As IMs, text messages, and emails have become the predominant way for guys to ask us out on dates, I think it has gotten easier to figure out whether someone is actually interested in you. It’s true, you can’t hear his tone of voice or see his facial expressions when you read his message on your iPhone, but his language can say a lot. Simply put, if he’s leaving out personal pronouns in his texts, he’s just not that into you.Over the course of several failed years of dating, I’ve come up with a theory about guys’ messaging language that has been extremely accurate at predicting their actual level of interest over time. Basically, if a man is too lazy to use pronouns, he’s probably not feeling you as much as you think he is. I can’t tell you the number of times someone who seemed to be interested in me would write things like, “the kooks are playing saturday. wanna go?” These seems like a normal message, right? Well, in this message, and in others (try not to judge on one message alone), he never wrote any pronouns (I, you, we). He didn’t say, “Do you want to go?” The you was implied. And, things ended up not working with him, and other who constantly neglected to use pronouns. It’s like when people say “Love you,” instead of “I love you.” It’s almost as though they’re excluding themselves from the sentiment, even though it’s implied.
Text messaging brings out the lazy typer in all of us, so you might think this theory is absurd, but a new study published in the journal Personal Relationships found that guys and girls both reported higher satisfaction in couples where the woman used “I” a lot in IMs, and were 30 percent more likely to stay in their relationships.
While the study’s researchers think “I”-laden instant messages might show that the women are comfortable talking about themselves with their partners, I think there’s more to it than that. People who take the time to type “I” and “you” seem to care enough about what you think of them to spend the extra five seconds to include a few more letters. In the early stages of dating, whether a guy types pronouns can be an indication of how a guy feels about you as whether he listens to your entire story about how you’re afraid of squirrels, or if he interrupts you along the way. It’s just another way to see what kind of effort he’s making with you.