DATE AT AN EXPERT LEVEL
So, your guy uses exclamation points in texts several times a day and you’re trying to figure out why. Is it because he’s super excited about stuff? Or has he just had 93 cups of coffee? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why he might be so enthusiastic.
Reasons That Guys Use Exclamation Points While Texting
Punctuation marks serve a variety of different functions. Just like a period (or full stop) at the end of a sentence indicates that the phrase is complete, so does a question mark indicate a query. When an exclamation mark appears, it implies a degree of strong emotion or emphasis. As a result, when your dude uses one while texting, he’s either adding emphasis to something he’s said because it’s important, or expressing that he feels strongly about something.
1. Sincere Enthusiasm and Excitement
If he’s using exclamation marks sparingly when texting, just when talking about things he really loves, he’s probably expressing enthusiasm. For example, if you talk about the best concert you ever attended and he replies with “I love that band too!”, then he’s excited. Not only does this band create amazing music, but you two have something wonderful in common: great taste in tunes.
2. Lack of Maturity
Younger guys who haven’t quite developed their communication style can be a bit juvenile in their communications. This is especially true if they haven’t worked in serious environments, such as offices. Since exclamation marks are frowned upon in professional communiques, people with a lot of work experience rarely use them. In contrast, people who have just been in school or worked casual jobs like in retail or cafes might seem “younger”, both via text and in day-to-day life.
3. An Intense/Dominant Personality
A lot of type A and “alpha” males tend to use exclamation marks frequently in communication. It’s a way of establishing dominance, and expressing their power and ferocity. They feel things strongly and like to ensure that everyone around them knows it. This can include expressing their likes and dislikes, their intense desire to see you again soon, expressing pride in their achievements, etc. Fire signs such as Aries, Leos, and Sagittarians often fall under this category.
Guys who go overboard with enthusiastic punctuation might be a little bit on the desperate side. As a result, when they actually manage to connect with a woman (like you…), they’ll add a bit too much flair to their text conversations. Consider how you’d respond to the following texts:
“I’m really looking forward to seeing you.”
“I’m really looking forward to seeing you!”
The first text comes across as earnest, sincere, and emotionally stable. In contrast, the second one seems a bit juvenile and needy; almost as though he has nothing else going on in his life.
5. Emotional/Mental Health Struggles
Guys who feel really intense waves of emotion (in any direction) can often use exclamation marks a bit too often. They may not know how to express themselves clearly to explain how they’re feeling, so they go overboard with punctuation. While this might be effective for emotional expression, it can also do a lot of harm to the social dynamic unless their motivations are understood with compassion.
A guy who has emotional or mental health struggles is absolutely worthy of a great relationship. Everyone has their issues. Understanding, compassion, and clear communication can go a long way to making things run smoothly. If you know that he deals with emotional rollercoasters, or has difficulty communicating how he feels, you’ll learn how to read the underlying subtexts in his communiques… including how he uses exclamation points.
Are Exclamation Marks Flirty?
That depends a lot on where they’re used. If he’s using them to emphasize how much he loves pineapple on pizza, that’s probably a no. In contrast, if he uses them to let you know that he can’t wait to see you in the new lingerie you told him about, then yes. Yes it is.
Ultimately, everything comes down to context. There’s also a bit of a double standard when it comes to men and women using this type of punctuation.
A woman who uses a lot of exclamation marks is often seen as bubbly or girlish. Depending on the type of guy she’s talking to, that can often be seen as an attractive trait. In contrast, men who use them too often aren’t seen as boyish, but juvenile. Some men might like the idea of being with a girlish young woman, but few women want to hook up with a “manolescent.”
Take a look at where he’s placing these punctuation marks, as expressions mean different things in context. If he’s telling you how hot you look in your new selfie (!) then yeah. He’s flirting.
What About Double Exclamation Points in Text Messaging?
If he’s over the age of 25 and he’s using double exclamation marks, that could mean a few different things.
1. He’s SERIOUSLY Enthusiastic
Where did you meet this guy? Furthermore, what type of a person is he? If you met this man at a yoga retreat where he was doing wheatgrass cleanses and singing to parrots, he might just be super enthused about life and everything in it. Since he’s celebrating every moment life has to offer, he’ll toss ex!cla!ma!tion! marks into pretty much every exchange.
Because he’s so happy about literally everything.
2. Your Dude Has ADHD
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by the aforementioned hyperactivity, but can also involve impulsivity. If your guy has ADHD, he might think of something that’s REALLY IMPORTANT to him in that moment, so he’ll add an exclamation point when he texts you. This could range from a date that he wants you to remember, to a type of cheese he enjoys.
3. He May Be Socially Awkward
Does this dude seem like he doesn’t quite know what to do with himself? Does he say inappropriate things in an attempt to be funny, but doesn’t quite hit the mark? If so, he may just be really socially awkward and doesn’t know how to “people” very well. This doesn’t just affect people on the autism spectrum: a lot of people don’t quite get social cues… and that can extend to texting etiquette as well.
4. The Guy’s on Drugs
It’s one thing if a guy uses exclamation points in texts, but another thing entirely if he goes crazy with them on the regular. Does he seem really manically hyper when you two are communicating? If so, he might be into some festive drugs. Cocaine, meth, crack, and a few other stimulants can make people downright effervescent, even via text.
5. He’s Actually 12
If dude is constantly using multiple exclamation points in every text (I ate a sandwich!!!! My cat is the best!!!!!!), then you may in fact be dealing with a pre-teen in an adult suit. There’s really no excuse to use more than one exclamation mark once you’ve passed puberty.
Occasional exclamation marks in texts denotes enthusiasm, but a ton of them in texts can be a huge red flag. If your guy uses exclamation points in texts sparingly, then you know he’s expressing joy or excitement about a subject. Alternatively, if he’s using them in pretty much every text, that denotes insincerity, and potentially unstable behavior.
Stop replying with exclamation marks in your own texts, and see if he follows your lead and calms down a bit. Or, if you feel like you want to get to know him in person better, see how he is face to face. He may be seriously socially awkward via text, or he might turn out to be more than a bit manic. There’s really only one way to find out, and that’s to get to know him better.
Or don’t. You’re under no obligation to keep talking to anyone, especially if they make you feel uncomfortable.
If you like that he’s super enthusiastic about subjects and feel that his punctuation usage is positive, then go with that! He may very well be a lot of fun to hang out with. That kind of joie de vivre is rare when it’s sincere, and can go a long way towards brightening up your life.
Just remember that if someone starts to make you uncomfortable, even via text, you are totally within your rights to walk away.