1. The guy with a girlfriend
Oh boy, this situation. This guy has a girlfriend whom you KNOW he is NEVER going to leave for you, but each time he texts you, you seem to forget this obvious fact. He texts you when he is lonely and his hand just isn’t filling the void. He texts you when he’s drunk and his girlfriend is out of town. He texts you because you just popped up on his newsfeed/he stalked your facebook pics and he remembers the time you guys hooked up. He texts you because they’re on a ‘break’ and he wants to hang out. He texts you when it is convenient or amusing for him and that is it. No matter what guise he uses to initiate communication or to make you believe that this time it’s different, it’s not and he’s not. Ignore, ignore, ignore, duhhhlete. Alternatively: “can you not text me? Thanks.”
2. The one (or two) word response
Ugh, this one is just embarrassing. If you texted a few sentences that were meant to continue the conversation, and you get “LOL”, “Haha”, “haha nice/nice”, “cool”, “that’s good”, “ok”, “k”,
yeah.” or some variation of those…salvage your dignity instead of trying to salvage this conversation. These responses show no interest in whatever you said or in engaging with you.
3. “Hey girl…”
When a text starts with “Hey Girl!”/“Hey girl…, 1. I probably know immediately that it’s not someone I’m close with and 2. It sounds fake. This most likely means the person needs to tell me something unpleasant but in the friendliest/ least offensive way possible, or wants me to do a favor/needs something from me, also unpleasant. My socially incompetent solution: pretend I did not see the text. I know, I know, this lacks common courtesy that we chastised before, etc., etc. Of course, I would read it and consider whether it merits a response (probably not). But if it’s someone I don’t really care about and only talks to me when she needs something…yea, I’m just gonna ignore. Nice try though!
4. The response to the text above, if you sent it, and it’s a no…
Ok, so I just hated on asking people you aren’t that close with to do things via fake-sounding text, but, we’ve all done it. The reverse role of #3 is when you sent that “hey girl…” text asking someone for something and she actually answers (her mistake!) with a “no” or some long excuse/reason/response like “I’m so sorry I can’t because of blah blah blah but how have you been!?” Yea…I didn’t get what I wanted out of this conversation so I probably forget to answer. Bitchy, selfish…realistic.
5. The out of the blue text from your ex
Ugh. Just. ..No. these can be anything from bullshit such as “hey…I miss you” (double whammy if this is past 11pm, meaning it’s a booty text AND an ex-text. Read: the WORST), “I really appreciated the time we had together, you’re a great person”, “everyone says I’m an idiot for what happened with us”, to angry or blatantly jealous, such as: “is it true you hooked up with [insert name from a million years ago/before you two met]?” or “I saw you with [insert completely un-datable platonic male friend], you two dating now? What an upgrade from me LOL” (seriously, I’ve gotten this douchey text). Do not validate these texts by responding. Nothing good can come of it. Talking things out in an earnest, mature way and getting back together is one thing. Randomly texting at every burst of emotion and thus inserting one another into the other’s hopefully-moving-on life is just unnecessary and stunts any progress you may or may not have made post-break up. Plus, as experience has it, even if you have decided to “remain friends” these type of encounters lead to either believing there is still something good between you that should be rekindled OR, as in my experience, getting into a fight or some kind (oh, you thought the fighting would end once you broke up? You didn’t think he’d bother you as a ‘friend’ just as much as when you were dating? OOPS).
6. “FREE MESSAGE: Your bill/statement is ready to view!” “YOUR BALANCE IS [$$$ insert obscenely large amount that you can’t afford]. Dial ## to make a payment.”
Ok, I’m sure there is a way to opt-out of getting these things at all but…too lazy to figure that out. And sure, you don’t really respond to these (except to you, know pay, which yea yea yea, I should do). But still, I thought I would include these types of texts because I definitely do not want to click to view my credit card statement or my cell phone bill and I definitely don’t wanna see the large balance just chilling there in my inbox. Just let me live in blissful denial about the state of my finances in peace ok!? Jeez.
7. The mass-text/group message where you don’t even recognize half of the numbers
If it’s clear it’s a mass text, whether it’s an invitation to something, a chain text (really? people still send these?), a thank you, or a shameless late night booty call, it is basically your right to ignore it. In fact, it’s probably expected. If you have an Iphone, it will tell you if other people were sent the same message (I’m guessing other smart phones do this too? I wouldn’t know). This takes the guesswork and guilt out of it! Feel free to ignore to your heart’s content (unless you and your friends have a group chat where you WANT to respond). Some people take the effort to personalize their mass texts by inserting the receiver’s name in the beginning. You can still usually tell it’s a mass text by its generic nature, or, your friend next to you just got the same text addressed to her. Anyway, mass-texting is inpersonal and lazy. I guess it can be convenient if you are planning a group outing/get-together, but this can get ANNOYING. If you’re part of a huge group text about plans, you keep getting texts everytime someone responds. Sometimes, I don’t even know some of the poeple on the group text and have already decided I’m not going to whatever it is they’re trying to figure out. . What often happens is 2-3 people within this mass text start texting back and forth about specifics, you look at your phone and suddenly, BAM 30 new messages, but none are relevent to you. Not only should you ignore, but REMOVE yourself from this conversation (is that possible? Haven’t figured it out yet…). In conclusion, there are times when a mass text can be appropriate, but, if someone sends a mass text that tries to act like it’s not a mass text, is a generic invite, or is something that should be more personal, such as a thank you, then we say ignore it. If people want responses to their texts, they can at least take the time to select your name out of their contacts.
8. Too friendly co-worker
This can get awkward…if you aren’t interested. If you are, it could get awesome. Inter-office romance is exciting, despite the potential horrendous outcomes. If you’re into it and you think it’s worth the risk of one day potentially dreading going to work more than you do now if things go south, go for it! But, if someone from work that you have zero interest in frequently texts you things outside of work-related/happy hour territory, stuff like: “I’m drunk lol” or “you’re pretty” or “you can come over and watch a movie” etc. this is dangerous territory as you don’t want to make an enemy at the office or make it super awkward if you have to work together. Instead of engaging this person and giving the chance for them to mistake your response for a go-ahead signal to keep trying, take things to the next level, we advocate keeping it simple and not responding at all. If the co-worker shamelessly asks you why you did not respond to the probably borderline inappropriate text, we recommend the following “no response” options: you are just as lame outside of work as you are at work thus you were already asleep when you got the message. You were working out and didn’t see it till way later. Your phone died. You aren’t lame at all in fact you were out somewhere too busy socializing and/or blacked out/lost your phone/dunked it in beer, etc. You received no such text message, your phone service must be “being weird again.”
9. “We should hang out sometime!”
This one is last because it could potentially have good intentions. Let me preface by saying that this text isn’t worth answering IF you are 90% sure it lacks conviction/it will never happen. Obviously, if you met someone that you MUTUALLY clicked with, a girl who you immediately knew you wanted to be BFFs with, or a guy you just didn’t get enough of in that group setting, and you think they really, really mean this, then you should respond. But NOT with a “yea def!” that is the very response that solidifies the fact that this “hang out” will not occur. If someone actually does want to start hanging out with you, “sometime” and they do it over text, I’m guessing it won’t be this vague/insincere of a suggestion. So, think long and hard about the interactions you’ve had with this person and if this is a sincere gesture. If you think it is, a response like “yea!” relies on them caring enough to actually follow through and plan something/risks nothing ever coming from this conversation. On the other hand, a more suggestive, enthusiastic response such as, “yea, I’m free on Saturday, wanna (insert some specific activity)?” or “I’d love to, when/where/what do you wanna do?” etc., could come off as overwhelming or over-eager, also risking the chance that nothing will come of this. If you are dead-set on not ignoring it, AND really want to actually hang out , you could go with: “yea, when are you free?” or “yea text me next week and we’ll set something up” “sure, maybe this weekend?” or variations of these less committal, but still interested responses. YET, the “we should hang out sometime” still makes the texts to ignore list because, most likely, if someone is genuinely trying to hang out with you, the “we SHOULD”, would be a “LET’S” and “sometime” would a “THING/TIME/PLACE/DATE/ETC.” From our experiences and the experiences of our friends, we’ve observed that this text is usually a half-assed approach, rarely leads continued interaction/conversation, and almost never results in “hanging out sometime.”
Anything we left out? Which texts are you for sure going to ignore?
Sunday morning my friend and I are rehashing our night when she tells me about a text she received from “John”. The back story is basically that my friend and this John guy hooked up a few weeks ago after meeting at a bar…pretty typical. My friend took his shirt the next morning, because who wants to walk of shame in their LBD? So, she took some random shirt, told the guy eventually he’d get it back, and peaced out.
Three weeks go by and my friend hasn’t heard from John…shocking. My friend thought John was cute and all, but she didn’t really have an interest in initiating and figured if he wanted his shirt she would hear from him. Sure enough Saturday rolls around and at 3 AM who texts her? Yup, you guessed it! John decided at 3:15 AM to send: “Hey I really need my shirt back please”.
Sunday she asked me what I thought about this and if she should pursue it further. She replied Sunday morning saying “you are welcome to come get it anytime”. John said “I am not sure why I felt that was necessary at 3 AM”.
…You aren’t sure John? Well, I am. I’m pretty sure you felt it was ‘necessary’ to get some ass that night and had struck out come ‘last call.’ Needless to say, my friend didn’t get a response to her last text. The obvious conclusion here is that this guy doesn’t desperately need his shirt back; he was just desperate and drunk. If he wants his shirt, he’d come get it. If he wants you, he’d talk to you/see you outside of the witching hour, and perhaps sober.
I would equate the effort it takes to respond to a text message to the effort it takes to scratch your balls. You do that often and in public. Perhaps redirect that effort to ‘adjust’ your hand from your crotch to your cell phone (wipe it off or something first, please). I mean really, is it that hard to simply reply? It’s not like I’m asking the world from you. I am simply trying to facilitate a discussion like normal people. I mean just because I text you and ask you what you are up to at an hour before midnight doesn’t mean I am trying to wife you up. Stop getting your panties in a bunch.
Guys not responding to a text is probably hands down the most annoying thing about texting. Not only does it make a girl crazy, but it’s rude, and boys, I know your parents, or whoever, raised you better. And if they didn’t, did years of socialization teach you nothing about common courtesy? Being girls, we can’t say exactly why guys often don’t respond, but after some initial pondering and a little observation, we’ve come up with a few insights:
- He doesn’t like you. Now, that may be hard to swallow, but if he seriously isn’t going to respond to a single text you send him, that may be the simplest conclusion to draw.
- Maybe he seriously was just busy. Guys don’t always think like girls. Yes, they do obsess over some things, but mostly those things are beer, sex, and sports. So, unless you are texting him about one of those three topics, he probably did not think your text required immediate response, ergo he forgot. Girls often cannot fathom this, despite having read a ton of articles with titles such as, “100 Reasons he isn’t responding to your text” that list a bunch of has-nothing-to-do-with-you possibilities.
- He likes you and he has no clue how to handle it. So maybe he is trying to be the one that is playing hard to get. It’s not exactly your fairytale romance where he sweeps you off your feet, but, hey maybe he is just scared. Sometimes guys just really don’t know what to say and for some reason think saying nothing is better. Gotta admit, we’re writing a whole post about it, so it works to some degree. We may not have even considered the guy before, but once he starts ignoring us, we feel rejected, and/or insecure. Then we become obsessed with the challenge and equate this to some kind of desire towards the guy (when it’s really about us) a la the drama of “he’s just not that into you”…Wait, weren’t you just not that into him either, until he decided to play it cool?
- He is dumb (this one’s got our vote 9 outta 10). Sometimes guys don’t see the open ended nature of a text, whereas we clearly see a list of acceptable responses. Example: “hey Bob I am having people over tonight if you want to stop by”…no response from Bob. Seriously Bob? You very clearly could have said “Thanks”, “I’ll try to stop by”, “Unfortunately I am busy.” Any of those would have worked. But no Bob, you are just not seeing it that way, and girls, it’s time we accept that.
Ah, the text message. It is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand you don’t have to engage in lengthy phone conversations, yet on the other trying to interpret them is seriously a headache. Like “yeah”…what does “yeah” mean? Are you mad at me if you just send me a “k”? Do you only see me as a slam piece because you text me at 2am? The list goes on.
Here’s the kicker: guys and girls both obsess over this stuff. Ladies, if you thought you were alone analyzing his every word, think again. It has come to our attention, at the expense of our guy friends, that they too are just as confused as we are. Why can’t people just say what they really mean? Why does every text seem to have some hidden agenda? Who knows. The world today is about immediacy; we want information and we want it fast. If we are going to choose to keep relying on the text message as our primary form of communication, we sure as hell better learn to take them with a grain of salt.
We are two twenty-something “professionals” with day jobs in the consulting field, but we’ve decided to expand our consulting repertoire to something we, and um, every one we know, obsesses over: the text message. Now, we’re not claiming to be text connoisseurs, we still ask our friends if our text to Mr. Aloof has the right nonchalant air before we hit send, but, together, we can push past the bullshit and get to the point. So, send us your texts (screen shots are welcome) or your text etiquette woes. We’ll help you with the leg work of wading through the winky faces, the “cool”s, the ex-text, etc. If we can’t truly translate your texts, at least you looked elusive and mysterious for not responding right away… that’s what we hope when we wait three hours to answer with “k” right? So, let us be your text consultants. If you find this idea amusing, even interesting, then tweet us a confusing text @textconsultants or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will see what we can do!