Millennials are the worst communicators ever. Seriously.
We're educated AF, but when it comes to interpersonal relationships and in-person conversation, we're just lacking. The fact that we prefer to text someone and wait 10 minutes for a response to something that would've taken seconds to answer via a phone call speaks volumes about the way we communicate.
To top it all off, we also have these weird, unofficial rules about texting and the etiquette that goes along with it.
For example, when someone you're feeling doesn't text you back or doesn't text you fast enough, you feel a little insulted. You start reading too much into how long it takes them to answer, and you start to flip out.
Then, you go through a roller coaster of emotions that probably affects your body and mental health a lot more than you think, but you just can't help it:
Stage 1: You send them a text, and you start to worry.
You work up the courage, take your phone out and begin typing. Before sending the text, you reread it a few times just to make sure the grammar, spelling and emoji usage are all appropriate.
This stage is arguably the easiest, but once you've concocted a witty message, demonstrating your knowledge of the perfect mixture of sarcasm, comedy and cuteness, the real worrying begins.
Now, you've hit send, and you immediately start to wonder how long it'll take for your love interest to answer. At this point, you're hopeful and excited to see what your crush has to say. This is a nice moment, but it's hard to savor if you're impatient.
Stage 2: They take what feels like eons to respond, and in turn, you become really sad.
You hold on to your phone miserably, and every time it lights up, you look to see if it's the one you love, but it's not.
It feels like everyone decided to text you when you're waiting for your crush to answer, and every time you realize it's not them answering, you wilt a little on the inside. It's terribly sad.
So what should you do? Put the phone down, kid. Go for a walk or listen to some music, but whatever you do, don't stay glued to your phone. It's unhealthy.
Stage 3: There's still no answer after a significant amount of time, and you irrationally panic.
You begin to make up stories in your head about how maybe your crush is up on a mountain somewhere with no reception. Maybe their battery gave out. Maybe they never received the message and your phone is lying to you. It can happen, right?
No, sweet pea. But whatever you do, do not double text. Don't send another one to ask if they got the first one. Your crush probably saw it already, but they just don't feel like answering.
Obviously, this notion will just add on to your how sad you already were, which will slowly turn into sheer grouchiness.
To deal with this, think about what this obsession is doing to your life. If it's making you this unhappy, is it really worth it?
If you DO think it's making you significantly unhappy, then you're focusing way too much energy on someone who simply doesn't want to talk to you.
Stage 4: You slowly come to terms with their lack of response.
Perhaps it's days or even weeks later, and they still haven't answered. You've likely already given up on them and, hopefully, gotten over it.
If you haven't, however, you should probably think about what's keeping you tied to this person.
If you're still daydreaming about an awesome conversation you had with them a few weeks ago, I hate to say it, but maybe it's time to forget about that.
Maybe you're still hung up on the kiss you shared that pretty much made you see Jesus while it was happening cause it was so freaking good. But remember, you'll kiss other people.
Maybe you've been stalking the object of your affection on every social media platform possible. But now, it's time to stop. You're only hurting yourself.
Stage 5: A possible plot twist: They finally text you back, and you feel conflicted.
Before you jump for joy and text them back right away, take a moment to think about the situation.
If only hours have past before they responded, I'd say to answer them and try to ignite a little passionate spark via text.
But if it's days or weeks later, really stop and think about what to do next. Aren't you worth a text back in a decent and timely fashion? You definitely are, so never sell yourself short when it comes to communication.
We can all blame people not texting back on them being too busy or simply forgetting, but it's the build up of little things like this that prove to be huge red flags for what's to come if you decide to be in a relationship with this person later down the road.
In the end, you may feel so exhilarated that your crush has finally hit you up that you just don't care. We've all been there. But a person who may or may not have ghosted you for a bit is a person who probably isn't very trustworthy.
And always remember, you should never be a mere option to chose from for anyone whom you make a priority in your life.