For most of us, the early texting lessons we learned on those old Sony Ericsson's - like not putting 'TB' so your crush would text back or TyPiNg LiKe ThIs - are a thing of the distant past.
But wooing in a world of 'last seen' notifications and tiny panda emojis, there is a whole new rulebook to follow. When you into someone, your greatest enemies are yourself and WhatsApp.
Out of all the dating sins, bad texting form is the one my female friends are united against. So to help you make sure you don't blow it, here are some of the biggest offenders to avoid.
1 | Getting too 'kissy'
One optional 'x' at the end of a text message is all you should ever use. A string of sad little kisses only undo any witticisms that have come before them. Long lost aunts and 14-year-olds are the type of people who send multiple kisses at the end of their message. If you aren't in a committed relationship with someone, sending tonnes of x's is basically self-castration.
2 | Enough with questions
While it is tempting to stick with safe questions like 'how was your weekend?', do try to be more inventive where you can. Dull, repetitive questioning is not a good look. In the grand history of getting laid, nobody has ever managed it by asking what someone had for lunch.
3 | 'Did you get home ok?'
The afterglow from a date can make people do strange things, particularly if the glow is down to five margaritas. The temptation to remain in contact is obviously enormous, but fight it. A little time to ruminate and wonder if the other person is into you usually doubles your attractiveness. Unless you have reason to suggest someone may be in imminent danger, do not ask if they got home OK. Most women would rather have been run over than read this.
4 | Replacing all feelings with emojis
There is a distinct joy that accompanies a perfectly selected and well-timed emoji. But the tyranny of choice is a terrible thing. Overusing emojis can leave your message thread looking like a bizzare comic strip, overrun with telescopes, martinis and women dancing in red dresses. It doesn't scream confident adult who has his life sorted, so think before you winky face.
5 | Doing a hyena impression
Recognising a funny message is a positive affirmation that can go a long way in sealing a romance. On the flip side, there's little more emasculating than a 'hehe' or 'LOL!' response to a half-baked message that you hadn't even meant to be funny. It pretty much reads as YOU'RE GREAT, BE WITH ME!
6 | The dreaded double text
Obviously she hasn't fallen down a hole, so asking whether she has or if she is still alive is neither funny nor endearing. All you're doing is drawing attention to her lack of response and likely lengthening it further. You should never, ever send more than three consecutive messages without a response. You wouldn't high-five yourself.
7 |Frgtting how 2 communic8 prprly
With the ease of touchscreen phones there is absolutely no reason to abbreviate words in messages. If you're so busy you can't put all the letters in a word then you probably shouldn't be sending a text in the first plac, and if you're throwing out 'c u l8r', the chances are you won't. The same goes for bad grammar or typos. People used to write love letters, for goodness sake: the least you can do is spell check before sending.
8 |Turning your conversation into the Da Vinci Code
While all the above is true, there is a fine line between crafting great messages and obsessing over minor details. You don't want your exchanges to become so laborious and gag-a-minute that either she gets put off from keeping up, or you become a let down in the flesh. Try to keep the tone light and relaxed, even if she is The One.