Do Text Games Ever Go Away In A Relationship? Ask A Pro

Dear Head Pro,

The guy I dated came back from college and we were trying to figure out our summer plans. We were at a party and he said that the first month of college he missed me so much blah blah blah and didn't want to go through that again. But then we were kissing again and being all couple-y. Next day he basically texts me that “he wants to take time off and chill for now but if we end up back together we will know it was meant to be” (but in an obnoxiously long paragraph).

I really wanted to get back together for the summer but I'm obvs not going to force anything. On the other hand, I'm getting extremely mixed signals. Or am I just making this up in my head so I can have false hope… What do I do?


Getting Whiplash

Dear Getting Whiplash,

Oh come on now. Anytime someone pulls the “if it happens, we know it was meant to be” line, your bullshit detector should go off. That’s not how this works. That’s not how anything works. The signals don’t seem all that mixed to me: He thought about getting together, thought better of it, but figured that casually hooking up wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world (for him).

What does it even mean to “get back together for the summer,” anyway? I mean, I’m not an idiot, I know what the words mean, but like what is the actual point of that? Do you need a boyfriend so badly that you’d literally be happy just having someone for the summer? Do you really just want to get back with him, and hope tacking on “for the summer” will make it seem less obvious to people who will clearly know better?

Really not sure where you were going with that one, but there are no happy endings to be found continuing to travel down that road.

Kisses that were meant to be,

Head Pro

Dear Headpro,

I'll get straight to the point. Do the TEXT games ever end?

I've dated a lot. A LOT. From teachers, doctors, lawyers, salesman. etc. during the past two almost three years. The really attractive ones always seem to have this strange text game that I still don't understand. It's like they make you wait forever for a reply and it makes me feel foolish. Sometimes, they'll even say things that seem rude… abrupt right to the point texts: “yup.' “KK”. I don't know, you get it.

Then, I'll get defensive and won't text them back for an hour and start to reply similarly. I see this pattern. I don't know if I give off this aura that I'm down for games… I mean, guys have told me that I seem cold. But it's only because I'm guarded and can't deal with being hurt again. If a guy is truly interested, will he play games? Is there anyway for me to show a “game player” that I'm not playing them? Is my only choice to just play it? I'm just so over it. 🙁 Please advise me.


Played Out.

Dear Played Out,

First of all: Chill. You’re reading an awful lot into seemingly innocuous text messages and interpreting them as “game.” Most men honestly don’t think that hard about it, especially when it comes to texting. Men use texts to communicate information, not bond with you. How many times have you sent identical texts to your friends when their message warranted no further discussion? It’s the same thing. If you’re under the delusion that your message of “I’ll be ready at 8:00” deserves to be met with a long, flowing soliloquy, you have more problems than I can solve.

To answer your actual question, yes, the text “games” eventually end. However, there’s something you have to remember about all the technology we use now: It makes it very, very easy to feel like things are accelerating faster than they are. With shit like tinder, you can swipe on someone and be grundle-deep in each others’ orifices in approximately 15 seconds. That’s a new phenomenon. In high school, if I wanted to talk to a girl, I had to call from my parents’ landline. In college, we could flirt over AIM for hours, but even that required some amount of commitment on both our parts – we had to be parked in front of our computers. That commitment, however small, is no longer present, and it’s fucked up our perspectives.

I say that because for as quickly as our communication and our perceived progress in relationships has changed, I don’t think people, as a species, have evolved nearly as fast. I don’t care how much you text or chat on WhatsApp or whatever the fuck, because your comfort with someone is still tied to the time you spend getting to know them in real life. That’s why texting kind of sucks, because it’s easy to create this reality in your mind where this guy “should” be talking to you often, rapidly and in great detail. In reality, that’s insane. Go back 15, even 10 years and imagine being in frequent contact with a guy between your first handful of dates. If you were put under that illogical pressure by a girl you barely knew, you wouldn’t have much to say either.

So yes, the text games end, but only when the two of you have reached something approaching a level of interpersonal comfort. That doesn’t have to take a long time – 3-5 dates, in some cases, is plenty of time for you both to feel like you’re becoming a “thing.” It’s just that with the constant contact and instant gratification, it feels like a lot longer.

Call me on my StarTAC, the one I share with my mom and only use when she lets me borrow the car,

Head Pro


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