You can spend a lot of time figuring out what you want in a partner. You can make a whole list, and then go through and prioritize the three or five most important qualities. But I’ve realized that dating all comes down to one simple concept: you deserve to find someone you want to text back immediately.
You deserve to be in a situation where the very action of someone’s name appearing on your phone makes you smile. Look, you just can’t fake chemistry. We’d probably all make better choices at one point or another if that were the case, but it’s not. The fact of the matter is that you can’t help who you’re drawn to. And you deserve to find someone who makes you feel happy and nervous and smiley and excited.
In my dating past, I’ve tried to tell myself stories about a person I’ve started seeing because I know I should want it to work, but in the back of my mind I just wasn’t feeling it. I would try to cover it up by telling myself how nice he is, or how funny or how responsible. Yet somehow when that person was texting me, I would forget to reply for two or three hours. When he texted in the middle of the work day, I’d feel myself rolling my eyes, aggravated that he was pulling me away from my train of thought. He wanted to make plans for this coming weekend and I was already trying to think of reasons why I was busy. Not exactly a sign of a real spark.
But when you find someone you really connect with, as soon as their name appears on your phone, you’re anxious to swipe the message open and reply. If you’ve been away from your phone for a while, you’re hopeful that you’ll come back to see that they’ve checked in. Whether you’re on the treadmill or at the grocery store or out on the weekends, a quick text message is a happy, positive thing, not something you have to remember to respond to. You’re excited about seeing them again.
The text message test is one of the most basic yet truest tests in a new relationship, and since this is the 21st century after all, it’s a pretty standard unit of measurement. How do you react when that person texts you? Do you feel excited or annoyed? Interested in continuing the conversation or hopeful that they’ll get the point and move on? It’s not about how you wish you felt or think you should feel. Be honest with yourself.