Andrea writes on various topics from dating, couples, astrology, weddings, interior design, and gardens. She studied film and writing.
The New World of Texting
SMS stands for Short Message Service. It was used for the first time on 3 December 1992, when Neil Papworth, a 22-year-old test engineer for SEMA in the UK, used a personal computer to send the message, "Merry Christmas." Since then, texting has become an integral part of human life.
Our texts give us clues about the nature of friendships, our habits, our love interests, and the places we frequent. Relationships are not determined by texting, but text messages can indicate whether two people like each other or not.
Texting and Relationships
Texting can be a great, low-key way to engage with someone you like. If you're needing some clarity on a suspicious exchange of texts, look no further. This article is here to help you sort out whether he leans more toward liking you, or maybe something else.
Texting can be as revealing as body language. Here are some handy things to check in your text messages to garner a better idea of whether he just wants you for your body, if he genuinely likes you, or is just having some fun.
Subject: What Does He Text?
The first thing you should ask when you get a text message: What is this guy saying? Why is he saying it?
Random Positive Messages
Lighthearted texts about anything and everything are always good because they mean that your guy is looking for an excuse to get in touch. Here are some signs of positive, lighthearted messages you might receive from a dude who likes you.
- The conversations do not focus on everyday matters, but instead on humorous things that are inside jokes. Is there a consistent thread that refers back to a significant moment?
- He uses a pet name or nickname for you. He uses one name frequently.
- Positivity is important. If you're bored enough, put your messages on an Excel sheet and decipher how many are positive to you vs. how many seem negative, or neutral.
- Notice if he always responds. Be honest, most text threads are pretty boring. If he keeps responding to you then he must find you engaging. Our busy lives tend to take precedence over texts. Bonus points: he politely exits the conversation.
- He sends you a text about a dream that he had about you.
- He sends you random song lyrics.
- He sends you a joke.
- He comments on something extremely minuscule to see if you noticed too.
- He might refer to nostalgia, such as bringing up Pokémon, Final Fantasy, a Disney movie, etc.
- He doesn't refer to your hot friends. If he constantly talks about one of your friends then he likely has a crush on them.
- His texts are not all business or school related.
- He sends you a message to let you know something reminded him of you.
- He sends you pictures to make you laugh—like animals, things from movies, his shoes.
- He asks random questions to start up a conversation and to figure out your interests.
- He sends you pictures of his food and asks if you want some. He wants to know what you want for lunch.
- He writes a message that sounds more like a story from Shakespearian times. He is trying to be funny and show that he is witty.
- He asks you about your favorite vacations.
- He messages you a lot about his pets.
- He sends you happy holiday or birthday messages. He sends you messages about unimportant holidays like national hide a zucchini on your neighbor's porch day.
- He is crafty. He makes cool items. He sends you a picture and asks if you want one of his handmade items.
If a guy is talking to you about important or personal issues in his life, he clearly both values your opinion and trusts you enough that he can be honest and even emotional around you. Then again, he could just be really weird. Take everything with a grain of salt!
If a guy you like wants to have a serious conversation, even over text, that's a sign that he probably does like you or care about your opinions.
And if he is saying outright that he likes you or values your relationship, well, that's even better.
- Beware of sexting. It's a better sign if, instead of sexting, he texts you as though he respects you. If he sexts you, he may easily be doing this with others. And he could be sharing information or pictures that you send with his friends, so take caution. My own rule of thumb is if you wouldn't want your grandmother to see it, then you probably don't want the whole Internet to see it—send photos wisely.
- He uses positive affirmations rather than bringing you down. Does he compliment you for being punctual, friendly, patient, etc.? This might not mean he is head over heels for you, but he at least has a soft spot for you. (Aladdin complimented Jasmine on her punctuality.)
- He refers to something from a long time ago. Whatever it was, it's stuck with him.
- He says things like, "Thank you" or "I appreciate this." He shows gratitude often.
- He gives unsolicited compliments on your looks, personality, brains, talents, etc.
- He says, "I miss you." That's a big one.
- He offers to help pay for something for you.
- If you need his assistance, he offers help. He may immediately come to your rescue. He might help you with a flat tire, a leaky faucet, or a pesky cabinet door.
- He handles it well if you send him something completely strange. He engages with your random texts.
- He overall seems to enjoy hearing from you and may even in person say that he likes having conversations with you. Could there be a greater sign than that?
- He lets you know of positive things that have happened in his life, whether over text or not, such as doing well on a test, a promotion, or having a new pet.
- His texts usually brighten your day.
- He may talk about personal details such as family, a job problem, etc.
- He asks you out on a date.
- He asks you to accompany him to a formal event because he doesn't want to go alone.
- He invites you to hang out with him one on one.
- He uses flirty emojis like holding hands, the kissy face, hearts, etc.
- He asks if you would like to go see something with him sometime, like an art gallery, a football game, a concert, etc.
- He consistently texts you throughout the week.
- He gets jealous if you mention you're interested in someone else.
Formatting and Length
After all, there’s more to texting than words. What about emoticons? What about length? This section will help you decipher your text message beyond the obvious.
Questions in a text message are a good sign because that means he is trying to continue the conversation. You've probably done this too: formatted a text in the form of a question, or added a question at the end so that there's more guarantee of a response.
If he sends you questions, that's probably what he's doing: he wants to hear from you. Here are some possible questions you might receive in a text from a guy who likes you.
- He asks you to hang out or do something. This could include: grabbing something to eat, going on a bike ride, going to the movies.
- He says things along the lines of, "Let me know if there's anything I can help with." Guys are programmed to fix things; it's a delicate part of their DNA. If you can figure out what he can fix and have him do it, you'll be able to create a connection.
- He asks if he may have accidentally spotted you, just to start a conversation. I got a call once that asked if I had stepped into a gray van in another state. Obviously, we both knew that was unlikely.
- He asks, "How are you?"
- He is concerned about your well-being and what you are doing with your life.
- He may ask for your help on something that he is not particularly skilled at handling. This is a great sign because it means he respects and trusts you.
- He might ask about some guy that he has seen you with (whether directly or indirectly).
- He does not refer to other girls. OR he asks your advice about them.
- He asks for something back that you may have borrowed: a book, movie, etc. He probably wants an excuse to chat about it with you. And to set up a time where he can see you.
- He asks about your interests. He wants to cater to them.
- He asks a really strange philosophical question because he's curious to see where the conversation will go.
- He asks about what you're wearing. (Could be a booty call.)
- He asks sports-related questions. Guys are often on the hunt for a lady who knows things about sports. They don't always know what to ask, so they try to see if you like the same stuff as them. A guy asking you about your favorite teams and sports is kind of a dead giveaway.
- He goes the direct route and asks if you like him.
- He asks you questions that are actually compliments. He asks you how you're so naturally pretty or how do you do your hair.
Here are some clues that might not seem obvious to you at first. Punctuation, length, even grammar can all be clues that someone likes you.
- If he texts you back and engages in conversation, this is positive, even if his messages are short with one or two words.
- He uses "Hahahaha." Or another text to indicate that he finds something funny.
- Exclamation marks! The more of them, the higher the likelihood he digs you. Also, guys don't use exclamation marks as much as girls. So if he is using them, he probably means them.
- He contacts you in other forms whether phone calls, Facebook, in person, emails, letters, smoke signals, etc. My Facebook back-to-back feed with one guy, in particular, has YouTube videos, "likes" on statuses, little inside jokes here and there, and sometimes even conversations on other people's profiles. This can be a pretty fun way to maintain contact, if done right.
- He sends you texts frequently. Is he sending you texts every day? Once a week? Once a year?
- He isn't playing mind games and has no problem sending two or more messages at once, rather than sending one at a time and waiting for your response. He's eager to talk to you and wants to make certain that you're informed.
- He uses proper grammar.
- He sends you a picture that reminds him of you.
- He refrains from using plain ole' "k."
- He refrains from using "LOL." It's weak, sister. REAL WEAK.
- He is comfortable with writing you a long text message that breaks into six sections. Not necessarily often, but he would do it.
- He avoids curse words or inappropriate language. OR, he uses a lot of language, not all guys are the same.
- He texts you when he is clearly drunk.
- He may send a text in all caps with just your name and exclamation marks.
- You text him and he responds with: "I was just thinking about you!"
Timing: When Does He Text?
Sometimes the timing of a text contains more clues than a text itself. Here are some tips on deciphering the timing and frequency of messages.
This is a classic way to tell if someone likes you. If a guy you like texts you all the time, even if the messages don't seem to have much content, that's a big deal. And if he texts you during important moments in his life, or when he needs help, that's also a big deal. Here are some good signs related to timing.
- After seeing you, he sends you a message that he had a good time. This is a polite affirmation of the time you spent together. This actually makes my day when anyone does this.
- He might not instantly text you back (we all have busy lives), but if he does seem to respond quickly, this is positive. If it takes him more than twenty-four hours without reason, that is suspicious, but don't jump to conclusions. If he never answers at all, that's almost always a bad sign. You could possibly have the wrong number, or he changed his number. (One summer I texted a friend randomly when I thought of him and didn't know that he was on a giant road trip across the country without his phone. When he got back into town, we met up later to discuss his whole trip. So at the end of the day, if you feel like texting, just do it.)
- He texts you during the day rather than at night. 12:00AM–6:00AM is unusual, and more than likely a booty call.
- The two of you text one another more than you text others.
- He texts when you've just gotten back from a long trip, perhaps overseas where you don't have service.
- He attempts to get in touch between 9:00AM–5:00PM to make arrangements to see you. These are hours that show respect on his part.
- He sends you a long text about how wonderful you are when he knows you've had a terrible day.
- The conversation can go back and forth for hours, regardless of how many texts.
- He may consistently text you on a certain day of the week or hour as he may have figured out you were free at that time.
- He respects your time and doesn't eat it all up with texting. It's the right amount of speed for you.
- He isn't known for being a player and texting lots of girls.
What Do You Think?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Question: What if we text each other every day? What does that mean?
Answer: You have a healthy connection with each other. Keep talking and see where it goes.
Question: If he texts me everyday what does it mean?
Answer: Consistency is king. If someone texts you every day, that means they think positively of you. Consistency is one of the biggest factors in being able to tell if someone likes you. They may be looking for an opportunity for a date.
Question: If he texts me every day and is very funny and sometimes teases me, what does this mean?
Answer: If anything it means he thinks of you in a positive way. Some guys are naturally funny, and they often like to tease the opposite sex. Is he making sure you in particular laugh, or is he trying to get a crowd to laugh? Is he playfully teasing or is he being mean? It's easier to tell if someone likes you by looking at the specifics, time of day, and how consistent they do these things. And consistency is king when it comes to flirting.
Question: If he sends me a "<3" at the end of a text, what does that mean?
Answer: He probably likes you, is interested in you, or highly attracted to you.
Question: What does it mean if he sits next to me?
Answer: Literally, that could mean anything. In life, we are constantly sitting by people. Now, is he always making a point to sit by you? Is there anything else happening that makes you think he likes you?
Question: What if he texts a :)?
Answer: A happy face isn't too much concern for a headache. A happy face is friendly.
Question: My boyfriend is sick. I sent a text that read: "Hugs, I Miss you." He responded SAME. What does that mean?
Answer: It means he misses you. :)
© 2013 Andrea Lawrence