As our reliance on text-messaging as a primary mode of communication increases, it’s important to remember that there is still certain information that the medium simply won’t support. This ought to be common sense, but you’d be surprised. Have any of these scenarios ever happened to you?

1. Saying I love you for the first time

For the love of pete, don’t screw this one up. You only get to say “I love you” for the first time once. Even if you drop the “I,” it still counts.

2. Anything about being anywhere near your ex

If you’re friends with your ex, power to you. If there’s really nothing going on there, you shouldn’t have to bend over backwards to make sure that whoever you’re dating now doesn’t get jealous. However, saying that you have plans with your ex, in your actual, spoken voice is just common courtesy. Information dropped over text has a tendency to become a bigger deal than it has to be.

3. You’ve been “feeling weird” about things

Vague + Scary + Not-Actually-Available-To-Talk-About-It = Panic on the part of whoever you’re dating. Even the most cool-headed dater is likely to “feel weird” about your “feeling weird.”

Figure out what you actually mean, then call or say it in person.

4. You might be pregnant

Cool. I “might” not freak out. Try to remember when you’re texting someone that they could be anywhere. Like work. Or at dinner with their mother. For example.

5. You’re pissed off/disappointed

Fighting over text is stupid. Even if you’re REALLY ANGRY, sending a text message into the ether isn’t going to make you feel any better about it. Take a deep breath. Either write something neutral or nothing at all. Then yell at them next time you see them in person.

6. Breaking up

Come on. You know better than that, don’t you?

Originally published in June 2020.