If You're Scared To Text Back Too Quickly, Here's What It Means

When it comes messaging a new boo, it can seem like even those who failed math class have their own texting formula. They waited an hour to reply, so you'll wait two. They took a while to respond yesterday, so you were going wait longer, but today they double-texted — so you can reply right away. With the dominant role that texting plays in flirting and dating, it's totally common to feel a little scared to text back too quickly. Whether you literally match the minutes your crush took to reply to you before replying to them, or you like to always wait a solid half hour between responses, like eating before swimming — (over)thinking what's happening in your inbox isn't uncommon at all.

"Our digital dependence makes it easier to obsess over and alter our texts and communication," Behavioral Scientist, Relationship Coach and Creator of Your Happiness Hypothesis Method Clarissa Silva tells Elite Daily. "This can evolve into a maladaptive habit that makes you second guess yourself." According to Silva, the large role that phones play in our everyday life can make it nearly impossible not to fixate on them.

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Unlike an IRL convo, where you can see your boo laugh or smile in real time, texting can mean sending your jokes and thoughts into the world without knowing how or when they will be received. As Silva attests, if you're feeling a little stressed about the timeline of your texting, you may be focusing a little too much on the texting guidelines you think you need to follow. "What is happening is that some feel like dating has rules and some play within those rules," Silva says. "Texting someone you may have an interest in isn’t 'over eager' — it’s gauging fitness." According to Silva, if you feel totally caught on the rules of texting, it may be time to check in with yourself about what types of relationships you're really looking for. "If you feel that you have to play by response rules, it might not be on the healthy side," Silva says. "Your direction should be about learning one another not gaming one another."

Silva shares that waiting a while to respond to a text solely to give the illusion that you're not available, blowing up your crush's phone and wondering why they aren't getting back to you instantly, overthinking, rereading, and reading into texts or re-writing a text 100 times before sending it, are all examples of texting habits that probably aren't super nourishing for your relationship. And while Silva shares that there's nothing wrong with being a cautious or mindful texter, if you're getting eaten up by the rules, it may be time to talk IRL to your crush about where you both are at.

If you're thinking about ways to make your texting habits a little more healthy, Silva suggests thinking about why you're texting someone before stressing out about when you're doing it. "To determine healthy behavior, it’s not the frequency, but the need for the texts," Silva says. "When someone continues to over-text, it creates a false sense of security that requires reassurance. When you respond with fear it’s based on your past experiences or being ghosted — you are trying to protect yourself from feeling hurt."

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If you've dated some total duds or you're not really sure where you stand with a boo, it's totally natural to overthink a text or stress out about timing. According to Silva, when these feelings come up, it can be helpful to put down your phone and try to talk IRL to friends and family or even your boo about what you need to feel supported. Sometimes, it can be hard to pin down exactly what is making you feel a little stressed. But if you're feeling stuck on read receipts, putting your phone down for the night can be a great way to recenter whatever it is you're feeling.

When sparks are starting to fly with a new boo, it can be easy to feel some phone-related stress. But if you're starting to feel a little scared to text someone back too quickly, chances are you're holding yourself to some funky standards of texting. Every relationship is different, and if you and your boo are on the same page about the way you communicate, you get to decide what you say and when you say it.