Texting is a slippery business. You’re navigating a labyrinth of unspoken etiquette while trying to interpret emoticons, punctuation, and added letters ("hey" vs. "heyyy"—don’t try to tell me there isn’t a world of difference). But one of the greatest sources of confusion and frustration comes from unanswered texts, because what does that mean? What are they trying to tell you? Here are seven possible explanations that you can obsess over while you wait for the other person to put a cap on your overflowing cup of crazy and just RESPOND ALREADY, JEEZ.
1. They hate you. Let’s just get this one out there. I know it’s harsh, but come on, would you text back someone you hate? Probably not, unless you’re staging a coup and need to stay on their good side, hovering in the shadows of their social circle until the time to strike is nigh. So what you can take away from this is that if they’re not texting you back, they may despise you, and even if they are texting you back, they may be plotting your downfall. I apologize for disturbing your peace of mind and generally positive outlook on the world, but we all have to rip the Band-Aid off eventually.
2. They’re lying in a ditch somewhere. Hey! This is good news! They’re not hating on you or planning your demise. Unfortunately, their car flipped over the divider and they are, of course, lying in a ditch, so that’s unpleasant. But let’s make it a ravine. Much more scenic. I’m not a total monster. And they probably would have answered your text if they hadn’t been driving at the same time. Don't text and drive, kids. It’s not worth it, and the ravine is probably polluted.
3. They don't want to seem overeager. We’ve all been there. You don’t want the other person to assume you have no life by texting back immediately. Is it so crazy to think this goes both ways? The options so far have included hatred, coup-staging and ditches. Let out a sigh of relief—it isn’t any of those things. Instead, the power dynamic in your relationship is tipped largely in your favor, so use this power wisely. Make them buy you ice cream. Make them do your laundry.
4. They were actually just busy. No near-fatal ravine incidents, no animosity—they were simply preoccupied with some other activity, like writing their memoirs or jousting.
5. They were lazy. They saw your text and didn’t respond because texting you back "haha yeah" would’ve taken more energy than they were willing to give. Now you see where you stand as friends.
6. The conversation was over. Look back. Were you guys trading one-word responses? Was one of them "k"? It was over, dude. It's time to move on.
7. They crafted a response in their head and then forgot to actually send it. I know this sounds like a last-ditch effort to cling to your self-esteem and convince yourself that people aren’t actually ignoring you, but I would say a solid 85% of my texting interactions come to a standstill for this very reason. And I know this for a fact, because it’s my fault. I think to myself, "This would probably be a good response," and then I get distracted, and suddenly four days have passed and that one texting conversation is but a brief and distant memory. Then I hang out with the person and they say passive-aggressively, "So, how’ve you been lately? Busy?" while secretly texting someone else, "DROP YOUR JOUSTING LANCE, THE COUP BEGINS NOW."
There could be a number of reasons someone isn’t returning your text. There’s anxiety, laziness, hatred, and bodily harm. It could be none of them. It could also be all of them. So the next time someone doesn’t text you back right away, try not to hold it against them—they might be lying (lazily) in a ditch somewhere, too busy bleeding profusely to text back the response they had in their head but didn’t want to send right away. Also, they secretly despise you. I hope this helped.
Does it drive you CRAZY when someone (aka your crush) doesn't text you back within 5 seconds? IT DEFINITELY DOESN'T DRIVE US CRAZY. NOPE. WE'RE TOTALLY RELAXED. WE DON'T EVEN NOTICE. CERTAINLY NOT CHECKING OUR PHONE EVERY 2.8 SECONDS. DANGIT BOY, YOU BETTER BE IN A RAVINE SOMEWHERE.