13 Rules to Decide Whether You Should Text Him First or Wait

Rules to Decide Whether You Should Text Him First or Wait

One common dilemma many individuals face is whether they should take the initiative and text their crush or potential partner first or wait for them to make the first move. 

While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, considering a set of guidelines can help you make a more informed decision. 

In this article, we present 13 essential rules to help you determine whether you should text him first or patiently wait for his message.

13 Rules to Decide Whether You Should Text Him First or Wait

The decision of whether to text him first or wait ultimately depends on various factors, including your comfort level, the dynamics of your relationship, and the signals you’ve received. It’s essential to strike a balance between being proactive and respecting the other person’s boundaries. 

1. Rule of Positive Interaction:

The Rule of Positive Interaction suggests that if you have previously experienced positive and engaging conversations with the other person, you should feel confident in taking the initiative to initiate a text message. Positive interactions are those where both parties exhibit interest, enthusiasm, and a genuine desire to connect with each other. During these conversations, you may have shared common interests, laughed together, or engaged in meaningful discussions that left you both feeling happy and fulfilled.

When you have positive interactions with someone, it indicates that there is a level of mutual attraction or connection. Initiating a text in such circumstances allows you to build upon the rapport already established and keep the momentum going. By taking the lead, you demonstrate your interest in maintaining communication and show that you value the connection you’ve developed so far.

The key to this rule is recognizing the emotional tone of the previous interactions. Positive interactions are marked by warmth, openness, and a general sense of enjoyment. However, it’s essential to note that the rule doesn’t encourage pursuing someone relentlessly or excessively bombarding them with messages. Instead, it simply encourages you to be proactive in fostering a connection with someone with whom you’ve already experienced positive chemistry.

2. Rule of Equal Effort:

The Rule of Equal Effort emphasizes the importance of reciprocity in communication. In a healthy relationship, both parties should contribute equally to initiating conversations. If the other person has shown a similar level of effort in reaching out to you, it becomes acceptable for you to text them first on occasion.

This rule is grounded in the principle of fairness and mutual interest. When you both put in equal effort to initiate conversations, it signals that you are both invested in getting to know each other better. It also prevents one person from feeling like they are doing all the work to sustain the relationship.

For instance, if you notice that the other person often texts you first or initiates conversations as frequently as you do, it’s an indication that they value your communication. In such a scenario, you can confidently take the lead and send the first message without feeling like you’re intruding on their personal space or time.

However, it’s essential to keep in mind that this rule is not about keeping score or tallying the number of texts exchanged. The focus should be on recognizing a pattern of balanced communication and ensuring that both individuals feel comfortable taking the initiative.

3. Rule of Prompt Responses:

The Rule of Prompt Responses centers around the idea that a person’s response time to your messages can reveal their level of interest and engagement in the conversation. If the other person consistently responds quickly to your texts, it is likely an indication of their enthusiasm and interest in communicating with you.

Prompt responses demonstrate that the person prioritizes your messages and values your conversation. It shows that they are eager to continue the dialogue and maintain the connection. When someone responds promptly, it creates a positive feedback loop, encouraging both parties to be more communicative and present in the interaction.

By observing their response time, you can gain insight into how responsive they are to your messages and whether they genuinely enjoy communicating with you. However, keep in mind that response times can vary based on the individual’s daily schedule and commitments. Factors such as work, family, or personal responsibilities may occasionally delay responses, so avoid jumping to conclusions based on isolated incidents.

Ultimately, this rule helps you gauge the other person’s interest level and provides you with a green light to initiate conversations confidently. If they respond quickly and enthusiastically, it’s a positive sign that they appreciate your communication and will likely welcome your initiative in starting a conversation.

4. Rule of Balanced Conversations:

The Rule of Balanced Conversations focuses on assessing the overall dynamics of your interactions. When engaging in conversations with the other person, pay attention to whether the discussions have been well-balanced, with both of you actively participating and contributing to the exchange.

In a healthy and engaging conversation, there should be a natural flow of ideas, questions, and responses between both parties. Each person takes turns sharing thoughts, interests, and experiences, creating an equal back-and-forth exchange.

When conversations are balanced, it indicates that both of you have a genuine interest in getting to know each other and are actively engaged in the communication process. This mutual interest sets the stage for a harmonious and fulfilling connection.

If you notice that the other person consistently contributes to the conversation and shows interest in your responses, it signals that they are invested in the communication and value what you have to say. In such cases, initiating a text won’t be perceived as overstepping boundaries because you are simply continuing the ongoing dialogue.

On the other hand, if the conversations feel one-sided, with you doing most of the talking and receiving minimal engagement from the other person, it may be a sign that they are not as interested or invested in the connection. In such instances, it might be wise to take a step back and assess whether initiating further communication is appropriate.

5. Rule of Mutual Interest:

The Rule of Mutual Interest emphasizes the importance of paying attention to the other person’s expressions of curiosity and enthusiasm about your life, hobbies, or aspirations. When someone shows genuine interest in getting to know you better, it is a clear indication that they value your presence and are eager to build a connection.

Expressing interest in your life signifies that the other person wants to establish a deeper understanding of who you are as an individual. They may ask questions about your interests, experiences, and future goals, demonstrating a desire to form a meaningful bond.

Recognizing mutual interest is crucial because it sets the foundation for open and honest communication. When both parties are genuinely intrigued by each other, initiating a text message becomes a natural extension of that shared curiosity. The person has already shown that they want to know more about you, making it perfectly acceptable for you to take the initiative in continuing the conversation.

However, it is essential to be mindful of the context and not mistake general politeness or small talk for genuine interest. Look for consistent patterns of engagement and interest in multiple conversations to ensure that the person’s curiosity is authentic and not just a passing gesture.

6. Rule of Reciprocity:

The Rule of Reciprocity revolves around the principle of give and take in conversations. When engaging in communication with the other person, look for signs of reciprocity, where they demonstrate an equal level of interest and engagement.

Reciprocity is evident when the other person actively participates in the conversation, asks you questions, and shows curiosity about your life and experiences. They take the time to listen to your thoughts and respond thoughtfully, indicating that they value your input.

Recognizing reciprocity is essential because it ensures that the communication is a two-way street, with both parties contributing and benefiting from the exchange. If you notice genuine interest and enthusiasm from the other person, it’s a positive indication that they are open to you initiating conversations.

However, be cautious not to mistake occasional curiosity for consistent reciprocity. While someone may ask questions on occasion, true reciprocity involves an ongoing pattern of mutual engagement and interest. Assess the frequency and depth of their engagement to determine if they are genuinely open to further communication.

When both parties demonstrate reciprocity, it fosters a sense of comfort and trust, creating an environment where initiating a text message is met with receptiveness and enthusiasm.

7. Rule of Established Friendship:

The Rule of Established Friendship recognizes that the dynamics of communication differ when you’ve known each other as friends for a while. In established friendships, there is an established level of comfort and familiarity, making it more natural to initiate conversations without fear of being intrusive.

In a friendship, you have likely already established mutual trust, shared interests, and a history of open communication. Initiating a text message in such a context won’t be perceived as intrusive or unexpected because it’s a natural extension of the existing bond.

Furthermore, in an established friendship, there is an underlying foundation of care and support. You both know each other’s preferences, interests, and boundaries, allowing for more relaxed and open communication.

When you’ve known someone as a friend, texting first can be an excellent way to strengthen the connection and maintain regular communication. It allows you to share experiences, discuss common interests, and offer support during challenging times.

However, even in established friendships, it’s essential to be mindful of maintaining mutual respect and not overwhelming the other person with excessive communication. Give them space when needed, and allow them the opportunity to initiate conversations as well.

8. Rule of Occasional Initiatives:

The Rule of Occasional Initiatives emphasizes the importance of balancing the responsibility of initiating conversations in a relationship. While it’s perfectly acceptable to text first, it’s essential to avoid always being the one who takes the lead.

Being the sole initiator in every conversation may create an imbalance in the relationship, making the other person feel less valued or invested. By occasionally allowing the other person to initiate conversations, you give them the chance to express their interest and take an active role in sustaining the connection.

By balancing the initiative, you also avoid appearing overly eager or pushy, which can sometimes create discomfort or give the impression of neediness. Allowing the other person the space to reach out to you demonstrates that you respect their agency and value their contribution to the relationship.

When both parties take turns initiating conversations, it fosters a healthy and balanced dynamic where both individuals feel comfortable expressing their interest and maintaining open communication.

9. Rule of Casual Check-ins:

The Rule of Casual Check-ins acknowledges that sometimes the best way to initiate a text message is by finding a natural and low-pressure reason to reach out. If you have a shared interest, hobby, or event coming up, sending a casual text to discuss plans or check-in can be an excellent way to connect with the other person.

When you share a common interest or are both looking forward to an upcoming event, it provides a relevant and engaging topic to start the conversation. For example, if you both enjoy a particular TV show, you could send a text like, “Hey, have you seen the latest episode of [TV show]? I can’t wait to discuss it with you!”

By using a shared interest or event as a conversation starter, you show that you value their opinions and are genuinely interested in sharing experiences with them. It also demonstrates that you pay attention to the things that matter to them, further strengthening your connection.

Using casual check-ins as a way to initiate conversations helps create a comfortable and friendly atmosphere, where both parties feel at ease engaging in dialogue. It reduces the pressure often associated with reaching out first and increases the likelihood of a positive and enjoyable interaction.

10. Rule of Trust Your Instincts:

The Rule of Trust Your Instincts encourages you to rely on your gut feelings and intuition when deciding whether to text someone first. If you genuinely feel like reaching out to the other person, don’t overthink it or second-guess yourself. Trust that inner voice urging you to initiate a conversation, as it often leads to meaningful interactions and connections.

Your instincts are shaped by your emotional intelligence and understanding of the relationship dynamics. If you sense a positive energy or a desire to communicate with the other person, it’s likely a sign that they would appreciate your message.

A simple and sincere “Hi, how are you?” or a thoughtful message tailored to their interests can spark a great conversation and open the door for deeper discussions. By acting on your instincts, you demonstrate authenticity and a willingness to be vulnerable, which can be endearing and attractive to the other person.

However, it’s essential to differentiate between genuine instincts and impulsive reactions. Take a moment to reflect on your emotions and assess whether your feelings are grounded in a sincere desire to connect or are influenced by external factors such as loneliness or insecurity.

Remember that trusting your instincts doesn’t mean disregarding communication cues or red flags from the other person. Instead, it means acknowledging your genuine interest and taking appropriate action to foster communication and understanding.

11. Rule of Respectful Space:

The Rule of Respectful Space emphasizes the importance of respecting the other person’s boundaries and giving them the time and space they need. If the person has explicitly mentioned needing some space or is going through a busy period, it’s essential to honor their request and avoid pressuring them to engage in conversation.

Respecting their space shows empathy and consideration for their feelings and current circumstances. It demonstrates that you value their well-being and are sensitive to their needs.

Ignoring their request for space or pushing them to communicate when they are not ready can lead to discomfort and strain the relationship. It may create a sense of intrusion and cause the other person to withdraw further.

Instead, be patient and understanding. Give them the time they need to sort out their thoughts or attend to their personal responsibilities. Trust that when the time is right, they will reach out or be more receptive to your messages.

By respecting their space, you demonstrate emotional maturity and a genuine interest in their happiness and comfort. It also sets a positive tone for communication in the future, where both parties feel comfortable expressing their needs and boundaries openly.

12. Rule of Ambiguous Signals:

The Rule of Ambiguous Signals advises caution when you’re receiving mixed signals or inconsistent responses from the other person. If their communication patterns are unclear or leave you uncertain about their intentions, it’s best to refrain from texting first until you have a clearer understanding of their feelings.

Ambiguous signals can create confusion and uncertainty, making it challenging to gauge their level of interest or receptiveness to your messages. For instance, if they respond positively to some texts but are distant or unresponsive at other times, it can leave you feeling unsure about how to proceed.

In such situations, it’s essential to step back and allow the other person to take the lead in initiating communication. This approach allows you to observe their behavior and communication patterns more objectively, providing you with better insights into their feelings and intentions.

Remember that healthy communication should be clear, consistent, and respectful. If you find yourself frequently questioning their interest or intentions, it may be worth having an open and honest conversation about your feelings and concerns.

Avoid making assumptions or trying to decipher mixed signals on your own. Instead, focus on maintaining your own emotional well-being and being open to clarity and direct communication from the other person.

13. Rule of Communication Style:

The Rule of Communication Style highlights the importance of considering the other person’s preferred mode of communication. People have different communication styles, and some may prefer phone calls or in-person conversations over text messages.

If you notice that the person favors certain communication methods, such as phone calls or face-to-face chats, it’s crucial to respect their preference. While texting can be convenient, using their preferred communication style shows that you value their comfort and are considerate of their needs.

For example, if the person has mentioned enjoying phone calls more than texting, making the effort to call them instead of always relying on text messages can strengthen your connection. It allows for more personal and intimate conversations, fostering a deeper level of understanding between both of you.

However, keep in mind that some individuals may have busy schedules or personal reasons for preferring specific communication methods. In such cases, it’s essential to find a balance that works for both of you and to remain open to communication through multiple channels.

Should you text a guy first or wait?

The answer to this question depends on the context of your relationship and the communication dynamics you’ve established so far. If you’ve had positive interactions and feel a genuine desire to reach out, there’s no harm in texting him first. Initiating a conversation can show your interest and willingness to communicate. However, if you’re unsure or feel that he hasn’t shown much interest, it might be best to wait and see if he initiates contact first.

Is texting a guy first desperate?

No, texting a guy first is not desperate. In today’s modern dating landscape, taking the initiative to communicate is a common and acceptable practice. Initiating a conversation shows confidence and interest, which can be attractive qualities. Being proactive and showing your genuine feelings is not a sign of desperation; rather, it displays assertiveness and authenticity.

How long should I wait for him to text me before giving up?

The appropriate amount of time to wait for a response can vary depending on the situation. Generally, it’s considerate to give the other person a reasonable timeframe to respond, especially if you know they have a busy schedule. Waiting a day or two is often reasonable before deciding to follow up or move on. However, if there is a pattern of consistent lack of response or disinterest, it might be best to reassess the situation and consider moving on.

Will not texting a guy make him want you?

Not texting a guy does not guarantee that he will develop feelings for you. While some people might become curious about the lack of communication and reach out, others may interpret it as disinterest and move on. Relationships are built on open communication and mutual interest. Instead of playing mind games, it’s better to be authentic and direct with your feelings.

What does he think when you don’t text him?

If you don’t text a guy, his reaction can vary depending on his personality and the nature of your relationship. Some may interpret it as a lack of interest or assume you are busy, while others might feel relieved to have space and time to focus on other things. If you regularly communicate and suddenly stop, he might wonder about the change in communication patterns, leading him to think about the status of the relationship.

Can a guy like you but not text first?

Yes, a guy can have feelings for you but still not text first. Some people may be shy, reserved, or unsure about how to initiate conversations. Cultural or societal norms can also influence their communication style. Just because he doesn’t text first doesn’t necessarily mean he doesn’t like you. It might be helpful to consider other aspects of his behavior and body language to gauge his interest.


In the world of dating and relationships, it’s easy to get caught up in overthinking when it comes to texting first. But let me tell you this – there’s no need to stress! Trust your gut and be yourself. If you’ve had great conversations before, go ahead and shoot that text. It’s all about finding that sweet spot between showing interest and giving the other person space.

Remember, relationships are a two-way street. If the other person has been making an effort to reach out, it’s totally fine for you to do the same once in a while. Don’t be afraid to show you care!

But hey, don’t forget to be respectful too. If they’ve mentioned needing some time alone or are going through a busy phase, respect their boundaries. It shows you’re considerate and understanding.

And what about those mixed signals? If you’re getting confusing responses, take a step back and let things unfold naturally. Sometimes, the best move is to wait until their intentions become clearer.

Oh, and here’s a little secret – guys can like you but still be shy about texting first. So, don’t let that hold you back. Take the lead if you feel like it!