So you met a great guy. He's funny, intelligent, cute and your witty banter was off the charts from the beginning. He asked for your number (score!) BUT now you're stuck in texting-land (sigh). If you're wondering how to keep the relationship ball rolling, you've come to the right place. Here's how you can move from texting to dating in nine simple steps:
1. Refer to your last in-person interaction
Start building rapport by talking about that restaurant you both love or the weird thing you joked about. Whatever the connection you made in person, bring it up to start a conversation and to remind him how well you two hit it off.
Example: Hey Brian! I just passed by a taco stand and it made me think of your guacamole story. I've never met someone with as much enthusiasm for Mexican food as I have!
Don't ever start by just sending "hey." It's super awkward and the person on the receiving end has no option but to feel obligated to respond with something like, "Hey... what's up?" And think of something more creative and interesting than "ok" or "yup" once the conversation is flowing.
Take it from romance guru, Aziz Ansari: "It seems like a harmless message to send, and I've sent a good number of them in my own dating life. However, seeing it from the other side is eye-opening. When your phone is filled with that stuff, generic messages come off as super dull and lazy. They make the recipient feel like she's not very special or important to you."
3. Timing is everything
Most dating masters will advise you to wait anywhere from 1.25 to 5 times as long as it took him to respond. This can seem petty and I hate playing these games just as much as the next single lady, but you have to play it cool. However, don't wait too long to respond or he will start to think you're not interested or just rude.
4. Respond with the same length or slightly shorter messages
The idea here is similar to steps #3 and #5. You want to make sure he knows you're interested but you don't want to be overwhelming. Have you ever gotten a message that was longer than half the books you read in high school? This overbearing style is too much to handle and will squash any budding relationship. Just give it a little time, practice some patience, and save those novel-like messages for your sister.
5. Maintain a little mystery
Don't be too eager to share everything about yourself before you've even gone out. The chase is what makes it interesting for men. As one Reddit user said, "If you call a cat's attention, it sees you then walks away. If you are busy working on something... and you ignore the cat, it will come over to your work and jump on the table all up in your business." Be the cat-owner in this situation. Find the balance between giving him enough information to keep him interested and wanting to know more.
6. Give him a playful nickname
Once you have some rapport with your boy, start using a cute nickname. Dimples, freckles, his last name (think of Jim when he calls Pam, "Beesly!"), or something else you find adorable and then let them know you think that characteristic is totally cute.
7. Skip the endless banter
Some nice, fun banter keeps things lively, but you can't keep up that fluff forever. Your relationship will fizzle out before it has even begun. Start hinting at things you think would be fun to do together like go-carting, cooking, hiking, etc. and then let him make the plans.
If you've made it this far and he is still not asking you out, it's time to make a move. Don't ask if he wants to hang out sometime. Be clear that it's a date. Ask him if he wants to go to a cooking class with you on Friday at 7 p.m. Most men appreciate specificity and clarity from women.
Bonus rule: if you offer a date and time to do something and he is busy but he offers another date and time, he likes you. If he doesn't offer another time, he's not interested. Move on because you're a great catch and shouldn't waste your time on someone who's not interested in dating you.
Last but certainly not least, always remember to use good spelling and grammar. It actually does matter because it changes how people perceive you, even subconsciously. None of this plz, cuz, totes, 2day, etc. stuff (unless it's an inside joke). "You just come off as less mature and intelligent when you text things like, 'Wanna go see the new Salvador Deli exhibit sum time?'" said Brett and Kate McKay of the Art of Manliness.
Alright, stunner, now that you're equipped with the know-how to move from texting to dating, go out there and make it happen! Be your amazing self, get those sparks flying, and let us know how it goes for you in the comments below.
Rachel is a graphic designer and photographer with a passion for visual communication. At any given time you will find her with Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign open and a bag of chocolate-covered pretzels on her desk.