How do you get to know someone over text? Is it possible to know a person from the way they text? And how does a texting conversation differ from a real one?
In this article, we’ll help you start conversations, keep them going, and ask all the right questions to take your relationship with this person to the next level.
So, how do you talk to them if you two matched online and you’ve seen just pictures, or you’ve been set up by a mutual friend and heard good things?
Before we begin, understand that it’s normal to struggle with texting, especially if it’s someone you’ve just met, and even more so if you’ve never met them in real life.
As such, don’t feel bad if you lack confidence. That’s why this article is here.
We’ll offer simple advice you can easily apply and explain why each piece of advice works!
How to get to know someone over text
How do you go from a blank text history to an entire conversation? Below we’ll offer some simple but effective tips to help you become an interesting texter and get to know your person of interest on a deeper level.
First things first, open with the formalities.
‘Hey, how are you?‘
Now, the above text may be the very reason you’re reading this article. ‘Hey, how are you?’ is a classic conversation starter, but it’s not that interesting.
If you like and want to impress the person you’re texting, you may worry that the above text is a bit… well, boring.
However, wouldn’t you say the same thing in person? You don’t need to have a hilarious joke, a crazy story, or a smooth line to begin a conversation with someone.
They’ll answer your question if they’re interested in talking to you.
‘Hey, I’m good! How are you?’
Here’s where the conversation begins.
2. Open-ended questions
Open-ended questions are those with no direct ‘yes or no’ answer and are great conversation starters.
Instead, they leave room for the other to offer an elaborate response and keep the conversation going.
Open-ended questions lend themselves well to getting to know someone because they often branch off into several potential conversation paths.
What book/movie changed your perspective on life?
What do you do to relax?
What’s your favorite memory?
What are your favorite movies?
What is your favorite book?
The above questions boost your conversation’s quality. People will likely have an interesting answer and want to share it with you.
This is an excellent way to bond. It shows the other person that you’re not just testing for the sake of it and that you’re looking for more than yes or no.
Closed questions are anti-conversational. They are simple questions with simple answers:
‘Do you like chocolate?’
‘Where do you live?’
‘Did you like school?’
Closed questions have their place. However, it’s best to avoid them if you want to achieve conversational flow. If all you can think of are closed questions, consider twisting them to make them viable conversation starters:
Instead of asking ‘Do you like chocolate?’ you could ask ‘How do you feel about sweet foods?’
Instead of asking ‘Did you like school?’, try asking ‘What was your favorite/least favorite thing about school?’
3. Embrace vulnerability
Honesty is always the best policy.
You may feel nervous or stuck for something to say in the early days of texting someone. That’s completely normal, so don’t feel bad about it.
One of the best ways to get through that new-person anxiety is, to be honest about how you feel.
If you like this person and you feel a little nervous, you can express your authentic feelings by saying:
‘So I’m having fun talking to you. I like you, but sometimes I don’t really know what to say!’
That may sound like a scary text to send, but if the other person is genuinely interested in talking to you, they’ll appreciate your honesty. They may even feel the same way and be happy that you said it first.
4. Get to know their dislikes
Honest communication is key to getting to know someone really well. A great way to practice honesty is to find out what they don’t like not just what they like.
One may say ‘I like chocolate’ without much explanation, but if someone says they don’t like chocolate, they often have a reason. That reason is the next part of your conversation.
Pet peeves are traits or behavior a person can’t stand, but they don’t always bother others. For example, one may have a pet peeve about nail-biting, loud chewing, or interrupting a conversation.
So, to get to know the person you’re texting on a deeper level, ask them about what irks them. What makes them cringe? What annoys them?
Of course, you don’t want to focus too heavily on sources of frustration. Still, a light-hearted conversation about what turns one off is not only interesting but incredibly funny, especially if you two bond over one in particular!
5. Keep it light at first
Steer clear of controversial topics such as religion and politics. Serious conversations are best kept for in-person communication, or at least a phone call.
When getting to know someone over text, keep the conversation light. A favorite movie and actors are often good conversation starters for a movie buff.
You don’t have to play it so cool that you show a lack of interest, but take things easy.
Get to know an interesting thing about the person, then offer an exciting information about yourself in return.
When you just start talking, you don’t want to ask a guy or girl about their biggest fear, traumas or sad events in their life.
Keep the conversation going but avoid long detailed stories and keep messages short and sweet. Don’t send one-word messages but make the conversation one the other person wants to have.
How to not be a dry texter
Texting some people feels like trying to bleed a stone.
If you want to get to know someone over text, you’ve got to up your texting game.
Nobody wants to spend too long texting a dry texter. The worst text is boring and makes one feel like the other person isn’t that interested, thereby killing one’s motivation to keep talking.
1. Don’t be afraid to send the first text
This shows confidence and follow-through, two highly desirable traits in a person. You don’t have to give any detailed information right away. Treat it as getting your feet in the door first, without expecting to ask them for your next date.
2. Be specific
In your real-life conversations, you talk about a topic. A conversation may begin with ‘What’s up?’ or ‘How are you?’ but those questions will be answered.
Treat texting the same way. Lead into a conversation with more questions rather than relying solely on meaningless greetings and one-word messages. Share your opinion about a certain topic to reveal more about yourself.
3. Take note of details
Note the more detailed information the person shares with you and bring them up when it’s relevant to keep the conversation going. If someone told you their dog has to go to the vet, follow up later by asking about the dog. If they shared their interests such as their type of music, let them know of an upcoming concert they may be interested in.
4. Don’t wait too long
You may want to seem nonchalant, not too eager, but cool. It’s wise to play it somewhat cool but remember that you need to show people you’re interested in them if you want to get to know them.
Don’t wait too long to reply; don’t leave them on read.
5. Share memes, gifs, and other fun posts
A bit of humor goes a long way but keep it clean.
Memes are always a good choice in a light-hearted text conversation.
Sending memes back and forth is a fun game. It makes both parties laugh, which improves their bond.
So, when the topic is relevant, send them your favorite meme!
You can also share a favorite quote of the day, plus points if it’s funny.
Good conversation topics for texting
Where does a good conversation begin?
Below we’ve included over 20 interesting conversation topics and personal questions to help you through your struggle and cultivate a conversation you’ll both remember.
Remember that it’s essential to find balance. Mix fun questions with deeply personal ones, and don’t be afraid to share your answers to the questions you ask. The important thing is to get them out of their comfort zone.
Fun questions to ask over text
The following are questions that can elicit a smile from the receiver. Don’t forget to use some smiley faces at the end of your message.
- Who are your favorite musicians/artists?
- Do you play any instruments?
- What are your hidden talents?
- Do you have any party tricks?
- Can you describe yourself in three words?
- If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you like to go?
- Do you like to cook? What food do you like to cook? How did you learn to cook?
- What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever spent money on? How do you usually like to spend money?
- What is their favorite place in the house?
- If you were to die tomorrow, what dinner will you want to have tonight?
- When was the last time you played your childhood game?
- What are the hobbies you wish you did not start?
- If there’s anybody in your past life you wish to see again, who will it be?
- What are the movies you like to watch?
- If you were to choose a superpower ability, what will you pick?
Personal questions to ask over text
Other questions you may ask but on a more personal note are:
- What do you do on the weekends? (or) What are you doing this weekend?
- What is your favorite movie and how did it impact you?
- What’s an important life lesson you had to learn?
- What’s your most embarrassing memory?
- Do you have any pet peeves? How do you feel when your pet peeve gets triggered?
- Do you have any pets? If not, would you like one? What pet would you like?
- What’s your most significant memory?
- What’s the most interesting thing you’ve ever given/received?
- What do you look for in a best friend?
- What do you look for in a partner?
- How long was your last relationship?
- What’s your earliest memory?
- How do you usually do to relieve stress?
- What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
- What three pieces of advice would you give to your younger self?
Why is texting hard?
Even if texting has overtaken phone calls, why is it harder to be interesting and engaged in a text conversation?
One of the biggest reasons people struggle to text well is because body language and tone of voice are not present. We rely heavily on body language in real-life conversations because a large percentage of communication takes place that way.
As such, processing someone’s text message means trying to figure out their tone through the words we see on the screen. That tone would be much easier to detect if we could see the person speak those words.
Still, just because body language is not an option doesn’t mean texting is devoid of honest communication. Finding interesting things to talk about just takes a little more work.
There’s no comparison between talking in person and talking over text. But a text conversation is also a great way to get to know someone and make friends.
In-person talking is the most effective way to bond – but if an in-person meeting is not an option, then it’s essential to know how to bond anyway.
Hopefully, the list of questions to ask, tips, and advice above will help you better understand the person you are interested in and also let your personality shine even through the screen.