How many times do you find yourself staring at your phone asking what on earth his text means? Well Jared Freid, a HeTexted “Bro,” is here to explain some of the most common texting dilemmas and tell you how to deal with them...
Every day I get messages from girls at HeTexted.com. You know why? Because times have changed. Gone are the days I’d come to your house, speak to your father while he cleaned his gun and promise to have you home before midnight (but after I tried to get that poodle skirt off). Texts, Facebook, and Tinder have allowed us to dip our toes into romance, rather than jump two feet in and hope for the best. We can converse without the terror of actual interaction, proposition without fear of rejection, and blame any overtures of love on late night accessibility to booze and cell phones.
And with that change, my generation is staring out at a wild, undiscovered frontier of questions. ‘How do you keep someone coming back? How do you keep them away? When should I text? Does anyone speak over the phone? Am I a man if I cuddle? Is it weird to Facebook friend someone I just had a one-night-stand with? Should I sext this person? Is “protruding” a sexy word? If I get naked over Skype, will it come back to haunt me during my Presidential campaign?’ That’s why HeTexted is here, that’s why I’m here. To get us started, these are the most common texting dilemmas and some advice on how to handle them...
1. HeTexted: “Hey! I’m so bad at texting. How was your weekend?”
Her Question: He never got back to me Saturday night and then I got this Sunday morning. What’s his deal?
Nobody is as “bad at texting” as they say. Ninety nine per cent of people are texting at a pace that doesn’t make you question your own sanity. Being “bad at texting” isn’t a person who doesn’t get back to you. That’s “bad at being a friend or a boyfriend.” I know a guy who’s really “bad at texting.” My dad. He’ll text me something that was meant for my mum. And judging by the “WRU” text I got yesterday, he doesn’t know how acronyms work. Yes, that’s “Where Are You?” for those of you who don’t use phonetics to put together an acronym. That is being “bad at texting.” He’s bad at texting but that doesn’t change his timing and I’m never left wondering if my dad likes me or not. We all make the excuse for people because it’s a lot nicer to us than the reality. “He’s bad at texting” is the easiest thing to believe that allows someone to leave the house and still feel hot. Ninety nine per cent of the people you meet daily are just like you, they do the same Facebook, Twitter, Text, Email, run-around that you’re doing every time they look at their phone.
Put the same amount of effort that the guy is putting in and see how many dates you go on. I’m willing to bet there won’t get a “WRU” text any time soon. If you want to test him, send a text asking, “How much do I owe you?” and watch how “bad at texting” they really are.
2. HeTexted: “Hey, how’s your week been?”
Her Question: We text like this all the time but he never asks me out. Why would he keep up the conversation if he doesn’t want to go out?
Getting a text is actually exciting (stick with me). Think of it like getting a gift. A text is delivered, opened, and you never really know what’s inside. There’s some type of adventure in every text you receive (especially when it’s from someone there might be chemistry with). So the text conversations that go nowhere happen all the time because they actually feel good. But that feeling is short lived. There’s only so much to text about when it comes to someone you’re trying to date. You have to figure out if this person doesn’t know how to make a move (unlikely) or is addicted to that buzz in his pocket and all the feelings that come with it (more likely).
You have to face reality because this person never will. Send a text saying, “Hey this is fun but we should get together. I’m busy this week but totally free next week.” He will make a plan or have an excuse. If it’s a plan then go with it and have fun. He probably doesn’t have a guy like me giving him such great advice (watch this space for SheTexted, coming soon). If it’s an excuse, then write back, “Sounds good. Let me know when you’re ready.” Then stop texting with this person. The longer you text with someone who won’t make a plan the closer you are to becoming the person with the addiction.
Me: “Hey! It’s been forever”
Him: “I know! What’s going on?”
Her Question: This is the fifth time I’ve initiated the texting. Does that mean he’s not into me?
Texting turned girls into sabermetrics freaks who only care about the numbers. How many times a guy texts first has become the only thing girls trust for whether a guy cares. I get it. Texting has no tone so we look for anything concrete to give us comfort. “He texts first so things are good even though our relationship has no label and he only fist bumps me in public.” I call this “keeping score” and it’s very common for the reason I just explained, it gives us the comfort of facts. The issue is, if you’re keeping score then you’re probably chasing someone who isn’t as into you as you are into them. Think of texting with a prospective guy like a conversation at a bar. You would never keep score in that interaction. You’d never get done talking to a guy and then tell your friends that it went well because “he created the topics every time.” Hell, look at the other side of the issue, I’ve never talked to my guy friends about how “I’m always texting this chick first so she knows I’m into her.”
If you’re wondering when you should text or what you should say the answer is always “do it now” and “say whatever you want.” If you’re the initiator but you guys still go on dates then all that stuff doesn’t matter. The only number that should matter is the time he’s taking you out on a Saturday night. And if that number doesn’t exist then you don’t really exist to him.
4. HeTexted: “Yeah this week has been so busy. We should meet up at some point Saturday night.”
Her Question: We went on a date, we had fun, and now he’s too busy for dates but is always trying to “meet up.” Does he just want this to be a hook-up?
This is the plight of the 2014 single girl in her twenties. She goes on the date, has a fun time, french kisses, texts about nothing, sets up another date, gets canceled on by the guy because of “work,” gets told the guy has weekend plans but can “meet up later,” she “meets up later,” hooks up, then repeats the process until it’s blatantly obvious that this relationship will never advance. It’s unbelievable to me how similar everyone’s situation is. I mean, I’ve been that guy. I’ve gone on dates with very nice girls. Had a very nice time. Enjoyed our conversations and genuinely wanted to see the girl’s nipples because I was attracted to her both physically and mentally and nipples are always surprising. The problem was, I only had so much time and money to invest in someone that had no chance of sharing my last name. So I texted, avoided, then pushed for that meetup.
The advice is obvious, don’t meet up. But more importantly, don’t take this personally. This didn’t happen because you’re a certain type of girl or he thought less of you as a person. This happened because it’s 2014. We are marrying later than we ever have, he’s looking to fill this dead period of life that still requires sexual activity, and this just wasn’t the match.
5. HeTexted: “I think you’re really sweet and cute.”
Her Question: He’s always saying nice stuff like this over text but we rarely go out. Why would he say one thing then act differently?
It’s easier to say ANYTHING over text. Think about it. If a guy said you were sexy to your face there’s a lot more to deal with: your facial reaction, your response, other people in the room hearing or seeing, the weight of the silence in the room, his ear sweats (is that just me?). We’ve been texting in place of face to face conversation for so long that we forget how much words matter and how they weigh on the atmosphere. Those nice words said over text don’t have the same type of pressure. Think about any text that you weren’t sure about sending. You send it out then immediately turned your phone over and thought “I’ll look in a half hour, screw it.” You didn’t have to deal with any of the peripheral pressures that exist in an actual conversation.
These types of texts are nice and feel good but they’re all about gaining your trust without the effort. As I said above, it’s easy to say nice things over text, they cost no money or time. The more nice things said over text, the more he builds up this relationship that doesn’t actually exist. You should take any emotion written over text very lightly. The less you know a guy the more lightly you should take that emotion. How much can a guy like you if he won’t go for dinner? Not as much as the other girl he eats with.
Jared Freid is a comedian and HeTexted “Bro” based in NYC. You can ask him dating questions at HeTexted.com or find him on Twitter for weekly columns, podcasts, and videos. He Texted: The Ultimate Guide to Decoding Guys by Lisa Winning and Carrie Henderson-McDermott, is published by Century on 10th April, priced at £9.99