A text pops up from your crush.
You see it immediately — but when do you text back? You don’t want to reveal that you’re waiting by the phone, but you also don’t want to come across as rude or uninterested.
To get some guidance, Tech Insider consulted Daniel Post Senning, Emily Post’s great-great grandson and author of “Manners in a Digital World.” He works for the Emily Post Institute, which has published etiquette guides since the 1940s.
Post Senning’s general rule is to not wait longer than one to three hours to reply, he tells TI.
“A text conversation can go stale in a few hours,” he says. “Don’t just make them wait.”
If you’re crushing on someone, don’t play mind games, he says. Healthy relationships aren’t built on gaining emotional power over people by not texting them back.
The appropriate time lapse depends on a mutual (and unspoken) set of emotional expectations, Post Senning says. The longer you date and build a relationship with someone, the larger the expectations for a quicker text reply.
If you just started dating someone, this can be tricky. In the beginning, you shouldn’t expect each other to text back immediately, he says. But if you’ve dated someone for multiple months or a year, you should generally text each other back within the hour that you see the message.
When it comes to modern romance and texting, Post Senning says to present yourself as considerate, respectful, and honest.
“Make explicit your intentions,” he says. “There’s something fundamentally attractive about someone who has it together and is sincere.”
In the end, Post Senning also reminds us to not take things too seriously. Just go for it — text them back.
“If you know they’re the one, and if they matter to you, you can break the rules,” he says.
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