Is It Okay To Send Goodnight Texts To Her If You’re Not In A Relationship?

Updated August 16, 2023by Regain Editorial Team

Every relationship, whether romantic or not, is different, and a seemingly simple “goodnight text” can be interpreted in many ways. If you’re trying to determine whether sending one in the context of your relationship is appropriate, you might want to consider things like her responsiveness to your texts, if she feels comfortable receiving goodnight texts, and if there are any unrequited feelings in your relationship. If you’re finding it challenging to define the type of non-romantic relationship you have or her boundaries, you might want to have an in-person conversation with her first. You may also want to try reaching out to a licensed therapist to discuss it further.

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Is Sending A Goodnight Text Okay Given The Context Of Your Relationship?

Oftentimes, the nature of your relationship can provide insight into whether it’s appropriate to send her a goodnight text: 

  • Friend 

In many friendships, and particularly long-distance friendships, a goodnight text is an appreciated way to let your friend know you’re thinking of them. Whether you are old friends, new friends, or best friends, a goodnight text is likely to be well-received. You could send a text as simple as, “Rest up, buddy,” or something more heartfelt like, “I’m always here for you, even when you’re across the continent. Sleep tight, my friend!”. 

Additionally, goodnight texts can be a useful way of signing off for the night. For example, if you’re having a lengthy back-and-forth text with a friend but you need to get some rest, you could say something like, “I’d better get some sleep, but let’s pick up where we left off tomorrow!”. That way, they’ll know you’re asleep and won’t be offended if you abruptly stop responding to their texts. 

  • Co-Worker 

If you are co-workers, it’s probably not the best idea to send a causal goodnight text. If you need to communicate with a co-worker in the evening, you could end your message or email with something more professional like, “Apologies for the late communication, enjoy the rest of your evening.” 

If you have romantic feelings for a co-worker, it’s important to understand the relationship policies at your workplace, and carefully consider the potential risks of acting on these feelings

  • Romantic Interest

Sending a goodnight text let’s your crush know you’re thinking of her. If you have been texting with her in the evening, you could consider saying something like, “I wish I could stay up talking with you all night, but sadly I have to get some sleep.” This goodnight text clearly communicates your feelings for her and your interest in spending more time talking to her. 

  • Ex-Partner

Sending a goodnight text to your ex may be appropriate if you have a healthy friendship now, or if you’re both considering getting back together. However, in most cases, it is not a good idea to send your ex-partner goodnight texts. 

Here are some situations where you probably shouldn’t text your ex goodnight: 

  • If you had a difficult breakup
  • If there was any abuse in the relationship
  • If you broke up very recently
  • If she’s in a happy relationship now, or you’re otherwise acting out of jealousy

It may be a good idea to ask your ex what her boundaries are and consider who it was that ended the relationship in the first place. For example, ask things like: Is it okay for me to text you goodnight every so often? Would you prefer it if I don’t text you at all? 

  • Unrequited Love

You might find yourself loving someone who does not feel the same way, which is most common if you have an anxious attachment style. Unrequited feelings are fine if you don’t act upon them, but repeated unwanted texting may constitute harassment. Do not send goodnight texts to someone who does not want to receive them. 

  • Someone Who’s In A Relationship

Because goodnight texts indicate that you’re thinking about someone right before you go to bed, they may be construed as flirty. To avoid giving her the impression that you are interested in her romantically, you might want to say something like, “I’m tired and off to bed, but it was nice chatting and have a good night!”, rather than something that sounds more romantically interested, like, “I can’t stop smiling when we text, sweet dreams.” 

If you are romantically interested in someone who’s unavailable, it may be a good idea to refrain from excessive interacting and texting with her to reduce your emotional attachment. 

Avoiding Text Message Miscommunication

Texting does not allow for many communication signals, including facial expressions, body language, eye contact, tone of voice, and hand gestures. In person, if someone says, “Whatever,” the context clues given from non-verbal communication will help you interpret what they are trying to convey. However, in texts, “Whatever” might mean any of the following

  • I guess
  • Alright
  • It’s okay
  • It’s not okay
  • Sarcastic rude
  • I don’t care
  • I’m mad
  • Sure
  • Yes
  • Mhm 

Though texting is a convenient way to stay connected with others, it can sometimes make navigating relationships more difficult.  

Here are a few tips to help reduce the likelihood of your text’s being misinterpreted: 

  • Keep Texts Simple And Relatively Short: Long, run-on texts can be difficult to understand. If you need to say something more complex, it may warrant a phone call. 
  • Answer In A Reasonable Amount Of Time: If you cannot immediately respond to a text, it’s considerate to let them know you’re busy and will reply when you can. 
  • Proofread: Your text is more likely to be misunderstood if it includes improper grammar, incorrect spelling, or auto-correct mistakes. 
  • Be Consistent: If you’ve been sending someone goodnight texts every night, and then suddenly stop, they may wonder what went wrong. If you’re too busy to continue sending goodnight texts, that’s okay, but let them know.  
  • Follow The Unwritten Code: If you never end your text messages with periods, and then suddenly do, this could be interpreted as you are being insincere, angry, or impatient. Casual language is common while texting, and requires situational code-switching
  • When Not To Text: If you need to have a difficult conversation, it’s typically a better idea to call, meet in-person, or videoconference. As a general rule, long messages that require significant explanation may be better said through a medium other than text. 

What If You’re Still Unsure? 

If you cannot decide whether it’s appropriate to send her a goodnight text, you might want to consider trying one of the following:

  • Talk To Her And Listen To Her Cues

Oftentimes, the easiest way to learn someone’s boundaries is to just ask if it’s okay for you to send goodnight texts. You can also observe how she responds to your texts. Ask yourself the following questions: 

    • Does she reply? 
    • If she does reply, are her answers short?
    • How long does it take for her to reply? 
    • Are her replies enthusiastic? 
    • Does she ask you questions about yourself? 
    • Does she ever text you first?  
    • Does she avoid solidifying plans to meet in person? 

Once you know her personal boundaries, respect and listen to them. If you’ve violated someone’s boundaries on accident, it’s a good idea to acknowledge and apologize for your mistake. 

  • Reach Out To A Therapist

If you’re finding yourself repeatedly told that you’ve violated someone’s boundaries, or if you’re still uncertain if it’s okay to text someone you’re not romantically involved with, therapy can help. Some people without a well-defined sense of self, called a “self-concept” in psychology, may experience the following signs

    • Trouble making decisions 
    • Engaging in people-pleasing behaviors 
    • Feeling like you lack direction
    • Negative self-talk and criticism 
    • Low self-esteem 
    • High neuroticism
    • Difficulty understanding boundaries

Cognitive distortions and negative self-talk can harm your mental health, and many people with poor self-concept have experienced abuse and/or trauma. Research from 2017 demonstrates that a cognitive behavioral therapist can help you process traumatic life experiences and build a stronger sense of self. 

Some people prefer having the ability to message their therapist whenever questions come up. Online platforms, like Regain, allow you to use in-app messaging to talk to your licensed therapist, in addition to scheduling voice call or videocall sessions. A 2017 peer-reviewed study found that internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is effective at addressing many mental health concerns, and it’s typically more cost-effective than in-person therapy. 

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Text messaging may be a convenient way to communicate, but it can leave opportunity for miscommunication. Defining the type of relationship you have can provide insight into whether it’s appropriate for you to send goodnight texts. 

If you’re finding it challenging to understand her boundaries, you feel like you’re your own worst critic, or if you have other mental health concerns, therapy can be helpful. Online therapy is typically more convenient and affordable than in-person therapy, and research shows that it can effectively address the symptoms of low self-esteem and psychiatric disorders. 

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