Why It's Not Worth Your Time To Stress Out Over People Who Don't Text You Back

by Annie Foskett

You've thought about it for a while now. You've imagined it, even. Mapped it out. And now, you've reached the penultimate moment — the moment before you take action and let it free. You hover for a moment, commit, and then... release! No, I'm not talking about finally going pee after drinking your 64 oz. of H2O, I'm talking about sending a text to your crush. Post-send, you wait with trepidation: Will three dots in a bubble appear? Or will it be definitive radio silence? Also, will you survive? Yes. If you've ever had a crush who didn't text back, you know you'll survive because hey — you are still here reading this article!

Nothing makes me feel like I'm back in middle school like sending a crush a text. Sending even an innocuous text to someone I have a slight crush on immediately triggers memories of when I was 12 and I would put up an AIM away message directed towards one cutie. I'd sit wait with baited breath to see if he'd IM my away message while I was definitely not actually away from my computer. (If you are not an aged millennial like me, think posting to get one person in particular to DM your Insta story.)

The excitement! The nerves. The anticipation! Like crafting a targeted away message, sending a text to a crush remains a massive thrill, and thus not receiving a text back from said crush remains a massive let-down. Here's why you absolutely should not stress over it.

Sending A Text Is Easy, But Being Prompt Is Hard

Some of us are terrible texters because we are narcissists who forget to take the time to reply to others but want others to reply to us immediately. (Shout-out to myself!) Some of us feign to be terrible texters because cultural and societal norms from rom-coms of the early aughts told us that being withholding when it comes to the people we like is attractive. (Again, shout-out to myself! This is one habit I'm desperately trying to break.)

First thing's first: If you don't receive a text back from your crush within the first 12 hours of sending it, save yourself some grays and don't stress over it. Maybe your lover-person is busy at work. Maybe they're asleep. Maybe their dog died. Try to shove the insecurities that are making you obsess over a text down with a warm bath or good book. Oh, and breeeeeeeathe.

But Since Replying To A Text Is Easy, Take Radio Silence As A Sign

Yes, if after 12 hours, or a day, or weeks, your crush still hasn't texted you back, do NOT — I repeat, DO NOT — take this as a sign that they are playing really hard to get and want you to text them again. Take it as a sign they're just not that interested. If you are reading this article, clearly you have got some feels happening for your crush, so why not spare yourself one to 38 months mores of text-anxiety by nipping this in the bud now?

Sending a follow-up text to an unanswered query is sometimes a good idea — like when you're asking about something specific, or when you are already dating someone and they are being weird AF. But if you have a crush, and said crush flat-out doesn't reply to your text, don't worry. Don't torture yourself by reaching back out — this has quite literally nothing to do with you.

Instead, take it as a super early warning/red flag/sign from the universe that this crush isn't meant for you. You just saved yourself so much time, and so many nights of sending a risky text, then putting your phone on airplane mode, then waking up in the morning to see that oh — they still didn't respond. (That's me! I've done that!)

Yes, it's crushing not to hear back, but I promise you that you will be happier with someone who likes you and wants to text you back, than you will be by climbing the mountain that is getting this crush's attention. This crush is one person, and they were not cool enough to recognize your coolness — "real recognize real." Rather than stress, take your energy and go on a random date — or five. Distracting yourself rather than spending time worrying about your value do to one person's rude ghost of your text is much more productive in the long run. And hey, who knows, they just might reach back out when you least expect it!