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Adam Lyons Dating Advice

Text Messages and Dating: How to Use the Correct Texting Structure

5 min read

Are you ready to communicate more clearly and effectively in text messages with someone you’re interested in? Getting the text messaging structure right is the first step to making that happen, which can result in more engaging conversation and interest from someone. 

Most people have no idea how to actually send a text message that works. Most people just write whatever they want to write. For example:

Hey, how are you doing?

What’s up?

What are you doing today?

Hey it’s me.

These are the short, micro text messages. These text messages don’t lend themselves to good conversations, which means your conversation is going to die. Whether you’re talking business, hoping to flirt, or just want to stay in touch with friends and family, the conversation isn’t going to continue if this is what you do. 

If you’ve had a situation where you’re texting with somebody and it feels like they’ve ghosted you, they’ve flaked on you, or your messages are left on read, the reality is that you’re just being boring.

It’s harsh but true. There is actually a way to structure a text message to optimize human communication. And you’ll find that if you structure your text messages in the exact way I’m about to share with you, you’ll not only have more interesting text messages, but people are going to actually respond and you’re not going to be ghosted or left on read ever again. 

Anatomy of a Structured Text Message

The good structure of a text message goes as follows:

  • Respond
  • Relate
  • Question

Part I: Respond

Responding is the one that most people get wrong. Let’s just say you’re texting with somebody and they send you a message such as: 

Oh my God, I’m having so much fun at the botanical gardens today.

Most people will respond with whatever they are doing today.

They didn’t actually respond to the fact that the person went to the botanical gardens. They might have said something small like “oh, great,” but they never acknowledged or communicated in any way about the actual botanical gardens. The very first part of our text message must respond to what the other person said. 

So we’re going to say:

Oh my gosh, the botanical gardens are so fun. 

And then we want to talk about that a little bit more. You could ask more specifically what they’re doing there, or what flowers they’ve seen.

Oh my God, I love that place. 

We want to have a little bit of a micro conversation about the botanical gardens. Once we’ve done that, we can then go onto the second part of the message, which is where we’re going to relate to it.

Part II: Relate

Now we’re going to talk about something that you have done or are planning on doing that connects to it. Maybe the first thing I said is: 

Oh, that’s so cool. I love the botanical gardens. I haven’t been for ages. 

Then I’m going to add my own little element there, which is:

One of the best botanical gardens I ever went to was in Portland. I love the Japanese garden there. 

Now I’ve added my own little story, but more importantly, I’ve introduced these new elements. I’ve introduced the fact that I went to Portland. The other person knows that there is a specific part of the botanical garden I really enjoy. Now I’ve responded to them with a little bit of questions about what they’re doing there and added my own element. This can bring me to the last thing, the communication that I want to say. 

Part III: Question

At this point, my final thing, my question, all questions need to have a statement attached to them. You don’t just want to ask someone a question because it comes across like an increased inquisition, right? We can’t just be like, what do you do for fun? Where do you go to explore that? Who are you hanging out with? It’s weird. 

Anytime you ask a question, you want to put a little bit of a statement in there first. So I might say something like this:

Me and my friends are hanging out for the day and we’re about to bounce to go and get sushi. Do you like sushi? 

This sounds like a pretty meaty text. I know that there are dating coaches out there that stress brevity and tell you not to do the long text messages, and they’re just wrong because the goal is to encourage the other person to have a conversation. 

We want to get somebody to feel comfortable exchanging information with you. 

The more you share and the more you learn about them, the better your bond is going to be and the better you can get to know each other. Once again, we’re going to go through the structure. 

Text Message Structure Recap

Let’s review what we have learned.

I respond when I actually communicate what they say without just being like “great, sounds cool.” When I add a little bit more information to it, the next thing I want to do is relate. I want you to talk about a time where you’ve done something related or similar, or something that you’d like to do. Lastly, we want to ask a question, remembering that all questions are grounded in a supporting statement first. 

I guarantee, if you send text messages like this to anyone, not just people you’re dating, but to friends, family, business acquaintances, etc., the conversation is going to flow. In fact, you’re going to find that you’re going to end up being like text buddies with each other and trading conversation all the time, which is perfect because you need to get somebody into the habit of texting you. If you think about the addiction that is caused by social media and how often people constantly check their phones, we actually want to be triggering that with our text messages so somebody is constantly looking for a message from you because your info and your messages are fun, informative, and encourage them to interact.

If you can get somebody to think of texting you in the similar way to how they use social media, they’re going to become addicted to communicating and texting with you. And now you’re in a great position to take this conversation further. So don’t forget that is the text structure that I guarantee you will completely change the way people interact with you via text message.

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