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Afraid of looking too eager? You should be. Today’s dating world has all sorts of rules and boundaries. Make sure to follow the double texting rule!

Okay, so I am old, I mean like really old… but, I am trying to keep up with y’all. Back in the day, we didn’t even have cell phones, can you imagine? So, double texting wasn’t an issue. Landlines were about as good as it got and all the jargon like double text, ghosting, and breadcrumbing were just human behaviors that we didn’t feel the need to label or to discuss.

What is double texting?

Double texting is a concept in dating like any other. It is the rule that you aren’t ever supposed to text someone unless they text you back equally, which means there shouldn’t be a whole lot of blue, blue, blue, blue followed by a short blip of white.

When you over-text a person you like, it is like giving them TMI, or talking to the point of giving someone a headache. Texting is a tool that is great for dating, but only if you understand the rules and follow them. Double texting is a way that you only give as much in a conversation attention-wise as they do. It is a way to ensure that you aren’t coming off too overzealous or needy.

So, what are the basic rules of double texting?

The rules goes that you text for text. You don’t send a whole bunch of shit and get nothing back. Not wanting to say I am “so into you,” it is a way to communicate with someone so y’all are on the same level instead of someone feeling way too intimidated by your reproach. [Read: Texting etiquette – 20 unwritten rules of savvy flirting]

Here are some rules for double texting.

#1 Never have your line of text more than theirs. If you have a paragraph and their answer is one word, then you are coming on way too strong. Texts are read as if someone is talking to you. Your rambling can be heard on the message of a keyboard, and you can be overdoing it.

Keep it simple stupid, is your mantra until you get to a phase in your relationship where the games have ended, and you won their heart. [Read: 20 flirty ways to text your crush and get them interested in you]

#2 Never text back before you get an answer. I know it is so difficult to text someone and then sit and wait. Just like in the day when a guy would tell me, “Hey I’ll call you” and I would sit by my rotary phone all day *which totally sucked because I literally couldn’t go anywhere*. If you text them, you can’t text them again, and I mean absolutely can’t, until they return your text message, even if it is just an emoji.

A response is grounds for a reply. No response is grounds for, well, no response. [Read: Texting your crush – a step by step guide to doing it right]

#3 If you haven’t gotten an answer, then wait… don’t ever make the mistake of thinking maybe he or she didn’t see it, he or she did. One of the hardest things to do in life is to wait. We wait at stop lights, we wait for electricity when it goes out due to a storm, we wait at the doctor’s office.

All good things have to be waited for. If you really are interested in this person, then you have to control yourself and wait until they give you an answer, any answer.

We can convince ourselves of anything if we want to. If you think to yourself, “maybe the internet wasn’t working, and my iMessage didn’t go through, or that they just got busy, read your text, and forgot to answer… stop it.

If you were important enough and they were as into you as you are them, then they would not have “forgotten” or would text to see why you haven’t texted them. You know what is right even if you don’t want to accept it. Go with your head and not your wishes. [Read: Why did he stop texting me? 13 rules you should follow]

#4 Never text late at night or at an off hour, or you could be waiting FOREVER to get a message back. If you text late at night when you’re not sure if they are going to get it that day or the day after, then you are setting it up so that they aren’t going to text you back right away. What happens if you don’t text right away?

Sometimes you forget, and it keeps getting pushed back, and, before you know it, days have gone by. If you want to increase the likelihood that they will text you back quickly, and you can have a conversation, try to pick a time of day where they won’t be busy or distracted. That way, you can increase the chances that you can get a little more than just a word or two. [Read: The texting and follow-up guide after a great first date]

#5 If you are going to text, be straight forward and not wishy-washy if you’re waiting for an answer like NOW. If you want to get an answer, then don’t be vague. Sometimes when you text someone something completely meaningless and vague, they aren’t sure if they are supposed to answer it or if it is just some information that you are sending.

If you are going to send along something you saw that was funny, make sure to include a caption that indicates you are expecting some sort of answer like “what do you think?” That way, they know that you are looking for a response.

Often, when I am talking to my husband, and I say “why didn’t you answer me?” he will say something like “Well it wasn’t a question but a statement, so I didn’t know that you were waiting for a response.” Sometimes the sexes don’t think alike at all, so don’t assume that they do. [Read: She didn’t text back? 20 reasons why and what to do next]

#6 Keep the texting going by asking easy and fun questions instead of getting too serious. If you want to get something back from them or a double text, make sure to keep the conversation light and non-confrontational.

When you come on too strong or hit a nerve, the other person can simply put their phone down and walk away leaving you with a text hanging that doesn’t get answered. From there, you can’t text anymore, and it is like being stuck in the mud. If you want to keep the double texting going, make sure to make them want to engage by not getting too serious.

To sum it up, double texting is a dating theory where you can’t text someone until or unless, they text or text you back. Like for like, if you ramble on, continue to send texts that go unanswered, or bombard their messages with shit, then you are going to run the risk of irritating them and turning them off. Never seem more eager than they are.

[Read: How often should you text someone? 17 must-know rules of texting]

The key to double texting is that you never give more than you are given and you always have it set in your mind that you are willing to ghost if need be. Try not to get too invested, otherwise, it could leave you looking way more into them than they are you, and where is the thrill of the hunt in that?

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