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To text or not to text? How much to text? How soon to text? What to text? When to text? Many singles will inadvertently face these questions at one point or another.

Obviously the manner in which texting is used while dating largely depends on whether one is matched through a dating app or a shadchan, and the personalities and preferences of the parties involved. There is no one right way to go about it. That being said, here are some general tips to help avoid miscommunication and unnecessary angst.



Focus Early Texts on Making Plans

It’s difficult to read tone in texts. A light-hearted joke can easily be misinterpreted as sinister or offensive. To avoid miscommunications, it is sometimes easier to use texting primarily for planning at the onset of a relationship.

Of course, this can only work if you’re meeting through a shadchan or friend. Online dating often requires lengthy texting conversations to ensure both parties are comfortable with an in-person date or even a phone call.


Keep Early Texts Short and Sweet

No one wants to read three paragraph texts after only meeting a person once or twice. Save those longer and more complex conversations for in-person dates or phone conversations.


Respond in a Timely Manner

Failing to respond in a timely manner can make your date wonder if they are a priority to you. If you find yourself consistently responding to texts hours or even days later, communicate to your date that you don’t look at your phone when you’re at work or out with friends, that it’s a busy week or that you’re simply not big on texting. This will set expectations, let your date know they’re worth your time, and can avoid hurt feelings down the line.

Of course, if the delayed response time is due to disinterest, do not lie or lead on your date. Sharing where you’re holding is part of an adult relationship.


Grammar and Spelling Count

No, it’s not cute when fully functional adults text “brb” or “2day.” While some acronyms have become commonspeak, it can be a turnoff for many to see your date continuously using shortcuts or teen lingo.


Content Counts

Try to find something interesting to share to keep a conversation flowing – or focus on making plans until you know enough about each other and texting comes naturally. A text merely saying “Hey” or “Hi” or “Hello” can be irritating. How exactly is your date supposed to respond?


Avoid One-Word Answers

One-word answers place the burden of the conversation on the one initiating the conversation. It’s frustrating. It can also make the initiator question if his or her date is really interested, which can subsequently lead to a stop in momentum.


Do Not Have Important or Controversial Conversations Over Text

Tone and style cannot be read in text. It’s easy for words to be misconstrued and for context to be muddied. Unless you know a person well and have reason to believe they would appreciate you relaying controversial or important information over text, it’s best to save those conversations for a phone call or an in-person meeting.


Do Not Call Without Prior Notice

Just because someone is texting you does not necessarily mean they are free to take a call. Ask the person you’re dating if they’re available before turning a texting conversation into a phone call.


Do Not Ghost

It is rude and hurtful. Give the person you’re dating the respect and dignity to let them know you don’t think it’s a match. That being said, if they continue to pursue you even after you’ve made your position clear, you’re under no obligation to continue engaging. And of course, if a person seems dangerous or inappropriate, normal etiquette does not apply.

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Bracha Halperin is a business consultant based in new York City. To comment on her Jewish Press-exclusive tech columns -- or to reach her for any other purpose -- e-mail her at [email protected]. You can also follow her on Instagram or Twitter at: @brachahalperin.