8

I’m going on a first date tomorrow with a guy I matched with on a dating app a few days ago. In these past three days, I found him texting a bit more than I’m used to and it has caused some concerns for me.

My question is how should I tell him that I prefer to text less without hurting his feelings on the first date?

My expectation: Since we have set a date to meet, let’s just text to figure out the logistics. Maybe check in the night before or the morning on the day of.

His behavior: He would text me three, four times a day every day and seemed to expect more than just checking in.

Example: Today he started a trip and texted me to figure out when and where to meet. After we agreed to meet tomorrow somewhere, I thought the conversation was over. However, in the next 2 hrs, 5 hrs and 10hrs, he texted me again sharing pictures of his trip and asked me how my day went. I replied and he followed up with more questions. I felt a bit obliged and tired.

My concerns:

  • I do not think I can do this every day. I’m not a person who’s always on the phone. My work is busy; When I’m free I like to engage in fun activities or enjoy some me-time. (See my expectation as above)

  • Is it possible that we have different needs for personal space? For me texting that much is something I’d probably only do with my boyfriend, where there is naturally a lot to share and communicate on a daily basis. But with a guy I just met, I’d expect to interact mostly just on the dates we’d go.

Some context if it matters: - We are both in our early 30s. I am and he seems too to be looking for a serious relationship.

TL; DR: matched a guy on a dating app. He texted a lot, I didn’t like it. How to communicate that on our first date?

11

It doesn't seem that the problem is that he texts you frequently -- after all, it can be rather nice to have someone give you that much of their attention. Instead it's the fact that you feel it's necessary to respond to to his texts in a timely manner, possibly because that's what he expects any of his friends to do.

To take a step back: When getting involved in a new relationship keep in mind that the other person is going to do any number of things differently from how you would do them. That's what makes it fun. Most of the time, what they do isn't wrong, just different. This attitude help you to avoid trying to control someone else's behavior, and instead focus on not letting them control your behavior.

So be yourself. If you don't feel like texting back right away, then don't. If he asks, "Why don't you text me when I text you?" just respond with something like:

It's OK. Don't be upset if I can't text you back right away. It's not always convenient for me to respond each time you text -- but I will try to respond as soon as I can.

In that way you draw a mild boundary between what he wants to do, and what you want to do. He can text you to his heart's content, and you can feel no pressure to respond promptly to each. You also help affirm his desire for your attention, in that he knows you are at least reading his texts and thinking about them, even if you're not constantly communicating.

Still, this is only a first date, so it's a little premature to talk about long-term solutions. If you find you like him, and want to get more involved with him, then you can always meet him halfway and become comfortable texting more frequently. You might find that you actually enjoy this kind of connection. Or he might choose to text less often, because he knows you find it annoying, and be more concise and clear in his communication.

First, find out if your want a more serious relationship, and then think about how to adjust your styles to be more harmonious.

5

It seems to me like he feels your relationship has already started. He's sharing his day with you and showing you that his expectation for a relationship is that you will at minimum be interested in these every-few-hours updates. (It's possible the trip is unusual and that in a normal three-day period there would be less to give you updates on.) He may also be wondering why you are not texting him about what you're doing and how much you're looking forward to the date.

If you feel you would text like that with a boyfriend, then consider the possibility that he just already considers himself to be your boyfriend now. After the date, if you agree, then you won't have a mismatch on texting levels. But I actually hear that you don't want to text that much with anyone. If that's the case, the general approach is not to reply quickly, and to include cues in your reply like "I was in the pool" or "I had my phone off while I was reading" or "I never answer texts in the middle of the night" (these do not need to include apologies for not replying more quickly) so that he learns your preferences by example.

  • 8
    When you are dealing with someone trying to get a date, keep in mind that they may be following advice from friends, or something they read online. "Keep her engaged with amusing anecdotes about your day. That way she's less likely to flake." You can very well be correct that he's getting ahead of himself, but the other possibility is that he's looking forward to the date and is trying to show that. – cleaver Sep 15 '18 at 16:19
2

I believe his behavior is normal for reasons I'll outline below, however if you are finding it to be draining to reply right away or that the frequency of his texts bothers you you should talk about it sooner rather than later. If you explain that you don't like to spend much time on your phone and that your work and activities take you away from your phone so you are not able to respond right away there shouldn't be any hard feelings on his side. The beauty of texting is the fact that it's asynchronous he can leave you messages and you can get back to him at your leisure.

Being a guy myself who has used online dating for some time I tend to think that this is normal online dating behavior on his part. Texting frequently before first meeting for a date is normal, it allows both parties to get a better idea of what the person is like (yes some dating sites have more extensive profiles where you can read what they've said about themselves but hearing about in conversation can reveal more about them), gauge each each others' interest level and make the prospect of your date more exciting.

Texting before dates can also be fairly important for more introverted people who have trouble making conversation with people they don't know very well as they can get ideas of what you're passionate about, or that you have in common to talk about when you're on your date.

Lastly on this topic, as was briefly mentioned in a comment, simply setting a date to meet and stopping communication until just before the date may not work for most people in online dating. Keep in mind that with online dating its very possible for them to be looking at and talking to many different people, stopping communication can give the impression that the person doesn't consider the date to be important to them, or that they've lost interest in you and that they've abandoned the date (hopefully letting you know they've cancelled but they may not since its an online interaction).

2

I've been through this myself quite recently, when I began dating again after coming out of a lengthy relationship. Unlike the other responses, I think I have a different perspective on this.

Like you, I've experienced people who seemed very heavy on messaging frequently, and despite finding it a bit over-the-top, at first I wanted to be polite so would always reply as quickly as I could. After going through this with a few different dates, I found it exhausting and actually made it less exciting for me.

The solution here is to be more in control of how much you communicate, by not feeling obliged to respond to every message you receive. Don't apologise for this either. Let's say you've been at work all day, and your date has sent you two or three messages. There's nothing wrong with replying after work and responding to all their messages in a single reply.

The point is, either you choose to increase the frequency that you message to match their expectations, or you decide to message them how much you want to, and see whether they start messaging a bit less as a result.

Sometimes this might not work - the date may decide you aren't communicating enough and move on to someone else, but that's no bad thing if you aren't comfortable with someone who needs that level of interaction so early into dating. They probably aren't going to get any better, so the issue would eventually annoy you more.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.