You like someone, they like you back, and you even have their number. Cool! It should feel like the hard part is over. And yet there you are puzzling over
what to text someone you just met like some sort of Julia Roberts meme, with equations floating in front of your face.
Do you go funny? Or keep it serious? You don't want to sound too casual, but you don't want to seem overly-anxious, either. All the so-called rules swim through your head as you try to craft the perfect message. And all the while, you worry about "screwing it up."
"You don’t know how [the other person] will react to what you say, how you say it, or even when you say it,"
Fiana Andrews, a psychologist and approachability strategist, tells Bustle. And yet, while it may seem like a lot to consider, Andrews says it's important not to put too much pressure on yourself over one little text. In many instances, the first thing you say is just meant to break the ice, and will soon be forgotten anyway.
Not to mention, "the person on the other side of the phone has the same insecurities," Andrews says. They're probably also wondering what to text and when, and will feel immense relief if you do it first. You could always go with the classic "hey" and roll from there. But if you'd like to spice things up, here are a few
sample texts to send someone you just met, to get a conversation going. "Thought you might like this song:"
Let's say you were talking on a dating app, exchanged numbers, and are now about to text for the first time. In this situation, nothing beats sending a song you think they might like, Andrews says, as a way to break that ice.
It gives you something easy to talk about. And, as we all know, nothing connects two people faster than a shared love for a certain band. So let the evening of swapping Spotify playlists commence.
"Hey, I'd love to see you sometime soon. Do you have plans this weekend?"
This is a great place to start because it shows interest, but it also sets plans in motion to hang out, dating coach
Janell O'Leary, tells Bustle. And that, of course, is the ultimate goal for folks who kinda like each other.
Still feeling weird about being too forward? Remember this: "In the end if somebody likes you they will want to see you and hear from you," O'Leary says, "and the exact wording [of your text] won't matter."
"Hey it's [your name]. It was so great meeting you today. I really enjoyed the convo :)"
This text is simple, polite, and gives a compliment, O'Leary says, which is a great way to start flirting. If they gave you their number — say, at a coffee shop or after chatting on a dating app — it's also the perfect way to pass along your number, too.
"Thought you might enjoy this"
Send them a video, an article, or a book recommendation based on their dating profile or what you've talked about thus far, and explain why you thought they'd like it.
"This helps them to know you are thinking about them," Andrews says. It also shows that you listen and that you care. All good things.
*send a photo*
Take a picture of something you're doing — cooking breakfast, walking your dog, watering your plants — and send it along with some context.
"Pictures are a great way to give them insight into what you're into and how they can be a part of your life," Andrews says. It also spares you from having to use words, if that isn't your thing.
"I just saw the funniest thing..."
If you want to jump right in, text them something funny, even if it's just a weird TikTok.
"Laughter increases our connection and can help up let go of some of that initial anxiety that comes with getting to know a new person,"
Dalesa Martinez, PhD, LMFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Bustle.
Being fun and light-hearted also helps
start your relationship off on a good foot, Martinez says, as it'll encourage this type of positive interaction. "What was the last show you watched?"
"This is a great conversation starter," Martinez says. "It's fun, and allows you to get to know one another." But don't forget to ask follow-up questions.
What did they like about the show? Who was their favorite character? What other shows have they watched this past year?
"You can get to know them by learning more about the lens through which they see the world," Martinez says. "And that's the point of this whole texting bit, isn't it?"
"I'm bored. Where should we go?"
Send this text (somewhat) jokingly to get them talking about travel goals and bucket list items. And see where the convo takes you.
"This text can give you some insight into who they are," Martinez says. "Who knows? They may even open you up to something new that you'd like to try!"
"How's your day off going?"
Not only is this a casual way to check in and say hi, this question also "tells you a bit more about how they use their free time and if it might mesh with your lifestyle,"
Beth Ribarsky, PhD, a communications and relationships expert, tells Bustle.
If they're still asleep at 2 p.m., Ribarsky says, and you've been up doing things since 7, you might want to get more info before investing too much energy into dating.
"Guess which emoji I put next to your name in my phone"
"This is a cute, flirty message,"
Susan Trombetti, a matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking, tells Bustle. And if they get it right, it'll show you're on the same ~wavelength~. "Is it just me or did we just knock that first date out of the park?"
(Or similar expression, if you aren't one for baseball idioms.) "This is definitely a text that shows your enthusiasm and positive energy," Trombetti says, "which is always a good thing."
If your goal is to date this person — or, at the very least, get to know them better — then don't be afraid to reach out! You have their number for a reason, so go ahead and say hi.
Sources: Fiana Andrews, EdS, CPsych, psychologist Janell O'Leary, dating coach Dalesa Martinez, PhD, LMFT, licensed marriage and family therapist Beth Ribarsky, PhD, communications and relationships expert Susan Trombetti, matchmaker