7 Texts You Shouldn’t Be Afraid To Send

It’s 2021, and you’d think as a society we would be over all the texting games (waiting a certain amount of time before texting back, not double texting, etc.), but these so-called strategies still pervade dating culture. As the author of a book literally called Just Send The Text, I’m a big proponent of… you guessed it… sending the text. In the book, “text” is used more as a metaphor for whatever you feel like doing. But there are seven literal texts you absolutely should be sending no matter what:

1. The Shot Shoot

In other words, the initial text you send to shoot your shot with the person you’re into. It can be anything from a bold “hey I like you” to a more subtle “hey what are you up to this weekend?” Even just a “hey” will do, depending on where you’re at with this person. The point of this text is to stop wasting your time living in the what-if. Shoot your shot. See what happens. You owe it to yourself.

2. The How Dare You

You really, really, really pissed with them about something? Maybe they stood you up. Maybe they took 72 hours to respond to your last text. Maybe you saw on Venmo that they paid their ex for “this weekend.” Whatever the case, if you feel like telling them off, tell them off. Just remember as you do so that this text is more for you than it is for them. It’s a little reminder to yourself of what you’re absolutely not willing to put up with. If they’re into you, they’ll figure out a way to work things out. If not, you can move on knowing they showed their true colors.

3. The Check-In

Not sure if you guys are still on for tonight? Spare yourself the internal “do I even bother getting ready and looking like a dressed-up idiot alone in my apartment if they bail” debate and… just ask them if you’re still on for tonight. You deserve to know what your plans are. Period.

4. The Invite

I don’t care what this invite is. Maybe you really want them to come to your best friend’s ~socially distant~ birthday at the park next weekend. Maybe you want them to come over to binge Bling Empire on the couch with you. Maybe you want them to come with you to come to try that new restaurant down the block. Whatever the case, if you want them to be doing something with you, ask them. If they can come, great. You got your wish. If they can’t, you get to go on with your plans free from wondering how much better they could have been if only you had asked them to tag along.

5. The Inside Joke

See something that reminds you of that hilarious thing you guys were talking about on your date? First of all, thank whatever God you believe in because a natural conversation segue has just fallen into your lap. Don’t let the gift go to waste in the name of playing it cool. (Besides, was it even really that cool of you to have seen something that reminded you of them, but kept it to yourself because you think that will somehow make them like you more??) 

6. The Pulse Check

Kind of feeling like things have been off between you guys recently? Instead of sending screenshots of every interaction you’ve had over the past however many weeks/months/years to your best friends for forensics, why don’t you try asking them what’s going on? This does not need to be a big, dramatic thing. A simple “hey everything good with you?” will do. Maybe they’ve been busy with work! Maybe their mom is sick! Maybe their ex just got back into town and is wreaking havoc on their life! Maybe they’re… just not that into you (sorry). Whatever the case, they are the only ones who can tell you what’s going through their head.

7. The Feeling Bomb

Let me start by saying this is not just your casual, run-of-the-mill text. This is one you send because you quite literally feel like you might burst if you don’t say something. Maybe you miss your ex and it’s consuming all of your thoughts. Maybe you think you’re starting to fall in love (or strong like) with the person you’re casually seeing. Maybe you’re starting to get super over the person you’re seeing. Whatever the case, your feelings have become so big that they no longer can exist solely inside of you. They need air. You will know when you’ve hit this point. Trust me. And when you’ve hit it, SAY SOMETHING. Bursting is never the right option.

Images: Tim Mossholder / Unsplash; Giphy (3)

How To Practice Safe Sexts, According To The Experts

You know what sucks more than your significant other living in your building? Your significant other living in a different city—especially if that city is in an entirely different timezone. You know why that sucks? Because it makes sending a sext incredibly difficult. Like, no I don’t want to hear what you want to do to me while I’m wolfing down Chop’t at my desk because you just got up and are feeling some type of way. But at the end of the day, sexting is all we long distance couples have when we can’t spend the night (or a few steamy minutes) together. And even if you’re not in an LDR, sexting can still be, dare I say, f*cking fun. Like, yeah, drugs are fun, but have you ever felt the rush of opening a steamy sext that’s meant for your eyes only? However, like with sex, there’s a way to be risky and a way to sext safely while still having fun. If your SO/FWB/person with whom you want to test the waters is down for some digital fun, keep reading for some helpful tips from Cassandra Corrado, an O.school sex educator and founder and CEO of MonsterCloud, Zohar Pinhasi

What’s The Point Of Sexting?

Here’s the thing, when I told my friends I was writing this story, I had mixed reactions because some thought sexting was sending nudes and some thought sexting was sending dirty texts. I mean, por q no los dos, right? Sexting can be whatever you want it to be, and before you think you’re above it, you’re not. Plenty of people do it and there should be zero shame in that. Corrado says, “People sometimes have the misconception that only teenagers sext, but that isn’t true—people of all ages do. People sext because it’s fun, it builds intimacy, and it is a way of communicating desire that isn’t touch-based.” That last part is important. Communication, even if it’s based in something physical and/or sexual is massively important in any relationship. Also, if you’re feeling a little awkward telling your partner what you want while you’re currently in bed together, being able to say it via sext may be a little easier. 

Is There a Right/Wrong Way To Sext?

Glad you asked! The biggest concern with sexting is having your photos get leaked. I mean, I have no shame in my body, but I don’t necessarily want anyone who isn’t the person to whom I sent my sexy photos to see them. I know what you’re thinking: just don’t send the photos then? And to you I say, no. I will not let the hacker/revenge porn-laden world we live in dictate whether or not I will have a Euphoria-inspired photoshoot. But on the real, cyber security is a legitimate concern (whether you’re taking sexy photos or just simply online banking), but there are steps you can take to protect yourself. If you’re feeling nervous about your selfies falling into the wrong hands, Pinhasi says, “Use a VPN when possible. A VPN simply creates a safe, encrypted connection to the web so that the prying eyes of strangers on the network can’t see what you see, in this case your sexts and nude photos.” Also, never sext using public WiFi, which I hope is obvious. If you send your nudes in a Starbucks, you can expect everyone in said Starbucks to stumble upon your nudes. 

Another point I’d like to make that I hope is as obvious as the WiFi thing: don’t start sexting without consent, which may sound like a given, but in a world filled with unsolicited dick pics, is anything but. Wouldn’t it be cool if all the dick pics you’ve ever received were preceded by a “Can I send you a gross and unscaled photo of my penis?” and then you would get to say, “Nope!” Read the room as much as you can, but if you’re unsure, there is truly no harm in asking. Corrado adds, “Sexting is an opportunity to practice telling someone, ‘Hey, I’m not actually that into that’ or ‘That’s a bit intense for me right now, let’s soften things up.’” Hopefully things don’t go too soft (wink), but you know what’s more off-putting than a limp d*ck? Feeling like you’re being forced to do something you don’t want to do. 

How Do You Establish Boundaries?

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Dirty talk can feel really awkward. There are so many ways for it to be so right and go so wrong. Check out our Dirty Talk Order Form to explore what feels right for you. (www.O.school) You can also use the form to see how other people dirty talk. • • • #dirtytalk #bettersexed #betterorgasms #odotschool #love #datingadvice #feminism #getit

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Boundaries are tough, because you while you want to say whatever you need to say to feel comfortable in the situation/conversation, you don’t want to kill the mood. Corrado says, “Be clear, and be aware of your own reaction. If it’s something that is a major boundary violation, like doing something you’ve previously agreed wasn’t on the table, then that merits killing the mood to have a conversation.” Very fair point. At the end of the day, sexting is fun because you’re enjoying yourself, and the moment you stop enjoying yourself it’s time to speak up! Standing up for yourself feels better than letting a weird moment linger.

Are There Any Risks To Sexting?

While no matter how dirty the conversation gets, you can’t get pregnant or contract STDs from sexting, there are still plenty of equally heavy risks to consider when you start snapping. Corrado says, “There are emotional risks, because sexting is something that is really vulnerable. You’re not only talking about your desires, but you’re also talking about them (or perhaps showing them) in a graphic way. That means that if your sexting partner decides to share those messages, your trust will have been violated.” Hopefully, you aren’t sexting with someone you don’t trust, but again, use caution. “I always recommend that people know their angles—make sure that if you send photos or video, you’re mindful that your backdrop is neutral and that you don’t show your face or any other distinguishing characteristics, like birthmarks, piercings or tattoos.” That’s the first thing I learned from watching SVU!

Also, there’s the risk that Mr. Robot may hack into your software/wifi and steal your images/conversations. Pinhasi says, “If you don’t want someone looking at your photos and videos, store them yourself. Don’t use someone else’s technology/systems. You’re never fully in control of your data if it’s stored in someone else’s ‘vault’.” Basically, if you’re not down for strangers to see your nudie pics, figure out a different way to show them to your person. Ever heard of WhatsApp?

Something else to think about: “Employees at Apple—some third party contractors, even—have access to the interactions you have with Siri in the form of actual voice recordings. These recordings have picked up sexual encounters, drug deals, crime, and personal conversations,” Pinhasi says. Well, f*ck! Don’t use Siri to sext, but I’m not sure who was doing that anyway.

Ok, so what have we learned? Sexting is fun and awesome, but like most things, it’s fun if you’re safe about it. And the minute you feel uncomfortable, *Jenna Maroney voice* shut it down.

shut it down

Images: nito / Unsplash; Giphy (2)

Is Texting Back Too Fast The Reason You’re Single?

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

5 Texts Guys Need To Stop Sending

If anyone remembers me from what I consider my glory days of writing at Betches (circa 2014-2015), then you know that my forte was shading f*ckboys I was involved with (only, we didn’t call them f*ckboys back then—we just called them guys). Look, I hate men as much as any straight woman who pays attention to the news in 2019, but the one upside of dealing with them is that it brought me semi-viral hits such as “A Strongly Worded Letter To Guys Who Invite Me Over To Watch A Movie” and “How To Initiate Conversation On Dating Apps Without Sounding Like A Creep”. Well, I’m happy (read: dismayed) to announce that after a brief dip back into the dating pool, I have emerged with more ammo with which to semi-anonymously roast the parade of clowns I have recently let into my pants, otherwise known as my roster. If you don’t like it, well that’s too f*cking bad, Tyler. (Just kidding—nobody shaded here is named Tyler. I told you, I do this semi-anonymously.)

Anyway, in my very brief experience entertaining the idea that #notallmen are terrible, I’ve been on the receiving end of some truly astounding texts. And I’m not talking about the obvious kind, either. I don’t mean the gross sexually explicit stuff, or even “u up?”. We’re past that. That stuff is a no-brainer. We know those texts are bad. I’m talking about the insidious texts, the texts that seem sweet, until you examine it from underneath, like you would flip up a smooth-looking rock you see on the ground, and reveal all the teeming laziness and entitlement and general grossness underneath.

Shall we?

“I Wanna See You”

I’m just going to cut right to the chase here, with the text that inspired this article. On the surface, this text seems cute. “Aw!” you think. “He wants to see me!” you think. “He’s clearly thinking about me!” you think. Wrong. Wrong on all accounts. See, here’s why this text is complete and total bullsh*t: because it’s not actually true. Why? It’s simple. If you want to see someone, and you’re texting that person, then you’re literally a few characters removed from actually seeing them. This would be like, if I went up to the cashier at the grocery store and told him I was hungry. It’s like, so??? Are you gonna do anything about it or nah? If you wanna see me, then f*cking try to see me. This is a problem that could very easily be remedied. But since he’s not actually trying to remedy this problem, he doesn’t really give a sh*t about seeing you. What he wants is for you to take this very lazy attempt at a booty call, pick up the ball, throw it back at him and set up plans, and boom! He’s incepted you into asking him out on a date. If I wanted to do that, I’d have done it in the first place. Bottom line is if you want to see me, ask me out. If you don’t, let me live my life.

“I Miss You”

 

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????✋ #ex #exes #fdb #die #suffer #bitch

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Unless you’re talking to your ex and are in the midst of having a conversation about possibly getting back together, I do not wanna see this sh*t. “I miss you” is just a more emotionally manipulative “I wanna see you.” Oh, you miss me? You miss me so much that all you’re doing about it is sending me a half-assed text after 9pm? No matter what time of day you receive this, don’t fall for it. Again, if this person really missed you for as long as they’re claiming, why is this the first you’re hearing of it? Because it’s not true. Even if it’s not 9pm, it’s still some low-effort manipulation. And I mean low-effort! If you’re going to manipulate me, at least put some thought into it—kidding. Totally kidding. Do not do that. And while you’re at it, do me a favor and f*ck all the way off with this nonsense.

Just My Name

If I get a text that just says “Sara” (yes, that’s my name, no, it’s not Olivia—it’s called a pun, people), I will possibly throw my phone into the nearest river. Which means I’m gonna have to trek all the way out to the East River, and now you’ve just massively inconvenienced me, so I’ll be extra mad. But back to reality and not the hypothetical scenario I just made up about chucking my phone into a body of water. This text is, you guessed it, complete nonsense. Why are you texting me simply my name? I know it already. I’ve known it my whole life! And what the hell am I supposed to do with this? Do I text you back your name? And then suddenly we’re playing a game of Thumper? No thanks, I’ll just take the shot. Any guy who sends this text, can you please elaborate in the comments what you are hoping to get out of it? Well, I mean, I know what you’re hoping to get out of it: no-effort sex. But still, please explain yourselves how exactly we are meant to get from point A to point Z.

“Hey Stranger”

It’s getting warm out, so please remember to wear sunscreen, stay hydrated, and ignore “hey stranger” texts.

— Betches (@betchesluvthis) June 6, 2019


I will give the men one small concession here and admit that this text is crappy and it is gender neutral. Everybody, we have got to retire the “hey stranger” text. I’m not going to come out here and tell you not to try to rekindle things with your former FWB who you kinda have feelings for and now just want to hook up so you can get it in without having to download an app to find new d*ck or up your body count (what? who, me? never). I’m just saying, be a little less cliche about it. Honestly, I think even a “u up?” is better in this instance. It’s not cute to be like “hey person I stopped talking to completely but am now crawling back to, are you over me yet?”. I think if you’re gonna do something, do it 100%. If you’re going to booty call someone who used to like you and whom you then ghosted, be upfront with your intentions.

“How’s Your Day?”

I mean, look. If this is during the weekday, then my day is hovering anywhere between kind of crappy and just fine. I have an office job! My job is cool, that’s for sure, but there’s not a huge emotional range there in my day-to-day activities. And if there were, I wouldn’t tell someone I’m casually getting myself acquainted with. Like, what do you want me to do, admit to you that I cried in the first bathroom stall on the left? No, I think that would be a buzzkill. So what am I supposed to say to this? “Good, and you?” “Good.” Cool. Great conversation. Truly riveting stuff. If you want to inquire about my future plans, why not ask if I’m doing anything fun tonight/tomorrow/this weekend? Then, that is a very easy segue into inserting yourself into said plans. See what I did there? I just did all the work for you in asking me out—which is the exact scenario I was hoping to avoid. Damn it.

If you’re discerning, then you’re probably not a guy reading this you’ve likely picked up on one big overarching theme, which is that women don’t want to receive texts that are full of just dumb, empty sentiments. We are not stupid. We are fully aware that actions speak louder than words, and are also way more difficult than just saying the first vaguely nice-sounding thing that pops into your head. That’s why they hold weight. If you’re not going to back up your texts with any tangible movements, then please don’t say anything at all.

Images: betchesluvthis / Twitter; supervillain909 / Instagram

5 Signs You’re Just A Hookup

Unless you’re still dating your high school boyfriend like seven years later (congrats, weirdo), you’ve def come across a guy at some point and wondered, “is he actually into me or am I just a hookup?” It’s something that you should figure out, specifically if you’re emotionally unstable and afraid of rejection. Though I’m sure it’s baffling that everyone isn’t in love with you, men are, as a rule, idiots.

Once upon a time, I was an absolute moron and basically thought that if I started talking to a guy I’d eventually date him. That’s when I stumbled upon the Betches dating book, I Had A Nice Time And Other Lies, one day and got a clue. This isn’t even #sponsored, it’s just how I found my way to this website. But also buy their new book because it’s equally brilliant. K sorry I’ll stop fangirling.

Anyway, you don’t want to be a dumbass by focusing on a single guy and refusing to talk to other potentially even hotter guys just because you’re convinced that you’re going to start dating and you don’t want to ruin it. That’s stupid for so many reasons. Basically, here are all the signs you’re just a hookup that I wish I had always known. These have been gathered from my friends and my own idiocy. I also polled some of my guy friends so you could get the ~inside scoop~.

Hopefully, you already know the obvious. If he only texts you at 2am, he doesn’t want to date you. But boys, despite being complete buffoons to girls, are tbh a little sneaky sometimes. So without further ado, here are some slightly less obvious signs you’re just a hookup and he’s not that into you, sorry bb.

1. You’ve Never Seen Him Consume Anything But Alcohol

Either he’s secretly a vampire (cue a Vampire Diaries marathon) or he doesn’t want to waste money buying you food when he can just buy you shots in a few hours when you meet up at a bar. “Oh yeah, we’ll get dinner next time but come to Kell’s tonight!” Don’t fall for that.

2. He Takes Forever To Reply

He takes a day to text you back, and when he does, his texts makes no sense, he doesn’t answer any of your questions, he OBNRs your Snapchat (if you’re, like, under 21 this is especially important), etc. it’s one of the surefire signs you’re just a hookup. If he replies with, “Oh sorry just saw this” or “Was slammed this week with work,” you should call BS and move on. Three different guys I polled were like, “we’re always lying when we say this,” sooo consider it a line.

3. He Doesn’t Take You To Brunch The Next Morning

Just because he let you sleep over does not mean he’s necessarily into you. Like, okay, he didn’t shove you out of bed at 4am. So, he’s… a semi-decent human being? I wouldn’t go announcing your impending nuptials. Ask yourself a few more questions: Did you wake up wedged between the mattress and the wall with no covers? Did he mutter something about how the door locks and run off to “use the bathroom” so you can change and leave ASAP? Did he promise to text you later even though you haven’t even exchanged numbers? If you answer yes to any of these questions, ding ding ding (!!) he’s an asshole, and he’s probs not into you.

If, however, he offers to take you out for brunch, or even just a casual coffee at Philz, then things are looking up. At the very least, he better text you after hooking up.

4. He Doesn’t Talk With You About Substantial Things

Do you know anything about his life? Like, does he have a little sister? Have a favorite food? Know when his next midterm is? And more importantly, does he know anything about you? Does he remember your birthday? Or like, I don’t know, if you have a huge presentation for work? Basically, if he knows details about you, that means he cares enough to remember boring sh*t about your life. If he only remembers to text you Saturday night because ~suddenly~ he wants to know “what’s up” then leave him on read.

5. He’s Rude In Person

Either he’s supremely awkward (in which case, ew byeeeeee) or he just doesn’t want to talk to you. Sure, it’s immature to be standing eight inches away from someone and not say hi, but really, you can’t expect much from 22-year-olds who still think they’re in a frat. Anyway, if he looks away when you walk by or mutters “hey” before walking off in the other direction aggressively “texting” then yeah, he’s not interested.

Even though it may suck to realize that your future husband potential boyfriend person of interest isn’t actually, um, interested in you, it’s a healthy thing to realize. You really don’t want to waste time and brain space on a guy that’s not good enough for you anyway when you could be finding someone else instead or bingeing all the Netflix romcoms ever created, because tbh that sounds more fun.

Images: Giphy (4)

3 Ways You’re Scaring Guys Off Without Realizing

The annoying thing about dating advice, generally speaking, is that it tends to be 100% based on other peoples’ opinions. And if you’ve ever engaged in polite conversation, you’ll know that most peoples’ opinions fucking suck. I’ve read countless times that showing up late and mentioning horoscopes is a guaranteed dealbreaker, but my Scorpio boyfriend (tragic, I know) was kind enough to overlook all that, and we’ve been thriving ever since. So, I’m not here to give advice on dating specifically, an activity at which everyone unabashedly sucks. Instead, I’m here to make sure you actually make it to the point where you can decide whether or not you want a second date, rather than taking yourself out of the running with a too-soon friend request or some other amateur bullshit. Here are three ways you’re scaring guys off before you get a chance to reject them yourself. Take notes.

Overusing Social Media

Social media is tricky. You need a distraction from the all-consuming task of not triple-texting, so you decide to post an Instagram story that happens to highlight your breasts and/or totally raging social life. And which you then go on to update every 30 minutes. Totally harmless right? Wrong. If triple-texting is unattractive because it looks like you’re too into him, non-stop social media is unattractive because it looks like you’re way too into your phone/yourself. (Which like, you are, but let him find that out on his own.)

Social media stories typically fall into two acceptable categories. If they’re actually interesting/entertaining (what the kids refer to as “quality content”), post away. Keep in mind that this typically requires you having an interesting job or life, such as interacting with celebrities. Just my two cents. If your stories fall more into the “day in the life but my hair looks good” category, you’re going to really want to limit it to the highlights. ONE selfie er day. ONE meal pic every three days, and the sunlight better be hitting your avocado toast JUST right. You get the idea.

Guys watching a story you updated every two minutes aren’t admiring your fun, cool life. They’re picturing you standing in the middle of that scene with your eyeballs glued to your phone. More importantly, they’re picturing dating you as an unpaid photographer gig with a side of watching you scroll through filters. (Again, this is accurate, but it’s also a reality that men need to be phased into slowly. If they’re aware of what’s happening before it’s too late to stop it, you’re doing it wrong.)

You’re not Kim K. You can’t get away with this.

Planning Out Every Last Detail

On average, it takes me and my boyfriend maybe 60 texts to nail down a dinner date. I reject the first 15 restaurant suggestions, he suggests between seven and 12 different meeting points, I get preemptively snarky about his outfit, and the fun rolls on. Fine and good when you’ve tricked someone into you’re in a committed relationship. Early on, though, anything above a single-digit number of texts to make a plan is going to be off-putting. This includes everything from the first “when should we get together” text to when you’re actually, physically speaking. Which means you should leave room for one “I’m here” text when you arrive, and should absolutely not be texting “do you want me to get a table or meet at the bar? LMK!” once you do arrive.

Texting back and forth over every detail makes you seem like you can’t make a decision without outside input, and runs the risk of exhausting him so much that the idea of meeting you in person no longer seems fun. This includes texts moving around the meet-up time, suggesting more than two locations (or including more than a five-word description of either one), or in any way reiterating the plans you’ve literally just made. (The boy can both scroll up and read, right? If not, get higher standards.) If you’re taking the initiative to make the plan, actually make the plan. And if he’s taking charge, either agree to something quickly or decide his suggestions all suck and just cancel altogether. Anything else will just breed irritation when your name pops up on their phone.

Your crush if you don’t ease TF up:

Taking The “Cool Girl” Thing Too Literally

Congratulations, you are a grown-ass woman. Everything in your life falls perfectly into place, seemingly without effort. You don’t need this man’s validation, and you won’t be crushed if this date doesn’t go well. You’re down for anything that comes up, but you’re just as down to walk away. You are the perfect embodiment of everything men are supposed to want women to be. Well—SURPRISE, BITCH! This is 2018, and perfect is no longer good enough. While I maintain that the above is a great attitude to hold internally, there are two glaring issues. One, this is true for exactly no one; you likely try very hard for everything you’ve achieved, and care at least a little, and hiding that is dumb. Two, it leaves very little room for you to make a meaningful connection. If someone’s going to get to know you, you have to show some vulnerability.

That means you can’t just be “fine with whatever” when it comes to spending the night, going out again, or picking your first vacation spot. You have to be honest about what you want, even if that means maybe not getting it. While being the Cool Girl might keep a guy interested in chasing you for a decently long time, maintaining the Cool Girl virtually guarantees that he’ll never be actually interested in dating you. In fact, he has no idea who the fuck you are beyond a girl who answers his texts less quickly than his other matches, and is therefore intriguing. Somewhere, some bitch who probably has an adorable Southern accent will outplay you by answering his texts just as slowly but then confessing that she’s getting attached on date three with a giggle that makes him feel like a Big Special Man. It’s all about balance.

This is where being a Cool Girl gets you. Covered in blood and hugging Ben “I specialize in on- and off-screen adultery” Affleck. Don’t be the Cool Girl, ladies!

Once you’re on the actual date, everyone has a million highly specific preferences for what person they want you to be. (You do too, don’t lie.) But with these tips, you’ll hopefully at least make it on the date before you fuck it up. Good luck out there!

Images: Giphy (3)

How Do I Turn A One Night Stand Into Something More? Ask A Pro

Head Pro is definitely way too old to go to your prom, which is cool, he totally didn’t want to go anyway because he’s actually going to this really chill college party. It’s gonna be, like, really mature and stuff you wouldn’t like it anyway. Email him your questions at [email protected], and follow him on Twitter and Insta at @betchesheadpro.

Dear Head Pro,

Last Saturday was my senior prom, i went with a decent bro but the hottest guy from another school came to the after party, we made out, drank and had the BEST time, in the middle of our drake induced love he asked me to be his prom date to his school’s prom, these words exactly “you’re really fun, wanna go to prom with me?” I said yes, obvsss

But then the next day we barely spoke and haven’t really communicated much since then, so yesterday I took the plunge and snap chatted him saying “hey so you invited me to prom drunk lol” he said “yeah I did” and then I said “funnn! When is it?” And he said “may 18” that.was.it. Before he showed up to my after party he would snap me often but I havent heard anything else from him, I can’t help but feel like he regrets asking me lololol helppp

Lol, he definitely regrets inviting you. As for why, that’s anyone’s guess. Chances are he had planned on asking someone else, but figured asking the cute drunk girl (fresh off the high of her own prom, no less) to prom would get him into your pants. He wasn’t entirely wrong, but because he’s an idiot teenage boy thinking with his sweaty, idiot teenage penis, he didn’t think very far ahead.

I know it’s borderline impossible for a highschooler to do, but I think you’ve gotta ask him point blank what the deal is. It’s not really the kind of thing you want to leave in limbo, especially if your parents are rich and you can convince them to buy you a new dress on short notice. Besides, going to someone else’s prom whips way more ass than going to your own. Every single boy in the gymnasium is going to spend the entire night thinking unspeakable things about you (much to the chagrin of their dates), just because you’re new. Most people go their whole lives without experiencing that level of petty satisfaction.

So yeah, do the hard thing and get it cleared up. A hot dress, some smooching, and maybe an over-the-pants handy in his car before he drops you off, and you’ll have given that dude a memory he’ll cherish AT LEAST until his first weekend in college.

prom

Dear Head Pro,

So I had a guy I’ve known for years reach out to me on Facebook Monday (after not seeing him or talking to him for close to 5 years) and after some brief chatting, suggested the next time he goes out for me to go too. I agreed but no definite date was set. Fast forward to Tuesday, he messaged me in the evening and said he was out with some of the guys he worked with and asked me to join and after some reluctancy, I did. I had work this morning so I was just having a couple of beers but it turned into great conversation and I had a lot of fun. Well he had been drinking a lot and I didn’t want him drinking and driving so I offered to give him a ride home (he lives 10 minutes from me). He agreed and I took him home and he suggested I just stay the night since it was really late and I agreed.

One thing led to another and we had sex. He still kept chatting with me the whole night about things going on in his life, the death of a close friend, he said about us getting together again this weekend and wanted to cuddle. We stayed up till after 4:00am (I had to be up at 5:30 for work) but I took him to his truck so he didn’t have to find a ride. I pull up to his truck and just went to give him a hug goodbye and he kissed me and said “I fully expect you to be angry with me for keeping you up all night” to which I said “oh don’t worry I’m sure I’ll be texting you to complain about how tired I am. He said he couldn’t wait to hear from me.

I texted him and we did have a brief conversation just saying how much fun we had. I sent the last text and he has not responded. I never said thank you for inviting me out or I want to do it again. I guess I’m a little confused if this is just a routine one night stand or potentially more? Do I actually make it a point to go through the thank you process or bring up the idea of hanging out again or just stay silent till he reaches out again?

One night stand

Christ. One nice thing about getting older is that there’s no one in this universe I’m horny enough for to even think about surviving on 90 minutes of sleep. Selena Gomez and Shay Mitchell could show up at my door with a ball of yarn, a bundt cake pan, and an oil drum full of lube, and it still ain’t happening if it’s after midnight. Sorry babes, I gotta get my 7 and a half hours.

Anyway, in this case I think you’re looking at a standard-issue one-nighter. It’s extremely funny, to me, that you’re entertaining the notion that it’s somehow because you didn’t thank him for the barely-date. Like, I’m pretty sure he took the sex as a more than adequate token of your appreciation. No guy talks to his friends after that and says “we had a nice time, and we totally did sex, but she didn’t send me a thoughtful follow-up text. SO TACKY, right?!?!?!?”

I don’t think he was ever all that into you, given that he put literally zero effort into going out with you in the first place (I missed the part in the play where Romeo gallantly invited Juliet to meet up with his bro pack). But as I often tell people here, it’s unlikely your situation would be made worse by asking for what you want, be it clarification or to hang out again. Probably, he’ll blow you off, but you never know: you could keep meeting up periodically and hooking up, leading to an unbalanced FWB situation that will cause you irreparable emotional trauma. Life is full of delightful little unexplored mysteries like that, you know?

Head Pro is definitely way too old to go to your prom, which is cool, he totally didn’t want to go anyway because he’s actually going to this really chill college party. It’s gonna be, like, really mature and stuff so you wouldn’t like it anyway. Email him your questions at [email protected], and follow him on Twitter and Insta at @betchesheadpro.

Myths About Playing Hard To Get That Are Sabotaging Your Dating Life

Playing “hard to get” has always confused me as a dating concept. First of all, you do this most effectively when you’re actually uninterested—which, beyond being straight-up annoying, leads to you being text-bombed by guys you’d rather forget meeting because they think your silence is part of some elaborate game. Second of all, dumb as it is, playing hard to get remains effective, aka why the guys you fully ignore are sending you those declarations of love. And be honest: even a meh date can start seeming like the One Who Got Away when you don’t hear from him a week out (after all, if he has better options than you, that’s kind of impressive). You know the basics (wait to text back, say no to the first offered plan, reference your teeming social life), but I’m here to offer you some advice on how to play hard to get like a betch: minimum fucks given, maximum reward.

Don’t Actually Make Yourself Busier

“Get out of the house” is a frequent staple of “playing hard to get” advice, and I am here to put a stop to it. I don’t know who first came up with the idea that lying to boys about how busy you are should interrupt your napping schedule, but I see no correlation between the number of days you leave him on read and what you do with the rest of your time. The sneaky underlying theory here is that if you force yourself out of the house you’ll actually distract yourself from waiting for him to text and become a de facto more interesting/less available person, but I’m calling bullshit. If you can flake on plans with your friends without picking up a bi-weekly knitting class, then you can certainly ignore Jake from Hinge for the same amount of effort. If you eventually feel the need to account for your whereabouts, the key is to just exaggerate existing activities (e.g. that jog you went on three months ago = training for a half-marathon), but this is a totally different game from hard to get. You don’t have to be busy to ignore someone, and it’s actually more of a power play if you’re not.

Don’t Story Your Whole Life

On that note, stop video-documenting every second you spend outside of your bed and obsessively posting it to Instagram/Snapchat. If you’re casually texting a bunch of guys and just generally entertaining your audience of fans, then fine—but if there’s one guy you’re posting for, you’ll spend your whole day/night checking to see if he watched it yet and getting progressively more tempted to contact him. You’ll also probably seem unbearably thirsty in the story to begin with. Not creating a video diary of your life goes along with the pointer about not making plans—the more real effort you’re putting in, the less likely this strategy is going well for you. And not to put too fine a point on it, but if you’re Snapchatting from yet another “Wine Wednesday” with the girls, then the guy you’re into may or may not pick up that you’re a cool, independent lady; what he’ll definitely pick up is that you’re not out with another guy.

Don’t Make Him Jealous/Be A Dick

If you are out with another guy, or guy friends, or a bar where men are also in attendance, you may be tempted to post a few casual jealousy-inspiring pictures. Before you do this, keep in mind that there are limited good outcomes, and you’re probably too drunk to toe the line between “obviously staged” and “oh I guess she’s dating someone else.” If it looks evident that you’re hanging out with some guy just so you can have a video of it (AKA filming him when he’s not looking, repeatedly yelling “Justin smile!!!” so he looks up, etc.), any guy you’ve been flirting with is going to be immediately suspicious and probably turned off. And if you post an overly romantic Snap of your guy friend at dinner and immediately get a text, the guy texting you is bad news and you are in for a brief yet terrible time with him. Basic rule of thumb: Don’t post for jealousy unless there’s actually something to be jealous about, and don’t purposely try to hurt people’s feelings and then text them asking them out the next day. That’s emotional whiplash, not “hard to get,” and it will only make guys accurately think that dating you is a stressful and confusing experience.

It’s a totally natural urge to not want to overwhelm a new crush by texting him all hours of the day, but living a double life so he finds you cool and interesting while never hanging out with you isn’t great either. The whole idea is that he’s unsure that you like him enough to make time for him yet—not that you’re so busy that you physically can’t reach your phone to text him. So chill out, set timers that remind you “DON’T TEXT” if need be, and remember that you are actually hard to get 99% of the time for 99% of the population; it’s just easy to forget that when you’re excited about a new guy, and you don’t need to do anything more than act like your normal icy self.

Get more honest af dating advice like this in our second book, I Had A Nice Time And Other Lies.