Why Women Text Back
I’m thrilled with today’s post because I love the message & it’s from a good friend. Andrea Lucado is a book publicist by day and a freelance writer by night. She’s written for Collegiate magazine, Christianity Today and other print and online publications. She would love to be meet you via Twitter, @andrealucado, or hear from you on her blog “English Lessons”.
“I had a nice time yesterday,” the text message popped up on my screen.
A few minutes later he added: “If you ever wanted to come over for dinner sometime, let me know.”
I had played tennis and had lunch with him the day before. He paid for lunch and now this passive text that was maybe a date was confusing. Despite my hesitations regarding his chivalry, and the fact that I know Real Men Don’t Text, I replied “Sure!”
Then the texting took a strange turn:
“Well, I have this Groupon I need to use at this restaurant. Can we just do that instead?”
Oh no. If he really is asking me out, I should probably turn him down.
But instead I typed “Sure!” again. Why? I’ll explain later.
He picked me up for the “Groupon dinner” and it was . . . let’s just stick with ‘mediocre’. I offered to pay. I know that sounds odd, but I had a terrible time and if I paid, it would be like it was never a date.
My plan didn’t work. He insisted on paying. With the Groupon. Ugh, fine, but we are never going out again, I thought as he signed the bill.
He texted me the following day about something inconsequential, so I didn’t respond. Then he followed up with a lengthy message explaining that he hoped he hadn’t hurt my feelings. And if I had been pursuing a relationship with him, he was sorry he hurt me.
I had no words. Not any nice ones, at least. I was rejected by the person I thought I was rejecting.
I love my friends Ruthie and Michael’s message-soon-to-be-book: Real Men Don’t Text: And Real Women Don’t Text Back. It’s fascinating to hear about their writing process step by step: the stories they hear, the observations they’ve made at coffee shops—their eyes and ears are attuned to women who are allowing men to half-heartedly pursue them, enabling a generation in which it seems Merriam-Webster has removed the word “chivalry” from her pages.
I have texted back many a time. I’m not talking about having a fun or quick conversation with a guy over text—that’s fine—I’m talking about saying yes to a date over a text.
I’ve begun entire relationships this way, over text and even over (gasp!) Facebook messages.
But that was many moons ago, like a whole two years ago, and I thought I had learned my lesson: Most guys who ask me out via text of Facebook message tend to lack a confidence I so admire in a man and it just doesn’t end up working out.
So in my more recent dating experiences, I had agreed to dates from guys who had asked for my phone number, called me and made it clear they wanted to take me on a date. That means, in case you’re unclear, that he wanted to pick me up at my house, come to my door, take me to dinner or somewhere, and pick up the bill. So unlike what a lot of people are claiming these days (did you read this? The End of Courtship?), I believe and know for a fact there are men in my generation who have a sense of chivalry, which in my definition means knowing how to make a girl feel safe and confident when on a date.
I believe in men. I’ve had wonderful experiences with dating. That is why I was so disappointed when I backslid into that story up top.
Aren’t I past this? Haven’t I grown up?
For me in these situations, I’m not so much frustrated with the guy as I am with myself. I know why the guy is doing this: He lacks confidence or has insecurities imbedded in past experiences. I can forgive that. Who I can’t forgive is me. I have no excuses for myself, except that I’m indulging my current loneliness and trying to let a few texts from a guy fill what has emptied. It’s that eternal and deathly cycle, the filling of the empty with something that makes you feel more empty. It’s that moment when every middle-school insecurity you had returns and you begin to type an enthusiastic response even though you feel the exact opposite.
That is why I text back. I think that is why many women text back. We are just as insecure as the one texting us. I hate hate hate to admit it. I like to think I’m way more competent than I actually am, but the proof is in the “Sure!” and women need to own it as much as men do.
Why do you text back?
If you liked this post, you may also like:
- Real Men Don’t Text | A Video Message
- Mr. Promised He Would Call & Mr. Inconsistent
- Real Men Don’t Text | The Lost Art of Chivalry
- Texting Gone Wrong | Will You Share Your Story?