Texting? It's more than that. Sexting? Not exactly. Welcome to flirtexting™ — the "sweet nothings" of the digital world.
Emoticons. Acronyms. Hashtags. In order to keep up with our evolving digital culture, we've invented plenty of new ways to communicate — and the language of love is no different. Texting with your significant other is one of the best ways to stay connected throughout the day — and it can also be one of the sexiest and most creative. In fact, flirtexting™, as we like to call it, is practically an art form, and anyone can be a Van Gogh. We asked digital dating and e-flirting expert Laurie Davis, author of Love At First Click, to explain what exactly flirtexting™ is — and how to master it.
What is flirtexting™?
Flirtexting™ goes beyond just the typical "Hi" or "See you later" texts. According to Davis: "It's more than just conversation; it's more than making plans. It's getting the "spark" going — digitally."
If you're new to flirtexting™, start with sweet, simple messages before jumping into more sexually charged texts. You want to test the waters before sending something too racy. Letting him know how much you loved cuddling with him last night and sharing a fantasy for the first time are two very different kinds of texts.
Isn't that the same as sexting?
No, because sexting is more, ahem, risque. Flirtexting™ is a "here's what I want to do to you later" — with a flirtatious wink. Sexting, on the other hand, has come to be associated philandering politicians and shady professional athletes. In other words, not sexy.
What can flirtexting™ do for a relationship?
Texting for no other reason than to flirt is essentially foreplay. It's a slow build — and that's exciting! Davis says, "Most [people] will check in with their partner and make plans via text, but sending a little flirty text message — whether it's to let them know you're thinking of them or to remind them of something you're specifically looking forward to — adds a whole new element to your relationship when you're not together."
If you haven't had the element of surprise in your relationship as of late, sweet digital "nothings" throughout the day can be just that unexpected something the two of you crave. It's a lot like sorting through a mailbox full of bills to discover a sweet, handwritten letter that was sent "just because."
How should you "speak"? Should emoticons, acronyms or pictures be used?
"Emoticons are great when you're flirtexting™," says Davis, "but just sending a wink isn't gonna do it." If you're unsure of what to write, try a short romantic poem, like a haiku. After all, when's the last time you wrote or received a haiku from someone? Sweet and unexpected? Check and check.
Also, try to avoid acronyms. There's a place for your OMGs and your ROTFLs — and it's in a text to your gal pal, not in a sexy text to your main squeeze!
It's definitely a good idea to send photos while flirtexting™. Davis gives this great example: "My fiancé and I we weren't together on our six-month anniversary. He went to the place we had our first date and took a picture of the pizza we had eaten together. Photos, or even Vine videos, are a really cute way to flirtext, especially if you're not together for the next 24 or 48 hours."
Flirtexting™: How much is too much?
When flirtexting™ happens daily at the same time with the exact same message, or when you two say the same things over and over, you’re defeating the purpose: spontaneity! Switch things up — perhaps send song lyrics that you both love or a photo of a park you promise you'll take your partner to this weekend.
"The coolest thing about flirtexting™ is that you never know when it's going to happen," says Davis. "If it happens every day and becomes part of your routine, it doesn't feel like flirtexting™ anymore because it doesn't have that element of surprise that makes you glow."
Davis advises to pay attention to the way your partner is responding. In person, it's by his body language; via text message, it's a bit more ambiguous. You kind of have to trust your gut, go with the flow and try to "read between the lines." If you think you’re overdoing it, you probably are. At that point, take a step back and enjoy the unspoken, flirtatious dynamic you've created together.
In partnership with YourTango