Text messaging is fast-becoming the new first step in dating. In fact, most singles are more inclined to text someone first - rather than call - after swapping numbers. Phone calls only come into play nowadays as relationships escalate and people start to let their guards down over a period of time. To help you navigate dating in a digital world, here are some golden rules for text messaging etiquette.
1. Always mention who you are when texting someone for the first time. The fastest way to get yourself rejected is by assuming someone knows who you are when in fact they may not even have your phone number saved in their phone.
2. Don't freak out when someone doesn't respond right away. You won't know for sure at what point in time your message was read or under what circumstances, so try to be mindful of other people's busy schedules.
3. Text people back in a timely manner. This is just common courteous if you want to stay one someone's dating radar. A failure to return a text message back in a timely manner, if at all, can be perceived as a lack of interest.
4. If you text someone twice and they still don't respond to you, then it's safe to assume that a) they're just not that into you or b) they don't have as much time for dating as they may have believed. If someone really likes you, they'll be sure to follow up with you one way or another, sooner rather than later.
5. Don't leave people hanging in the middle of a text conversation. We know you do it; we have all done it at some point in time - have full blown conversations via text message. But if you've got to run to a meeting or are otherwise preoccupied, have the common decency to at least mention that you may not be able to respond right away because of an appointment or bad reception even.
6. Text messaging should never replace real conversations. While it may be acceptable to have trivial conversations via text message, save the serious conversations for in person or over the phone.
7. Never text in ALL CAPS. Depending on the context, writing in all caps can be misconstrued as angry yelling or eager excitement.
8. Avoid ending every text message with a smiley face. While emoticons certainly have their place in text messaging, try not to go overboard with it. Use them appropriately in instances when your "tone of voice" might be misconstrued.
9. If you're going to ask someone on a date or want to make plans to see someone, pick up the phone call. While text messaging is the first step in the dating process, it should at least end with a phone call, whether you're testing phone chemistry or making plans to meet.
Believe it or not, men stress out about Valentine's Day way more than women. In fact, we're betting some of the men reading this right now still haven't the faintest idea what they're doing for Valentine's Day. All they know is they don't want to screw it up or lose her interest by getting her something or doing something for her she won't appreciate. While showing up to her door with flowers accompanied with chocolates and taking her to a fancy dinner with jewelry for dessert seems to be a fail-safe way to spend Valentine's Day, it's also cliche and even impersonal for some. Luckily, It's Just Lunch has some great last-minute ideas to help make your Valentine's Day memorable and special for the both of you.
Make your gift personal by customizing, making or planning it yourself. There's just something about putting a measurement of thought into someone's gift that gives it more meaning and makes it special. Whether its a piece of jewelry engraved with her initials, a meal you prepared yourself for a romantic picnic or an intricately-designed scavenger hunt that keeps her on her toes--all of these ideas show that she's more to you than just a fling. Why? Because you made it personal. The amount of time or thought you put into a gift or an experience is what ultimately makes or breaks it for a woman.
Do something or go somewhere neither of you have done or gone before. The easiest way to create an experience that's really memorable is to try something new together, or do the opposite of what everyone else is doing. Break the typical Valentine's Day traditions and trade in the fancy dinner for a night of cosmic bowling. Go on a weekend "glamping" trip before the novelty of the whole concept wears out. Visit a skate ring and and go skating together. You get the idea.
Make Valentine's Day all about them. Think of Valentine's Day like a second birthday, only much more intimate. At the end of the day, every woman just wants to feel loved and adored more than usual. In turn, women should make it easy for her man to make her feel loved by appreciating his efforts. Ultimately, Valentine's Day is reserved for showing the object of your affections how much you appreciate them.
For more pin-worthy ideas, visit out Pinterest page at www.pinterest.com/itsjustlunch.
It's Just Lunch surveyed thousands of professional singles to develop this "little black book" to help single men navigate their way to a successful Valentine's Day!
Whether you've just started seeing someone or you're ready to take your relationship to the next level, your actions on Valentine's Day can really make or break the future of your relationship.
If you're not sure to get the woman you want to be your Valentine this year, It's Just Lunch has started compiling some ideas on our It's Just Lunch Pinterest page.
We've even turned some of these ideas into an online booklet for your viewing pleasure. You can view it by clicking here: http://midd.me/40Vm
Enjoy the ideas and feel free to chime in with your own on our It's Just Lunch Facebook page.