The Dos and Don’ts For Texting

Dos and don't for texting
Women and Divorce
Wendi Schuller Author of The Global Guide to Divorce

You may be in the divorce process or moving on into the dating scene. There are guidelines for what is appropriate to text and what is not. What can seem fine to you can be a deal breaker for the recipient.

Do Not Text When Angry

In the heat of the moment, it is tempting to send a scathing text. It can come back to haunt you later. If it is threatening (whether or not you really meant It), that can be used against you in court. This can be during the divorce process or deemed as harassment in a dating situation.  Pause, take deep breaths, or wait hours before shooting off a text. Just do it when calm.

Texts Do Not Pick Up Vocal Tones

You may be teasing in a text and it comes off as a put down. It is difficult to recognize a joking manner with just words. A sarcastic text can be read as agreeing with the other person, when that is not the case. “Sure I will …..”  or “I bet you will” sounds positive. If the sender is sneering, that is not picked up. Say what you mean.

Ask For A First Date in Person Or In A Phone Call

Do not ask an individual out for the first time by text. It can be perceived as cowardly or being not that interested. One guy asked me out by text and admitted that he had to have several beers before sending it. We had seen each other plenty of times so he did have the opportunity to ask me out.

Texts are good for when there is a delay “I had a last-minute meeting at work and will be arriving a half hour later” for example. Texts are okay for arranging subsequent get-togethers.

Do Not Break Up By Text

This particularly is when one is ending a marriage and going to file for divorce.  Even if you only had a few dates, there is still a relationship. Do this ideally in person or at least over the phone. You can soften the blow with kind words. “You are such a great guy and we have had some fun. I don’t see this relationship as long-term and think it is best to break it off at this point.” Much better than a text saying “It’s over, Baby.”

The flip side is a break up text can be ambiguous and the other person has no clue the relationship is over. My friend and I read a text send to a young woman. I said it was a break up one. My friend felt  that the guy would be extra busy for a while. It was so unclear what the message was attempting to convey.

Do Not Be Too Flirty

What can be flirty to one can be way out of bounds sexually to the recipient.  When I got a text cancelling our breakfast, I understood. At 6:55 am when that text was followed by “What are you wearing now?” that violated my boundary by a man I not even had the first date with yet. He later claimed he was being flirty and was harmless.

One woman got a “Can’t wait to see you nude” text before their first date. This guy also was trying to flirt and failed. She texted back that they would not be going out since he seemed to just want a hook up.

Texts Are Not A Replacement For Face To Face Interactions

Texts are superficial and touch upon subjects like Headline News programs. They cover a lot of territory, but not in depth. Yes, one may discover that they also had a divorce from Hell. Or you both like to holiday in the Canaries This is getting to know someone on the surface, not delving deep into what makes them tick.

Texts May Seem Like A Shortcut To Emotional Intimacy

It takes time to get to know someone – whether a dating partner or a platonic friend. Intimacy builds up with in person encounters. Reading body language leads to non-verbal communication. It is a squeeze on the hand, a wink, a cheeky glint in their eye. These nuances enhance a relationship.

Texting Does Add Spice To Life

After a date, a text saying “I had fun” is wonderful. A text boosting someone’s confidence at work is appreciated “I know your presentation will be outstanding!” Sending a text with a funny photo or video says you care. I like getting lovely holiday photos from guys.

Maybe you are doing a fun activity and want to share it. I had not flown a kite in a decade or two and I sent that photo to a guy for a laugh. Texts are a quick way to stay in touch. They can bring out your more playful side.

Texts are practical

In divorce, one may prefer texting as the method of communication. One saying “Is it possible to pick the kids up at 6 instead of 7 tomorrow night?” is simple. Texts are also easier if an answer is “no” and speaking to them in person is difficult. Texts are a written record in case there are some disputes.

Use common sense when texting. Do not try to be so clever and witty which can be misunderstood. Be more to the point and say what you mean. Lastly, do not assume the texts you send are only between you and the other party. People show texts to others who could include your friends and co-workers.


Author of this article, Wendi Schuller, Is a dating and divorce consultant at and   web site. She is a hypnotherapist, NLP and nurse. She wrote The Global Guide To Divorce and has a children’s book series Jack Jack The Cat.  Dating podcasts at



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