3 Texting Signals That Mean They Think They Could Do Better, So Text With Caution

Ever had the sneaking suspicion that someone you’re dating is keeping one eye out in case other dating prospects come along? Needless to say, it's not a good feeling. Not only can this stoke your insecurities, but it can also make it next to impossible to build trust and emotional security with your SO. Fortunately, there are texting signals that mean they think they could do better. And by keeping a lookout for these signs, you may be able to gain a more realistic outlook on your current relationship and even possibly avoid some serious heartache down the line.

There are lots of things you can pick up on via a crush's or partner’s texts. For example, you might be able to sense when they're lying to you, or when they’re falling head over heels for you. You also might be able to discern when someone is having doubts and distancing themselves, or being unfaithful. In other words, your text convos can reveal a lot about your relationship with someone — you just have to know what to look for.

Wondering whether your boo thinks they can do better? Their behavior IRL can certainly tip you off, but so can their digital communication habits. So, watch out for these possible texting red flags.

They take an eternity to respond — and then double-text.

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Is there anything worse than getting radio silence from your boo when you’re trying to make plans? Not only can this be super frustrating, but according to relationship expert April Masini, it might also suggest that they’re holding out on you until a more desirable option comes along.

“If they’re someone who doesn’t respond, and then when they do, it’s in a flurry of texts, they may be sending the message that they’re not that interested — until other plans fall through,” she explains. “Because their other plans fell through, you’ve moved up to first place.”

In other words, you might be serving as a constant backup plan. It’s worth noting that there are lots of other reasons why someone might take forever to respond via text. For example, if they’re unable to keep their phone on them while at work. However, if they frequently ghost you and then suddenly send a slew of delayed texts, that could be a red flag.

They regularly ask for a rain check at the last minute.

Can you count on bae to keep plans, or are they constantly backing out? If they’re flaky AF, that could potentially be because they’re waiting for a better plan to come along.

“If they’re fast to accept invitations — whether it’s to talk on the phone that night or go on a vacation on the coming weekend — and then within a short time of the scheduled event, they cancel, they’re sending a message that they’re not reliable,” says Masini.

It’s totally fine — and understandable — if your SO needs to cancel plans now and again due to unforeseen circumstances, like working late or dealing with a family issue. But if they’re chronically flaking out seemingly without good reason, that not only suggests that you can’t depend on them, but also that they may not be fully invested in the relationship. Because if they were, they would likely do whatever they could to keep their word.

Their texts don’t match their behavior IRL.

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If your SO is super flirty and charming over text but has a much colder and more distant demeanor with you in person, Masini says that can be a red flag that they one foot in the relationship and one foot out the door because they think they can do better. These kinds of mixed signals can shed light on the fact that they have mixed feelings. While part of them is into you, part of them is wondering who else is out there.

Keep in mind that some people may be more comfortable expressing affection over text (especially in the early stages of a relationship), or may just not be super physically affectionate in general. Talking to your boo about this discrepancy in behavior may help you to clarify whether it’s just a matter of getting more comfortable flirting in person, or whether it’s because they’re not all in on the relationship.

It goes without saying that you want to date someone who appreciates you — who values, respects, and admires you for exactly who you are. And you deserve just that.

That said, just because you may observe one or more of these signals doesn’t mean that your boo definitely thinks they can do better. The best way to figure out where you stand is to launch an honest discussion with them. Rather than making accusations, make an effort to come from a place of curiosity by simply noting what you’ve observed, and asking them to explain why they’ve been behaving that way. You may be surprised to find there’s a totally different justification for their texting habits.

And if you do come to the conclusion that they do think they can do better — remind yourself that recognizing these signs early on is actually a gift. Because why waste precious time texting someone who doesn’t see you as the boss you truly are?