Rule #19- The Subtext Of A Text

via JohnnyMrNinja

via JohnnyMrNinja

Text messages can be very annoying; they are ambiguous, convoluted, and you can never be certain of what the other person really meant.  They don’t convey anger, insult or a joking manner.

I personally dislike messaging for fear of deadly misunderstandings and other mishaps. That aside, I would like to address one particular phenomenon; the modern mating cry, otherwise know as, ‘the booty call’ (or text).

Last week I had just nestled into bed, it was after midnight, and my cell beeped; “awake?” The male in question is a happily attached guy friend of mine; who honestly just wanted to chat. I don’t blame his ‘innocence’ on the subject; text messaging is the wild west of inter-human communication, the grey area of relationships.

Whether you are dating, undefined, or just “getting coffee” at three am, you may be a victim of unintentional sexting. 

Rules for Clear Cellular Communication:

1. Unless your looking to sleep with the other person (which is also fine), don’t text them after midnight.

(There are extenuating circumstances to this, like: you are walking home and it’s pitch black outside and you think someone is following you).

2. Add smilies/winks/sad faces when you’re messaging. It may seem silly, but it helps convey emotions better and can save you a lot of grief.

3. If you are not interested, be clear about it! Fight the temptation to flirt back or string him along (just because it’s Friday night and you are bored). 

4. If, like me, you too have a confused male friend who texts you at all hours of the night (and subsequently pisses off your boyfriend); break it to him gently that it is inappropriate. 

(This also means you have to abide by your own rules). 

5. If you are having casual sex, make sure that you are both clear about the nature of the relationship.

The more open you are about this with each other, the less of a chance you have of getting hurt.


  1. I concur that texts may be ambiguous. Plain text is a poor medium for subtlety unless one is a master of the language. A more pertinent point it that it is very easy to send it to the wrong person. Why, once, on a bus to the plane in Frankfurt airport, I sent a rather lewd text to my wife with suggestions about what we might do when I got home to dear Old Blighty. Well, as it happened, my finger bounced upon the to: button and it got sent to the first entry in the address book, which was my boss. This led me to exclaim loudly and do a rather animated dance of horror on the bus, much to the alarm of my fellow passengers and the amusement of my friend and colleague who was accompanying me.
    I fretted for the whole week and upon meeting my boss on Monday, attempted to apologise, only to discover that he got so many texts from the voicemail system, he deleted them all before reading. A red face feels so hot from the inside, doesn’t it?

    1. Gosh, thank god that has never happened to me, I always triple check that I am sending an e-mail or text to the right phone #. O well I guess it’s just another one of those things that feels mortifying at the time and makes a funny story later (;

  2. I’m terrible for texting people when i’m bored & thus leading them on. Not so much these days but in my younger years. I think the whole ‘ Unless your looking to sleep with the other person (which is also fine), don’t text them after midnight’. Great rule!

  3. hahaha! in my blog, i often write about an old love interest named “sir henry.” in fact, i mentioned him in last night’s post about sex (or lack thereof)! he was my first sex text ever. it was 2004, and he sent me a post-midnight message (we had only conversed on at that point). i responded, “do you ever sleep?” he responded, “care to see?” apparently that was an invitation for sex and i didn’t realise it. LAME! (him, not me!). x

  4. I have a guy I dated that will just texted me out of the blue. He was just divorced when we dated, then he married and got divorced again and just picked up texting where he left off. What??? So weird! This is good advice.

  5. Hi!!!! thank you so much for tking a look to my blog. I really liked yours! For sure i’ll read it, i think we all need to hear about relationship tips! hehe, greetings form Barcelona!

  6. Yay! Someone else who agrees about adding winks and smilies helps avoid lots of grief and helps convey messages better. My guy friends just don’t get this, and I always end up saying to them I don’t like the tone of your text and getting moody with them. I think I may direct them to your blog so they know I’m not just some paranoid nutcase! Great post, made me chuckle!

  7. I’m a little old-fashioned and am not much of a texting fan either. I’m married but sometimes we still misinterpret each other’s messages.
    Thanks for the ‘like’ on my blog. The photos in your blog are amazing; all black & white, and classical…that is very unique!

  8. Ooo the ambiguous possible booty call text! Ummm I would say sometimes it might be innocent, BUT, you don’t want to let someone you like know you are home in bed on a Saturday night. Let him think you are way too busy having fun to answer a potential booty call text.

  9. Loved this post. Since I moved to San Francisco I’ve learned that dating = scheduling (via text) and that men just don’t call anymore (that’s old-fashioned). Not sure it’s because I’m in the global tech center of Silicon Valley/Bay Area but the habits and rules are changing. And I’m beginning to do the same. Texting is fast and easy. lol …. PS thank you for liking my post ~ my first Polyvore fashion creation!

  10. My texting doesn’t fall into these caregories, but I should probably pass this advice on to my single sons who tend to text more often than they talk on the phone!

  11. I think the “rules” of dating have changed so much since we have all this social media present – no more the “two days then call” after a first date thing (ok, no really, I am not that old, I think I saw it in an episode of Friends once) – I think some “rules” should apply with texting though. Oh and if your partner is hiding their phone? Always a bad sign.

  12. I don’t like texting just for the fact that is ambiguos and you dont know the tone of the other person text. Having a conversation over texts really gets on my nerves, that’s what phone calls are for. To me texting is lazy when it comes to dating if the guy is interested he should call instead of texting all the time. Texting led to missunderstandings.

  13. I agree. Even though phone calls can feel intrusive at times, they’re better because you can hear tone of voice and tell when somebody’s smiling. Emails and texts are fraught with the possibility of misunderstanding. Some people hate smileys, etc., but they do help! :)

  14. Absolutely love this post! I have a few certain friends who enjoy the late night text… ignored one for the first time last week and 10 minutes later I received a second, more panicky text explaining his reasons and the context of his first text…awkward. I ignored the second one too :)

      1. The emotional stuff that goes on when you find yourself connecting artistically with someone. But the trick is to keep the art in it’s place. Esp hard for artists! Art comes from eros!

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