never okay to text your love interest and interrogate them about the people in their life. If you feel threatened or insecure by some of their close relationships, that’s your problem, not theirs. Don’t jeopardize your chances by seeming jealous and possessive.

​Do slide general questions into conversation

The best way to get to know someone is to spend time with them. Sometimes, we get to do this face-to-face, but at other times, we might also have to hang out virtually. As your conversation flows, it’s totally normal to ask a few questions here or there as you get more acquainted.

It’s important, however, that these inquiries don’t feel like you are digging for information. You don’t want to look like you are prying. While you might want answers to everything right away, learn to be happy if things progress at a slower pace. Instead of being pushy, let your texts progress naturally — things will reveal themselves in due time.

​Don’t text in the middle of the night

Middle-of-the-night texts are best suited for two groups of people: booty calls and those who are flirting but are already in a committed relationship. If you are just starting to establish a relationship with your crush, you want to avoid sending the wrong message. There’s just something about being awake when everyone else is asleep that can make you feel extra frisky. While there’s nothing wrong with that, you should probably wait until your status is a bit more defined to head into this territory.

For this reason, unless you both have some crazy schedules that keep you awake all night, avoid the late-night texts if you are looking for a genuine relationship.

​Don’t text about your exes

A huge no-no when texting your crush is to focus on your respective exes. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Not only does it take attention away from your budding relationship, but it also just keeps things feeling stale and negative instead of fun and fresh.

If you do end up in relationship, there will be ample opportunity to talk about your histories if that’s important to you. Now is not the time. When you are first getting to know each other, don’t waste those precious messages discussing anything but your shared interests through light, casual exchanges. Don’t get weighed down by the past.

​Don’t jump into discussions about the future

Just as you shouldn’t dwell on what’s behind you, don’t get too caught up in what lies ahead, either. When you focus on the future, you rob yourself of the opportunity to enjoy what’s happening in the present.

Plus, you don’t want to scare someone off by asking how many kids they want, where they want to get married, and whether they have been saving for retirement. These are important topics that should be reserved for when you have established a relationship. It’s completely inappropriate to text about these things in the early stages of getting to know one another.

​Don’t try to make them feel guilty

If your crush doesn’t seem interested or hasn’t been able to make time to hang out with you, do not send them guilt-inducing text messages. That’s incredibly rude, immature, and unfair. Usually, we can’t help who we are attracted to, so if they don’t want to pursue a relationship with you, you should accept that.

If, however, they are interested but have been busy lately, you should not make them feel bad for having a life. Chances are, they would love to have more downtime too, and you laying on the guilt isn’t going to help anything!

​Do let them see your best self

It might sound cheesy, but when you are getting to know a new crush, focus on being your best self. Of course, you should always strive for this, but it’s extra important when you are trying to make a good impression.

Let go of pettiness, be patient and respectful, and showcase your best qualities. You don’t want to come across as needy, bitter, and desperate, so don’t be afraid to miss a text because you are busy. That’s an attractive trait. After all, your crush might find it stressful and a little depressing to know that you are sitting around just waiting for text messages.

​Be real and don’t stress

You can read a million of these types of articles and still not be completely confident when interacting by text with your crush. Sure, it’s beneficial to take advice, but at the end of the day, the most important thing is that you are genuine and true to yourself.

Remember that these are just guidelines, and ultimately, you need to make decisions that feel right for you and your unique situation. Trust yourself and see where that takes you. You could end up coupled up and happy!