How many times have you sat with a friend agonizing over every last detail of the text you are about to send to the guy you’re seeing? Should you joke around or be straightforward? Is an exclamation point too eager but a period too boring? It’s these seemingly trivial details that can turn sending a text message into a fifteen-minute (minimum) ordeal.
With technology playing a pretty big role in our relationships now, we’ve got a whole new set of etiquette to keep in mind — textiquette.
Don’t you want to put an end to these preconceived notions of what’s right and what’s wrong? Fantastic — so do we. But for now, let’s simply let guys tell us what they like and what they don’t.
We’re taking away the guesswork for you and going straight to the source. Read on to see what real college guys had to say about your texting habits.
Emoticons: Are they cute and flirty or immature and annoying?
There was no split in the opinion on this issue. Ladies, you may believe every text necessitates a smiley face to indicate your coquettish intentions, but our panel of guys doesn’t seem to think so. Their thoughts? Everything in moderation.
“I think they can be funny every now and then if the timing is right,” says Murph from Harvard. “They shouldn’t be used in every message, only in the perfect situation.”
According to Nick from the University of Portland, too many emoticons can actually seem a little contrived. “I think they're kind of silly,” he says. “I feel like girls try too hard to be really cute, but in reality they look super goofy.”
So while these guys aren’t asking that you cut all use of emoticons when texting (the winky face can be one powerful tool in your flirting arsenal), you might want to take a few extra seconds to think about what you’re going to send.
Constant Conversation: How much is too much?
Here’s the thing: we girls love to talk. In fact, it doesn’t matter if we’re speaking, typing or miming our thoughts. We just love to get them out. Boys, on the other hand, are often perfectly fine with only occasional communication. See a problem?
According to the guys we surveyed, the frequency with which you swap texts really depends on the stage of your relationship. Contrary to what a lot of us think, texting a fair amount can do wonders for a guy’s ego when a relationship is just beginning.
“If you are single, the more you text him the better,” says Rob from University of California, Davis. “Guys like girls who make their intentions clear.”
In the end, though, wearing out the send button, no matter how long you’ve been together can be a turn-off. “It becomes really annoying if they text you extremely often,” says Nick from Bucknell University. “To be safe, text a healthy amount and leave room for alone time.”
If he keeps the ball rolling, continue your conversation for as long as you want. But if you find that you’re always the one initiating a conversation, stick to doing so three to four times a day. Let him have a chance to get in touch with you.
Serious Issues: Is it appropriate to bring them up over text?
Texting rids you of certain luxuries that in-person chats offer — facial expressions, body language, tone of voice. This can make it tough to bring up super important things, though there is a bit of gray area.
“Bringing up serious things over text can cool down both sides when they meet,” says Martin from Wentworth Institute of Technology. Murph from Harvard agrees, saying, “You can bring it up, but do the actual discussion in person.”
But the guys did come to a consensus on a certain aspect of this issue. Break-ups are one serious topic of conversation that should never show up in a text message.
As Nick from Bucknell University so eloquently put it, “DON’T EVER DO THAT.”
Don’t you agree that your beau deserves a face-to-face discussion at the end of your relationship — and wouldn’t you want one too?
Drunk Texting: Does it make you seem sloppy?
We’ve all done it. There’s a lull in conversation at the party, and after one too many drinks you’re sending a semi-nonsensical text to your crush/date/boyfriend. There’s no taking it back, so let’s move forward and find out what he thinks.
Most of the guys we surveyed agreed that an occasional non-sober message isn’t the end of the world. Nick from the University of Portland even says, “It is hard to be critical about this because I drunk text too much for sure.” Got to love his honesty, right?
There were two major no-nos that many of the guys brought up. First, drunk texting all the time can get annoying. “If it’s an excessive amount, like if she is doing it every time she is drunk, it’s a turn-off,” says Sean from the University of Maine. “I don't want to only talk to her when she's drunk,” agrees Mike from Northeastern University.
The other thing the guys didn’t approve of was bringing up a subject that you aren’t normally (read: soberly) willing to talk about. “If there are things she only feels comfortable bringing up when she's drunk it can cause some weird vibes,” says Nick from the University of Portland.