Is Constantly Texting The Person You're Dating A Sign Of Insecurity?

by Annie Foskett

I am not great at texting. My friends, family, and um, anyone who has ever texted me can confirm. If I'm distracted, I can be a terse, slow responder. If I'm killing time, I'll text my little heart away. I'm a selfish butt when it comes to texting — I expect prompt replies, while constantly failing to reciprocate them. I'm trying to be better with this when it comes to dating, but some advice article that I read circa 1999 seems to be engrained in my brain that says "Constant texting is a sign of insecurity, so play hard to text."

Since I definitely did not even own a cell phone in 1999, and texting wasn't even really a thing then (was it?), I'm going to go on a limb and say I'm mixing magazine articles. The "don't reply too soon" rule is archaic and just another way for the patriarchy to continue world domination. Cool. Now that that's settled, there are still "dos" and "don'ts" for texting when you are dating someone. For example, you can text your BFF about the terrifying white-headed zit you just popped on your chin, while this might be TMI for the person you're dating.

And what about constant texting? What does that even mean? Well, it could mean that you are constantly the one texting first, or it could mean that you are texting each other throughout the day. While you don't want to overwhelm the person you are dating, you also should be able to do you and text them whenever the F you feel like. Let's be real here, texting is just putting some words on a screen. NBD.

That said, when someone triple texts me, I feel overwhelmed. At the end of the day, is constant texting in a relationship a sign of insecurity? It depends.

Are You Both Constantly Texting Each Other?

If you and the person you are dating are constantly slinging articles about how the world is ending back-and-forth, you're just having a text-versation. Replying promptly and constantly to someone's texts is not a sign of insecurity; it's simply a sign of respect and interest. Don't play hard to text in these circumstances, don't be afraid to show your interest, and respond when you want to.

A two-way conversation is very different than thirteen drunk texts in a row (#beenthere).

Are You Texting Them First Every Day?

While this is less constant than an all-day conversation marathon, it's still consistent texting. However, when texts are primarily coming from one party in a relationship, things get a little more complicated. First off, gender rules need not apply, so you can totally be the first one to text the person you are dating "good morning," as long as you aren't feeling tormented about it. But if you are feeling insecure after multiple iterations of the same a.m. greeting, maybe think twice.

Pay attention to see if the person you are dating is responding in a way that's forwarding the conversation. If they aren't, heed their signs. If it's early in dating, initiate a texting conversation twice (and I don't mean double text) before bailing and saving yourself the time and energy. If your date does not reply or replies with a polite, short answer twice in a row, move on to the next one. Maybe they rekindled with an ex — who knows? — but you'll look insecure if you keep reaching out after getting a couple polite "no thank you"-vibe texts.

Are You Nervous Before Sending The Texts?

I have spent upwards of half an hour crafting a simple, one-line text in my phone's "Notes" app before sending it to someone I was seeing. I then suffered the heart-racing, insides-swirling feeling of copying it, pasting it, and then hitting send. (Is my heart still in my body? Because it feels like it over-palpitated.) There's a certain rush to sending a text to someone whom you're worried about overwhelming.

Here's the thing: Even if your text does not overwhelm them at all, if you're feeling nervous about sending even just a "hey, how's it going?" then maybe you know somewhere deep down that the person you are dating is not really capable of giving you what you w ant. As soon as you feel weird about sending a text, then yes, you're insecure in your texting and you should probably say peace to this person. I promise I'm saving your time.

Do You Just Not GAF?

If you are a super chill gal who simply has no time to worry about whether the person she's dating wants more texts from her about her new puppy or not, god bless you. If you feel totally comfortable sending texts throughout the day to a person you're seeing, knowing you might not hear back right away, by logic you simply aren't insecure.

I wish I could feel this free and in control of my own texting destiny, and I wish I could go back and be a little less withholding with my texts to certain people I dated whom I was actually interested in.

In the end, constantly texting someone indicates insecurity only if you feel insecure when you are doing the texting, plain and simple. If you are totally calm and comfortable doing the constant texting, that confidence will show, and your insecurities will not. As long as you are not textually harassing someone (again, 13 unanswered in a row would be a good indicator of this), then go forth and text.

Also go on fun, live dates while you're at it.