May 29, 2024
Chicago 12, Melborne City, USA
Dating advice Relationship

How to Navigate Texting in Online Dating


If You’re Willing to Pay $1300 for a Course to Teach You How to Text, Put Your Credit Card Down and Read This Instead

The desire to learn is one of the best things about people, I think. We seek out knowledge without even noticing what we’re doing, and we’ll often turn to learning when left to our own devices. There is, of course, an insidious side to this, and that’s people who charge huge amounts of money for so-called “courses” which teach truly ridiculous things. For example, in Los Angeles, USA, one snake oil saleswoman is charging nearly $1300 for something called “the dating accelerator”. And to think, I was horrified at the prospect of having to pay £9000 per year for an actual university degree! Apparently, when studying “the dating accelerator”, students will learn how to avoid “textationships” where you just text someone a lot, instead of developing a real bond or even going on a first date.

Here, today, I’m going to go over some ground rules and tips for texting or messaging someone you’re interested in. Donate the $1300 to The Trevor Project or Actionaid or Mermaids or buy yourself a really, really good vibrator. Remember, these won’t work all the time, because the entire idea that you can build a whole relationship while texting is clearly untrue. 

Rule one: emotional texting

 Firstly, don’t text when you’re angry. We’ve all said and sent things we wish we could take back, so it’s much better to put the phone down and take a break before responding. This is actual advice given on a course which costs $333. So I’ll tell you here, for free, that this is a good idea. Paying $333 for an online dating course… not so much. To be honest, I think stepping away from your phone regularly is a good idea, especially if you’re feeling stressed or annoyed. Use that time to get away from your immediate surroundings and it might well help put things into perspective. If you’re in the early stages of a relationship and they’re making you angry already, maybe just leave it. It’s not that serious.


Rule two: take a hint

Secondly, realise when someone isn’t interested. I know people get themselves knotted up in rules about how long to take before responding to a text or if they can double-text, and I’m here to tell you that it’s unnecessary. If they want to message you, they will. If you’re going to be busy or away from your phone and unable to respond for a few hours outside of the times when you usually message someone, let them know. If you’re being ignored or feel like you have to fight for scraps of attention, set them free. 

Rule three: put your phone down

Make sure there’s more going on in your life than just texting a potential date. You don’t want to be the person who’s anxiously checking their phone every thirty seconds, looking for a response to the latest gif from The Last of Us. Look at your phone to follow an Instagram account dedicated to a hobby, watch something interesting on Youtube, send a message to your group chat and make weekend plans, or do any of a million other things. Then put the phone down, and remember that it’s fine if you’re single. 

Rule four: it’s not that serious

Be realistic. If you meet someone on a dating app, you probably aren’t going to make the person you’re texting fall in love with you over Facebook Messenger, or send anything so moving it’ll make them cry. That doesn’t have to be a big deal! Texts are great for casual chats and making plans, but remember that the end goal is to find someone you want to see in person. The perfect message is one that connects you and sees if you’d like to spend some time together. If you feel as if you’re spending all of your time messaging them, but don’t have plans to take things further and go for a first date, you’re probably setting yourself up for disappointment. 


Rule five: the block button is right there

 It’s also worth looking out for messaging red flags. If they demand immediate responses or keep asking you questions you’re not comfortable with, block them and move on. The wonderful thing about dating apps is there are always more people on them, so it’s easy to find someone new if the person you’ve matched with is giving you the creeps. If they’re ignoring boundaries so quickly, then they’re not the sort of person you want a relationship with. Get swiping and find someone better!


There aren’t hard and fast etiquette rules when it comes to texting in modern relationships, and anyone offering a course in how to text in a way that will make someone fall in love with you is selling you shit. I would recommend humour, kindness and occasionally putting the phone down and interacting with someone who will make the time to see you face to face and invest in your connection.
Rachel Hall, M.A., completed her education in English at the University of Pennsylvania and received her master’s degree in family therapy from Northern Washington University. She has been actively involved in the treatment of anxiety disorders, depression, OCD, and coping with life changes and traumatic events for both families and individual clients for over a decade. Her areas of expertise include narrative therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and therapy for traumatic cases. In addition, Rachel conducts workshops focusing on the psychology of positive thinking and coping skills for both parents and teens. She has also authored numerous articles on the topics of mental health, stress, family dynamics and parenting.

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