With our phones being the number one form of communication nowadays, knowing how to start a conversation over text is vital.
Depending on your personality, texting may be easier or more difficult than an in-person conversation for you. When you are face-to-face, things can flow more naturally. Over text you may overthink and feel the need to plan out what you’re going to say. So, knowing how to start a conversation over text is vital.
Do you start with a simple “hey” and hope it takes off from there? Or do you go in with a question or share a funny meme?
Who are you texting?
There is no one rule or method that applies to everyone you may be texting. If you’re texting someone for the first time, it will be different than starting a follow up conversation or chatting up a friend.
Before going in with a pick up line or dirty joke, take into account how well you know this person and what sort of conversation will feel natural.
How to start a conversation over text
Start out by knowing that this is something everyone worries about. We have all at one time or another wrote out a text, went back, deleted it all, and replaced it with a simple “hey what’s up.”
No one wants to come off clingy or too interested. You also want to have a conversation, so you have to find a happy medium depending on your relationship with that person.
#1 Are you texting someone new? When it comes to knowing how to start a conversation over text with someone new, that is probably the most challenging. If you didn’t meet at school or work you may not have anything in common to offer a reason for reaching out.
Be unique. Instead of starting with a “hey, what’s up?” try something that makes you stand out a bit. If you’re hoping to make a plan out of this conversation maybe something like…
#2 Just want to talk? If you’re texting someone new, but don’t want to commit to meeting up, try something more playful and interesting that will get a conversation going. Even something as simple as, “I was watching The Office and something Michael Scott said reminded me of you.”
Adding a glimpse of your hobbies or interests into your first text will give them something to latch onto to carry on the conversation. It can also welcome follow up questions. Say you mentioned just getting back from a weekend away, you can then talk about traveling. [Read: 40 questions to ask your crush to subtly flirt with them]
#3 Are you texting someone from work? If you recently got a mutual friend’s number, say a coworker or peer, reaching out should be easier. You have common ground to walk on, so to speak.
You can go in asking about a work project, clarifying something your boss said, asking for some notes you missed, or even bringing up something a mutual friend said. This all makes starting a conversation a bit less nerve racking. It shows you have a reason to reach out on top of just wanting to chat. [Read: How to not be a boring texter and keep anyone interested]
#4 Can you woo a friend? Probably not with one text, but with a series of fun and flirty conversations… maybe so. If you have a crush on a friend of yours, avoid texting them the same way you normally would. That will only push you further into the dreaded friend zone.
Try something subtly flirty. Even a simple compliment like, “You looked great yesterday,” puts a less platonic spin on the conversation. You can also go for the go to, make them laugh. Try a meme or link to a funny article.
Or you could come all out and make it obvious that you are looking to advance your friendship. Send them a BuzzFeed list or quiz about being stuck in the friend zone and see if they pick up on that less than subtle hint. [Read: How to text flirt with a friend and subtly seduce them]
#5 Want to reach out to the person you’ve been dating? Knowing exactly how to start a conversation over text with the person you have only just begun dating can be confusing. Do you go straight in all comfy like you’re official with a “Hey, babe?” Or do you hold back?
No matter what, never say, “Sorry if I’m bothering you.” This message in and of itself is bothersome and annoying. It shows you have a lack of confidence and question this person’s interest. So even if they say something like “sorry, busy right now.” Respond with a “No worries, talk later.”
You want to remain confident, but not too enveloped or else you can come across a little needy. Start with a question regarding something you’ve discussed before. Ask how that meeting at work went or if their mom had a nice birthday. This not only shows you listen but are invested in their life too. [Read: How to keep a text conversation going when you have nothing to say]
#6 Want to reach out after a fight? Sending the first text after a fight can be awkward. You don’t know if the anger has blown over. You aren’t sure if you can go in with humor or how exactly to measure the situation.
If you want to start a conversation after a fight, whether big or small, an apology is a great place to begin. It doesn’t have to mean you admit you were wrong, but just that you feel bad that you fought and want to work it out.
#7 Can you start a conversation after radio silence? Just like texting someone new, starting back up after weeks, months, or even years of not talking can go array. Either the person won’t answer, will be curious where you’ve been all that time, or will actually want to talk.
The best way to go about this is to either come straight out with the facts, instead of trying to hide it. Saying something like, “Hey, I know it has been a long time since we talked, but I wanted to see how you are,” is a great place to start.
#8 Are you still too nervous? If all else fails a wrong text fake out is slightly immature, but still a less risky way to go. If you’re scared of rejection or ghosting you can say something you would text a sibling. Something like, “we’re out of milk,” or “I don’t know, ask mom.” They’ll know this text isn’t for them, but it can be an entryway into a new conversation.