Text messaging is often the fastest way to communicate with friends and acquaintances, but it’s not always the best one. Especially when it comes to texting with guys. Here at Crushable we aim to help you sift through all the subtext and emerge relatively unscathed—with a little help from our friend Amanda Ernst.
While there many reasons why texting during a relationship of any seriousness or length is a good idea, when text messages are the main form of communication between a couple it’s easy to feel insecure in said relationship. This is a direct result of the fact that breaking up via text is so prevalent as well as the casual interaction of texting in general. A text conversation is far less serious (in the minds of many) than a conversation on the phone and definitely more impersonal than one had face to face. So when you have been on a few dates with a guy and then you don’t hear from him for a few days, if the main way you have been communicating is text, you are more apt to jump to the conclusion that he’s avoiding you than if you were waiting for a phone call. In other words, he’s going to have a matter of hours to text you after your last interaction while you might give him a few days to call you. Since you give a guy less leeway with texting, you’re quicker to write him off.
A friend of mine recently started dating a guy she admits she “really likes.” They’ve gone out a few times and recently shared some deep dark secrets about their lives and histories. You know, the kind of things you talk about when you’ve been out with someone for a few weeks in a row. Nothing scary like where the bodies are buried, but some stuff you wouldn’t tell a person you just met. She felt he was trusting her and into her as much as he was into him. Then he cancelled a Friday night date last minute via text — claiming he was too sick to make it — and then she didn’t get another text from him all weekend. By Monday, she was convinced he was doing the fade out.
Some girls (and guys) would, at this point, simply forget about the offending texter. Sure, they had some fun times and some laughs, but if he was going to blow her off and then go MIA, there’s no need to dwell on it. His loss.
But, not my friend. She decided to text him Monday and see what was up. She asked him if he had lost interest. Was he really sick? Did he want to see her again? She basically told him he had one more shot if he wanted to keep seeing her, in not so many words. “If he writes me back I’ll see what he says,” she told me, expecting to not receive any response. “And if I don’t hear from him, then that will tell me what I need to know, too.”
He texted her back within minutes. He apologized, said he was actually sick and hoped they could get together soon. He proposed the upcoming weekend. Maybe he wasn’t giving her the fade out after all, she conceded. But if he cancels this time she’ll know their short-lived relationship is over.
What is the moral of this story? Texting sometimes causes us to jump to conclusions, and it seems like those conclusions are usually of the “I’ll never hear from him again!” variety. For every story like this I hear, I come back to the same place: if you pick up the phone you can avoid some confusion. Especially when you’re telling someone you’re “sick,” it’s like calling in to work sick. Cough a little, sound awful and then she’ll be more likely to believe that you would rather be in bed alone than with her. Or maybe I just told you a very effective way to lie to someone you don’t actually want to see.
Have you ever assumed someone was breaking up with you because you didn’t get a text for a few days? Were you wrong or right in your assumptions? Do you give people more leeway when you’re waiting for a call vs. a text? Leave your experiences in the comments below and you might see them featured in the next installment of Textual Healing.