The Guy’s Guide to Gentlemanly Texting in the Brave New Era
Photo: Ariel Skelley (Getty)
Let’s face it, things have changed for men and women, mostly for the better, but the debate on whether or not women are, in fact, from Mars will have to be tabled while we revise something much closer to home: texting.
We all do it, nobody over 30 likes to admit, but considering the recent changes in our social climate, it’s important we make the necessary adjustments in related areas, starting with what you send to other people, namely women, by way of texting. Phone messaging may be the most common form of communication, way ahead of speaking to one another like human beings, but it’s about the only way people feel comfortable handling rejection.
This should come in the form of a booklet with every new phone. And it goes like this…
1. Call First (If Possible)
Look, we know you’re not going to call. That’s something psychopaths do, right? But hear us out. If you send a text asking if the other person is free to talk on the phone, you might not be such a psychopath in their eyes. Groundbreaking, right?
2. Soft Opening
Since we both know you completely just ignored our outstanding invention of pre-call texting, we’re going to suggest you open soft. You never hear people say “you had me at hello” because people nowadays are leading off with abrupt cock shots, and “that’s nuts” is the only catchy return that fits.
Don’t come in blaring with big news right off the bat, lobbing photos that nobody is ready for. You might have been thinking about it for the last 15 minutes of pure exhilaration, but everyone else is calmly going about their day, at least until you go from A to Z with pictures of your alien-like morning bowel movements.
Not exactly what we had in mind: Dude Tries To Get Ex-Girlfriend’s Number By Texting Her Dad, Gets Obliterated
3. Have a Little Heart
It never hurt to insert a little emotion when texting. That’s why they made that little emoji, for all of you who are clearly dead inside.
If you exhibit no emotion and go straight to what you want, it comes off as selfish. Sure, get to the point but don’t get there too quickly. Ask people what’s new or how they’ve been and then get to the point of why you’re really messaging. Unless it’s your buddies. They don’t two shits how your day went.
That doesn’t mean we need a coloring book full of emojis in our phone.
4. It’s All About Timing
Which one is more creepy?
6PM: “Hey, just thinking about you. How’ve you been?”
2AM: “Hey, just thinking about you. How’ve you been?”
5. No More Than Two Texts at a Time
A simple rule of text-thumb is to never send more than two texts at a time, never more than two sentences per text. That’s important for a number of reasons.
First, it allows the other person time to respond to a simple idea, as opposed to multiple thoughts, some of which may not be addressed, followed by your paranoia and insecurity becoming readily apparent. Second, text conversations do not occur in real time so a lack of immediate responses don’t necessarily mean they didn’t hear you or don’t care. But, third and most of all, it keeps you from looking like a desperate fool with no life who hangs on somebody’s every word.
Don’t be pathetic. Be patient. Unless, of course, you see the three dots and then you don’t. Then you’re free to go completely off script and start hurling apeshit.
6. Spelling Counts
You’re an adult, kind of, so you should know a few things by now. If you don’t know the difference between “you’re” and “your” by now, it means you’ve missed a lot of clever memes correcting people’s grammar.
But the only thing worse than someone with bad grammar is somebody who corrects people with bad grammer. Don’t even think about telling us we just misspelled that last word. We did it on purpose to show you just how sick you are.
7. Don’t Always Get the Last Word
This goes in line with the ‘no more than two texts at a time’ rule, mostly because it’s as exhausting as it is sad to see someone struggle to let go. Find a good stopping point and end it. Or don’t end it. The beautiful of texting is there is no beginning and end, if you don’t want there to be. But letting go without saying goodbye will drive a woman mad, hopefully in a good way.
Having said that, people who have to get the last word are usually control-freaks who struggle to have an unanswered thought roaming freely in the clouds of text messages. If you’ve been saying goodbye via text for more than two lines, you’re losing all credibility.
8. Make No Assumption
You think you know, but you probably have no idea. In fact, chances are the thing you think you know so well is something you’re unknowingly clearly unknowledgeable about. But as you know, the things you think you know mean very different things to somebody else. You know?
Sure you don’t.
9. No Pervy Pictures, Please
At this point in time, we’ve gotten enough feedback from women that we can safely say that, barring very specific requests, the female population as a whole is not interested in suddenly seeing your weirdly bent peen.
To demonstrate our point, we first ask if you would behave that way in public. If the answer is yes, then this is a more serious illness. And secondly, do you not watch the news?
10. Just Quit Texting, Ya Pansy
All this to come full circle after wasting 8 minutes of your life to tell you that, clearly, you’re not ready for texting. Go back to calling people, ringing doorbells and mailing birthday cards.
If you’re wondering why pen pals aren’t popular anymore, it’s because they got tired of seeing your dick. Write a letter, goddammit.