Just a few years ago, a phone number meant a phone call. But these days, when you ask a woman for her phone number, you’re asking to start a text conversation. It’s a less threatening proposition and good news for guys, but it still requires knowing what you’re doing.
Sending a text should be relatively straightforward, but in truth, it’s a minefield. Knowing what to say to start a conversation over text means more than knowing some slick words. You also need to know how long to wait to reply and how to keep the conversation going. This is especially true if you have your eyes set on an older woman (read our guide for dating a woman over 30).
Done right, text flirting can be a safe and fun way to get to know someone without pressure. But starting a good conversation by text represents double the problem. First, you need to get her number. Second, you need to deliver the goods.
These are tips that will work for you from a standard text conversation to getting things going on your favorite hookup app (if you don't have a favorite yet check out the proven hookup apps we have been using).
Luckily, there are ways to get around these problems. Knowing how to get her number is part of learning what to say to start a conversation over text. So let’s take a look at how you’re going to do it, so you can land a date with a woman you’ve just met or even one you know quite well.
First of all, you’re going to need to choose your method of acquisition. Do you want to give her the impression you’d like to start a text flirt with her? Do you want to pretend you’d like to contact her about something more serious or professional? Are you going to trick her into giving you her number?
Here’s a hint: The last option is not the right answer. If you trick her into giving you her number and then you text her, she might just block you – game over. But you can turn a professional or serious reason for calling her into something more, just as long as it doesn’t cross over any work/home boundaries.
Let’s assume you don’t work with her and you want to get her number purely to flirt. The problem here is, you need to flirt with her a little in person to do it. And most guys are after a girl’s number so they can flirt with her via text, generally an easier route.
The trick is to create a situation where she wants to keep chatting with you but can’t. One of my favorites is the public transport or grocery store line technique. Here you’ll get just a couple of minutes to flirt and suddenly – here’s your stop. It’s now or never.
“Oh no. I get off here. Hey, do you think I could get your number? I’d enjoy it if we could keep chatting.”
“I have to get back to work. Hey, do you want to give me your number or I can give you mine? That way I can send you a link to that band I mentioned.”
The great thing about this approach is if she says no, or nothing at all you’re not standing around embarrassed afterward. Just be polite and gracious. Say, “Maybe next time!” And get off the train, because there actually may be a next time and you might get lucky two or three times later. In building rapport, patience is a virtue.
Once you’ve got her number you might be feeling pretty pleased with yourself. But this feeling could wear off once you realize the real work has only just begun. Now you have to decide what to say to start a conversation over text. You also have to figure out the best time to text her.
Luckily, the second question is much easier to answer. You text her straight away.
“Hi, it’s (insert your name here). It was great to meet you. Thanks for giving me your number. Here’s mine.”
Hopefully, she’ll text you back with a mirroring text, saying it was nice to meet you too. If she does, or even if she doesn’t, you’re ready for text number two.
Open questions are questions that need a descriptive answer. Basically, anything which can’t be answered with a one-word response, like “Yes” or “No.”
If you know her already because she’s a colleague or in your college class or an acquaintance in your circle you’ll already have loads you can text about.
“Did you get the homework assignment details – I think I missed them.”
“What do we need to prepare for Thursday’s meeting?”
“Did you hear what happened to Tom?”
The key here is to ask a question you know she knows the answer to. You want to get her comfortable with texting you and receiving texts from you. You’re also starting a natural text flow, which can lead to other subjects and interests.
Three or four volleys into the chat (because you want to keep it going – and she’ll lose interest if you don’t reply straight away), you’ll want to show her you like her. When people are interested in each other, they tend to remember details about the other person. They also pay more attention to things the person has said.
You can show her you're interested by asking a question about something she said or a detail about her.
“My brother is going to Miami next week. Didn’t you say someone from your family lives there?”
“There’s a new Disney store opening up. I think I remember you saying you were a big Disney fan.”
“Do you have any good restaurant recommendation in (her neighborhood)?”
If you’re feeling brave and sense there’s already some flirting going on, you can be more direct and show her she’s on your mind.
“A woman walked past me today wearing your perfume. I had to stop and look. I thought it might be you.”
These are the small signals that let her see you like her without needing her to react straight away to your advances. Most women need a few days of thinking about a guy before they decide if they really like him or not. Plant the seed in her mind, you might like her and she’ll start thinking about it.
Quite often, it’s not until we connect with people on social media that we realize how much we have in common. If your phone number swap has led to more online contact that’s great. You can now see what you two have in common.
One word of warning. You should only pay attention to recent posts. There’s nothing creepier or more off-putting than getting a notification when someone you hardly know has been scrolling through your old photos. So mentioning long ago posted interests will also make her feel a little cyber-stalked.
Just look at what she’s posting right now and use it to build a connection.
“I saw your cute dog in your feed. I’ve got an adopted retriever. Where do you walk him?”
“Was that photo of you taken in New York? I was just there. Did you visit the Modern Art Museum?”
“Is that your mom or your sister in that photo?”
This last one can work wonders. It could make her giggle and she might even show the message to her mom. Suddenly, she’s received a compliment and is batting for you!
Before we get to the asking for a date stage, we need to run down some things you shouldn’t be saying or doing in the text. We’ve covered what are some conversation starters for texting and how to get it flowing, but there will be times when you’re lost for words. Maybe she just sent you a text and you want to text back quickly but don’t know what to say. Perhaps you just got the number and can’t find any shared interests. That’s okay. Just ask her.
“You seem like a really kind person. Are you an animal lover? Do you have any pets?”
Most women won’t reply saying they’re not kind. So this can open up a conversation about what pet she’d like to have.
If you’re not sure what to say, step back and think about it first. In early texts, it’s never okay to just send a “Hi,” or an emoji. This kind of text makes you look lazy and unimaginative. However, adding an emoji to a text of two or more sentences can be a good way to strengthen the emotion. Also, never text her if you’re drunk. You’ll regret it the next day. Also, never text her out of the blue, late at night. Waking someone up with an emoji isn’t going to get you a date.
Now that you know some conversation starters for texting with a woman, you’ll be ready to ask her out. The great thing about text dating is you can scroll back to see what you’ve already said. This means you can tailor your date request to make it more natural.
“Have you ever been to that restaurant on Madison? Would you think me too forward if I invited you to dinner there, Thursday night?”
This ask has everything you need. It’s specific – she knows where and when. Importantly, it’s also friendly and it contains a question that can’t easily be answered with a “No.” What part is she saying no to? She'll have to think about it.
As a general rule, you should leave enough space between asking and the date for her to prepare or change plans if needed. For example, asking someone out for a coffee during the day can be an immediate thing.
“Would you like to join me for a coffee in the park. It’s such a beautiful day.”
For a dinner date, on the other hand, asking a day in advance is better.
“Are you free tomorrow night? I’ve seen this great new restaurant in the city and I’d love to take you there.”
I personally would never set a date up for any amount of time over five days. By that time, you both might be seeing someone else.
In the end, some guys are just naturals at what to say to start a conversation over text, and some need the practice. When you first start texting women, don’t expect to be an expert flirter overnight. It’s an art form and you will get better with time. Just don’t be afraid to try.