What should I say back?

Should I FlirtProbably one of the most common phrases ever muttered between girls in their twenties. This phrase may in fact, kill us. We’ve become a generation who hides behind the safety of our iPhone screens while frantically screen shooting and asking for advice from girlfriends on what to say back to ONE text. We go into tizzies about what role to play with a guy in question. “Should I be flirty?”, “Does he like sarcasm?”, “Wait, what did he even mean in that text?”

When we first meet a guy, and like them, we put so much damn pressure on every single text. Texting is so popular because its meant to simplify our lives, and yet we’ve made it super complicated. We act like an entire relationship could be ruined by just one text message fail, and you know what? We think this for a reason.

What is that reason, you ask? Well it’s happened to us before, all of us! Maybe that one text was an absurdly poor attempt at a joke, and the guy was forever turned off and offended, or we never heard back from a text and we are left bewildered as to why. However, more often than not, we get this “pressure” for each text to be perfect because of the following reasons:

  1. We usually don’t really know the guy in question.
    When texting a guy early on in the “talking” phase, we don’t really know them, and they don’t really know us. It’s next to impossible to be able to know for sure the guy will understand your humor, or that when you use the word “k” instead of okay, you’re not mad (like 99% of the people who use “k” are). The lack of familiarity provides us texting victims with no reassurance that the guy was joking with us when he says something inappropriate, or if he is a disgusting perverted pig.
  2. We get too many opinions.
    How many times has a girl asked this fateful, (WSISB?) question at a brunch on a Sunday while sipping on blood mary’s? At this hung over brunch all 6 people chime in their thoughts and ideas on what to respond. Everyone is different, and has different opinions when it comes to dating and even text message style. After getting all these opinions, a girl gets overwhelmed (duh!) and what they originally would have wanted to say is now skewed to please their friends. When someone changes what they would have said to what their friends suggest, they’re starting out the potential relationship not being themselves. Don’t we ever consider that not being yourself from the beginning might turn a guy off more than just being the real you from the start?
  3. We are too quick to judge.
    We are not angels over here, but we have definitely started to lose interest in a guy for using too many !’s or too many emojis. “Is he gay?” Additionally if they provide one small personal detail via text that rubs us the wrong way even in the slightest bit, we are less likely to continue our text banter. Maybe this personal detail isn’t even that important to him, but too late, the judgement cycle has begun and could very well spiral out of control.

We all love to text, especially early in a relationship, because it is safe, easy, and impersonal. For all of those reasons, it makes for a horrible form of communication and doesn’t really clue you in to who someone really is, nor does it give you the chance to really articulate who you are. So try and stop asking the “What should I respond back?” questions, just go with your gut, be yourself, and if it works out great, if not, we are pretty sure you have other text conversations with new guys in your future!

Photo credit: Brian Joseph Márquez / CC BY-NC-SA