Texting is a part of daily life, and there is no reason not to text the guy you like. Texting too often can scare him away, but figuring out where to draw that line can be tricky. If you think you might be overdoing it, pay attention to his responses. If he starts backing away from the conversation, either by slowing down his response time or giving shorter and shorter replies, that’s a good indication that you went too far. To avoid coming on too strong in the first place, follow a few basic guidelines.

Being Genuine and Realistic

According to The Rules Revisited, authenticity is more important than an arbitrary number of texts per day. Send a text because you genuinely want to talk to him, not because you’re bored, drunk or feeling obligated to respond to his text. Fit texting into your normal day rather than making it a priority. For example, if you normally turn off your phone at school, don’t leave it on just in case you hear from him. Do what you do with your friends and reply when you have the time.

Texting for No Reason

Match.com points out that most guys aren’t interested in following the meaningless details of your day. If you have something to say that specifically involves him, if you need to give or get information, or if you want to lighten his day with a joke, send the text. If you want to tell him about the jerk who pulled out in front of you, save it for an in-person conversation.

Curbing Obsession

In the always-connected modern world, it is easy to expect an instant reply. Yet your guy has a life. Maybe he’s in class. He might be having dinner with his parents, working out at the gym, or taking a shower. Give him some time before jumping to the conclusion that he is ignoring you. A steady boyfriend should reply within a few hours to a specific invitation or request, while a new guy might take a few days to respond to a general, “How’s it going?” Sending back to back texts, especially if they sound panicky or obsessive, is a major turn-off, according to MarieClare.com’s Dating Diaries.

The Thrill of the Chase

In an interview for Cosmopolitan.com, Dr. Arlene Krieger notes that coming on too strong too soon feels smothering. Guys like the opportunity to pursue girls, so back off a little and let him come to you. That doesn’t mean not to text him at all, but give him some room to miss you.