The texting game (and how to play it)

Photos by Hanna Hillier

“Hey babe, wt u up 2? Wanna meet up l8er 😉 ?” – Said no gentleman, ever.

In a world of texts, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, staying in touch with people has never been easier, or easier to screw up. So that’s why, gentleman, I’d advise going back to basics. Asking for a girl’s number is the 21st-century equivalent of writing her a letter, quill and all. Far superior to a casual Facebook message, and far more gentlemanly. If you like a lady, don’t wait for her to crop up on Happn next time you’re in the same pub. Pluck up some courage and ask for her number.

Once you’ve got that number (you old romantic you) you’ll be wanting to stay in her favour and follow through with a timely text. But how long should you leave it until you drop that first message? And how long after that until you ask her on a date? Goodness knows. There’s no scientific formula. But in the spirit of trying to bridge the gap between the sexes, here’s a rough guide…

Nicole Harrison in robe shot by Hanna Hillier
Photo by Hanna Hillier

How to decipher her text messages (easier than you’d think)

Girls really aren’t that complicated (more on that later). If she’s replying to your messages regularly and during civilised hours, she’s interested. If she’s replying to them at 1am on a Friday night, you might just want to check you’re after the same thing…However, if you really do need a bit of guidance on what her text messages mean, here’s a fairly fool-proof guide.

Scenario 1: You ask her out. She say’s she’s busy. You suggest another night, she agrees. This is the perfect scenario. She doesn’t want to make it too easy for you, which means she’s interested (and not desperate). Keeper.

Scenario 2: You ask her out. She says she’s busy. You suggest another night, she’s still busy. Yes, that’s probably time to give up. Next.

Nicole Harrison butterfly necklace

The waiting game is a game with no winners

Waiting for days or even weeks between replying to anyone’s messages, let alone someone you’re trying to woo, is downright rude. Either you’re ‘really bad with your phone’ (‘read’ = lazy) or just don’t care enough. All most girls want is a man who knows what he wants and if you’re falling into either of the above categories, you clearly don’t.

Nicole Harrison in rlingerie 2 by Hanna Hillier

How long you should keep texting before making a move

Nothing kills a budding relationship quite like five weeks of ‘hey, how’s your day been?’ If your ego really needs massaging that much then sure, wait a week or so before you ask her out. But don’t over do it or the fire will burn out quicker than you can say ‘sorry my phone’s been broken.’

But inevitably, gentleman, you need to ask yourself: ‘should I be playing games at all?’

Playing games is fun and exciting when you’re in the first throes of your courtship. But games soon get boring, and confusing. I have good reason to believe (and a great deal of evidence gathered from lady friends) that one of the biggest conspiracies of the 21st century is that women are more confusing than men. We beg to differ. No girl would ever kiss you passionately on a night out, stalk you until you gave them their number, walk you home, then never, ever message. So I propose a contradictory theory; maybe, just maybe, women are from earth and men are from Venus.

Further Reading