[adv] Conveying interest through text

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[adv] Conveying interest through text Empty [adv] Conveying interest through text

Post by nearly_takuan on Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:51 pm

I'm really bad at this in every format, but I'll start with text-based formats to keep things a bit more focused.

So, this goes for text messaging, OLD, whatever. How do you "flirt" in text? How do you show interest / test the waters? For better or worse, body language is no longer part of the equation....

I guess I am having at least two problems here. One is that I don't know how to show I'm interested, and that between that and thinking plausible deniability is a pile of shit, I end up either letting the conversation die too early or asking the other person out too early (which kills the conversation...such as it was).

The other is that I have no idea what it would look like if the other person was trying to show interest in me. (As if.*) I assume there would be something other than well-intentioned answering of well-intentioned questions, but what that is I couldn't guess.

*Problem 3.




Problem 4 is a little more specific to OLD: a lot of the people I have genuine interest in tend to already have a lot of cool stuff in their profiles, so I feel like I already know everything I would want to know about them before asking 'em out. I just don't know if they know enough about me yet. So it seems like there is little to ask and I don't know what to tell or how to go about that.
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Post by eselle28 on Sun Feb 01, 2015 5:32 pm

I guess I would say it's a little different for online dating and for texting someone who you already know at least a little bit.

I get where you're coming from with Problem 4. I've seen profiles where I've been pretty sure I've seen enough in the profile itself to be interested in meeting the person. In those cases, especially, I think messaging is more about getting a conversation going to establish a bit of rapport and comfort. Rather than seeking information, I'd suggest having a conversation more like you would with someone you already know who's cool. Get into the specifics of one of your shared interests or ask if they saw the band they said they liked playing the last time they were in town. That kind of thing.

When it comes to Problem 1 and Problem 2, I'm a bit less of an expert, since I find text flirting to be a bit awkward personally. I've noticed that men who I otherwise know are interested in me tend to be a little more likely to tease me gently or give me shit in texts. That obviously can go wrong if you hit the wrong note, so it's best to pick something that's not so personal. Um, as an example, one of my exes likes/liked to send me memes about a football player on a team he knows I despise. Silly stuff like that. This may be particular to guys I know, but I've noticed some of the younger guys I've dated are more likely to send me non-obscene selfies of them doing ordinary day to day stuff. Not sure if that's either common or something you'll see women doing in return, though.
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Post by Guest on Sun Feb 01, 2015 6:23 pm

eselle28 wrote:I guess I would say it's a little different for online dating and for texting someone who you already know at least a little bit.

I get where you're coming from with Problem 4. I've seen profiles where I've been pretty sure I've seen enough in the profile itself to be interested in meeting the person. In those cases, especially, I think messaging is more about getting a conversation going to establish a bit of rapport and comfort. Rather than seeking information, I'd suggest having a conversation more like you would with someone you already know who's cool. Get into the specifics of one of your shared interests or ask if they saw the band they said they liked playing the last time they were in town. That kind of thing.

Studying audio, media and public speaking, I've learned very quickly that words can mean NOTHING without sound, the intonations we use, the timbre and inflections have and use either. So very quickly, a jokey remark can be taken the wrong way.

eselle28 wrote:
When it comes to Problem 1 and Problem 2, I'm a bit less of an expert, since I find text flirting to be a bit awkward personally. I've noticed that men who I otherwise know are interested in me tend to be a little more likely to tease me gently or give me shit in texts. That obviously can go wrong if you hit the wrong note, so it's best to pick something that's not so personal. Um, as an example, one of my exes likes/liked to send me memes about a football player on a team he knows I despise. Silly stuff like that. This may be particular to guys I know, but I've noticed some of the younger guys I've dated are more likely to send me non-obscene selfies of them doing ordinary day to day stuff. Not sure if that's either common or something you'll see women doing in return, though.

I do that, I try to stay away from the personal stuff about them and take jabs at myself instead. Razz But I'll take selfies of me doing mundane crap or silly stupid humorous things. Once I sent out a snap of me getting beer at grocery. Laughing Some of the young women I know do silly stuff too, one girl I know particular goes to a college that's ridiculously close to the beach and she'll send snaps from her dorm of sunsets and/or of her roomies singing and dancing. So I dunno.

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Post by eselle28 on Sun Feb 01, 2015 6:27 pm

The Mikey wrote:
eselle28 wrote:I guess I would say it's a little different for online dating and for texting someone who you already know at least a little bit.

I get where you're coming from with Problem 4. I've seen profiles where I've been pretty sure I've seen enough in the profile itself to be interested in meeting the person. In those cases, especially, I think messaging is more about getting a conversation going to establish a bit of rapport and comfort. Rather than seeking information, I'd suggest having a conversation more like you would with someone you already know who's cool. Get into the specifics of one of your shared interests or ask if they saw the band they said they liked playing the last time they were in town. That kind of thing.

Studying audio, media and public speaking, I've learned very quickly that words can mean NOTHING without sound, the intonations we use, the timbre and inflections have and use either. So very quickly, a jokey remark can be taken the wrong way.

Oh, no disagreement there. That's actually the reason I separated the two topics. I think joking around and teasing work a bit more easily if you're texting someone you know. They can be dicier with OLD messages, and I'd say that goes into 501 territory. I was thinking more along the lines of the kind of conversation two friends might have about a TV show they both like if they were emailing each other - more in depth than just generally inquiring into each other's interests, but not necessarily poking at each other or teasing.
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Post by Guest on Sun Feb 01, 2015 6:34 pm

eselle28 wrote:
Oh, no disagreement there. That's actually the reason I separated the two topics. I think joking around and teasing work a bit more easily if you're texting someone you know. They can be dicier with OLD messages, and I'd say that goes into 501 territory. I was thinking more along the lines of the kind of conversation two friends might have about a TV show they both like if they were emailing each other - more in depth than just generally inquiring into each other's interests, but not necessarily poking at each other or teasing.

Gotcha, that makes sense. It's also difficult to do when in the flesh, your personality much jokier than it is on the intarnetzzz.

Like me. Razz In person I like to joke around a lot & say silly stuff and it shows in the way I speak and my facial expressions. Buuut, not so much on the internet unfortunately. Although, I think I can convey jokes somewhat well here even if people don't acknowledge my [delusional] comedic genius. Razz

But then again, I naturally try to find the humor in everything I possibly can.

But yeah, speaking about $interest and building a rapport that way is helpful, then I suppose you just go for it and ask for a date?

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Post by Solvi on Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:57 pm

The Mikey wrote:
Studying audio, media and public speaking, I've learned very quickly that words can mean NOTHING without sound, the intonations we use, the timbre and inflections have and use either. So very quickly, a jokey remark can be taken the wrong way.

I think it's more accurate to say that words can mean something without sound -- or the novel would never have become an art form -- but that the skillset and vocabulary needed to convey varied shades of meaning through text alone is quite different from the skillset and vocabulary needed to do so through voice.  You can't just write down verbatim the words you'd speak and expect the result to convey all the nuances of the original utterance.

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Post by KMR on Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:45 pm

nearly_takuan wrote:
So, this goes for text messaging, OLD, whatever. How do you "flirt" in text? How do you show interest / test the waters? For better or worse, body language is no longer part of the equation....

I can't really speak specifically to "flirting" since I don't generally feel comfortable enough to flirt with someone until I've already started dating them (as counter-intuitive as that might seem). But on the more general topic of conveying interest though text, I've definitely had this problem myself. I naturally have a formal, academic writing style that can easily come off as cold and dispassionate, so I've probably given some guys the impression that I was less interested than I actually was. If that's something you're prone to, I think making a conscious effort to use more casual language and phrasing might help. Another small thing that I think can make a noticeable difference: using exclamation points. This reads like you're excited and engaged in the conversation. You can pepper your responses with little phrases like, "That's great!" or "Wow, that's so interesting!" or "Yeah, I'm totally the same way!" They're the kind of phrases that come out more naturally when you're having a conversation with someone in real-time but can be easy to forget to include when you're exchanging emails. If it's not too out-of-character for you, including an occasional "lol" or emoticon can also help to convey emotion, which helps with establishing rapport and comfort.  

nearly_takuan wrote:
Problem 4 is a little more specific to OLD: a lot of the people I have genuine interest in tend to already have a lot of cool stuff in their profiles, so I feel like I already know everything I would want to know about them before asking 'em out. I just don't know if they know enough about me yet. So it seems like there is little to ask and I don't know what to tell or how to go about that.

I like to integrate question-asking with talking about myself. So when I see something in someone's profile that I think is interesting or is a point of commonality, I'll remark upon it, talk about it in a way that relates to something about myself, then ask a question or two to give the person more to say on the subject. For example: "I see in your profile that you like video games, especially RPGs. Me too! My favorites are RPGs from the SNES era, like Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy 6, and Lufia 2. I grew up with them, so they're especially nostalgic for me. What are your favorite RPGs? I don't play a lot of new games; are there any great RPGs that came out recently that you'd recommend?" So this way you still do the all-important asking of questions that shows interest and fuels conversation, but you're also letting the other person get to know you a little. Because the telling is integrated with the asking, it doesn't seem out of place, it just flows naturally into the conversation.
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Post by Guest on Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:08 pm

Solvi wrote:I think it's more accurate to say that words can mean something without sound -- or the novel would never have become an art form -- but that the skillset and vocabulary needed to convey varied shades of meaning through text alone is quite different from the skillset and vocabulary needed to do so through voice. You can't just write down verbatim the words you'd speak and expect the result to convey all the nuances of the original utterance.

Well of course they can mean something. But I think what I was getting at was without proper context (vocal or otherwise) can cause mass confusion. Although, I most certainly agree. Wink :3

For example, you ever see the sign that says "SLOW CHILDREN AHEAD"? I remember when I first saw it I thought it meant something like "slow disabled children ahead", not "Motorists, slow down, children are up ahead".

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Post by kath on Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:06 am

Solvi wrote:
I think it's more accurate to say that words can mean something without sound -- or the novel would never have become an art form -- but that the skillset and vocabulary needed to convey varied shades of meaning through text alone is quite different from the skillset and vocabulary needed to do so through voice.  You can't just write down verbatim the words you'd speak and expect the result to convey all the nuances of the original utterance.

This this! And something that works very well in the written context - and be warm, and fun-sounding, can even just be too long to say in a conversation.

KMR wrote:
I naturally have a formal, academic writing style that can easily come off as cold and dispassionate, so I've probably given some guys the impression that I was less interested than I actually was. If that's something you're prone to, I think making a conscious effort to use more casual language and phrasing might help. Another small thing that I think can make a noticeable difference: using exclamation points. This reads like you're excited and engaged in the conversation. You can pepper your responses with little phrases like, "That's great!" or "Wow, that's so interesting!" or "Yeah, I'm totally the same way!" They're the kind of phrases that come out more naturally when you're having a conversation with someone in real-time but can be easy to forget to include when you're exchanging emails. If it's not too out-of-character for you, including an occasional "lol" or emoticon can also help to convey emotion, which helps with establishing rapport and comfort.  

Totally with KMR on this. I think seeming enthusiastically engaged, Takuan, might not be "flirting', but will definitely convey interest in the conversation and the person you're having the conversation with. I hope this isn't too personal, and it's certainly not a criticism in this context, but your way of speaking here can be quite matter-of-fact -- sometimes to the extent that I think as readers we (or I, really) can miss nuances of tone that you intend. So clarifying some of that can work. It may seem silly, but I think you can totally do that by just saying that their opinion is very interesting, or saying that something is fascinating (with an exclamation point if it's necessary so that it doesn't come off as sarcastic). It tends to not sound particularly enthusiastic, so if that's something that's habitual for you, consciously combating it may help*.

Actually, ending a statement of enthusiasm with a period is a pretty reliable way to make it come off sarcastic:

Fascinating.

vs.

Fascinating!

So I'd certainly avoid that, or use that to frame how you punctuate your messages. I think there are other sort of upbeat, textual cues you could send that you're enjoying the conversation - saying positive things about the conversation and about some aspect of the topic would probably contribute to that. Maybe it's a case of "accentuate the positive" being the best advice - unless you already do that or were looking for specific advice as to how (other than saying positive things).

*Of course, that might just be how you write here, where it does make sense.
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