With the almost inescapable role texting plays in dating culture today, chances are that even early on you and potential-bae have been sending messages —subliminal and digital. When you’re texting a crush and you fear the conversation has dwindled, it’s easy for negativity to creep in. Why did I text them that? Who says that? I shouldn’t haven’t tried so hard. BRB, moving to Antartica. If texting stress has you spiraling, it can be difficult to know how to restart a conversation with your crush that fizzled out without losing your chill.
Texting a new crush can feel like packing before a day at the beach. Coordinating the chairs, towels, coolers, and mulling over whether or not bringing an umbrella is extra (it’s not), then finally hauling everything from the car to the sand — it’s no small feat. Like setting up for a first date, you’ll have fun when you get there, but the actually getting there can be difficult, and it’s easy to lose interest or momentum.
If you have potential-bae’s number, and you’ve talked before, you’re on the right track, right? I reached out to Thomas Edwards Jr., founder of The Professional Wingman, about the role texting plays in flirting, and better ways to jumpstart a convo than the dreaded "Wyd?"
Know why you’re texting.
Chances are, you’re talking via phone with some intention of eventually meeting up in person. Texting a crush then can become less about getting to know who this person is, and more about getting to know how this person talks.
"Flirting through text allows you to build more anticipation and momentum as the next time you two get together again draws closer," Edwards tells Elite Daily. "The key with flirting is once you two have an idea of each other’s communication style, the effect of flirting over text dramatically increases."
If you know they have a soft spot for dogs in the park or love discovering new music, consider sending them a pic or dropping a link that is personalized, yet relaxed. This will hopefully send the subtle message of "thinking of you," without literally saying "I’m thinking of you (and why you haven’t texted me)".
Know what you’re looking for.
If you’re trying to move past a boring text convo and onto meeting up for dinner, a day at the museum, or a trip to the Goodwill Outlets (I’ve had first dates at all three), it can be nerve-wracking to know when the time is right to directly ask your crush out. If the conversation has really taken off, like rereading the text thread to your friends takes many scrolls, it’s hard to know how to center back to, But can we go out this week? Pls? And if the text conversation hasn’t taken off, then how do you jump back in without seeming too enthusiastic?
"While I don’t recommend asking someone out immediately, you don’t want to drag it out either so creating a little rapport before making the move is better," Edwards says. "As much as we like texting, it’s still important to focus on the main reason for communicating in the first place — to make plans to see each other again. So, the sooner you can make that clear, the better."
Sharing a common interest or mentioning a new coffee place you’ve been dying to try can be a casual way to start up the banter, but put some plans in motion.
Know what you’re saying.
As an overthinking extravert, I understand the urge (compulsion) to send 70 texts to a crush about a fisherman you sat next to on an airplane (literally have done this).
Honestly, anyone that’s going to date me is going to have to be okay with their phone buzzing like a Hitachi Magic Wand every time I find a new thrift shop. Yet, in the beginning, and when trying to restart a conversation that has since died, it can honestly be helpful to be concise.
No one has time for wishy-washy messages, especially when texts are so easily misinterpreted because you can’t hear how someone is saying something. "If you’re looking to restart a conversation, the most effective ways to do it is either by starting a completely new conversational thread or recalling something from a previous conversation," Edwards remarks. Did you leave anything unresolved in your last conversation? Pick up where you left off.
Put the ball in their court.
A conversation restarter is different than an opening line. You have already peaked their interest, and you know that they know how to find you if they want to see or speak with you (AKA, they have your number).
I asked Edwards for some direct examples of good convo re-starters and what he provided was super helpful:
"’Oh man, you won’t believe what happened to me this weekend.’
‘Hey, how did that presentation turn out?’
‘I was thinking about our conversation last week and how you said you love [subject]. Guess what I just saw…’
‘Don’t you just love when Spotify Radio knows exactly what you need to hear and kills it with every song?’"
Something along these lines, or literally these lines (we won’t tell), can be a casual way to engage conversation without being too intrusive, or bringing up that the conversation had lulled. Additionally, don’t dwell on the fact that they haven’t texted you first. Remember that a conversation goes two ways, and if you’re nervous to re-start a convo, it’s very likely that they could be too.
Know when to take the L.
For many, the first (or first hundred) people we give our number to doesn’t become the person we run off into the sunset with. If you’ve restarted the conversation a couple of times and it seems hard to keep going, it may be worth putting the phone down.
"I’ve always taken a “three-strike” approach. If you’re not getting much of a response, it’s OK to try again a couple more times. After that, you may need to cut your loses and move on," Edwards replies. Maybe they’re not a texter and if you bump into them on the street you’ll have an amazing (and flirty) chat. Maybe they fancy themselves a bohemian and think that relieves them of basic phone etiquette (@ anyone in a surf rock band). Or maybe it just wasn’t meant to be this time, and honestly, you don’t need the stress.
If you’re courting a crush and the convo seems to be dying out, try asking a question or bringing up a point of mutual interest. If you’re getting mixed vibes and you don’t feel like you want to keep talking, that’s okay too. Sending one text, or a hundred texts. is completely up to you. When it comes to your phone, only you know the passcode, and only you know how you like to use it.
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