It’s no surprise that the popularity of text messaging has changed the world of dating. The emotions that used to require an awkward phone conversation, or—worse!—eye contact, can now be conveyed with just a few taps on your phone screen.
This isn’t always a good thing. The ease with which text messages are sent mean that they are also completely unromantic. Sure, it’s nice to hear from a date that he had a good time, but wouldn’t a phone call make you feel even more special?
Text messages can also be difficult to interpret because they are not really conversations, though they pretend to be. Let’s say you have a date on Friday, and you text the next day to let the guy know you had fun. He texts back on Tuesday at midnight to say that he did too. Was he ignoring your text that whole time? Or maybe he didn’t see it until Tuesday night? Or maybe he only texted back on Tuesday because he was drunk?
Imagine you heard from a crush on Monday, suggesting that you get together sometime soon. You write back later that day and suggest the upcoming weekend. But then you don’t hear from him for four days. On Thursday, he texts to see if you’re free on Friday. Is this waiting until the last minute to ask you out? Or did he really make the date back on Monday? Are you his fallback plan, or the girl he really wants to see?
Finally, there is tone. Texting conveys none, which makes it particularly difficult for navigating the waters of a new relationship. Does that smiley face mean he’s making fun of you, or is that flirting? Is there any difference between “I had fun” and “I had fun!!”? Despite the convenience, it seems that texting has made dating even more difficult than it was before.
Unless you have some expert help.
In their new book, He Texted: The Ultimate Guide to Decoding Guys (Gallery Books, Apr 15) authors Lisa Winning and Carrie Henderson McDermott, along with their cadre of “Bros,” offer concrete advice on the most confusing of romantic text exchanges. Whatever issues you’ve had understanding the meaning behind a confusing text, Facebook message, or Tweet, this book is sure to help.
The book developed out of the popular blog founded by Winning and Henderson McDermott, HeTexted.com. On the blog, registered users can post their own confusing texts, weigh in on other people’s texts, or receive private advice from one of the Bros.
Here’s the best way to think of this website and book: imagine a group of close girlfriends hanging around your living room, offering sympathetic ears and attempts at advice as you read off the long list of texts from your latest guy interest. Now, replace all those girls with a bunch of good-looking guys who really know how men think and have been around the dating scene.
So how about asking advice from Kenny, the “Married Bro” who explains, “I know more than anyone what makes guys put a ring on it, and can help you figure that out, too.” Or maybe you want to send a message to Finn, who promises he can “decode any guy behavior” for you.
Or just buy the book and see what all the Bros have to say. Either way, don’t respond to any texts until you get some help from the experts!