Texting for Gay Men 101: How to Actually Make the Impression You Want

For something that’s been a huge part of how we communicate for years and years now, texting still really has a way of puzzling people. So many gay guys still haven’t gotten the hang of how to do it right and even fewer have mastered the fine art of texting etiquette, especially when it comes to communicating with potential dates or hookups. That said, you’ve got a golden opportunity to set yourself apart in all the right ways by finally learning how to text like a pro. Here are a few rules, tips, and pointers to help you get it right.

Be responsive.

The great thing about texts as compared to phone calls is they’re low pressure. People know they’re not demanding someone’s immediate attention the way they are when they call, and those receiving the texts know they’re not under any real obligation to respond right away. Trying to get hooked up with a gay through an app involves texting quite a lot actually. The problem with that though is people get lazy and often aren’t responsive enough.

That said, one of the easiest ways you be a better texter in general is to be the guy that actually answers his texts in a timely manner. Save the “I’ll do it later” mentality for times it actually makes sense, like when you’ve got company or when you’re truly busy. If you’re just chilling at home by yourself or watching TV though, why not just respond right away?

Don’t leave people hanging.

Everyone knows what it’s like to finally get that text they’ve been waiting for from a guy they’re really attracted to and to actually have a conversation come out of it. At first it’s going great. He seems interested. He’s chatty. He’s engaging. He’s even suggested getting together to do something soon. Then he suddenly bows out of the conversation without any warning. Maybe you even saw those telltale “he’s typing” dots appear before it happened. Did he get busy and suddenly have to go… or did he suddenly lose interest? It’s maddening, because you don’t really know.

Do your best to avoid being that guy. If you’re in the thick of a conversation and start typing a response, finish it even if you really do have to go. Just let him know so he isn’t left wondering what he did wrong. Don’t leave the other person hanging in three-dot hell, because it’s literally the worst.

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Nix the one-word texts.

There are two kinds of people in the world. The first kind thinks there’s nothing wrong with starting a text conversation with nothing but “hey”. The second kind finds the first kind absolutely infuriating. That said, you don’t have to have something epic to say when you text someone, but you definitely want to get straight to the point of why you’re texting. “What have you been up to” or “hi, how have you been” are perfectly fine.

You’ll also want to be careful of one-word responses to other people’s texts (e.g. “fine”, “yeah”, or “okay”). At best, they come across as lazy. They can also easily be misconstrued as passive-aggressive. You don’t need to write the person a novel or anything, but you should really express whatever it is that you’re thinking. Otherwise, it’s all too easy for the other guy to think he did something wrong or said something to make you angry. Besides these you’ll probably want to take a quick look over these tips on how to score great gay dates a lot more often!

Don’t get too serious over text either.

Of course, we all know someone who errs toward the opposite extreme with their texting as well – saying way too much over text. Text isn’t the place to launch into a major discussion about something serious. Not only is the process of typing out everything you want to say really tedious, but the very nature of text makes it super easy for you to misunderstand one another.

That said, when and if you have a lot to say to someone, especially a guy you’re romantically or sexually involved with, set up a time to get together in person and discuss it. If doing it in person isn’t an option for whatever reason, a phone call or a Skype session will suffice.

Go out of your way to show emotion.

gay man texting

Like we’ve been saying, it’s super easy to misunderstand someone over text, especially when it comes to what they’re really thinking or feeling, so a little effort goes a long way. You have to put some thought and creativity into getting emotion to come across over text, but we promise your conversations will be much better for it.

If you’re excited, let it show. Type in all caps. Go crazy with the exclamation points. Go ahead and send a million texts right in a row expressing whatever. Use emojis. Send gifs. Text can be a pretty creative way to express yourself when you really put your mind to it, so definitely embrace it. It’s sounds like such a small, simple thing, but it makes a big difference in the long run.

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Rob West

Rob West

I worked with Matt to build several hookup apps for gay men, including Guyhop.

I've been in the scene for several years now. Eternally single until I find "him".

My background is in marketing and psychology, which gives me a unique perspective on the LGBTQ dating and hookup scene.