New friend text etiquette: A beginners guide

March 10, 2012 at 10:10 am | Posted in Daily Life | 4 Comments
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Husband and I were laughing over dinner one night a few months ago after having met a really nice couple with children at the garden centre one weekend. This is a firm departure from single days of old when new encounters had a more pulse-racing feel to them – a cheeky wink over the onions at Tesco, an offer of a drink bought in a bar on a Saturday night.  This time it was about bringing new friends into an established circle of long-standing mates.

Because when you become a parent you make new connections of a third kind – not new clubbing companions, not potential suitors, but other parents.  People just like you, with similar age children, a shared love of eating out, similar professions or hobbies – and voila an expanded social circle; because after all, variety is the spice of life – it makes perfect sense then to share a hot curry with some new acquiantances, doesn’t it?

Back to the matter in hand; husband and I sat giggling over the table like love-struck teenagers debating whether we should text these new friends having swapped numbers earlier that day.

We’d spent a good three hours with them, having decided to stay for coffee and cake in the garden centre cafe to explore our new-found friendship and see if there was common ground to be established.  And yes – yes, there was.  A shared choice of profession between my husband and the wife, an all round interest in photography, geographical connections and an interest on their part in moving to our town.  We could show them around.

And that was it, numbers were swapped.  And I should emphasise that point – numbers were swapped.  Not keys.  We are not some odd sexually frustrated couple that loiters at garden centres looking to snare new couples to bring into a seedy ring of wife-swapping.  Maybe I didn’t need to make that point but talk of ‘securing’ new friends was starting to sound slightly weird as I began documenting this little journey.

Anyhow, back to the dining room table discussion.  We basically agreed upon the following rules.

New friend text etiquette.

1. Be absolutely sure that potential new friends want to swap numbers in the first place.  Comments like ‘we really enjoyed this morning’ or ‘we don’t know many people locally’ can be helpful prompts.

2. Leave approximately 24 hours before texting new friends – like a cooling off period – time to review the decision.  This is a shorter period of time that a potential new boyfriend as we are all adults now and we have the excuse of saying ‘our son really enjoyed playing with your son’ as a lead in line.

3.  Text straight back if they text first.  Again, we’re not 20 year olds trying to woo a new hottie; they know you’re not too busy to reply or sleeping off a monster night out, so you may as well just reply now before your forget, because that’s quite likely to happen.  That said, we have had a few big nights out lately but you just don’t get as much chance to sleep them off these days.

In our case they text first after we had spent much time debating how soon to reply.  I’m not embarrassed to confess that my husband and I high-fived ourselves for being the type of family that another new family wanted to socialise with.  Sad maybe, but who cares.

Who cares because since that sunny winter morning at the garden centre we’ve had coffees and walks, kite flying and cake, soft play and take-aways.

It’s nice to meet new people when you’re a little older as you have whole new lives to get to know about.  All those funny stories, grand plans and family quirks to find out about.

So maybe there is no text etiquette needed – maybe you can’t actually scare off new friends when you’re in your thirties?  By now most of us have given up putting on a front and trying to be what we think other people want us to be, so there’s little danger of people ‘going off’ you when they get to know you better – what you see is what you get.  And after all, we are sociable creatures.


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  1. This made me laugh! So true! Fab post! Ax

    • Maybe what many think but few say!!

  2. Glad I’m not the only one who frets about such things. Fantastic 🙂

    • Still makes me laugh when I think about it!

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