1. There is no need to break into a cold sweat from trying to send the perfect flirty ~*~*WiT nUgGet~*~*~. Because he is texting you back "k" with one hand and using the other one to eat chicken wings. Calm down. I have ruined otherwise amazing nights out with people who were actually IN FRONT OF ME by obsessing about the perfect smiley and special characters.
2. Don't overanalyze every little thing he says—he didn't think about it NEARLY as much as you did/are. If he's like "im so tired, can we reschedule for thursday?" don't drive yourself nuts wondering if he's got another date and how he said "SO tired," as if he had been on a date last night and it ran late. He's tired. He wants to move it to Thursday. The crazier you feel, the crazier and less like yourself you will act.
3. Sometimes the best text-messagers are the worst boyfriends. A theory that I've previously discussed. One of my biggest heartbreaks ever was courtesy of the best male texter I have ever encountered. (I'm now dating someone who's also a good texter, though, so not a hard-and-fast rule.)
4. And some of the worst texters are the best boyfriends. Just because he's not smooth over text doesn't mean he's not funny—and interesting, and sweet, and sexy, and reliable, and other non-sociopathic things—in person. I went out with a great guy for a bit who wasn't a "writer" type, and therefore monosyllabic via text, but if I judged him by that, I would have missed out on someone cool. There are lots of different kinds of smart.
5. A three-hour wait before he texts back—or, hell, a five-hour-wait—does not mean that he thinks you are a heinous sea crone with a salty vagina. My eyes have actually ached from spending a day staring at my phone, waiting. But he's busy. Stop overanalyzing. (See #2.)
6. It's not being "high maintenance" or "needy" to want the guy to text you after the first date, if it went really well. Let's remember not to conflate "high maintenance" with "being a reasonable human who needs things." Those things are very different. Also, if it went well, he should want to talk to you a lot.
7. But if he doesn't text you first after an awesome date, you should feel free to text him. If he likes you as much as you like him, it won't matter to him who texts first. If he doesn't and you come off as "clingy" or whatever, he was wrong for you anyway. That is an important principle that should be applied to all areas of dating, not just texts—if I'd known this earlier, it would have been a ton easier (and faster) to get to the healthy(ish) point I'm at now with men.
8. Once you guys have been together for a while, there's no need to panic about him texting you less. It just means you're getting closer IRL. I used to worry that he thought our relationship was washed up or he was taking me for granted, but actually he just felt so stable in the relationship that he didn't feel the need to text constantly. It's nice!
9. You should 100 percent never have a fight via text. For god's sake, just call him. Those pauses in the argument where you just see the "..." are going to give you a heart attack. Yes, you might cry if you have to actually use voices, but it's better than text-fighting, which always goes head-spinningly fast and is very easy to misinterpret.
10. Playing the "I better wait a little while to text back" game is a waste of time for everyone. If you, like me, are busy as shit and have no time to do the withholding dance, just go for it. Learn from my wasted time. People who play games are people who have no real substance behind the game-playing.
11. He definitely got your text. It went through. Do not be that person who follows up on her own text. If you do, screenshot it and save it to your phone so that you can look back every time you feel the need and remind yourself how humiliating it was.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.