Dating a bad texter can be frustrating.

What To Do If Your Crush Sucks At Texting But Is Awesome In Person

Is it frustrating? Yes. Is it a deal breaker? Probs not.

by Annie Foskett
Originally Published: 
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Asking for a friend: is there an antidote for being a bad texter? Maybe a crystal to rub on your fingers? OK, fine, I'm asking for myself. I operate on two levels when it comes to texting: effusive paragraphs or one-word answers. In real life, however, I'm a generally chatty, articulate human. So, I have to ask: Is it possible to be a bad texter but great in person? When it comes to my own habits, I can admit that I'm definitely a terrible texter, but I'd like to think that I am a decent person. I volunteer, I'm generally punctual, and my friends seem to like me. Perhaps my text voice simply doesn't match my real voice? And if this is true for me, it’s surely true for other people.

But it can be difficult to remember when you’re on the receiving end, and because I'm a raging hypocrite, when I receive a succinct, emoji-less text, I immediately think, "Don’t they know how to not be a dry texter?" And then, soon after, "Are they mad at me?" Or, even worse, “Does this mean they lost interest?” And the most mind-boggling circumstance of all is when a person you are crushing on totally sucks at texting but is awesome AF in person.

Here’s what relationship experts have to say about what makes someone a bad texter and if that reflects on their personality IRL.

What Does It Mean If Someone Is A Bad Texter?

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Let's be real: The way a person texts you does not always indicate the entire scope of their personality or their feelings for you. As relationship and etiquette expert April Masini explains, "There are people who are more comfortable behind a screen than they are in person.” For those "good texters" out there, flirting might come more naturally via messaging because they get nervous in social situations. On the other hand, Masini explains that some people are just bad writers. "These folks can be very easy going in person, but when it comes to texting, they’re lazy and gauche," she adds.

Linguist and researcher Michelle McSweeney previously told Elite Daily it might be helpful to figure out why someone’s texting behavior is bother you. “Often, when someone uses language that annoys us, it's because they are violating our cultural norms,” she said, adding, “It could even be an opportunity to understand them better, seeing their texting style as a positive quirk about them rather than something they do ‘wrong.’” Just because someone has a different texting style than you doesn’t mean you can’t see eye-to-eye outside of texting... unless their IRL behavior reflects otherwise.

Can Someone Be A Bad Texter But A Good Person?

At the end of the day, it's entirely possible that the person you are crushing on is an awesome human being with a Nobel Prize, excellent jokes, the ability to make homemade barbacoa tacos, and likes you very much but will still text, "Yeah," when you ask them, "Are you excited for our first-ever vacation together upstate?!" And remember, you’re going on vacation with them! Of course they want to be there — otherwise they’d just back out.

In fact, it’s really the backing out, or similar actions, that you have to worry about. "If your partner exhibits texting behavior that transfers into unfortunate real life behavior in other arenas, reconsider the character of the person you’re dating," says Masini. Basically, if your boo is texting like a jerk — and then also checking out other women at the bar on your romantic weekend trip away together — then maybe say, "Boy, bye."

Can Bad Texting Habits Ruin A Relationship?

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Overall, you need to decide if the bad texting is something that's truly getting in the way of your relationship. If the person you’re texting repeatedly gives short replies, takes forever to respond to texts, or has any other texting quirks that bug you, then you can bring those issues up with them, as long as you’re mindful about how you initiate the conversation. For instance, don’t initiate the conversation via text — instead, have the discussion in person.

Since there's no "right" or "normal" way for a couple to text, be careful about shaming your partner for their natural communication habits. Instead, explain why you'd prefer to change up your texting routine. "Let them know it's something that you need to feel a certain way as opposed to framing it as something that they are not doing enough of," Shula Melamed, relationship and wellness coach, tells Elite Daily. "Don't start the conversation by telling [them] they are 'bad' at something. Don't ask them over text!"

As NYC relationship expert Susan Winter told Elite Daily, “If the only place your relationship is suffering is in the ‘text realm,’ you may still be fine. Every relationship has its issues.” However, she pointed out that a disconnect over text can also be a symptom of a larger problem. “A lapse in communication is only an issue when it’s the tip of the iceberg,” she continued. “If this is one of many issues where you find yourself disrespected and marginalized, then do yourself a favor and reevaluate your partnership.”

If you're just dissatisfied with your cutie's text voice and love spending time with them in person, then trust your gut. Romeo and Juliet didn't have iPhones, after all. (Though maybe that would have prevented their deaths.) Either way, keep calm and text on.


April Masini, relationship and etiquette expert

Michelle McSweeney, linguist and researcher

Shula Melamed, relationship and wellness coach

Susan Winter, NYC relationship expert

Editor's Note: This story has been updated by Elite Daily Staff.

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