Let’s close, then, with a bit of text etiquette because when it comes to the rules, as I’m sure my above examples illustrate, they’re all grey. And any males of the species reading this – take note!
1. Only use text where appropriate. My New York friend Annie recently had plans with a guy, and he cancelled on her at the last minute via text. Her response was perfect! With her sense of humour and dignity in tact, she simply wrote, ‘Texting is for flirting, not for canceling.’ Bottom line: If you need to cancel a date, well, don’t! It’s rude. But if you have no choice, make your mum proud by doing the right thing and picking up the phone to offer a reasonable explanation and to beg for forgiveness.
2. Don’t text back to a call. Pffeifer had plucked up the courage to call, rather than text, Boy X to ask him on a date. Well she got a response - but by text. A fling of mine, Country Boy, pulled this trick on me and it just won’t do. A call should be returned with a call, not a weedy text.
3. Make sure the person you're addressing is the person you're addressing. Capiche? Pffeifer, bless her she’s not having much luck, was the unfortunate recipient of a text aimed at her (at least we think it was) but addressed to the wrong name. And there she was fretting about the lack of kiss. Proofreading is everything. Make sure you’re sending to the right person too. Doh.
4. Think before you text! This mainly applies to very early stages of relationships when you can’t be sure what the other person is thinking. It’s so tempting to send cute little witticisms to a new love interest but it’s also dangerous. Ask yourself, what are you hoping to gain? Do you actually have a reason to text? For instance, if you want to thank a guy for a date, well, that’s very well-mannered of you, but tell him you appreciated it in person at the end of the date—and that’s it. You do not need to text him the next day to tell him again. But it’s “just a text message,” you say? I don’t care. You know what that’s called? It’s called torturing yourself. Because if he doesn’t respond, you’ll assume he didn’t feel the same sparks you felt, and you’ll drive yourself crazy checking your phone every five minutes.
5. Don’t drink and text! I’m not even going to further explain that one.