I hate playing games, and I don’t have the energy to play “hard to get.” That’s why I always text back my crushes within 1-3 minutes – to let them know from the jump that I’m
literally always on my phone a real one. I’m starting to think this habit might be why I’m still single, though. I mean I also have commitment and trust issues, but that’s beside the point. There’s obviously some sort of unwritten texting etiquette, but do people really lose interest if you text back too fast? Ghosting isn’t hot, and neither is seeing the (…) typing bubble pop up within 0.00194 nanoseconds of hitting send, so how long should we wait to reply when we’re interested, but don’t want to seem too available or desperate? I can’t possibly answer these questions by myself, a perpetually single fast texter, so I consulted a sociologist and the masses to decode this riddle once and for all.
“Timing is everything” has been drilled into our heads, like, a million times, but is it really important when it comes to keeping or losing interest at the start of a romantic relationship? Dr. Jess Carbino, former sociologist for Tinder and Bumble, confirms it is. That’s because we’re biologically and socially motivated to look for signs of investment in others so we can invest our own time and efforts accordingly. We’ve literally been conditioned to believe that people who don’t text us back fast enough aren’t interested in us due to our, as she puts it, “association of responsiveness with the effort to maintain or begin a relationship.”
“In the initial phase of a relationship, the ability to signal and determine investment is limited. However, response time is considered an important measure or proxy of investment and interest, which is why people dedicate a significant amount of time toward considering when to respond to prospective partners,” Dr. Carbino explains. THAT’S why bitches (I) love jumping to conclusions and having their (my) time wasted. It’s only natural for us to overthink about whether or not someone is going to ghost us before we put in the time and energy to put in to fall in love with them within ten days anyway! I feel seen and validated.
The Votes Are In….
To conduct my own experiment like the scientist I would have become had I not failed out of my college Bio program during my first semester, I ran a poll on Instagram. I asked the following question: “do you think texting back quickly is a turn ON or turn OFF?” The results? Drum roll, please! Out of 132 people who participated, 89% (118 people) voted that texting back quickly is a TURN-ON and 11% (14 people) voted TURN-OFF. One voter let me know she tapped “off” by accident so these results are slightly skewed, but still—the results are clearly in favor of texting back fast being a turn on. Sooo why the f*ck am I still single???
Maybe I’m single because I literally always text back within 1-3 minutes
— Morgan Mandriota (@morganmandriota) September 3, 2019
Anyway, my loyal, highly-educated followers have thoughts. “The game of ‘hard to get’ is all about the psychology of wanting to be wanted. In today’s world, when you’re not texting back ASAP, and we all live on our phones, you’re really going out of your way to try to want to feel desired,” said Rob Cutrone, entrepreneur and owner of my fav coffee shop… anddd this is why I give him my business 5x/week. “It’s not cool to try and look cool by actively just trying not to text back quickly. Communication is sexy,” responded Courtney Brame, founder of “the STD podcast” Something Positive For Positive People. One rando thinks “playing the ‘not texting back too fast to not seem too thirsty’ game is so tedious.” CHEERS. Another told me, “you seem very happy you don’t need a boyfriend.” Guess I’ll start posting sad selfies then maybe my knight in shining armor will finally come to the rescue??
How Fast Is TOO Fast, Though?
sober me: I can’t open his text because it’ll show a read receipt and I don’t want him to think I’m ignoring him but I have to wait 7.5 hours until I text back
drunk me: pic.twitter.com/AyiPWgv0Pr
— Betches (@betchesluvthis) March 23, 2019
There’s obviously no ~magic formula~ for how soon we should reply to someone, so it’s all a matter of balance, personal preference, and finding someone who matches your texting style. According to Dr. Carbino, people messaging on an online dating app should respond within 24 hours, but when switching from app to text, iMessage, or WhatsApp, “the expectations regarding frequency and responsiveness increase.” My ex-boss’s hot son thinks 15-20 minutes is a good time to wait, but 30 seconds is a no-go, especially if you just started texting… so I waited 15 minutes to thank him for his opinion (JK, I immediately replied). Small business owner and sex educator Lauren Hamilton’s motto? “F*ck it! I’ll text when I text, and if they have a huge problem with it, I hope they communicate that with me… or maybe they’re just not a good fit for me.” Love that for us.
So to all my fellow fast responders out there, rest assured that most people think that responding quickly is hot… which means it’s probably not the reason why you’re still single. We just gotta stop overthinking this sh*t. But if someone is *clearly* ghosting you or being intentionally spotty with their communication (like, they go days without replying then send a “you up?” text at 2 am the following weekend), then they’re just an asshole who you don’t want to date anyway. We need to date people who give us the attention we want and deserve and don’t make us question whether or not they’re even into us. Ain’t nobody got time for unrequited love anymore! One day my Prince Charming’s gotta show up and like my speedy replies, right? I just hope he texts back as fast as I do, because I agree that’s a turn-on. That’s what happened for freelance writer Irina Gonzalez, who refused to date slow texters then married someone who she STILL texts all day every day after 3.5 years. “That’s just my preferred communication style, and I made no apologies for it. If someone is a slow texter, that’s fine, but I knew instantly they weren’t the person for me.” Faith = officially restored. Guess I should start working on those trust and commitment issues now…
What do YOU think? Is texting back too fast a turn-on or turn-off? How quickly do you usually text back and how does that impact your dating life? Drop a comment below and let us know… but make sure not to respond too fast. We might lose interest.
Images: Twitter @morganmandriota, @betchesluvthis; Azat Satlykov / Unsplash
We’ve all been through it before: Guy is at a bar. Guy makes eye contact with cute girl. Girl makes eye contact with said guy. Guy takes that last shot of tequila that he’s going to need to
blame for his bad dance moves get enough courage to talk her, and walks over. Dance/conversation doesn’t go as badly as expected, so he is feeling on top of the world. Then, it’s the moment of truth. He hands her his phone on keypad mode. (Pro tip: For those don’t know, don’t ask a girl, “Can I get your number?” So awkward. Girls like a man that can take charge. Give her your phone with the keypad displayed, and she’ll take care of the rest. Trust me.) She enters her number, first name with the heart eyes emoji, calls her phone with his phone, and hands the phone back to him with a smile. The hard part is done. Now you confidently can go back to your man huddle without facing the ridicule of your friends.
Girl returns to her girl pack reporting how your dance moves didn’t suck as bad as you thought they did, and how you know how to carry a conversation. “I can’t wait until he hits me up,” she says. *Record Scratch* Until he doesn’t…
Ladies: Where do you go from here?? Normally I’d say: “Yea, you’re on your own,” “Wasn’t meant to be,” or “He’s just not that into you.” But there might be room to salvage this relationship since you DO have his number. Below are three scenarios where it’s indeed okay to text him first.
1. You Think He Might Have Been Too Wasted
I mean, you did meet at a bar/club/saloon. Did you not see him take that 1800 to the head before he came and spoke to you? There are several times where I’ve been out and didn’t remember getting home, let alone the name of the cute brunette that I danced with to three straight Drake songs. If you think alcohol might have been on the scene, a simple, “It was amazing meeting/dancing/watching you make a fool of yourself in front me last night” will do as an opening text.
2. Time Sensitive Event
If sometime during your first encounter you spoke about, I don’t know, how much he likes contemporary art (blah…) and you know there’s an exhibit in town, do it. This is something that will show you’re into him and that you actually surprisingly made it through a conversation about contemporary art. PULL. THE. TRIGGER.
3. You Know What You Want
It’s 2017. You see something you want? Go for it. Guys do it all the time, and women are equally as capable. Guys see. Guys approach. Then we ask. All three of those things women are equally as capable of doing, if not better and in a more creative way. Think of it like this: NO guy will be upset if a girl texts him wanting to meet up. Just be careful at what you text. You may just send, “Hey, I had a good time, wanna grab a drink?” But we may interpret it as: “I think you’re really cute and I want to eat your face.” May the characters be ever in your favor.
Watch below for more dating advice from Diggy!