Texting proves key to starting relationships
Every time my mother asks me if I‚Äôm seeing someone, I almost have the same exact answer. Besides cringing at the thought of talking about boys with her, I have to try and explain the act of ‚Äútalking.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúNo, Mom, I‚Äôm not official with someone yet, we‚Äôre just talking.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúWell, obviously you‚Äôre talking to the person.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúNo, Mom, as in texting.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúWhat does talking-texting even mean, Sheridan?‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs hard to explain.‚ÄĚ
In fact, it‚Äôs quite difficult to explain what talking-texting means to a ‚Äú32-year-old‚ÄĚ woman (you‚Äôre welcome, Mom). But when speaking to others of our generation, it‚Äôs just something that we inherently understand. Meet someone cute, they text you with their name, you add it to your contacts and your talking-texting has commenced.
That‚Äôs just the easy part, though. What do you do once you‚Äôve swapped numbers? I‚Äôm prepared to say that college students probably spend more time attempting to figure out what to say in a text to someone they like than writing an actual paper.
‚ÄúLook at what (insert name here) texted me! What do I text back?‚ÄĚ
How often has one of your friends said that to you? How often have you said that to another person? In olden times, ink-laden letters were sent via carrier pigeon, full of beautiful words to woo their loved ones. Nowadays, it can take you a full hour to convince yourself that ‚Äúlol‚ÄĚ is the best response to a text.
I am one of those people, and I know that I‚Äôm not alone. I get asked all the time what to type on a friend‚Äôs touch-screen keyboard. If several of my friends‚Äô relationships make it to the altar, I will finally get to tell their significant others that it was I ‚ÄĒ not the friend ‚ÄĒ who was talking to them for a while.
So if you need a little guidance in your texting endeavors, just follow my Three ‚ÄėF‚Äôs Rule: Funny, Free and Forceful. These steps are mostly fool-proof and can take off years of stress.
1. Funny: Be funny ‚ÄĒ hopefully that isn‚Äôt too difficult for you. No one likes a Debbie Downer, so when you can show off that self-deprecating (to a degree) humor to reel the other in, do so. Laughter is one thing that everyone has in common, and your witty sarcasm will be absolutely irresistible.
The stitch? Well, sometimes humor doesn‚Äôt come across well over text and you might get a ‚Äú?‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúhuh?‚ÄĚ in reply. It‚Äôs important to understand the person you‚Äôre talking to and ask yourself one question: Do you think they have the brains to understand thoughtful humor, or did all of that partying burn up their brain cells?
Know your audience. If your special someone is into films, find a way to incorporate that in. ‚ÄúHow was your night?‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúEpic. It could be the next sequel to The Hangover.‚ÄĚ Are they into politics? ‚ÄúThis Spanish homework is so hard.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúNo kidding, it‚Äôs like trying to understand Mitt Romney‚Äôs economic plan.‚ÄĚ
Keep the jokes simple and cute, and you might just win them over.
2. Free: Your significant other needs to know that you‚Äôre available. How do you accomplish this without pasting a sign on your head reading ‚ÄúDesperate and Alone‚ÄĚ? Start small. Ask them if they can help you with your impossible neuroscience homework in a pass√© way: ‚ÄúI‚Äôm about to give up on this Blackboard assignment. You might have to give me a crash course before our next exam.‚ÄĚ
Next, move up to a coffee date. It‚Äôs casual, it‚Äôs right on campus and it‚Äôs a great way for two people to cross the threshold from friends to lovers. When I suggest this to friends, they usually freak out, thinking that it‚Äôs a way of declaring your love for someone. Really, stop overreacting. Ask them if they need a caffeine break, and take them to The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (the one at the cinema school, though. The Campus Center Coffee Bean is where romance goes to die).
And if you‚Äôre feeling confident, move into the real dating sphere. ‚ÄúHave you seen Anna Karenina yet? I remember the book from high school, and I really want to see how they did this adaptation. You in?‚ÄĚ
Honestly, it doesn‚Äôt matter where you ask to take the person, it‚Äôs just important that you start spending one-on-one time with one another.
3. Forceful: Now don‚Äôt be a creep (I‚Äôve definitely been guilty of this in the past), but make it known that you‚Äôre interested in the other person romantically. This is where you‚Äôre supposed to use those flirting skills and combine the previous two steps to make an impression.
Once you feel like the relationship is progressing nicely ‚ÄĒ and trust me, you‚Äôll know if the other person is interested or not ‚ÄĒ start dropping more elaborate hints. If you previously asked them out to coffee or a movie, those could still be seen as friend-zone activities. So step it up a notch.
‚ÄúWhat are you doing Friday night? There‚Äôs this taco place in Culver City that has our name on it.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúUgh, you like FC Barca instead of Real Madrid? You‚Äôre lucky you‚Äôre so cute ‚ÄĒ I‚Äôll let you get away with it.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúThe line for the 9-0 is ridiculously long, but completely worth it if I get to hang out with you.‚ÄĚ
Don‚Äôt forget a smiley or winky face or two. Even though emoticons usually make me want to throw a chair through a window, when it‚Äôs coming from a cute guy I‚Äôm into, I can‚Äôt help but buckle at the knees.
Yes, you might find these lines cringe-worthy now, but trust me, when you‚Äôre caught up in the early stages of romance, all the things that previously made you want to puke instead make you the happiest person alive.
Whatever you choose to type, try and stay true to yourself. Throw out all the rules saying you have to wait 20 minutes to text back or to not type long paragraphs ‚ÄĒ do what feels right.
And when in doubt, emojis always work.
Sheridan Watson is a junior majoring in critical studies. Her column ‚ÄúLovegame‚ÄĚ runs Thursdays.