Don’t Double Text
There’s a reason that firing off another text before you receive a response has earned itself a name.
“It’s fine,” my friend tells me, in that matter-of-fact way of hers. But she’s wrong.
Outside of a romantic context, sure, bombard your friend with links to events and your witty commentary about the world. When it comes to dating, you’re better off waiting.
Firstly, let’s explore the perils of the double text.
You risk looking like you have no work, interests or aspirations of your own. Basically, like a less attractive version of yourself. You could be reading a book! Going for a run! Finding a puppy to pat. Instead, you’re wasting your precious time on another mini masterpiece in the hope it will at least elicit an emoji. The difference between eager and overeager can be found in the space between that first text you send which gets no reply and the second.
At the start of a relationship, you want to be putting your best foot forward. You’re cool, independent, and have exciting things going on. You’re not waiting around for someone to come along and be that excitement. This isn’t one of those exhausting dating games you have to grapple with, it’s simple: You texted last, do not text again.
People have work, commitments – schedules that don’t necessarily match yours. If your date has back-to-back meetings and a work lunch, they may not get a chance to compose a proper response to you until the next day. But if they are interested, they will get back to you.
Maybe you need someone who operates on your schedule. That’s an issue of compatibility and your frustration is entirely reasonable. It’s still no excuse to double text.
There is nothing to gain from double texting someone. Except a clarifying silence that you really, truly are not a priority to them. But you don’t need to express order that confirmation certificate. It’s already in the mail; Aus Post is just slow. Your uncertainty will either dissolve upon receipt of a text or, three days later, you’ll know the inaction is deliberate.
To highlight this, let’s go through a few separate, albeit common, scenarios. Ones where you might be tempted to double down but sensible thing you are, you sure as heck will not.
You have plans
You’re both going to a concert. You’ve bought the tickets, the pre-act goes on at 8. But you have no idea what time you’re meant to be meeting. You messaged “Meet at the forum around 7?” heard nothing back and still have no clue about the evening’s logistics.
Firstly, you’re not going to miss the concert. Leave their ticket at the front. If the music is starting, head on in. You do not have to wait outside, especially as you haven’t heard back.
Secondly, they will respond. Just not on your schedule. And it is worth wondering why. Have they been slammed at work and not had time to decide? “Yeah sounds good” only takes two seconds to type. Most likely, they’re not that keen. They like you enough. But despite the popular idiom, enough is not enough. You deserve enthusiasm and effort. Maybe it’s the wrong time in their life. Maybe they just don’t see a future with you. Either way, your additional text does nothing to solve these problems.
They died/lost their phone
Here is one of my favourite haiku poems, written by a guy I nearly dated:
Pick up your phone
Are you dead? Is your phone dead?
Or are you a prick?
Sounds dramatic but in the past this has definitely crossed my mind. Just last week, my friend and I drove separately to a mechanic so I’d have a ride home, and I became fearful for her life when she still hadn’t arrive fifteen minutes later. (She was alive, just lost).
If they are dead, all bets are off. Bleak as it sounds, your follow up message will not bring them back to life. A family member will eventually make their way through your date’s phone and send you a message you never want to receive. You might be waiting but you won’t be indefinitely left in the lurch.
Similarly, a phone accidentally submerged in beer is nothing to despair over. Thanks to the advent of social media, people can contact you on their computer through Facebook. Email. LinkedIn. If they’re truly intent on reaching you, they’ll find your family number in the Yellow Pages or call your work pretending to be a supplier. Remember when Hugh Grant goes door to door in Love Actually, trying to track down his dismissed junior staffer? When someone wants to speak to you, they find a way.
But. What if they’re scared of double texting you? What if they sent you a text but it never came through? What if your text never reached them? The horror.
After a week has passed, if you still haven’t heard from them, ok, shoot them a message. Your bridesmaid can joke about bad phone signals at your wedding.
And if their phone really did get dropped in a pool, your second text won’t arrive anyway – so that’s safe, right?
If they need a reminder of your existence, exit now.
See, even when you forget a particular message, something happens. You remember the person. Days might pass and you think of them. You go to buzz them, realise you never got back to them about that Fed Square installation, and you guiltily message your remorse.
You’ve got nothing to lose
This is my absolute favourite. The one I whisper to myself as I press “send” again. Don’t believe it.
When the relationship has clearly exhausted itself, and you feel there is no chance in hell that you’ll be going on any more dates, another text will not get you anywhere. It will not suddenly inspire an individual to invest in you when they have never done so before.
It will ensure your dignity is left in tatters.
I mean, who needs dignity, right? But you do. Keep the last shreds.
The futility of a double text is hard to acknowledge. And yet acknowledge it we must. By accepting that a follow up message achieves nothing, you avoid any accusations of clinging, you conserve your energy and you ensure that the person you are texting actually wants to text back.
Tell me I’m wrong. Seriously.
I’ve got a third message I’d really like to send.
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