THE BLOG
05/25/2010 05:28 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

You Like Him? Don't Text Him!

Plenty of women would prefer a phone call over a text from guys they're dating, yet they don't realize a very simple method exists to getting less texts and more calls: Don't text him back.

I know, I know, such a suggestion will strike many as foolish or even insane in our text-addicted society, yet it really all goes back to incentives and human behavior. What we reward, we get more of. When you respond to texts you wish were phone calls, guess what you'll get? More texts. Less calls.

You'll also get more time wasters, and less serious contenders in your dating pool. Why? Because not texting men back is the ultimate means of separating those who are really into you from those who are kinda, sorta, maybe-if-it's-easy interested in you, at least until something better comes along.

Think about it. If a guy who's really smitten with you texts you and doesn't get a text back, what will happen? He will pick up the phone and call. It's the same with you. Let's say you texted a colleague to confirm a sales meeting you were supposed to attend. If you didn't hear back, you wouldn't just shrug it off and forget about it. If it was important to you to get to the meeting to make your pitch, you'd call until you nailed things down. Conversely, let's say the meeting wasn't that important, or it conflicted with another, better lead -- sure, then maybe you'd let it go.

Same thing with dating. The guy who truly wants to see you, may text initially, but if he doesn't hear back, he'll call. Many women fear that if they don't text back, they'll lose a guy. And, yes, you will shake off those with lukewarm interest in you, which is a very productive and time-efficient thing to do: You've avoided wasting time on and possibly getting hurt by Mr. Maybe.

Too many women think not texting back invites dating mishaps and disasters -- but it actually prevents such. Example: An ex-boyfriend of mine, kind of on-again-off-again, was trying to get things "on again" with me, and had set up a dinner date with me by e-mail. The day of the date, he texted me to confirm. I didn't text back. The date didn't happen. Disaster -- or disaster avoided? Definitely the latter! His lack of interest was why our relationship was always so difficult -- or to use the common euphemism, "complicated." But finally, with non-texting, I was able to put an end to the whole stupid time-wasting nonsense. It's really, really, not that complicated.

On the other hand, if he's strongly attracted to you, he'll give you the benefit of the doubt, make excuses for you -- as in "Oh, she's not a texter" or "Maybe she didn't get my text." Indeed, as I've seen time and time again in my practice as a dating coach, if a contender is already starting out with a high level of interest in you, not texting back will pique -- not dilute -- that interest.

This is why the authors of The Rules, Ellen & Sherrie Schneider, encourage women to avoid texting. They rightly point out that if you're texting back and forth, you're way too available. There's no mystery, no distance for him to pursue, if all he has to do it punch a keypad for you to respond.

That said, I know that for many even extremely practiced and disciplined Rules Girls, the "no texting" rule can be one of the most challenging to follow. I hear the complaint all the time: "But we live in a texting world. Everyone texts."

But the fact that everyone - every girl, to be precise - does text is, perhaps, the strongest case for why YOU should not. After all, Rule #1 is all about "Being a Creature Unlike Any Other." If every other creature out there is texting - and sexting - on a constant basis, what a simple, elegant way for you to separate yourself from the competition. Take it to the bank, girls: If he really likes you, he WILL call you. No exceptions.

Still having trouble resisting the lure of texting? Sign up for a free 10-minute consult at maliburulesgirl.com.

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