My phone buzzes right before my alarm rings. I groggily reach over to look at it, and it’s a “good morning” text from a guy I’m dating. I roll my eyes. The only response I can think of is, “What? What do you want? Finish your sentence.”
Call me a cynic, but I am not a fan of the good morning text. Among the deluge of emails, work texts, mom texts, best friend texts, DMs, and Twitter notifications I receive on a daily basis, the good morning text strikes me as unnecessary at best and cloying at worst. A man merely acknowledging that it is a) morning and b) good is truly the last thing I need.
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I realize that I may be in the minority here. People on the internet have long heralded the good morning text as cute, sweet or emoji-heart-eye-worthy. Some women even think that a man sending a good morning text is proof that he’s a keeper, evidence that “you’re his number one priority: the main thing you want in a marriage,” as one writer argued in a 2016 essay. In fact, in an (extremely scientific) Twitter poll I conducted, 53% of the 80 respondents said they loved receiving good morning texts. “It’s the thought that counts,” they contend, even if these thoughts are cheesy or disingenuous.
As a writer who frequently covers sex and dating, I strongly believe that the “good morning” text has got to go. Dump it right in the trash, right along with “hey” (too boring), “hi” (too cautious), and “WYD” (too forward).
A good morning text is the 2018 equivalent of a Facebook poke: lazy, unimaginative, and sometimes even creepy (especially if you just met the person the night before). It requires minimal effort, says next to nothing, and is so impersonal that it could easily be used as a work email greeting. Here’s a good litmus test: If you’ve just met someone you really like, and you’re thinking of sending them a text that could easily double as something you might send to your grandma, you probably shouldn’t send it.
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In my opinion, a “good morning” text screams “I’m boring,” particularly if you send every day. Honestly, if a guy sent me a daily “good morning” text, I would be concerned that the monotony of his texting habits would bleed over into other aspects of his life. Does he order the same meal at every restaurant? Is he going to try to take me to a movie every single date night? Are we going to have sex in the same position until the day we die? Am I being dramatic? Sure. But my point still stands.
On a perhaps more serious note, receiving a good morning text also makes me ask myself: what is my place is in your life? Is this a copy-and-pasted greeting that you fire off to five to six women every morning? Or is “good morning” one of the auto-texts in Siri’s pull-down menu, alongside “On my way” or “I’ll call you later”? I want you to make me feel special, not like I’m one of dozens of women you’re texting every day (even if that is, in fact, the case). As an intelligent, articulate individual, I want — and deserve — better.
So if you’re navigating the dating world, and you’re thinking of sending the person you like a “good morning” text, here are some other, more personal and engaging options for you to consider.
If you’re trying to communicate that the person you’re texting is on your mind, you can say just that: “thinking about you” (or “tbu”, if you’re in a rush). It’s sweet, simple, and to the point. An even better idea is to text an inside joke, an emoji, a meme, or a link to an article about a topic the two of you were just discussing. Keep your text specific and customized for the recipient, so they don’t think that you’re copy-pasting “good morning” to everyone you meet. Even a sext is preferable to a “good morning” text (provided you’ve already established a sexting relationship and you get their consent first).
The bottom line: At a time when it feels like the world is literally crumbling around us, I implore you to make the special people in your life feel special (and no, I don’t mean by adding “beautiful” after “good morning”). Send a compliment, or a Yelp review of a restaurant or bar you’d like to take me to. Send an old photo of us together, or a new selfie. All of these options are preferable to a “good morning” text, because they make me feel like I am a person who matters to you.