Textual Healing: ‘What Are You Up To Later?’

textingOne of the primary uses for text messages in a dating/hook up situation, based on my own experience and that of my friends, is the “booty text.” I’ve covered this ground before and have to say that I am not against this practice, although I try not to participate in it myself. However, sometimes you get a pre-booty text message from a guy, earlier in the night, and it’s hard to decide how to proceed.

Usually these messages come in between 8 and 10 p.m. on a Friday or Saturday night. They start casual enough:

“Hey, what’s up? Any plans tonight?”

or

“Hey, what are you up to tonight? Going out?”

Note that this guy is not asking you to hang out later, just trying to gauge whether or not you’ll be out later, and preferably drunk, and therefore amenable to his intended booty text later. He is testing the waters, and I always assume he is probably sending these messages out to more than one girl — at least.

How you respond depends on how you feel about this guy. If you are okay with seeing him later, you can respond by telling him your own plans. He’ll likely get back to you with something like:

“Cool. Well maybe I’ll catch up with you later.”

Now what? Don’t hold your breathe. If you’re really intent on seeing him, it won’t hurt to send a text later in the night restating your location and feelings about meeting up. “I’m at a bar downtown, still up for meeting?” nicely achieves this. But the early evening contact sets a weird tone. There is no precedent for how late he can reach out to you, or even if he has to. Your best bet is setting the timeline yourself. When you’re heading home, for example, shoot him a text letting him know his window is closing.

Ultimately, every text message exchange and late night hook-up is different. And your own relationship and history with this texting suitor will undoubtedly color your reaction to him and how the night pans out. But, too often, I have looked forward to seeing a guy at the end of the night — after a text showing interest earlier in the evening — and have found myself sitting home at 3 a.m. watching Saturday Night Live on my DVR, staying up too late waiting for a text that never comes. No fun.

So, learning from my own misplaced anticipation, I have endeavored to take matters into my own hands. If I get a text from a guy early in the night, I let him know where I’ll be and how late I’ll be out. If he wants to see me, he knows how to reach me, but you better believe I won’t be sitting home alone, awake, waiting to hear from him. You shouldn’t either.

Have you ever experienced an early evening pre-booty text and then were ultimately let down? Or did it work out for you? Tell us your text message horror stories, in the comments or send them to us at submissions AT crushable dot com, and you might see them featured in an upcoming installment of textual healing.

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