There was a time in my life when I thought that text messaging was worse than chewing on aluminum foil. Therapists live to have patients with the range of terrible emotions that it inflicted upon me.
Confusion: sitting there, looking down at my phone. “come up with something clever… come on… what should I SAY to her?”
Self-Loathing: just sent a text, not sure if it’s the right one “did I really just send that? stupid stupid stupid.”
Anxiety: haven’t heard back from her in one hour, twenty two minutes, and thirty four seconds. “Oh God. I blew it. should I send another text and apologize? wait, my phone just buzzed! Is it her?! Ahhh, crap, it’s a free AT&T notification. I hate those guys, getting my hopes up like that.”
Nothing you haven’t experienced before, right?
And heck, if you turn on your phone right now and open up your “contacts”… I’m willing to bet there’s at least one girl stored away in there who you’re really attracted to.
Maybe you even have a straight-up crush on one of the girls saved in your phone…
But right now, it’s just a number. You’ve got it tucked away safely in your phone, so what next?
Well, for years and years men debated fiercely over the big dating question of the 20th century: ”How long should I wait before I call her?”
But it’s the 21st century now, and a new question is clawing at single men around the world:
“WHAT DO I TEXT HER?”
As one of New York’s top dating coaches, I’ve talked to more guys in recent years about this very topic than anything else.
I’ve also talked to a lot of women about it. And they all know what’s up:
Most guys are clueless when it comes to texting. Our screw-ups, awkward texts, and failed attempts are the hot topic of conversation on girls night out.
But with this report, and all of the material I’m putting it out on texting, I want to change that. Because it’s not our fault.
Sure, there are some artsy poet laureate’s out there who “just get it”… but for the rest of us, it’s a struggle.
The good news: there are some amazing breakthroughs in psychology that are going to turn the tables in your favor.
But before we can get to those, I want to give you a “lay of the land.” Understanding this stuff is your first step towards having an unfair advantage, so pay close attention.
WHAT SHE’S THINKING WHEN YOU’RE TEXTING HER
You absolutely have to understand this:
When she gave you her number, it wasn’t a binding contract to see you again.
I can guarantee that she was not thinking “I really hope to have this guy’s babies.”
She was experiencing positive emotions with you. When you got her number, her feelings toward you were pretty good. And she thought to herself “I’d like to see this guy again.”
Congrats! You made a girl like you.
Then she went off to meet her friends, or to class or work. A day or two passed. Her mood changed a hundred different times. And those positive feelings she had towards you began to fade away.
But it might be even worse than that. She might be getting texts from an ex she’s not totally over, and five other guys who also have her number. She might have had a date lined up for the night after you met her. Heck, she might not even remember giving you her number.
So by the time your first text to her arrives, her feelings about you have changed. She just doesn’t feel as strongly as she did about you in the moment when you got her number.
And what is the typical first text message that a guy sends?
Short and simple. Cool. Yet it does absolutely nothing to get her feeling good about him again. Not surprising that girls universally think it’s the worst first text of all time. Let’s look at another one:
“Hey Jen, it’s John from the bar the other night. Great to meet you! Want to get together on Tuesday?”
It’s got a little more personality than “hey.” But again, it doesn’t do anything to change her mood, her emotions, or her feelings towards him.
And when it comes to making decisions, people (and especially women, and especially when it comes to love and dating) are not logical.
A girl’s not sitting there with a spreadsheet, doing an analysis of the different guys she could be dating, so she can decide who she’s going to see on Wednesday night.
Nope, decisions like who to text back, who to go out with, who to sleep with, and who she wants as a boyfriend are emotionally-driven decisions.
Let’s consider another first text. I have a first text formula, which I used to come up with this one, and I gave it to a client. The night prior, he’d met a girl who was wearing this stunning dress, hit it off with her, and walked away with a great number. His first text read:
“ur dress last night = weapon of mass destruction. i trust you put it somewhere that the CIA won’t find it”
Good first text? You betcha. It does so many little things right, but the most important thing it does is to make her smile, and giggle. It activates her emotional circuitry. It makes her feel something.
A great start. But there’s still a long ways to go.
WHAT WAS DATING LIKE BEFORE TEXTING?
Let’s recap: when a girl decides she wants to go out with you, it’s a decision that’s driven by her feelings and emotions towards you.
So basically, you have the best chance of getting her to say “yes” when she’s feeling really good about you.
Let’s take a little journey back in time to see how this worked before text messages.
It’s 1984 again. Ronald Reagan just won re-election, theatre-goers can’t stop talking about Ghostbusters, and text messaging is unheard of. Caller ID is still a ways in the future. Even the answering machine hasn’t caught on yet. You called someone, and either they picked up, or you called back.
I was only four back then, but I’m told that in such ancient times, there were very few points of contact between when you’d meet a girl, and when you’d go out on a date.
You met her and took her number. You talked once or twice on the phone. And then you went out with her. Bada boom, bada bing.
So her feelings towards you – and whether she went out with you or not – would depend on only one or two phone calls. ￼
A woman would use this time to “screen” a guy out if he acted creepy or nervous, had a terrible phone voice, or otherwise made her feel “bad” on the call.
Those one or two phone calls were the only “data points” she could use when deciding if she wanted to see a guy again.
I remember calling girls back in college (texting didn’t really catch on until I was in my mid twenties). It was definitely stressful, because you knew you had twenty minutes to rekindle the feelings she had when you met her, and ask her out again. But if you did well on that phone call, it was all good.
Ok, fast forward to modern times. On any given day, you get more calls, beeps and notifications on your smart phone than most people got in two weeks back in 1984.
In a little bit, we’re going to learn about how this makes for all sorts of interesting psychological “loopholes” that you can use to make girls really, really like you. The science is going to blow you away.
But for now, let’s think about how text messaging changes the “dating game” – and not in your favor.
WHY TEXTING HAS MADE IT MORE DIFFICULT FOR GUYS
Before text messaging, asking a girl out used to take place over a single, 20-minute phone call. But now it takes place over the course of days, with a bunch of tiny little messages.
This is both a blessing and a curse. If you’re great at texting, you can make her like you a lot more than you can with a mere phone call. We’ll get to that in a little bit.
But there are also a lot more opportunities to screw it up.
You can send a crappy first text, and ruin it from the start.
You can text too much, too soon, and make her think you’re needy.
You can text too little, too late, and cause her to lose interest or get bored.
You can send texts that are weird, misunderstood, or offensive (without meaning it).
And you can screw it up at any point. You might do ok for five texts, then send a sixth one that totally kills it. Things might go great all the way through the first date, then get ruined when you’re asking her out on the second date.
Heck, I’ve seen clients who screw it up after they’ve had sex with a girl because they were texting the wrong thing. The following critique came from a client – this was the text exchange the day after he slept with a girl for the first time. He tried to be cool and nonchalant, but actually came across like a dick.
Her: Shit. Can you check your bag/car for my cell charger?????
Her: Just kidding I found itttt
Client: haha ok
Ok this is when it really starts to go wrong. After sex, you’ve GOT to make a girl feel good about herself. You HAVE to get this right. Instead, you waited ten minutes to reply, then got back with “haha ok”. What does that tell her? That you don’t care much. That you’ve had sex and are now doing other important things. This was SUCH a great opportunity to get back to her with something sweet like
Niiiiice… the cell phone charger gods were looking out for you today!!!
It’s so much friendlier! But you didn’t even need to sent all that… I mean, anything with a little more personality than “haha ok” would have been better
Her: Thanks again for inviting me. Your so sweet I had a wonderful time!
Client: Well you’re always good company haha
Ok, this is where it really goes wrong. I know you were trying to sound nonchalant, but it just came across as insensitive. I’ve told you once already, but it bears mentioning again: after a woman has given herself to you, make her feel GOOD about it. So I would have called her 5-30 minutes later and had a nice little talk – about how you loved spending time with her, and how sexy she was. Ask her what she’s up to for the rest of the day. Then say something like “well, something tells me I’ll catch you very soon on text”. That’s always an easy way back to texting, and asking her out again.
In the previous example, the girl got really turned off and didn’t want to see my client anymore – she thought he was a jerk. He didn’t mean to be… he just didn’t know how to text her the right thing. Just one example (of many) of how easy it is to screw things up.
Worst of all, if you’ve got her number, there’s a good chance that a few other guys do too… so her inbox is a literal battleground of guys vying for her attention. Every message you send is another entry in a competition for her time and her interest.
So that sucks. But we’re not out of the woods just yet.
DEALING WITH HER FEELINGS
Remember – women make the decision about whether or not to see you again based on emotion, not logic. Based on how they feel about you.
Along those lines, here’s another important thing you need to understand:
Feelings are “transmitted” across a number of “channels.” Your eyes, your facial expression, your body language, your vocal tonality, and yes, the words you speak.
So the best chance you have of making someone feel good about you is to use all of your channels well. Good eye contact. Nice smooth vocal tonality. Solid conversation and flirtation. Great nonverbals.
The fewer channels you have to work with, the harder it is to influence someone’s feelings.
Live, in-person is better than a video call. A video call is better than a phone call. A phone call is better than texting.
Given how “narrow” of a channel texting is, you’re already at a disadvantage. So why not just proclaim “I don’t do texting” and just call her?
Well, put yourself in a girl’s shoes for a second. She’s given her number out to a few guys. The right move for her is to sit back and let them “duke it out” for her interest. She can let the messages roll in, take her time to respond to them, and see who she’s liking the most.
Girls say they like it when a guy calls them, but in my experience, it’s almost never in your best interest. Especially with girls under 30. They rarely pick up, so all it really does is brand you in a girl’s mind as “that guy who really likes me because he called me.”
The one caveat – every now and then you need to do it when you’re coordinating times for something – a movie, for example. But in general, if someone is telling you that you should call a girl instead of texting her, you can pretty much ignore them. It strips you of your power and value.
And make no mistake – most guys just don’t have the power when they’re trying to get a girl to go out with them. It’s just how the dating game is played.
A girl’s text message inbox is one of the most efficient “guy screening” tools ever invented.
So woe be upon you if – with this very narrow communication channel – you can’t make her feel good about you.
Not only do you have to avoid making any dumb mistakes or turning her off, but you also have to amplify her emotions towards you with every additional text you send.
Rather than making her feel good on one phone call, you’ve got to make her feel better and better about you over the course of five, ten or twenty text messages.
And it never really ends, does it? Until you’re in a proper relationship with her, you have to keep “getting it right” with texting. You really need to get good at this stuff, because text messaging is the bridge between every time that you see her.
It’s become an integral part of the dating game.
High stakes. If you’ve ever felt like texting was unfair, annoying, or frustrating, you probably now have a better understanding of why it feels that way.
It’s literally a different form of communication than anything else out there. Comparing texting to real conversation is like comparing English to French.
To carry the metaphor further: if you visited France but only spoke English, it’d be pretty darn tough to connect with all of the beautiful women you’d meet there.
So let’s look at the “language” of texting.
SUBCOMMUNICATION AND THE LANGUAGE OF TEXTING
When you text a guy friend, think about what’s going on.
You’re probably already his buddy. You’re not worried about him “having other options” or “losing interest” if things don’t go right. And importantly, you’re not trying to get into his pants or get him out on a date. Rigggggght?
Think of a text conversation you had with one of your guy friends recently￼. Chances are it wasn’t emotional, or flirty, or sexy… I mean, I hope it wasn’t.
And if your buddy texts or calls you up just to “say hi” or “chat” about whatever, chances are you’d wonder what drug he was on. I might even give my friend an emoji slap if he pulled something like that with me. It’s like “dude, we’ll talk when we hang out.”
The dynamics of texting your buddy just aren’t that complicated. It’s information exchange, pure and simple.
But the dynamics of texting a girl involve two things:
1.) the specific words you choose to send her
2.) your subcommunication
We’ll get to the specific words in a little bit. For now, let’s look at subcommunication, because SO many guys mess this stuff up.
Here’s the deal:
When you text her, a girl is gathering so much more information than the specific words you’re pecking out. For example, she’s paying attention to stuff like…
-the time between messages: if you’re super quick to respond when you’re getting to know her, it’s going to subcommunicate that you’re needy.
-whether or not you use emoticons: if you make occasional smilies and winky faces, it’s going to subcommunicate your positive and playful emotions.
-how enthusiastic, or “cool” you are to her. if you’re too cool at the wrong time (like in the post-sex example above) it could subcommunicate that you don’t care or are a jerk.
-your use of proper spelling and grammar: if you write your texts like you’d write a term paper, it’s going to subcommunicate that you are uptight and nervous.
All of these dynamics are “under the radar” – that’s why we call them subcommunication. But make no mistake, she can feel them.
If you mess this stuff up, it will absolutely KILL you. Funny thing is, I see a lot of guys who are great at talking to girls in “real life” who don’t get the texting subcommunication right.
Let’s look at another critique I did for a client. He had set up a date the night before, and was texting her this day to confirm it.
Client: I hope you’re gearing up for a night you won’t forget. Did I say id get u at 6 or 630? Either works for me
You start to give away too much interest at this point. Being a guy who’s a “ten” means that YOU’RE a busy guy. But the subtext here was “I can’t wait to see you and it can’t come soon enough”. Also, a guy who’s on top of his shit remembers this stuff. Better would have been:
Heyyyy [nickname], ready to get some delish on tonizzight? Running a lil late, so prolly closer to 7-ish for me.
The nickname will make her smile, and the slang phrases add some personality. Also, the subcommunication here regarding your timing is “my schedule and my priorities come first”. It’s subcommunicated very nicely, but it’s still loud and clear, and helps you maintain your value.
Girl: Is like closer to 630 ok? Sorry its been a long day.
Me: No worries babe. I have the perfect evening planned out to unwind
She “gets” that you want to see her sooner, so she is very polite about asking for an extension. Again, this may not seem like a big thing to you, but it subcommunicates that you are making her a priority. And when you reply as you did here – sooooo positively and nicely – it confirms that. Better would have been something short like:
For sure. I’m gonna squeeze in a quick run so just holla when you’re about ready
I like to run and I’d do probably go on one if I had some extra time, so it wouldn’t be a lie for me to send something like this This sort of text subcommunicates two things. One, that you have a life and have other priorities (AND that you’re healthy) and two, that she can take her time and you’re not going to rush her. Girls don’t like to feel rushed or pressured by guys, that’s a huge turn-off.
I don’t want to get too down on you, because none of this stuff is absolutely terrible. In fact, it’s pretty good. You have some good energy and positive emotions here. But you are subcommunicating a level of eagerness that will ultimately work against you.
When you’re excited about a girl, you don’t think about stuff like this, but she’s able to pick up on the “under the surface” stuff, loud and clear.
So that’s subcommunication.
There’s also the specific word choice: you’ve got a LOT less space to work with than you do on a phone call or an in-person conversation. Every word matters. And I’ve seen guys screw it up in all sorts of ways.
Some guys don’t get texting, period. They’re formal, and act like it’s a real conversation.
Some guys try to “overgame” a girl with cockiness. I see this one a lot.
Some guys get WAY too silly or overeager, and the girl can’t take them seriously.
And so on…
Becoming “fluent” in the language of texting isn’t something that comes naturally to most of us.
Hey – no one said mastering a new language was going to be easy. But if you’ve read this far, you’re already ten steps ahead of the next guy.
Because you now understand the key dynamics of text messaging. You understand the “under the radar” stuff that most guys will never know. You understand why the odds of the game aren’t in your favor.
And if this report ended here, it’d be pretty depressing. Good thing for you that we’re just getting started.
A little later on in this report, I’m going to get into some very advanced psychology and brain science. It’s for guys who want total control, total power and total mastery.
But I know that not every client has the time or interest to devote to that. They just want to get a girl out on a date.
If that’s you, I get it. But I hope I’ve impressed upon you that it’s in your best interest to get as good at this stuff as possible. I can give you some good texts that will get a girl out on a date, but that doesn’t mean you won’t screw it up somewhere else.
So I hope you’ll take advantage of everything that I’m making available to you. Consider yourself warned if you’re just skimming, or looking for quick tips.
Next steps? Download the free ebook – it’s the “next step” in becoming a rockstar texter.