I'll admit, I am absolutely terrible at texting. In fact, it doesn't matter what type of message you send me — a regular text, a DM, a Snapchat, even an email (sorry, boss) — there’s always a chance it could take me days to reply. I know this probably makes me a jerk, but there’s more to the story than just that.
If you’re waiting for a reply from a guy like me, let me speak for everyone and say: First, my bad, truly. I don't mean to be rude or insensitive about these things. And second, when a guy reads your message and doesn’t reply, or when a guy doesn’t text you back for days, there’s often a reason behind it that doesn’t have anything to do with you.
True, sometimes I don’t get back to someone because I’m not dying to continue the conversation. In those cases, it’s not that the person I went out with last night did anything wrong — it might just be that I wasn’t feeling the chemistry or didn’t see our connection growing in the future.
But other times, I promise, there are other explanations. What are they, you ask? Well, let's lay 'em out here.
I know the first thing you're thinking when someone doesn't reply your text: This guy doesn't respect or care about me.
Eh, not exactly. It could just be a genuine matter of procrastination. And as someone who suffers from procrastination with every little task, I can tell you it affects response time, too. I literally think I'm going to reply to every single person who sends me something within five minutes. But then I give myself 10 minutes. And then 10 minutes turns into 10 hours.
Next thing you know, you realize you made a mistake. And by that point, you know have to think about both an adequate reply and a good reason for why you're texting back so late. It just snowballs into an unsolvable problem. So please, have mercy.
You remember that one teacher who made you feel better about never being able to do your work? You know, the one who convinced you it's because you're a perfectionist, and you'd rather come to class empty-handed than produce something sub-standard?
Well, I'm here to tell you there's a little truth to that for texting, too. I'd love to have a lightning quick reply for everybody, but I'm not just gonna send back any old thing.
Nah, I can't do that. It's gotta be the perfect reply, one that's interesting and one that keeps the conversation going. Here's the downside to that, though: When you can't think of the perfect reply you fall into problem number one.
Then we're right back to the procrastinating. It's not you, it's me. I promise.
Life Gets In The Way
I would love to be as perfect of a communicator as I was a couple years ago, before I had responsibilities like a job, but I have to put so much energy into being an adequate adult — not even great, adequate — that there are some aspects of my social life that have to take a hit.
Devoting the mental energy needed to reply to an ambiguous "how you been?" text is one of those things.
Consider this an extension of the last point I just made. It is really is hard to muster the cognitive strength to reply back to certain texts. That means if you ask me to do anything or think about anything, there's less of a chance I'll reply.
I'll start playing the procrastination game, waiting for free time to ponder an answer to your question (and we all know that free time can never come).
I know, it sounds crazy. But this is the mind of someone who's genuinely terrible at texting. You're much better off sending very direct questions that can be answered easily or giving me a call.
I’m Way Better In Person
Here's the thing: Because of the pressure that comes with trying to sending a perfect reply and how easy it is to lose track of time while being an adult, the idea of speaking in person becomes way more appealing. Back-and-forth texts, especially during the day, are just not feasible.
But send one message with "let's meet here," and not only will I make it happen, we'll actually have a healthy exchange that doesn't take two weeks to complete.
So, no, not replying to texting doesn't make someone a jerk. That guy can just be a lazy procrastinator who gets flustered by the simplest of tasks and would rather just set aside time to talk in different ways.
When I say it’s me, not you, I mean it.