A Lesson In Text Message Etiquette

To text twice in a row, or not to text twice in a row? It seems I’m asked this at least once a day, during semi-formals week or at the start of a friend’s new relationship maybe 6 times in a day. I can tell you of about a hundred (thousand) or so terrible incidents my friends and I have run into with the dreaded double text, and how it can make you look
a. like a freak
b. completely desperate
c. beyond stupid

So let’s start with some extreme examples.

Example 1: My best friend, let’s call her Lauren (because Lauren Conrad is my dream television best friend and it makes sense to me), had a particularly bad case of the double texts a few months ago. She’d been hooking up with this guy for about five months, but like a lot of the men we seem to come across he was commitment-phobic (or maybe they all know how neurotic we are). It was a typical Friday night – we were all having drinks and bitching about our weeks and preparing ourselves for the madness that would be the rest of our night. Lauren decided to text – let’s call him Adam – and ask if he was headed to the same party that we were headed to. Forty minutes passed, as did three more rounds of drinks and we decided to head down to the party. We arrived at the party but Adam wasn’t there. Lauren had another drink and thirty minutes later decided to text him…again, “Wanna meet up later?” She waited another hour or so (2 more drinks), and when still no text was received she decided to send the absolutely forbidden triple text, “Yo, where are you?” [NOTE: never ever ever ever ever do this] Five minutes or so later Adam texted her back: “Headed back to my house with Ashley” (Ashley being the girl he used to hook up with). Let this be a lesson to you all friends. This particular malady was remedied by a late night cheeseburger, four more beers, and an endless tirade of bitching. You don’t want to be the girl pouring your heart out to the drive through attendant at McDonalds (I’m usually that girl and it’s honestly no fun).

Example 2: Another one of my friends sent a booty text to a guy she’d only hooked up with once: “My room? Now?” Two hours later, in a state of embarrassment and bad judgment she sent a follow up, “Or tomorrow?” – No response. Ever.
There is hope though (sort of – things didn’t end up working out with this guy…typical) but anyway, here’s a time where the double text resulted in absolute success.

I’d been hooking up with this guy for an entire weekend (basically a lifetime) and I wanted to carry this ‘romance’ on into the coming week. He’d mentioned that his dog was coming to town (yes, to visit him – his mum was bringing the puppy to stay for a couple of days). Around 4 o’clock on Monday (almost 24 hours since I’d last seen or heard from him) I decided I’d send the ever so tempting “bait” text. A “bait” text is when you say something that is supposed to illicit you the response you hoped for and simultaneously tests the guy’s intelligence level and level of interest in you. The most typical example of a “bait” text is, “I’m tired, I need a nap!” Now, if the boy is interested and remotely intelligent it is expected that he will take the bait and respond with, “We could nap together” (NOTE: you cannot send this text too early in the relationship, otherwise if he does get the implication he may freak out – but more about that another time).

So back to my dog-lovin’ lover – I’d decided that it was time to text him (again NOTE: if a guy doesn’t text you for more than 24 hours after a hook up then your actions should be carefully monitored by cynical and objective friends) I was trying to think of bait with which to snag his interest when it came to me, the dog (not literally, obviously). So I sent him what I boastingly told my friends was guaranteed to illicit a response: “How’s spending time with your dog?! Are you happy to see her?”

2 hours passed, then 4 hours. I did the usual: deleted his number, swore I was over the whole thing, realized I wasn’t, Facebook stalked until I found a group he’d joined where someone had dropped their phone in a pool and needed numbers (don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about), got his number from there, and decided to send the dreaded DOUBLE text. At this point, even more time had passed and all hope was lost anyway, so, dignity between my gritted teeth, I sent a second message, “Do I get to meet your puppy?”
5 minutes passed and just as I was getting ready to crack open the emergency bag of ‘feel better’ BBQ chips I keep in my drawer, my phone dinged:
“Yeah, definitely! Want to come spend the night and meet her?”

So, there is one success story of the double text, though I’m pretty sure it’s an anomaly and shouldn’t ever be used as rationale for your own double texts. In general though, double texts are rarely acceptable and ONLY appropriate if:
a. There was a typo that you have to correct from the previous text
b. There was misinformation in the previous text that you need to correct
c. You’re already dating the guy and he doesn’t care
d. You don’t mind throwing your dignity to the wind and gaining five pounds from ‘I need to feel better about my self’ food binges. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

image – Dan Zen

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