I’m Horrible At Returning Texts & It’s Killing My Love Life

I’m sure there was a time when I immediately returned calls and texts, but that’s certainly not the case these days. Now, mix my inability to get back to people in a timely fashion with dating and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. It sucks that this one little thing is ruining my love life but it totally is.

  1. I’m not glued to my phone 24/7. Sorry, but I’m not that woman you see with her phone in a death grip as she goes about her day. I have mine buried deep in my purse, which may or may not be with me at any given time. I grew up with a landline and texting wasn’t even a thing until my very late teens. I don’t need to be stuck to my phone 24/7 to exist. If it’s that urgent, keep texting or calling. It’s not a slight to anyone. I’m honestly just not paying that much attention.
  2. I didn’t realize every text needs a response. When does a text chain end? I didn’t realize I had to respond to every single message. Just because a guy texts and tells me he misses me, does that absolutely require a response? That’s sweet and all, but why do people get pissed if I don’t immediately write back? Great, you sent a text. Thank you. Maybe I should just set a default response to “Thanks, text you later” or something.
  3. Sometimes I’m just super busy. I know it’s hard to believe, but when I don’t respond to a text, it doesn’t mean I’m doing something bad. I have a life outside of dating. Honestly, I don’t really have that much time to spare for that either but I do want to try. So, if I put having a few minutes of downtime to binge my favorite show over texting back and forth, that shouldn’t be an issue.
  4. Can’t I just respond when I see them? It could be hours before I notice I’ve gotten a text. Sometimes I just want to disconnect, so I turn my phone off or at least put it on silent. Because of this, I honestly don’t always see a text until hours (and in a few cases, days) later. I’m still responding, so what’s the big deal? Apparently, I’m the only one who doesn’t see it.
  5. When did someone set a time limit for responses? Until I started bitching to my friends about this, I didn’t know there were set time limits for responses. I guess I know why they live with their phones permanently attached. While they’re sitting around constantly tapping while we’re trying to have lunch, I have my phone tucked away and am happily ignoring any dings or buzzes. They might be fine with phubbing, but I’m not. I can’t be expected to put everything else on hold to make sure I respond in a few minutes or less.
  6. Who breaks up over texting anyway? There are differing religious and/or political views, or maybe you fight over commitment or having kids, But who the hell breaks up because someone’s not responding to their texts fast enough? This alone makes me want to swear off dating. I thought the BS over who’s supposed to call first after a date was stupid, but having a set window to respond to a text is now grounds for dumping a person? Yeah, my love life’s going great.
  7. I don’t live my life desperately waiting for contact. I’m a strong, independent woman. I don’t live my every waking moment desperately waiting for someone to call or text me. I honestly don’t care. It’s nice to hear from those I care about. I also set aside time to contact them. I may not always hear my phone, but that doesn’t mean I don’t care. I just have other things to do sometimes.
  8. I spend real time with them—isn’t that enough? I honestly don’t get it. I could spend an entire day or weekend with a guy, but if I don’t respond to his text for a few hours, he suddenly thinks I’m not interested. When did people get so insecure? When I take time out of my busy schedule to spend time with someone face to face, it’s because I care. If I didn’t, I’d let them know. I wouldn’t ghost them; I’d be upfront.
  9. No response doesn’t mean I’m ignoring anyone. I can’t tell you how many times friends and partners have accused me of ignoring them. Sometimes a missed text isn’t even my fault (yeah, those mobile networks are so great), yet I’m blamed for ignoring people. If I don’t respond, take it as a sign that I’m busy living my life. I will get back to you sometime.
  10. I’d rather just call or see them in person. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I’d rather hear their voice or see them in person. That doesn’t mean I’m against texting. It’s great for a quick question or sweet goodnight before bed, but for any real conversation, I want a phone call or a face-to-face. It’s just more meaningful. Plus, I suck at finding emojis and gifs with any real speed. Maybe I’ll find that one guy who thinks there is more to a relationship than text bubbles, or maybe I’m doomed to lose one after another for not responding to texts quickly enough.
Crystal Crowder is a freelance writer and blogger. She's a tech geek at heart, but loves telling it like it is when it comes to love, beauty and style. She's enjoys writing music, poetry and fiction and curling up with a great book. You can find her on Twitter @ccrowderwrites or check out her other writing on Medium.