One of the most popular articles I’ve ever written has been “Hey Stranger… And 5 Other Texts You Should Never Send.” The number one question I receive from those who have read it is, how should I respond when I receive those types of texts?
There is no one answer here. While I recommend that you don’t entertain these types of texts at all, you do have to take your history with the person into consideration.
Here’s how you should respond to the 5 types of strangers that may text you.
1. Your Ex That You’re On Good Terms With
This is one of those cases where you’ll have to determine where your relationship stands with the person. For instance, have you hooked up since you’ve broken up? If you’re stuck in a cycle with your ex of being on and off again, but you know it’s not going to work out, don’t respond. If you’re friendly and check in with each other here and there, reply but keep the conversation short. “Hey You, I’m really good. Hope you’re well”. The end.
2. Your Ex That You’re On Bad Terms With
Do not respond. I repeat and in all caps DO NOT RESPOND!! There is no point of engaging with a person you are on bad terms with. At some point they had to have done something to you that made you breakup and be on those bad terms. Take that into consideration before you go down this rabbit hole.
3. Someone Who You Hooked Up With
Are you looking to hookup again? Because this is the only reason they are reaching out. If you are, go ahead and respond. If you are not looking for a hookup and want something more serious, it’s unlikely that the guy you hooked up with and haven’t’ spoken to in a while suddenly becomes your dream guy.
4. Someone You Dated, But Fizzled Out With
This is another situation where you’ll have to consider where you stand with the person. Perhaps you were dating other people at the time and took an interest in someone else and that’s why it fizzled out. Or maybe you got really busy with work or other things in life distracted you? If that’s the case, go ahead and respond with a “hello, how are you?” and see where it goes. If this is a situation where the light went out because it was never lit, you know no chemistry to be spoken of, they were dull, etc. then do not respond.
5. A Stranger
They’re probably not be a total stranger if they have your phone number, but this would be a situation where you may have met a while ago and never connected. Try to consider why you didn’t connect? Were they flakey? Were you just not that interested? Based on what happened you can then respond and see if there really is something here or not.
This post is all about figuring out who this person is for you. In rare cases, they will be someone that you want to reconnect with, but in most cases let the past stay in the past.