Flirting and getting to know each other via text is pretty common these days and it’s a great way to break the ice. However, at some point, things have to enter the real world if you want to have a real relationship. After all, why would a guy text you constantly but never actually want to hang out?
- He has a girlfriend. Don’t let yourself get played. He could be using you as his Plan B girl. He might not see it that way, but people do things online that they would never do in person all the time. It’s easy to hide things over text. You can’t watch him avoid the truth. You can’t see him look away when you ask, “Why so busy all the time?” When he won’t give you the dignity of a real date, make sure it’s not because he’s hiding something—or someone.
- He’s a different person—in person. Via text, he’s rebellious and reckless. It seems like he’s the type to go cliff diving and night swimming. He acts tough and it seems real, but in person, he might just shrink. It’s easy to be the person you wish you were when you have time to think about what to say. You can edit your words to seem smarter, funnier, and more exciting. But when you can’t even face the person you pretend to be, you’re not just hurting yourself. Don’t be afraid to let this guy find out who he really is, but make sure he doesn’t pull you along in the meantime.
- He’s afraid of rejection. Everyone is, but you have to take a chance on something sometime. Yes, he might say something dumb. He might undo months of texting with one stupid comment, but the chances are slim. The odds that you two get used to talking in person and become real friends is much more likely. He can’t let this fear keep him from living.
- He’s afraid of awkward silence. Thankfully, this isn’t a problem over text, but when you’re used to having time to respond, any silence can seem awkward and endless. A little quiet never killed anyone, though. Even if it is uncomfortable at first, you can always laugh about it later. He just has to show up long enough for there to be a later.
- He’s insecure. Yes, guys are insecure too. The what-ifs are endless. What if I’m too ugly, too short, not funny enough? Maybe all he needs is a little reassurance, but this is the part where you decide if you want a guy like this. Do you need someone confident or can you see beyond the insecurities?
- He’s broke. Let’s face it: dating is expensive. One reason he might not want to hang out is that he just plain can’t afford it. Maybe he thinks he has to pay for everything, or maybe he thinks that you deserve a steak dinner rather than the tacos he’s had every night this week. While he’s probably coming from a good place, you might want to remind him that this is the 21st century. You can split the bill. Or even better, you can just go for a walk in the park, visit the zoo, or try on ridiculous clothes at a mall. It doesn’t have to cost anything to be together.
- He’s OK with the fantasy. This might be the kind of guy that plays video games for eight hours. He can live in a fantasy world and love it. When your relationship is totally virtual, the chances of something unpredictable happening go way down. He doesn’t mind not being able to see you or hear you because to him, a fantasy of you is better than any reality ever could be. Don’t take it personally. He thinks that way about everything.
- He doesn’t actually like you. OK, this one is harsh, sure, but it’s better to know now than later. He might be too nice to tell you—some guys are just weak this way. Trust me, if he doesn’t have the balls to tell you how he really feels, you don’t want him anyway.
- He’s actually busy. If it’s been two years, disregard the following, but if it’s only been a few months, he might actually be as busy as he says he is. Maybe he just got a new job, is moving, going to school, and taking care of his sick mom. Sometimes we really don’t have time to hang out, but it might not be because he doesn’t want to. Give him some time, if he really wants you, he’ll make time as soon as he can.