They may seem harmless, but every time you send one of these texts, you send your potential bae the wrong message.

By By Markham Heid
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Photo: Westend61/Getty Images

Even if you've answered "yes" to the age-old question "should I text him?" (or her!) you have bigger problems to worry about. When it comes to text messages, it's easy to get caught up wondering whether you're sending the wrong message-literally and figuratively. Considering how long texting has been around, it's surprisingly difficult to decide on the right tone and frequency.

And while you probably know that important conversations-whether you're pissed at him or her or ready to talk about your future-should never happen via text, there are other texts you probably shouldn't send in a new relationship.

1. "Looking forward to more nights with you like that."

Alluding to a shared future-however benign your comment may seem-can be startling at the start of a new relationship, says Laurie Davis, founder of eFlirtexpert.com and author of Love at First Click. Women are quicker to build up elaborate fantasies involving a future than guys, she says. And any hints of serious commitment could frighten him or her: Wouldn't you be skeptical if a guy sent you this text after the first date

Send this instead: "Last night was fun. Next time, my place?" Focus only on the coming date, and not beyond it, Davis advises. And avoid being too specific-like suggesting dates or times-which can make your love interest feel boxed in. (If you want to take the next step, here's how to go from a casual to a committed relationship.)

2. "Want to meet my parents this weekend?"

Meeting someone's mom and dad is fraught with all sorts of awkward possibilities, especially in the early stages of your relationship, explains Guy Blews, author of Realistic Relationships. Not only does sending him or her this text scream, "I'm really serious about you!", there's really no way for them to say no without starting a fight, Blews adds.

Send this instead: "My parents are in town Saturday, so I may not be able to hang out." If he or she shows any interest in their visit, you could mention that they are welcome to join the three of you for dinner, but leave it at that, Blews recommends. "If he or she values you, they'll be keen to make a good impression on your parents, and that's the person you want them to meet."

3. "Where have you been?"

"Two words," Blews says. "Guilt. Trip." Sending a text like this-or guilting them into anything-will backfire, because it can come off as desperate, he adds.

Send this instead: "Hey, how are you?" If he or she likes you, that's enough to get them to reach back out, Blews says. If they don't reply, then you can send this exact same text a few days later, but only once more. If you still don't hear from him or her, let go and move on. (Related: How to Travel with Your Significant Other Without Breaking Up By the End of the Trip)

4. "We should be Facebook friends."

Davis says this pops up most often with younger women. You probably just want to show your girlfriends pictures of the new guy in your life, but you feel awkward about friending him. The problem? Some guys might interpret this as "She wants to change her status to 'in a relationship' with me," Davis explains.

Send this instead: Take a screenshot of your Facebook page and send it to him with the message, "I'll show you mine if you show me yours," Davis suggests. It's flirtier and seems less like some sort of proposal.

5. "What are you up to?" (Sent anytime after midnight)

If you're looking for a FWB situation, then this one's fine. (In that case, read up on how to have multiple orgasms.) But if you're interested in a relationship, you shouldn't send this text, because it sends all the wrong signals. You might as well text, "Want to have sex?" because they're basically the same message, Blew says.

Send this instead: "I'm wearing something I think you're gonna enjoy." Send this well before 12, and you'll leave him or her wanting more without them assuming you're lonely, horny, tipsy-or all three, Blews says.

6. "Thinking of you."

This could work with your partner of multiple years, but if you send this text to someone you only recently started dating, and you may not realize you're delivering a digital billboard that says you're really, really into him or her-which could frighten them off, Davis warns. This could be too much, too soon.

Send this instead: "Had a great time with you. Let's do it again soon." Before you get serious with someone, dating should be fun. Show you're interested-and loved the date-without giving the impression that you've already started planning your wedding, Davis says. Even if you're already scouting bridesmaid dresses.

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