There's a lot of debate over whether texting too much before a first date can be like a slow-acting poison to a potential relationship, and there's currently no consensus among relationship experts as to whether it is. Texting can't (and shouldn't) be avoided in the digital age; trying to ignore incoming texts from your new love isn't a great thing to have hanging over your heard when you try to kick off your chemistry once the two of you finally meet up. So, check out these significant guidelines that'll help you navigate the complicated texting landscape in the few days leading up to the big event.
Pre-Date Texting Is All About Balance
The central premise that guides pre-date texting is that you need to focus on balance. You don't want to completely ghost them before the date's even started because it'll send them a message that either you're not interested or that you want to cancel but can't muster up the courage to. On the other hand, you don't want to text them too much and find yourself worrying about having nothing to talk about during the actual date. How, then, do you create a balance between the two extremes?
Relationship expert Erika Ettin gives an excellent tell for when your communication might be heading south; once you or the person you're talking to has gotten lazy, that's when you know you need to pull back. If all of your texts amount to "how's your day going" or "have a great night," this can be a sign that one of - if not both of - you isn't feeling like investing in the conversation anymore. If the opposite is the case, and you think you've been coming on too strong, send an encouraging text about your upcoming date and leave it at that.
Don't Leave Too Much Time Before the Date
One area where pre-date texting is likely to head towards dangerous waters doesn't actually have to do with the texting itself, but rather with the date's timing. Once you and someone you're interested in settle on going on a date together, try to plan that date within three to four days from that moment. Your bubbling excitement for the date is going to at its peak when you make those plans, and giving yourself two weeks before settling a date opens up a space for the two of you to use text as a barometer for your in-person relationship. You don't want to let yourself build up an idea of a person only to have the real-life person not measure up, so make sure that you schedule a first date sooner rather than later.
Leave Them Wanting More
When you're really vibing with someone's personality and find yourselves chatting like you've known each other for years, it can be very tempting to go on and on about your entire life story. You should try your hardest to keep some of your best stories to yourself though in order to leave you something left to talk about on the actual date. Your suitor doesn't need to know every birthday hijinks you and your family have gotten up to or that story about how you got the scar on your chin from a drunken night out at nineteen - these are stories that are best told in someone's physical company. As you retell these stories in person, your date will get a sense of your personality and just how charming it is.
Video Chatting Is a Great Alternative
If you have a sneaking suspicion that one of you is being too persistent and is trying to maintain a conversation at every minute of the day, then you should suggest having a video call with your date. After work, during your lunch breaks, or right before bed, a video call can let each of you get a feeling for the other's personality and scratch that itch you have to keep on talking. Half of the part of having a conversation with someone is reading their body language and haptic tendencies. You should use the other options at your disposal that let you interact with their physical self, since these nuances are something that you can't get from texting.
So, popping on FaceTime or a Zoom call will give you a taste for what your upcoming date is going to be like; think of it as a trail run or rehearsal dinner for the date itself. Better yet, if you discover that your suitor doesn't turn out to be like what you thought they would, then you don't have to come up with a hurried excuse in the middle of the date to leave without hurting their feelings.
Texting Before a Date Requires Restraint
When you're in the interim period between settling on a time for a first date and the actual event, treat texting like a primer. You want to get a nice feeling for if the two of you are going to be compatible, but you don't want to know the other person's entire life story before you have more than a five-minute conversation with them in person. Remember, texting is a conduit to dating, not the actual thing, and you shouldn't use texting as your main form of getting to know one another. After all, you're not going to be dating a person's phone, you're going to be dating them, warts and all.