Oh, the dreaded double text. It doesn't feel good to send, and nor does it feel good to get. (Except when it's your dreamy crush and you were just busy at work.)
I know it's silly, but I'm not chill enough to be above it. There's always a tiny power shift when one party has to text the other twice in a row.
I'm not talking about 3 a.m. doubled-up angry texts to someone things are crumbling with, either. That's called a "tequila oopsie," and can be resolved with a major apology and deletion of his number. I'm referring to the regular, early stages of dating, where there's a lack of reply within a questionable timeframe that makes you consider sending out a second text message.
As one who is guilty of not replying to texts promptly, even when they are from guys I like, I do believe that there's a world in which a double text is appropriate. But there's still a fine line between confirming your interest and coming across as overeager.
Here are seven questions you should ask yourself before even thinking about... dare I say it... double texting:
1. How Long Has It Been Since You Last Texted Him?
An hour? Three? Calm yourself, girl.
We're all busy humans with different schedules. Yes, you care about the person you are dating, but you do not need to start calling local hospitals after a few hours of radio silence.
When was the last time you left a text he sent you unanswered for a while? Maybe he's just playing hard to get. Games are the worst, but patience is a virtue.
If three days go by and he's still mute, you can consider reaching out to make sure he's alive.
2. What Was Your Last Text To Him?
If your last text to him was something like "I had fun too, thanks," you shouldn't expect anything right away. (Also, be less boring.)
Even if you were chatting about something more involved, some people don't like text all day, every day. Text-versations require pauses. It's natural.
Wait a day and send him a funny article you found. (But not this one.)
However, if you asked him about where you two were getting dinner that night, and the date is only a few hours away, double text the sh*t out of him. Right away. That's totally legitimate, and there are no gender rules about figuring out plans.
3. How Long Have You Been Dating?
Have you only gone out once? Twice? You are both figuring out if you like each other.
If he hasn't replied to your text after a first date, maybe he's just not interested. These things happen. You're probably not invested yet either, and sending a second text that gets left unanswered might make you feel worse. There's no need to get hung up on the dude yet.
If you have been dating for a few weeks or months, it's a different story. You probably know his texting patterns, and you should feel OK double texting him. At this point, there's no need for games.
If he's freaked out by a double text a month in? Good riddance. You just saved yourself a lot of time spent agonizing over cryptic responses and evasive texts.
4. Was He On Social Media Since Your Last Text?
If you see him liking a bunch of #NationalBikiniDay pictures on your Instagram feed, or he sends you a Snapchat while out with his friends, with no regard to your text from three hours ago, you're allowed to be a little annoyed.
Honestly, there are a million explanations as to why he hasn't replied (like, it's easier to double tap a photo at your desk than to craft a text about when you can hang out), but still, come on, dude.
At this point, the choice is yours — double text and get clear on what his deal is or take this as a warning sign you may not be his priority at the moment.
Real talk: Don't stalk social media thinking you'll gain real insight into a person. It can get a little fake out there, and it's going to drive you crazy. Trust me.
5. What Is He Usually Doing At This Point In The Day?
He might just be out for a run. Obvious, right? But an unanswered text can make you a little crazy, especially if it was sent to someone you are crushing on hard.
See if you can zoom out for a moment: Is he in a meeting at work? Did you forget he was on the opposite coast? Is he already asleep?
Even if you have no idea what he's up to, just because he replied immediately to your texts this morning does not mean he can reply just as quick all day long.
Simply thinking about what he might be busy with should calm your text-happy self a little.
6. Do You Feel Like He's About To Ghost You?
Let's call this sense of pre-emptive ghosting a gut feeling that he's on his way out.
You know when someone is slowly backing out of your life. He's slow to reply, the ratio of texts sent by you to texts sent by him is on average 4:1, and you're pretty certain he hasn't been kidnapped.
If you've been dating for a while, the next move is yours. You could let the unanswered text go, but that's kind of like giving him a free ticket to ghost-land.
If you keep things "chill" and don't double text, you'll still stew over it. The waiting game isn't worth it, so get a straight answer. You don't deserve to be kept in the dust. Send a text asking for clarification: "Hey, I hadn't heard back from you, are you around this weekend?"
7. What Do You Want To Do?
I've been there. I have drafted texts carefully in the notes section of my phone, copied and pasted, and felt my quivering thumb hesitate to press send on a double text. Remember, at the end of the day, it's just a bunch of words in a gray bubble.
If you really want to follow up with a guy, just f*ck the old school rules. Double text him. If you want someone who is more responsive, and who takes the initiative to text you more often, don't bother. Let him go.
Texting can easily become a crazy game of misread signals and unclear vibes.
Before deciding on sending a follow-up text to someone you've been seeing, it's important to ask yourself these questions: How do you feel about this guy? Does he deserve your energy? What is your gut telling you to do?
If you want to hang out with him again, and sending a double text is no sweat off of your back, go for it. He'll probably be impressed with your initiative. If it's been a month or two, and his lack of replies is becoming a pattern, double text with confidence and figure out exactly what his agenda is.
Be honest with yourself about what you want, and you'll know exactly what to do.