THE BLOG
06/04/2014 11:55 am ET | Updated Aug 04, 2014

Why It Is Okay to Text First

This is the 21st century, and I refuse to be one of those young women who sits by her phone for hours, putting her life on hold, waiting for him to call.

Despite "female empowerment," "gender equality" and the many other buzz words that have supposedly inspired women on the 21st century to be less submissive and to take action toward achieving their goals, most are still too uncomfortable to reject passivity. And it does not feel good.

Take for instance one of Taylor Swift's hits, "Forever and Always," in which part of the chorus reads, "And I stare at the phone, he still hasn't called/ And then you feel so low you can't feel nothing at all." This song was written in 2008, not the 1950s.

In 2014, I call for a change -- a cultural shift in the way that women view themselves and their role in society. Aren't you tired of feeling "so low you can't feel nothing at all"?!

While it may not be a cure-all, I propose a rather simple solution: Text first. If you want to talk to him, and he has not initiated contact in a considerable amount of time (whether that be a few days, a week, etc.), you can start a conversation.

Let me explain why this is OK. Basically, if he has not reached out to you, you are left with very limited options:

1. Sit by your phone and eventually a message will arrive. Drive yourself insane waiting but then experience great joy when he decides that he has neglected you for enough time and should maintain contact once again. This may very likely set up a dangerous power dynamic in which he is the only initiator and has the privilege to decide how infrequently and sporadically he should speak to you. The eventual result may be a negative one.

2. Sit by your phone and wait for a message that will never come. Drive yourself insane waiting for a message that never gets sent. Days or weeks are wasted where you do not move on with your life -- holding out hope that your relationship is still fine, or at least repairable. When you finally give up on the idea that he will text, you realize that you have lost him for good. Too much time has passed, and it is too late to salvage.

3. Text first. Quite bold. You risk a lack of response, and in much harsher language, rejection. At least you would expedite the process of ascertaining the truth that the two steps above would draw out. On the other hand, though, your text may actually save the relationship. Perhaps he was super busy, was unsure of your feelings toward him, or had another reason for not texting recently, and would be really excited to hear from you! Your interactions could then proceed in a positive direction from this point forward.

The necessary mindset to be a successful initiator is to recognize that the outcome of options 1, 2, and 3 could very likely be the same -- an end to the relationship itself. With that understanding, you might as well text first. If you may never hear from him again anyway, why not at least try to text him first and see if you can change the dynamic? It may not be successful all of the time, but you will certainly be happy in the (even if only occasional) event that it is. What if you end up marrying the man you almost gave up on because you were afraid to send a simple "Hey, what's up?"

The radical part of this theory is that texting first can be applied to ALL situations.

Imagine that you wish to repair a tense relationship with an uncle or another relative. You could wait for your uncle to initiate an apology or show improvement, or you could express to him your desire to change the dynamics of the relationship. He may never come to you without an indicator from you that you are unhappy with the current situation.

As another example, recall the job that you applied for three months ago from which you still have not heard a response. It is quite possible that your application is lost or that you simply are not being considered for the position. You could either accept right then that you will never attain this position and surrender without further action, or you could be proactive and contact the recruiters again...and again. What do you have to lose? They cannot do anything worse to you than to deny you the position. Contacting them first (upon a lack of response from them) can only improve your chances of being considered again or even for the first time. 'Texting first' in this case could lead to landing your dream job.

While this article began as advice to women in their personal relationships, it finishes as a call to all people to be more assertive in their personal as well as their professional and public lives. The worst that can happen when you "text first" in life is that you receive a "no," which might very well be the same answer you would obtain if you followed the traditional societal rules and waited passively by your phone for someone else to call the shots.

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