A definitive guide to waiting to text someone back: Is it petty or necessary?

Make them suffer, obviously

Let’s be real guys, waiting to text someone back can be considered petty, but sometimes it’s necessary, and it’s better than coming off as desperate.

I mean, if playing hard to get is so “frowned upon,” explain why a famous poet once said “Let’s play a love game, play a love game. Do you want love, or you want fame? Are you in the game? Dans le love game.” That poet is no other than Lady Gaga, our Lord and Savior.

Seriously though, why wouldn’t I play games when that’s the whole premise of flirting? Life itself plays games with me every day, and I’d honestly be damned if I didn’t play them back.

Clearly I’m a writer, and consequently, I’m pretty garbage at math. Trust me though, I’ve worked this down to a formula. After years, and years of pre-pubescent adulation towards guys, I’ve worked out how long to wait to text back without coming off as a total psychopath. 

Generally speaking, when you’re waiting to text someone back, tack on time 

Match the time he took to text you, and then tack on five minutes (at least, in the beginning). And for the love of God, do not double text — unless it’s consecutive. It’s the ridiculousness of appearing seemingly busy while actually being low-key psycho that’ll get you wifed up. They’ll just have to find the psycho part out later.

Double the time or simply wait longer than usual to text back if 

  • It took more than three hours for him to respond, wait six. 
  • He’s dry AF. 
  • He sends a risky text, he is most vulnerable in this state and will actually care that you’re not responding. 
  • He’s out there posting on Snapchat or Twitter but still hasn’t responded, #dumphim2k17. You’ve got yourself a player — there’s only room for one of them in this game, and that’s you. Dans le love game.

Brownie points! Take off the extra time if

  • He liked your picture on Instagram. What a G.
  • He sent you a friend request on Facebook. He’s finally stalking you back, how cute.
  • He’s been responding in two minutes or less.

So, how long should you wait to text after a first date? 

This depends on how it went, but generally speaking, make him suffer. I’d say wait at least a day, and if you start to get worried that he’ll never text you again, try tagging him in a meme relevant to something you’ve spoken about or send him a snap of you being “busy.”

Those, however, aren’t conversation starters. So if you’re planning on ~chatting him up~ you can send him a text but one text and one text only. Don’t forget to make it interesting.

Will he even notice?

Probably not, which is the best thing about it all. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about boys, it’s they rarely ever catch hints, which you can use to your advantage. Sometimes it’s fun to play these games and secretly wonder if they’ll ever catch on. If they don’t, then nothing else you do really matters. It’s like when guys say they like a girl with the “natural-look,” when in reality she’s wearing a face full of make-up. It’s these kind of things that makes you realize they truly are clueless.  

Is this psycho? Not really. If you’re already overthinking your texts, you might as well have fun with it. This is the level of petty you should constantly be aspiring to, because if you’re not doing the ~most~, then you’re not doing enough. 

Of course, this only works for the beginning stages of a relationship. If you’re already committed with someone then mass text them, show up to their house at 2 a.m., do whatever I don’t care — you’ve already won the game.

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University of Florida: UF