We’ve all been there: a few weeks/months into dating someone and you aren’t quite sure where things stand. You’re ready to be exclusive, and he’s ready to introduce you to one of his friends. You’re ready to delete the apps and he’s ready to take you to dinner before inviting you over. You’re ready to ask “so, where do you see this going?” and he’s (probably) ready to run. But how can you be sure unless you send a risky text?
You simply cannot. So here’s a helpful step-by-step guide of how best to craft the perfect risky text and subsequent emotional spiral.
Date an emotionally unavailable man that has admitted to being “bad at texting”. Know, in your gut, that that means he’s “bad at commitment”, but ignore the bright red flag and continue on your path toward self destruction.
Once you are ready to: take the next step, DTR, or be vulnerable, ask yourself, “has he shown me the same level of interest? Is he reaching out regularly, making plans, talking about the future?” If the answer to all of those questions is a resounding no, then it’s time to send your text.
Draft your text in the Notes app. Skipping this step may result in shameful grammatical errors or, God forbid, a sighting of a long-lasting typing bubble by the intended recipient. Don’t have an iPhone? Weird, but fine—still, draft your message outside of the text chain itself, and send it to at least two friends for review/encouragement. Choose those friends wisely though—they should be enablers, similarly insecure in their dating choices, and in no way the kind of friend that would say “you’re too good for him, don’t reach out”.
Take a deep breath, a shot, an edible, and send your heavily reviewed, perfectly crafted, vulnerable but not too desperate, flirty but not aggressively so, text. Check to see if he’s watched your Instagram stories, and then immediately step away from your phone!
Distract yourself. Go on a run, a date with another guy, get wine drunk—whatever it takes to stop you from checking your phone every five seconds for a reply. You know this will take awhile, you wouldn’t have had to send the text otherwise, so keep yourself busy. But if you haven’t posted anything to your Instagram story since sending the text, now is a good time to do so; you’ll want this data later in case he doesn’t reply. Did he watch your story after the text was received?
Spiral. It’s been at least two hours and half a wine bottle since you sent your text and he hasn’t responded, which means it’s time to lose your shit! There are a few ways you can go about this, sort of a “choose your own adventure” anxiety attack. Personally, I like to do the following:
- Re-read the text a few times, dig into each word and identify where I could have improved the message. This is good data for future risky texts that I will 100% be sending because I will learn nothing from this experience.
- Run through every interaction we’ve ever had, analyze the average time between text messages throughout our short-lived relationship, think about every mistake I’ve ever made, question my self-worth, swear off dating, and then text an ex for attention.
- Check to see if he’s watched my Instagram story (I told you this would be important).
- Decide that he has ghosted, tell myself that I’m better off without him, call the friend that will say “you’re too good for him, you shouldn’t have reached out”, schedule an emergency therapy session, but not before I re-download the dating apps and start looking for his replacement.
- Rinse (out my wine glass) and repeat sub-steps 1 through 3.
Closure. It’s been hours, maybe days, or perhaps he did in fact, ghost. It really doesn’t matter because the outcome is the same: he’s not that into you, he’s not looking for anything serious right now, he doesn’t feel a “spark”, or he… is kind of an asshole. But it’s okay, you’ve completed steps 1-6 and you were prepared for this. In fact, the second you sent this text you knew this would happen—I mean, isn’t that why you endured two-plus weeks of sporadic communication and canceled plans before asking the question in the first place? You were simply delaying the inevitable. Really, step 7 is a relief. It’s a blow to your ego, sure. It means watching your Instagram stories and liking your thirst traps does not equal sincere interest in dating you, unfortunately. It means your chances of getting married before your eggs start dropping like they’re hot are getting smaller, certainly. But it also means you know better now—you’ll watch for the warning signs with the next guy, you won’t waste your time on a man who isn’t pursuing you, and you’ll never have to send a risky text again… right?
Image: Natasha Hall on Unsplash