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The Heart Beat The Heart Beat blog

5 confusing texts guys send & how to respond

Ever driven yourself nuts trying to decode a guy's text? We know what they mean!

By HerCampus.com Jul 30, 2013 5:38PM

Since the day SMS was born, women everywhere have spent countless hours poring over their cellphones with girlfriends, attempting to decode, analyze and just plain figure out a response to all the vague and flat-out confusing text messages they’ve received from men.

Confusing text messages from guys explained / Geber86/Getty Images Websites such as HeTexted.com have even been devoted to the art. No matter how many texts you’ve worked your way through, though, there will always be messages that make you pause and exclaim, "What does he even mean by that?!"

Luckily for you, we recruited those who know best to weigh in on the issue. With the help of some awesome relationship experts, Her Campus is here to decode some of the most common types of confusing text messages!

1. The Noncommittal Text

“I might be going.”
“I haven’t decided yet.”
“I’ll let you know.”

Is he simply indecisive, or does he have you on the back burner?

What it means: When a guy is evasive about what he's doing later, it usually isn't because he has so many plans and just can’t decide. It's you he can't make his mind up about. According to Patrick Wanis, a human behavior and relationship expert, "often when someone hasn't made up their mind, it doesn't necessary mean that they're noncommittal; it really could imply something worse, such as, 'I'm waiting for the bigger, better offer.'"

Dr. Carole Lieberman, a psychiatrist and author of "Bad Girls: Why Men Love Them & How Good Girls Can Learn Their Secrets," agrees. "What he really means is that he's hoping for a better opportunity to come up," she says. "If he doesn't find another girl to do something with (who he likes better), he'll settle for you."

How to respond: Attempt to make the non-committer commit. Say, "Let me know when you figure it out!" or even ask, "What else do you have going on tonight?" Assertive, yes, but it’s the best way to coax a direct answer from the evasive texter. And if he still won't give you a specific answer, don't waste your time on him.

2. The Rain Check Text

“Sorry, can’t tonight.”
“Too much work to do.”
“Maybe next week?”

What it means: He really could have too much work to do. Or he really could be out of town visiting his grandparents. Or he really might be way too tired after work to see a movie.

"But, on the other hand, he's being particularly vague about making future plans, so he's not all that enthusiastic about seeing you," Lieberman points out.

If we've learned anything about men, it's that when a guy wants to see you, he will go well out of his way to ensure that it happens. So while not all hope is lost when a guy can’t keep a date, this type of message should make you wary.

How to respond: According to Wanis, "The best way to respond to this is to say, 'OK, I'm available Wednesday or Thursday, which day [works for you]?' What you're doing is responding in a masculine manner by being direct and clear, and you're now giving him an option." If your guy is interested, he'll willingly agree to make alternative plans and, this time, he'll (hopefully) keep them.

3. The Flake-Out Text

“Sorry I missed your text!”

What it means: You texted. He didn't reply. But now he's apologizing for it. Is it sincere, or was his oversight intentional? With all the emails and texts and tweets and wall posts we're flooded with on a daily basis, there is a chance your text escaped his notice. But if seeing your name on his phone doesn't immediately grab his attention, chances are good that he doesn't regard you as a top priority.

The fact that he acknowledged his lack of response shows that he does have some courtesy, but only enough to respond when it's convenient for him. It's more likely that, instead of truly missing your text, your guy was avoiding a conversation he didn't feel like having at the time -- or didn't want to have altogether -- and claimed to have "missed" your text as a handy excuse.

How to respond: Play it cool. If he can’t make your conversation a priority, then make sure he knows that he's not a priority of yours: "Oh, don't worry about it. I forgot I even texted you!" Your flippancy might just make your guy step up his game (and pay better attention to his phone).

4. The One-Worded Text:

“Cool.”
“Good.”
“K”

What it means: What does it mean when a guy has suddenly morphed into an inarticulate caveman? Wanis says there are three reasons a guy might send this type of message: "One, the guy is sincerely busy. Two, he's stressed out. Three, he doesn't really care that much."

While Lieberman points out that there are occasions when one word will suffice, especially if your guy is in the middle of something else, "it could [also] mean that he just doesn't think you're worth the effort of texting more."

How to respond: Instead of trying to pull teeth to get your guy to talk, the best way to deal with this message is to take the hint. Wrap up the convo and try him again later when he's a little less distracted and, with any luck, a little more talkative. 

5. The Overly Complimentary Text

“You were definitely the most beautiful girl at the bar tonight.”
“You look unbelievably sexy when you’re working out.”
“That dress makes you look just like Beyoncé -- but hotter.”

What it means: Beautiful, sexy, hotter than Beyoncé . . . how could this guy not be infatuated with you? Unless it’s all a bunch of BS from a practiced player. Whether he's sincere or not, two things are certain: This guy is very confident, and he's very interested in you. It's just a question of whether he's interested in a relationship with you, or just a quick hook-up.

"He could be really hot for you and not afraid to tell you," says Lieberman. "Or he could just be trying to get you to go to bed with him as quickly as possible, and hopes that flattery will make you believe that he wants a relationship with you, not just a hook-up."

Wanis says the most important things to consider with every text message are the context and your existing relationship with the sender.

"If you're already friends, he might be trying to take the friendship to another level," he said.

How to respond: Don’t let his flattery blind you. Respond with playful quip, so your guy knows he can’t take you for a ride: "Oh, stop, I'm blushing," or, "Oh yeah, nothing sexier than a girl sweating her face off on a treadmill." Put that guy in his place and he’ll know in the future not to set off your BS detector.

To read about what three more confusing texts from guys mean and to get more love advice, check out HerCampus.com!

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Photo: Geber86/Getty Images

42Comments
Aug 7, 2013 4:17AM
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It's a load of crap.  These self-qualified  "relationship experts" don't have a clue.
Aug 7, 2013 4:14AM
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What time are we gonna f*** tonite....I'll leave the door unlocked means he may want you to come over and f*** him. Now GFY!
Aug 7, 2013 12:08AM
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'remember, we can't have too much cleaner around the house.'
Aug 6, 2013 10:47PM
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sadly, where i live, guys play games all the time.  i dont understand why this area is so full of d-bags.  nice to know there are men out there.
Aug 6, 2013 10:43PM
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Text my blank. Call, leave a sincere message. If you really are interested, talk for goodness sake. If she or he responds, meet for coffee, tea or soft drink. It won't take but 15 minutes to know if either of you want to go on a real date. First date, never a movie, two cars, very public place, relax and have fun. Dating is not a contest of one upmanship, it is how we get to know each others likes, dislikes. Dress accordingly for the occasion.
Aug 6, 2013 9:09PM
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Holy crap! Are you serious? Where is the girl confusing text article? Maybe they realized that article would be too long and no one would sit and read it.
Aug 6, 2013 9:03PM
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i could never stand the whole word game of dating, "are you okay?" "YES(with a scowl on her face". alright then, i would respond. that was ultimately what led to so many failures, they wanted me to dig and dig and dig and dig out their problems instead of just telling me.

i thank my wife im married now and don't have to deal with that crap anymore

Aug 6, 2013 9:01PM
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"How to respond: Don’t let his flattery blind you. Respond with playful quip, so your guy knows he can’t take you for a ride: "Oh, stop, I'm blushing," or, "Oh yeah, nothing sexier than a girl sweating her face off on a treadmill." Put that guy in his place and he’ll know in the future not to set off your BS detector."

Your BS detector is tuned a little too high.  You must be talking to a lot of women to  have it set to detect BS from innocent texts.
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