05/11/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Dating By Text -- Some Rules To Follow

Truthfully, I use text messaging for most of my communications. With everyone. I make plans with friends, flirt with guys and catch up with everyone via text. It's just the way my social interactions have evolved over time. Everyone seems okay with this arrangement, so I don't know why I was so surprised when I got asked out over text a few weeks ago.

"What are you up to on Thursday night?" the text read, setting plans in motion. I turned to my roommate, wondering why I felt funny about it. Should I accept, or require him to call me instead? My roommate wisely pointed out that if I never accepted date invitations sent via text, I'd probably never go on any dates at all. Truthfully, I haven't been going on many dates recently -- and not because I am being picky about how I'm being asked -- so I decided to just take what I could get.

However, I have found that once you're conversing with a guy via text -- or any other electronic method for that matter -- it's hard to break out of that mode. (And, not surprisingly, guys told us they are reluctant to call girls on the phone.) But there's nothing more awkward than accepting a date invite via text and then having to talk to him on the phone anyway to make plans. So, here are some tips for handling being asked out by text message:

Respond quickly, but not too quickly
Yes, you're excited about seeing him, but that doesn't mean you can't let him sweat for a few minutes -- or hours if you're busy. But, if you really want to go out with him, don't keep him waiting days for a response. That's just mean.

Make him make the plans
If he's initiating the date, it's only fair that he makes the plans and tells you when and where to meet him. Plus, debating activities and locations over text message is too tedious. Take it to email, IM or the phone if he insists on doing that.

Keep it short and sweet
After you make plans, try to avoid texting with the guy until then. It will instill a sense of mystery and give you something to talk about on your date.

Follow-up in a different way
He may have initiated the date with a text message, but you can call him the next day to say thank you, or send him an email. When the ball's in your court, change the method of communication to one you feel more comfortable with.

Save the sweet ones
If you're going on dates with this guy, it might turn into something more serious. In that case, you'll want to remember how it all came about and what went down. I recommend holding on to his first few text messages. You might be happy you did.

Have you ever been asked out with a text message? How did it turn out? Leave your stories and any other questionable text messages in the comments below, or send them to submissions at, and you might see them featured in an upcoming Textual Healing.

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