Why He's Not A 'Bad Texter,' He Just Doesn't Like You

by Candice Jalili

“Maybe he's just a bad texter,” my friend lamented to me recently. The guy she was seeing had again failed to respond to a message that absolutely merited a response.

“Yeah, didn't his friends say he's always slow to respond?” I said, trying to reassure her. Because, well, what was the point of making her feel worse than she already did?

But deep down inside, I knew the truth: He wasn't responding because he didn't care all that much.

How did I know? Because I'm a bad texter, too. And it's true -- it's a thing. It's not some stupid cop-out. I really do read people's text messages and genuinely mean to respond, but I forget to press send until a couple of days later, when it's far too late and too awkward to send the text at all.

And in defense of that guy who wasn't responding to my friend's text, my not responding to you is no indication of how I really feel about you. That's especially true if you are someone in my day-to-day life.

I'll open a text, read it, laugh and go back to my day. After a day, I'll remember I probably should have responded to the text, and maybe I'll give you a call or something. I'm a big fan of calls. And FaceTiming.

I also assume that people who really want my attention will call me out if I forget to respond to them.

But there is one key distinction. When I like someone -- when I have a crush -- I am HUGE on responding. Even if I maybe get busy and momentarily forget, I WILL respond to a boy I like. It's probably not even the best play. I should probably play it a little more cool and let some of the messages go unacknowledged. But the fact of the matter is that I don't play it cool at all. No, I respond to every text because I LIKE THE GUY TOO MUCH NOT TO.

And before you go calling me "boy crazy" or whatever, you have to hear me out.

The fact of the matter is that there is a fundamental difference between my texting relationship with a guy I really like and my texting relationship with literally anyone else. Why? Well, here's the deal: If you were my close friend or family member, I'd call you. And it wouldn't just be a casual dial. No, I'd call you repeatedly until you answered me, and that would be that.

If you were someone I liked but wasn't crazy about, I wouldn't really care if I forgot to respond, and I'd just leave it.

But when I'm talking to the guy I like (not in a relationship, just talking), I enter a very special realm in terms of communication. We aren't in a relationship, so I can't just pick up the phone and call him like some sort of psychopath. But I also like him, so I do want to be communicating with him. I mean ... DUH. I like him.

So if I want to make plans with a guy or tell him about the funny thing that happened to me or hear his story about the crazy thing that happened to him, I have no choice but to have a conversation over text. Basically, I have no choice but to buck up and start being a good texter.

Let's return to my friend who complained about the guy who doesn't usually respond to her. He is a bad texter. His own friends say so! He hates texting.

But if I'm being brutally honest here, he probably also doesn't like her that much. I'm obviously only speaking from my own experience. I don't know this guy. I don't know how he acts around girls he likes. But texting her less means seeing her less. And if he liked her, he'd want to see her.

I don't expect him to want to sit around all day and chit-chat about the "roses and thorns" of every given day (remember that dinner-table game?). But if you like someone (and I mean really like someone), don't you want to see that person? And don't you communicate in any way possible to make that happen? Even if it means going out of your comfort zone to shoot a text that you don't normally send?

And heck, maybe if you really hate texting THAT much, I imagine you'd just pick the phone and call the person. Or maybe send a letter, for all I care!

I guess all I'm trying to say here is that we can all be bad texters. But there is no such thing as being a bad texter when you really like someone.