Phobic of your phone? Help is at hand. To take the stress out of SMS, we’ve discovered the 5 most common cryptic texts, and reveal what they really mean (and how to reply). By match.com’s relationship expert, Kate Taylor
1. The Invisible Text
If there’s anything more stressful than waiting for your Crush to reply to a text, we haven’t discovered it. Time seems to stop when you press “Send” and minutes turn into years. Should you panic when 24 hours have passed without a reply? No. Should you send a follow-up text? HECK NO. Your Crush is probably just busy. What you should do now is: get even busier. Call friends, call your parents, go to the gym, the library, or just lock your phone in your car for a while. Distract yourself. Then, when your Crush DOES eventually get back to you, you’ll be able to respond in a calm way.
2. The Is-This-A-Sext-Text
Some people (men, I’m talking to you) see Flirtatiousness in everything. Even gazing at the ocean, they don’t see nature’s powerful beauty, they just think of all the women in bikinis who must’ve been in there. These people are particularly likely to interpret innocent texts as Sexts. In the above example, our Heroine mentions having sore legs, but our Hero just thinks, “baths = naked”. Is this a Sext? No. Let’s get real. Sexts are easy to spot. Ask yourself: “Would the sender need counselling if their Mum read that message?” If it’s a Yes, feel free to send an equally raunchy reply. But if it’s a No, keep it PG-rated.
3. The Future-Tense Text
Some people (women, it’s your turn) see Commitment in everything. So if a new somone they met on dating sites mentions plans further ahead than next week, they assume they’re Going Steady. This is sweet, but slightly dangerous. Firstly, a few daters use vague hints at future plans to imply they’re more committed than they really are. It’s usually to get the benefits of commitment without having to put the hours in. And secondly, jumping on future plans doesn’t give you time to get to know a new partner. You don’t want to start losing interest in someone, only to have to keep seeing them because you’re meeting their Auntie Maude next October. So take any future-tense texts lightly. Reply, “Sounds great!” but don’t go any further than that.
4. The “Sometime” Text
If someone proposed to you with a, “Will you marry me… sometime?” would you feel swept off your feet? Doubtful. Because “sometimes” is deliberately non-committal. If a brand-new partner suggests meeting up “sometime”, they might be trying to keep it cool so they don’t scare you off. But if someone you’ve had two or more dates with uses the S-word, or anything similar, they’re not that interested. Sorry. Don’t get mad – keep calm. Reply in a similarly vague way and they might come around. But make other plans too – hit a singles night, go back on Match or just get away for the weekend with friends. “Sometimes” the only way a partner realises what they want is when it seems to be getting away.
5. The Booty Text
Tiramisu after midnight? Who are they trying to kid. We didn’t get off the Love Bus just yesterday, pal. Knowing how to spot Booty Texts is a real skill in dating – one that will help you avoid a mountain of pain. Basically, any text that suggests meeting up that same night, ESPECIALLY if it’s sent after 9pm, should be treated as a request for nookie. Which is fine if you’re in the mood too, but NOT fine if you’re wanting something more. To ensure you don’t get Booty-Texted by chancers, set a personal secret rule that you don’t reply to texts after 9pm. That way, you avoid the time-wasters, and they know that you have strong boundaries.