What It Means When He Sends You One-Word Texts

Because texting is pretty much everyone’s preferred method of communication these days, that means that texts should be taken seriously. If your guy is sending over some questionable one-word messages, here’s what could be going on.

  1. Ask yourself if your question literally could have been answered in one word. In general, ladies enjoy long texts. We like stories and gossip and just don’t feel satisfied by a one-word answer. However, if you asked your guy a question that could literally be answered with a yes or no, it’s not the worst text in the world. If you’re looking for something lengthier, maybe ask him some follow-up questions.
  2. He may be stuck in traffic. Remember back in the day when you called someone and they legitimately might not have been home? With cell phones, we’ve been trained to expect an immediate response every time. It’s possible that he’s in a situation where he really shouldn’t be texting (for the record, texting while driving is super dumb) and just have time for a brief response. A ton of cars offer phone hook-ups now, but if he’s not tech-savvy, it makes sense for him to send you something brief.
  3. He could really hate texting. Some guys just aren’t into it. They know they should be paying attention to texts but just don’t have the energy to communicate that way. That’s on him. It’s on you to decide if that’s a deal breaker for you or something you can learn to live with.
  4. He’s mad at you. Guys aren’t as quick as girls to be short with texting if they’re mad. Usually they’d just choose not to respond at all, but if you two are in the midst of a rough patch and you start getting one-word responses when he normally sends sentences (at the very least) then there’s something that’s bothering him. Ask him straight up if everything is OK and hear him out if he chooses to talk.
  5. He’s insecure. If this is someone you just started dating and therefore don’t know all that well, it’s possible that he doesn’t want to put himself out there too much. What if he tells you something and you make fun of him? What if he comes off as being kind of weird? He’d probably rather open up to you in person, this way he’ll be able to read your facial expression when he speaks.
  6. He’s seeing someone else. This isn’t a great conclusion to draw but it does make a lot of sense. If he’s two-timing you, he’ll want to keep his text history as short as possible. Yes, he can always go back and delete them, but in case he forgets, he’d hate to have his other girl stumble on some texts that reveal what’s truly going on. If he’s acting shady in other ways, it’s not too ridiculous to assume there’s someone else in his life.
  7. You’re texting him too much. Yes, there is such a thing as over texting. If you’ve been detailing your whole day in texts one after another, a simple “lol” is a way for him to say that he’s acknowledged the fact that you’ve sent them but he hasn’t actually read them. Remember, he has things to do too. Save the big chats for when you see him in person.
  8. He’s not into you. If this is a guy you recently developed a crush on, his one-word responses should be a big hint that he’s not into you in that way. The beginning of any relationship is the absolute best since things are fresh and new and feelings are at their most powerful. If he doesn’t want to text you constantly during those first few courting weeks, you should back off and find someone who does.
  9. He’s just not a great guy. If he’s nice and kind in person but really dismissive over the phone, take that as a hint that your relationship is going to include a ton of mind games and self-doubt. Guys should be consistent. Either they like your company both on the phone and in person or they don’t. It’s also possible that he’s testing the waters with a few girls and will perk up via text if he knows he has a good shot at sleeping with you. If it’s a real relationship you’re after, might as well ditch him now.
Karen Belz is a New Jersey native who is currently living in Maryland. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication with a focus in Broadcasting and Print Media Studies from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Since graduating, she has written for sites like LittleThings, HelloGiggles, and Scary Mommy and is currently an e-commerce editor at Bustle.

When she's not writing, she enjoys making her phone run out of memory after taking too many photos of her dog. You can find her on Twitter @karenebelz or on Instagram @karenbelz.