No One Owes You a Text Back

Unsurprisingly,  nearly all of my romantic encounters have been exceedingly awkward, but there’s been one recently that just takes the cake.

For the sake of identity secrecy and because I’ve been watching the Bachelorette a lot recently, we’ll call this guy Lee.

So when I first met Lee, he had just gone through a rough breakup and naturally I felt bad for him. A few weeks after first met this dude, he asked if I’d be up to go do something later that next week and he seemed nice so I said yes and gave him my number. The next day, we texted and had a fun conversation and I thought that this could be fun. I haven’t been on a date with anyone that I really liked so maybe I finally would.

It all went downhill from there.

He texted me again the next night and I was studying for a big test, so I told him that I probably couldn’t text that night so I could focus and I got a passive-aggressive “well fine then” text. I assured him that it was real and I wasn’t just looking for an excuse and then he cooled down and wished me luck. Didn’t seem too bad.

Cut to the following night. My friends and I were driving up to go see The Phantom of the Opera the next day and I went to go fill up my car with gas so we could head out as soon as we could so we wouldn’t get caught in some of the bad traffic. I’m also in the habit of keeping my phone ringer off because in most of my classes I get docked points if my phone goes off so I’d rather be safe than sorry. I’m a straight A student and I don’t want to lose points that easily. So after I filled up my car and bought a few snacks for the road, I went home to work on some more homework and checked my phone.

The first text he sent said, “Hey, how’s your day been?”

Twenty minutes later, he sent the following text “Well fine then, if you’re not gonna talk to me I’m just gonna go to bed.”

At this point, I was frustrated and I didn’t text back because I figured he was in bed like he said he would be. It was pretty late so I just left it be. He didn’t text me the following night, which I was grateful for because I was starting to like this guy less and less. The show was amazing and my friends and I had a great night out. The next day, we were driving around and checking out the malls and fun places in the area and then while I was driving, my friend was holding my phone to give me directions to the restaurant we were going for dinner.

My friend then squints at my phone and says, “that guy Lee is texting you again.”

To appease him, my friend typed some small talk texts and while most of the stuff that he sent me had been riddled with spelling errors and lack of punctuation, he started editing my texts and telling me how it should be said and went so far as to say, “Seriously? Aren’t you an English major?”

I didn’t respond to that. At that point, I was losing more and more interest by the second. It threw me off how nice he was in person and was so rude over text.

Cue to the following week. I had gotten pretty sick with a fever and congestion and my friend was originally planning a group hangout with some friends- apparently, Lee was also going to be there- but once two of our other roommates also got sick, we called it off. Lee took this as an opportunity to see what I would be doing instead. I informed him that I was sick and he offered me a shockingly polite response in which he said he was “sorry to hear that” and wanted to know “if I needed anything”. My friend had already beaten him to the punch and showered me with jello and popsicles- she’s the best after all.

No word from him for a few days. I was starting to think he was backing off but he was probably just waiting for me to regain my strength before starting the chase again. He texted me again in hopes of finding out what I’d be doing on Saturday. After taking more than an hour to respond because I was asleep, he called one of my roommates and asked why I wasn’t responding.

I felt bad. This breakup he had gone through must have really put him through the ringer, so I sent him a text and he responded with “There you go, so you do know how to text!”

I decided then I would never go out with him.

Thankfully, I had plans to go on a starlight picnic with some friends and was able to dodge his hints at “being so lonely on a Saturday night”.

Lee just so happens to be in my ward at church. That was how we met. So I was sitting with my roommates and I could feel him staring at me with absolute resolve. I wanted to run away or fall through the floor. After the first meeting, he blocked us into our row and wouldn’t let anyone out, leaving me and one of my other roommates to go escape by sliding through the other way. More texts followed that afternoon as he wanted to find out what my plans were for the next semester- thank goodness I’d be going home to work- and for the future- he had been engaged before so I know he wasn’t one to shrink away from marriage.

I told him I was going to work and that I was planning on going to grad school. He sent his trademark “there you go” multiple times as I told him my plans. I stopped responding and checked my phone to make sure that I wasn’t getting any sort of passive aggressive threat or insult.

I’m still somewhat in the process of shaking him off, but the point of this tangent is to show everyone else that you are under no obligation to respond to someone if you are not interested. It may be harsh, but sometimes it’s a clear and straightforward sign to your pursuer that you’re not interested. This also may be hard to hear if you’re texting someone that you like who just won’t respond, but in this case, don’t give up hope. We all deserve someone who’s as eager to talk to us as we are to talk to them. Just keep looking.

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