The Seven Deadly Texts

Texting has been fostering loving relationships since the early 2000’s, when people realized just how witty they could be when they actually had the time to think of something clever. To this day, a funny text can salvage an awkward situation, make someone’s day, or at the very least, remind them of your existence. But there’s a time and a place for everything and sometimes, your boyfriend’s inbox just isn’t it. Here are the seven texts you should never send to him, lest you commit a relationship sin.
 

1. Saying the first “I love you.”
Aww, how sweet of you to share that! He’ll probably lock that text and cherish it forever — until, of course, he gets an upgrade or breaks his phone or accidentally deletes everything. But don’t worry, he’ll always remember that special moment he clicked “View Text”! Actually, that sounds awful: not only does it come across as excessively casual and insincere, but it’s also difficult to respond to. He may not feel ready to reciprocate, let alone via casual text message. If you’ve been dating for a while and you’re comfortable enough throwing those three little words around, go ahead, but unless you’re bleeding from every artery or you know the world is ending within the next ten minutes, save the first “I love you” for a face-to-face interaction.
 
2. Bailing last minute.
It sucks to disappoint him, but if your reason for doing so is at all valid, you shouldn’t hesitate to call him up and explain the situation. Whatever you’re missing, whether it’s just another lunch date or his emergency appendectomy, he’s already going to be upset that you won’t be there. Don’t put him in the position of wondering where you are and hesitating to contact you for fear of seeming too neurotic: “The worst are the multiple ‘where are you?’ texts,” says Jamie, a student at George Washington University. “It's a little obsessive and clingy.” Tell him you can’t make it as soon as you know, but don’t settle for a quick text; playing it cool hasn’t impressed anyone since the seventh grade. Show him you really care by putting in a little extra effort — call him up, apologize and promise you’ll make it up to him soon.
 
3. Marking official progress.
Don’t get us wrong — it’s great that you’re gung-ho about the new relationship — but big steps are not to be decided via text message. That goes for both emotional commitments, like proposing the idea of becoming exclusive, as well as physical advancements. And if that isn’t clear enough, we’ll spell it out for you: sexting is a no-no, especially when alcohol or an unreliable phone is involved. “You never know - ‘Mike’ might be right next to ‘Mom’ in your address book,” says Jaime, a collegiette from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “That just gets awkward.”
 

4. Saying you’re sorry.
If you’re picking up on the pattern here at all, it should be pretty obvious by now that a mess-up should elicit more from you than just a text. But don’t just say “I’m sorry” when something is your fault; it’s also important to show empathy when he’s having a bad day. “If your girlfriend/boyfriend said they’re really having a rough morning and feeling like crap, just pick up the phone and call them!” says Madeline from Mt. Holyoke College. “Replying with ‘sorry :(’ just doesn't cut it.” See this as an opportunity to get creative — send him a teddy bear or pull a Princess Diaries M&M’s-on-pizza delivery. He’ll appreciate the gesture and probably cheer up a bit, too.

5. Wishing him a happy birthday.
A celebratory text may fly for less personally relevant holidays — Thanksgiving, Easter… maybe Labor Day — but that’s about it. While you don’t have to throw a fiesta whenever your guy has a quarter- or half-birthday (though we’re not stopping you), his real birthday only comes around once a year and it should be treated like a special occasion. No matter how little attention he seems to give it, nobody is too cool for birthdays. Save the boring text for a more ordinary day and put a silly party hat on instead. Same goes for anniversaries: celebrate with enthusiasm.

6. Starting a fight.
First of all, if you find yourself wanting an explanation for why he hasn’t responded to your text in three hours, it’s best not to jump to any conclusions. You may have just misunderstood the situation, and an angry text can be especially hurtful if your allegations are inaccurate. “It’s almost impossible to distinguish tone in a text and someone may feel attacked,” adds Mackenzie, a collegiette at Suffolk University. Even if you aresure you have a right to be upset, texting isn’t the best way to approach it. Ask him to meet up; the delay will allow you some extra time to gather your thoughts to save yourself from blurting out a regretful, poorly phrased accusation.
 

7. Breaking up.
We see what you’re trying to do here: avoid the awkwardness of face-to-face interaction and the possibility of a long, upsetting conversation. Brilliant! Except that it’s disrespectful and ten times more hurtful than it could be otherwise. If you shared a relationship with someone, he deserves legitimate closure. Swallow your pride and say it to his face.