Is Sending the First Text the Right Move?

"WHY DID HE PUT A PERIOD AT THE END?!??!"

When our mothers were single ladies, courtship had a very different feel. If they met the man of their dreams, it meant they were chained to the house phone for the next week – waiting for Mr. Right to call. Today, cell phones have granted us the gift of mobility. While women may not be able to shake that desperate feeling, they can at least carry it with them to the mall or out with friends. The real benefit of cell phones, however, is text messaging.

In my experience, text messaging has been a blessing and a curse for relationships. Sure, you can edit and tweak everything you say before you say it. You can read messages and chose how and when to respond.  You can even save conversations to replay and re-analyze over and over again (a practice I am wayyyy to familiar with). On the down side, the informality of text messaging has blurred the “rules” of who makes the first move.

I have always been a very strong believer in the idea that the guy should text the girl first. As embarrassing as this is, I had to fight the urge to become a fan of “I’m The Girl. You’re The Boy. You Text Me First Or We Don’t Talk Today” on Facebook (which, by the way, has over one million fans). However, I don’t know if my phone’s contact list would agree with me. Scrolling down, it’s easy to spot the “John – bar,”  “Mike – hockey team,” and “Ryan – tall kid.” These are the names of boys who I’ve met, exchanged numbers with, and never spoke to again. Instead of seeing the light of the inbox, these boys are permanently sentenced to “never-contact-land” and “look-the-other-way-when-I-pass-you-ville.”

Recently, there has been much debate over the rights to the send button among my friends and myself. While some stand by my rule, others aren’t afraid to be aggressive and use the sent box to its full potential. We accused each other of being either too prude or too forward, until my one friend proposed her method.

Her strategy? “If I like them, I’ll text them first – like, right after I meet them so they know I’m interested. When I first met Joe (her current boyfriend), I got his number and texted him saying ‘you’re pretty lame for leaving that party… I wish you would have stayed.’”

At first, I dismissed it right away. It takes an internal debate and approval from all of my roommates just for me to IM a boy I like; this was clearly way too forward. But then I realized two things: 1. I am crazy. 2. This actually might work.

First of all, if you meet this guy on a night out, you’re probably at least tipsy; aka anything you do/say/text is excusable. Secondly, you just met him – it’s not like it’s the next day and you’re still thinking about him. Third, it lets him know you are interested. (Often, I forget it’s called “hard-to-get” and think it’s called “impossible-to-get.” The truth is, no mentally stable guy will pursue something that’s 100% unattainable.) Fourth, it lets him think that if he had stayed, he would have gotten a little somethin’somethin’ from you. If you’re me, that’s definitely not the case – but it should at least make him realize that he missed the opportunity… which means he’ll be interested in seeing you again.

Could I have been wrong all along? Is this the ideal solution? It certainly has credibility – she’s the one with the Facebook-official relationship. Looking at the way I play the “love game,” I can’t help but feel like my ways and beliefs contradict. I consider myself an advocate of woman’s rights and gender equality, yet I always find myself waiting around for the man to decide the path of the relationship. Perhaps I have misjudged. It’s 2010, technology has been revolutionized and so has flirting.

I have yet to try out my new perspective, but I’m eagerly awaiting the next digits I receive. Who knows… maybe “Andrew – Hottie from the club” might turn into an “Andy – boyfrienddd<3″.

For more tips on practicing safe text, check out the book “Flirtexting“!

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