Skip to main content

love is in the air...


LONDON, United Kingdom – Wandering amongst the party-goers of Soho, in central London on Saturday night, I had one task. Find out how dates are using their mobile phones. Whilst dodging between the throngs of casual drinkers – gay, straight and everything in between – my mind sauntered back to some rules of mobile phone courting, when I was a student. 

 – Leave it minimum 3 days before calling them 

 – Ensure you text back at least 3 hours after you get a message, to seem cool

 – Never say I like / love by text… that’s just creepy

If you’re a guy, like me, you might have picked up those finer points of love in the boozer. Ladies take things more seriously, I hear – with entire books devoted to ‘the rules’ of text and email romance. 

So how soon is too soon to send a text declaring your affections? The answer, if you’re a girl, is that it’s never too soon to hear from the one you’re hankering after.   

How to choose your lover

Out in Soho I meet David and Susan, a couple from Hamburg, Germany, who told  me their story of mobile lust: “David was very keen when texting me from the start, he texted me saying ”you’re the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen” after about two weeks. He would always text back within the hour and call me straight back. I liked that, it showed he liked me.”

David made the first move, but the ‘textating’ rules say that you shouldn’t hold back just because you’re female. Times have changed! 

Replying to a love text within an hour seems like a good compromise – although that hour could tick by awfully slowly. Waiting hours to reply might seem cool, but it could also just be off putting. What isn’t good is texting every five minutes. See this example below:   

Kirk and Duncan are a loveable duo from Dalston, North East London. 

“Kirk did most of the texting, as I work as a bar manager, my phone sits by a cash register most of the night. Playing hard to get wasn’t intended, he just had to wait.” 

Duncan tells me that once he sent Kirk 15 texts one night, in a drunken fit of passion, saying how they should live together. “Out of choice”, he describes, “I would have said it to his face, but he wasn’t answering his phone, so I just went for it”. 

Oh dear. Drunk texting is an absolute no-no. Who wants those misspelled words, and  slurred slops of loved-up mush? And fifteen texts a night seem to be heading towards desperation. We all know where the next step leads – you’re texting saying “Hello, did you get my last text…? Only I texted you ten times and you haven’t replied and I wondered if you’d dropped your phone, or the signal got re-routed via Iceland…?” Just don’t go there. 



Let’s imagine that you’ve had your first date and you think you like each other. Where do you take texting next? 

“In my opinion, the sooner you text back the better, as in this day and age, people are never far away from their phones”, says Helen a single 30-something from Sheffield, South Yorkshire. “If  someone I’m seeing doesn’t text back within a day, I get bored and move on.”

Emma, a charity worker, agrees: “My partner texted me straight away after our first date and said what a nice date it had been, and how she wanted to meet up again soon. Then I got another text the next day asking about my visit to the gym. I really liked that. Now we’re living together and I couldn’t have hoped for anyone nicer. ” 

It’s not just when you text – but how you text. Good grammar and tone of voice are just as important as how soon. If you send smiley faces and LOL – then your love-to-be might think that you’re the kind of person…who sends smiley faces and LOLs. Enough said.

Never be tempted to send naughty pictures of yourself, and suggestive messages unless you’re really sure that’s the road you want to go down. 

Wit and humour are always good, but only if you’re confident that you are actually witty. Sarcasm is a killer and should be avoided at all costs. Try to use phrases that open conversations, instead of closing them – and don’t send long personal stories. Suggest another date so that you can bore her death in person instead. 

The good thing about text love is that if it isn’t working, you can just not text back. 

Back on the streets of Soho, Phil from west London, sums up his views concisely: “If a woman texted me she loved me after we went out a couple of times, that girl would get bounced straight away!”

Wise words Phil. And remember ladies, if he doesn’t text you after a week, he’s not that into you – let it go. 

Emma says the most romantic text she ever got was the one that just said ‘X’.

But don’t be tempted to just send a text today – as Trevor explains.