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 can give 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 still be indicators of the level of interest two people have in each other.
Texting and Relationships
Texting can be a great, low key way to engage with someone you’ve got your eyes on. If you’re needing some clarity in what’s happening in 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 things 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 this guy is looking for an excuse to get in touch. Here are some signs of positive, lighthearted messages you might receive from a guy 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 the same one consistently.
- 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. Many people opt out of texting after a while if it doesn’t seem pertinent anymore. Our busy lives tend to take precedent over texts. Bonus points: he politely says when he has to leave a 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 is referring to a hot friend of yours a lot, he may want help getting connected with her.
- His texts are not all business or school focused.
- He may send you a message to let you know something has reminded him of you.
- He sends you pictures to make you laugh—like animals, things from movies, his shoes.
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 says this often.
- He gives unsolicited compliments on your looks, personality, brains, talents, etc.
- He says, “I miss you.”
- He offers to help pay for something for you.
- If you need his assistance, he doesn’t delay to offer help. He may immediately come to your rescue.
- He handles it well if you send him something completely strange.
- 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.
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 adding 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 wellbeing 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.
Here are some clues that might not seem obvious to you at first. Punctuation, length, even grammar can all be clues as to what your guy is thinking and how he feels about 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 are 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 foul 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.
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. I will say though that 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.