The idea that girls should never call boys was ingrained into everyone by the 1950s, but that rule went out of style with poodle skirts and saddle shoes. By the free spirited 1960s, girls were free to do as they liked, including calling up the boys. The technology may have changed, but the concept is still the same. Now, as then, basic rules of etiquette do apply.

Know Your Text Etiquette

Sending a text means cramming all of your thoughts, feelings and emotions on a topic into a handful of characters on a tiny phone screen. Reading a text means trying to interpret all the nonverbal signals and hidden messages behind that same handful of characters. Make your texts light and breezy with little room for misinterpretation. Avoid the urge to send sonnets, lengthy treatises on your life or long “just because” messages.

Don’t Be a Stalker

In our constantly connected world, people often expect instant gratification. Yet the guy you like is an independent human being with a life of his own. He might not see your text right away, he might not be in a place where he can answer or he might want to think about what he is going to say. Wait a length of time that is appropriate to the content and the phase of your relationship before checking in again. For example, if you text a dinner invite to your steady boyfriend, it is reasonable to expect him to answer within a few hours. If you text a general “what’s up?” to a new crush, give him several days to respond.

Avoid Arguments and Games

Because text messages are easy to misinterpret, focus on being as clear and concise as possible. Even good-natured teasing can be misconstrued without context. Resist the urge to snap at your guy, ignore his texts or start a discussion about the direction of your relationship. If you have something of importance to say, call him or set up a face-to-face meeting.

Let Him Chase You

Although it is fine for girls to text boys, even before the first date, sending too many texts can come across as desperate or smothering, notes psychologist Arlene Krieger. Slow down, back off and give him the chance to miss you. Dating is like a highly complex dance, so give your guy the opportunity to lead, at least part of the time.