You hit send on your latest witty response to the guy you’ve gone on a few dates with and wait for his reply. The usual 5-30 minutes go by and nothing—maybe you even got those dots that he’s typing but they disappear without response. Oh no—did you say something stupid?! Probably not. Before you go constructing some crazy idea about what he’s doing behind his screen, rest assured he’s probably (definitely) not doing these things:
- Not receiving your messages It sent. No matter how many times you go back and look at it or how many ways you make sure that it isn’t just stuck in the air somewhere on its way to a satellite, it sent. It didn’t get lost in the technological ether—he got it, alright. There’s no point in continuously looking back to see if somehow an error message suddenly pops up.
- Texting three other girls Does he really have enough time on his hands to be keeping up-to-date on that many people? That sounds absolutely exhausting, especially if he’s someone who usually responds pretty quickly. However, if you haven’t been dating very long and haven’t had a conversation about being exclusive, you don’t necessarily have the right to be upset if he’s talking to other people. It doesn’t make it not suck, but you have the equal right to be texting three other guys too. Text as many guys as your heart desires!
- Having sex with someone else As in, his penis is current inside of another person. It’s a pretty far leap, but it definitely crossed your mind. Again, pretty low chances of this actually being the case, especially if it’s midday during a weekday. And if he is, you probably don’t want to be with him anyway.
- Contemplating that he may actually be gay Everyone discovers themselves at a different rate. But would he really have been entertaining a relationship with you if he was so close in his journey to acceptance and ending all further relations with women? Even if he did seem especially close to his friend Troy. If he’s been with you this long, he’s probably got to be at least bi. Great news for you!
- Deleting your messages one by one and blocking your number One text isn’t going to earn you a line on his blocked list and your messages being banished to data purgatory. If this is something that popped into your mind as something he might do, it would probably be best to double check that he isn’t actually some kind of mastermind villain because this would be next level spite to exhibit in reaction to a flirty text. Like, damn, dude.
- Fleeing the country forever Has he been giving off the “international criminal” vibe? Is he suddenly so outraged by Trump’s latest executive order that he couldn’t possibly bear to live in this country anymore? Did he tell you about an amazing international trip he’s been planning? If the answer to these questions is no, he’s probably still within the same borders he’s always been. Your imagination is doing you a disservice in this case by acting up.
- Reading your texts aloud and making fun of you with his friends You’re an amazing, intelligent woman. What is there to make fun of? Instead, you start reading back through all of your texts and making fun of yourself to spare him the work. When you start looking at yourself with ultra-critical eyes, everything is going to seem stupid. No, you didn’t seem too desperate when you used three exclamation points. He’s honestly lucky to even be talking to you. If he is the kind of person to be making fun of the woman he’s dating, you don’t want him anyway.
- Deciding that he’s never going to text you again This one is the most possible. Ghosting has weirdly become an acceptable thing to do to one another in our culture, even though we all get pissed off when it happens to us. This conclusion may be a quick one to jump to, but you shouldn’t instantly assume it after a one-time incident of taking too long. It’s much more likely that he’s busy with friends or family or his phone died or he fell asleep. And if days go by and you really do never hear anything again? Block his ass. Remove all evidence of him from your phone so you don’t have to keep thinking about him.
- Dying. Probably not, but we all gotta go sometime. Seriously, though—stop being a fatalist and understand that he’ll get back to you as soon as he can. If he doesn’t, good riddance.