5 Texting Fails You Won’t (easily) Recover From


I recently became the Global Ambassador for Tinder. It’s a side gig. I’m still a shrink. Still blogging. Actually, blogging more than ever – just for other publications in addition to ADD (<- Ask Dr. Darcy, though the acronym is ironic given that I have ADD).

I signed on with Tinder because of the appeal in reaching/teaching millions of swipers dating and relationship skills.

The experience has reinforced many of my instinctive beliefs about what attracts and repels people, and it’s also turned me into something of an online dating guru:  I can tell you if your profile and app interactions are encouraging left or right swipes, and why.

But matching is just the first step.

How you interact after you match is where the rubber meets the road.

Here’s my list of texting DON’Ts and WHYs:

  1. Over-text.  You wouldn’t call your match multiple times throughout the workday. Why are you texting them incessantly? If you say it all in text, there’s nothing to talk about in person which makes for an awkward date, and increases the likelihood that you won’t get a second date.  

  2. Randomly step away from a text conversation. Right. I realize I just told you to step away from the phone, however, there’s an art to doing it without making your match feel like she’s being ghosted – or like you’re speaking with so many matches that you forgot to respond to her last text. It’s actually pretty easy. Say, “Gotta run now. More later.” And that tells your match that you’re still interested in continuing the conversation, and that you also have a life, which ultimately makes you more attractive.

  3. Assume the worst. Actually, it’s ok if you assume the worst. Just don’t text the worst. Say you’re in the middle of a great text conversation and suddenly #2 happens (the number 2 above. God.). No one would dispute how awful it feels to be in the middle of a flirty text and suddenly hear crickets.

  4. Please control the impulse to text. Give your match a chance to finish whatever’s caught their attention. Don’t text your worst fear. Don’t tell them off. Don’t blow up their phone. Doing things like that will overwhelm anyone new in your life and it will make you look desperate. Or in need of emotional management skills. Either way, step away from the phone, get on with your life, and control your impulses.  

  5. Fire too rapidly. Humans like excitement. We like small doses of anticipation (too much anticipation = anxiety). We like to wonder. It’s seductive. When you consistently respond immediately to your matches texts, she doesn’t get a dose of anticipation. She gets the sense that you’re sitting around waiting to hear from her, which is less likely to excite her and more likely to encourage her to find another match who has better impulse control. Use the 5:1 ratio. Allow yourself to respond to 4 out of 5 texts immediately. Let that 5th one sit 3 minutes before responding.

  6. Forget the point. You’ve matched. She’s amazing. And it’s been days of text flirting. Close. The. Deal. Schedule the date. Don’t become another online dating statistic who fails to move from the app to the date!

PS: Don’t leave without joining my tribe below!