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Modern dating is all about texting. Whether you’re on the apps or messaging an actual real person, a budding relationship lives or dies by the phone.

In a recent study about millennial and Gen Z dating preferences, 52% were shown to favour ‘the ability to send a funny meme or gif’ over being funny in real life. And 63% said ‘good WhatsApp chat’ was more important in a potential partner than looks, age or personality!

So if you’re wondering why you’re spending Saturday nights cowering in a sleeping bag watching Escape to the Chateau alone, alone desperately alone – don’t worry. You probably aren’t inherently unlovable. You just need to get that phone pingin’ til your heart’s singin!

White guy in a turban is an automatic left swipe.

‘But my text game is weak…what do I do?!’ I hear you cry, tears dripping from your sallow cheeks into the cracks of your grubby phone case. Well for starters, I wouldn’t do anything rash like ‘going to a bar’ or ‘leaving the house’ (where has leaving the house got you so far?). Bolt the front door, draw the curtains, and get peeping at these hot tips that’ll turn you into a bona fide keyboard Casanova.

1. Use fewer words

Words are so last millennium. Generally, I always recommend sending an emoji or a wry gif over using a “word” (snooze…). If you want to say something that one emoji can’t express, why not use two? And if you’re still struggling…maybe cut down on the vocab tests, Shakespeare!

2. It’s all about the timing

We all know the feeling – you’ve just got a message from someone you like. But then comes the dilemma: do you message straight away and seem keen and desperate? Or message too late and come across aloof and disinterested?

As with whack-a-mole or asking for annual leave, the timing is crucial. But don’t worry – I’ve created an easy-peasy formula to help:

Now insert a into this simple binomial equation:


n= months since you last had sex
k= the colour of their eyes

Factorise the quadratic, complete the square (careful with your plus and minus signs!) and your answer is the difference between the two integers. Easy!

Stay indoors and avoid ‘bars’.

3. Know your lingo

Get ahead of the game with the latest dating slang. We’ve all heard of ‘Ghosting’ and ‘Netflix ‘n’ Chill’, but have you heard these terms?

Benching – subbing partners on or off depending on who’s available.

Haunting – when a relationship ghost returns to ‘haunt’ you by liking your pictures or stories.

Breadcrumbing – sending out non-committal messages to keep someone interested without expending much effort. Named after 19th century fop Harold F. Breadcrumb who’d send out saucy letters but would never get a carriage to your estate.    

Wheel-barrowing – having a nice time with someone only for them to insist on picking you up in a wheel barrow. Very common in gardening circles.

Wheelie-binningsee wheel-barrowing.

Snorlaxing – Snorlaxes might seem cute but they ruin relationships by eating and sleeping all the time. You also need a Poke’ flute to wake them up and they block your way on route 12.

Flytipping – the illegal depositing of waste on unlicensed land. Not to do with dating but you shouldn’t do it.

E.g. ‘My parents liked her but she was definitely Snorlaxing me.’

4. Message everyone

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. You never know which disembodied head on Bumble might be the love of your life. So I say this: swipe right to everyone and message ALL of them.

I know it’s tough to juggle several dozen convos simultaneously but no one said love was easy.

Good luck! And don’t forget: more screen time = more chance of love = more happiness!!!

Image credits: Jhaymesisviphotography -, CC BY 2.0,
Gobierno de la Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, CC BY 2.5 ar,

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