It was during a girls’ night out in Manhattan that Lisa Winning first came up with the idea for what would become the popular website HeTexted.com.
“I found that my girlfriends were constantly talking about the texts they had gotten and what they meant,” says Winning. “It just seemed like the questions that young women cared about involved dating and relationships and I thought, ‘There should be a place we could go to talk about this.’”
Along with former magazine writer Carrie Henderson McDermott, Winning created HeTexted, a site devoted to decoding the combination of texts, online dating messages, online chats and Facebook posts that are a key part of modern courtship today. Winning and Henderson McDermott have just released their first book, “He Texted: The Ultimate Guide to Decoding Guys” that breaks down everything they’ve learned in the process.
“Everyone is so connected now, but it is a lot more confusing,” Winning says of dating in the smartphone era. Since the site began two years ago, Winning has read hundreds of texts that readers have submitted to the site. Here are some of the things she says every woman should keep in mind before they reach for their phones to send that next message.
Set time limits
Winning warns against spending hours glued to Facebook Messenger or GChat. “I think you don’t want to play anything out too
much,” she advises. “Five to six messages is good and then you should put down your phone and go out into the word.”
Don’t play games
“And don’t stand for anyone who is playing games with you,” says Winning. She notes that the site has recently received lots of questions about new dating apps like Tinder. “Someone will ask something like ‘I’ve been talking to this guy on Tinder for two months, but he hasn’t asked me out,” she says. “It’s nothing like a face-to-face meeting.”
“Bluntly, it’s narcissism and ego,” Winning says of why men often text women without any apparent intention of asking them out. “You can just text someone without making an effort.”
Postpone sending that friend request
“Don’t add him on Facebook,” Winning counsels. “Let him add you.” Also be wary of becoming Facebook friends too early in the relationship. “It’s better not to have to pretend that you don’t know that he has two brothers, or that you don’t know where he went on vacation,” she says. And because guys often just send friend requests in order to be able to look at your photos remember that you can always delay accepting the request. “You can casually drop into the conversation that you really aren’t doing Facebook right now.”
Remember to get out into the world
“Have as much fun as possible,” says Winning. “Maybe put down your phone when you are actually out with people. There’s nothing like interacting with people face-to-face.”
Follow Lakshmi Gandhi on Twitter @LakshmiGandhi.