The Ten Commandments of Texting

The first text I ever received from the opposite sex was courtesy of the hottest girl that went to the high school a town over from mine. She was cute blonde who filled her sweaters and put out a “Baby Spice” vibe. I mean, real talk, ya boy was playing above the rim on this one.

Our SMS exchanges went from friendly to flirty, eventually leading to more in-person rendezvous where our parents Uber’d us to and from each other’s houses. Before long, our T9-fueled love affair turned into an actual relationship.

And even though this was circa 2005 and I was rocking a Nokia brick phone, a valuable lesson was learned: when you’re courting babes, you better keep your text game TIGHT.

We’re living in a digital world where you can’t just be tossing out texts willy-nilly and expect to lock down a keeper. You have to hone your skills and master the art of texting. “How do I do that?” you ask? By following the Ten Commandments of Texting With Babes.

I. Thou shall turn on Read Receipts. Stevie Jobs was a sly, sly dog when he stole this idea from Blackberry. You’re probably thinking, “Bro, you’re crazy if you think I’m turning Read Receipts on. I don’t want people knowing that I’m ignoring the shit out of their texts.” Well, time to change your fuckin’ tune. When the apple of your eye tosses you a text and she sees that you’ve read it, you’re immediately just buying real estate in this gal’s mind. She’s sitting on her couch binge-watching Scandal thinking, “Why is he not responding? Does he hate me? Is he with another girl? Did I do something wrong?” You’re keepin’ her on her toes.

II. Thou shall not respond immediately. Slow play, slow play, slow play. You know when a dog is pretty much dry-humping your leg because he wants a treat? Well, that’s you when you’re responding to a text in under 10 minutes. Yeah, there are those times when you have to respond in a timely manner–like when she needs an address to the bar you’re crushing or when she asks if she can bring her hot friends to the shaker you’re throwing. But the other 99% of the time? Play it cool. Girls don’t want needy dudes. They want dudes that are chillin’ the most.

III. Thou shall establish an inside joke. This inside joke is your homebase when shit hits the fan. It’s the place you can always revert back to when you’re up against a wall and don’t know where to turn. Whether this joke is about a common experience or an Iggly Azalea song, it doesn’t fuckin’ matter. Haven’t talked in a couple days? Boom, inside joke. Lackluster responses lately? Hit her with the IJ. Rocking some Sunday Scaries and you need to make sure she’s still sweatin’ you? Inside Joke City, population: you. Establish this early and often or you’re going to find yourself up Shit Creek without a paddle.

IV. Thou shall not use emojis. Nothing screams “please put me in the friend zone as soon as humanly possible” like tossing out the laughing-cry-face emoji.

And actually, this is just a life rule. If you’re using emojis in everyday texts, you’re taking a shot at your own manhood. You’re coming off as the softest dude ever. Would your grandpa ever use a smiley? Hell no. So have some respect for yourself.

V. Thou shall exercise restraint when using “ha.” Let’s be honest – unless you’re texting with Amy Poehler, you’re probably not laughing that hard at this chick’s quips. She ain’t layin’ knee-slappers. You need to obey a strict “ha” policy or you might as well just start using fucking emojis and asking what color her nails are.

Ha = “That amused me.”

Haha = “Solid joke, I approve.”

Hahaha = Someone asks you why you smirked at your phone.

This ain’t Showtime At The Fuckin’ Apollo. You guys are trying to establish a friendly banter that can translate into real life, not apply for a job writing for SNL.

VI. Thou shall never double-text. When she’s not responding, do not UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES fish for a response by sending a second text. That’s about as smart as punching yourself in the dick. You’ve said what you’ve needed to say and she’ll respond accordingly. Don’t second guess yourself and get sloppy. Double-texting her pretty much gives her the keys and says, “I lack any and all self confidence. Here is all the power.” Text with conviction and purpose.

VII. Thou shall never send a nude photo. Fappening, bro–ever heard of it? You think Justin Verlander is proud of himself right now? I mean, I won’t even MENTION that his velocity is down, but those photos that he sent to Kate Upton? Just shameful. SMH like you read about. At the end of the day, your dick-pic is probably nothing to call home about.

Straight up – this girl tells her friends EVERYTHING. Don’t text anything you don’t want them seeing.

VIII. Thou shall be brief. If you can’t tweet it, you can’t text it. You’re not F. Scott fuckin’ Fitzgerald, so don’t fill her screen with useless information that makes her roll her eyes. You have to Hemingway this shit. Brevity and clarity are close to godliness. 140 characters or get the fuck out.

IX. Though shall exercise late-night restraint. If it’s 2 a.m. and you’re not with her, hit the sack, bro. You don’t want to wake up, scroll your phone, and see that you hit her with a “suck me beautiful” text at last call. When I was crushing a Blackberry, I made it so my phone would turn off after midnight so I wouldn’t make drunken mistakes. Cool chicks don’t want to date guys that are clearly just begging for a booty call. Would you want your daughter dating a dude who’s just trying to slay late night? No. Don’t be that guy.

X. Thou shall not be afraid to fucking call her. You’re looking for a girlfriend, not a text buddy. Gotta tell her you’re going to be five minutes late? Call her. Asking her on a date? Call her. Need to see if she has your wallet because things got buckwild in the sack last night? CALL HER. You don’t want her to be telling her friends, “Yeah, I like him, but all we do is text.” That shit is weak. If you actually like this girl, you need to call her and keep her on her toes.

And if none of this works for you? Tough shit, she’s not that into you.