One of my clients recently handed over her phone so I could read her text exchanges with a match. “He ghosted on me,” she said. But when I viewed their messages, the reason he ghosted became clear — she was acting digitally unavailable.

In a world where we text instead of call, even small miscommunications via text can cost you dates. Here are three texting must-haves so you don’t lose out on any date nights.

Focus on connecting and planning equally. The best text flirting involves both. Think about it: if you try to get to know someone without meeting IRL, you may waste your time writing all those texts and never go on a date. But similarly, if you try to skip directly to the date, you may not build up a strong enough connection to have a great time in person.

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If you haven’t met yet, nudge your match offline after about 20 to 30 messages back and forth. (Don't be shy, ladies!) Or if you’ve already met, send a thank you text post-date to keep the text string open and continue connecting. If the other person doesn’t mention another date within a week, go for it yourself.

Don’t fear silence. Often, my clients freak when their text doesn’t get a reply. They say, “She/he must not be interested anymore” or even conclude the person ghosted. But not every text needs a reply. It’s possible the conversation came to a natural close, especially if you didn’t ask a question. Sending a second message is okay once a few days pass. Make sure the person had enough time to reply to the first and then include a question so it clearly calls for a response.

Let “real time” communication be real time. With my client I mentioned, the lag time between messages was the issue – it took her more than 24 hours to reply! Don’t strategize your reply time – just respond when you see a match’s message. Having a digital conversation in real time is powerful, so you both want to meet up face-to-face sooner.