Text messaging is great. Not only is it convenient and quick, but it’s also less pressured than traditional calling and is an awesome tool to use for flirting when a class lecture is oh-so-dull. The only downside to texting, of course, is the lack of the nonverbal and verbal cues we take for granted in face-to-face communication. When you and your guy are texting, you can’t read his facial expressions, his body language, or his tone of voice when he tells you something.
If you’ve been getting texts from guys that have you running to your roommate and going “Huh?” (and who doesn't?) you’re in luck! We asked a few college guys to give us the scoop on what their texts really mean. And if you’ve got a guy who isn’t texting you back, there could be 100 reasons why. (Advice: Stop texting that guy.)
According to Sean, one of our Real Live College Guys, you’ll get a response from a guy every time when he likes you (as a friend or more). So let’s tackle the texts we’re getting from the guys!
The “Good Morning” Text
All of the guys we surveyed indicated that a text first thing in the morning from your guy is a good sign. Rob*, a Hiram College senior, says, “I’ll text something like ‘Good morning, sunshine’ to wake her up and keep her smiling all day.” When a guy sends you this kind of text, (especially the morning after a date or hook-up), it means that he’s thinking about you and wants you to think about him the rest of the day.
Text back: “Good morning! I’m about to go get breakfast. Wanna join me? ;)” Why wait to see him? Mention that you’re heading to the dining hall for breakfast or invite him to join you on your Starbucks run.
The “Friend-Zoning” Text
Friend-zoning texts tend to include the words “like a sister to me” or “buddy” or “pal” in them. You know how it goes. You met this great guy at a party, and he’s been texting you about some hobby you share or something funny you both witnessed. Then you start flirting, and the guy starts calling you his buddy whenever he responds to you. According to Sean, friend-zoning texts are “the kiss of death for flirting.”
Text back: nothing. While your guy could be lying, as proven by this study, it’s a safe bet that it would be a good idea to cool your flirting. If you keep trying to flirt with a guy who has sent you the friend-zoning text, you risk scaring him off. “Unless you’re actually looking for male friendship, move on,” Sean says. “The friend zone is a dead end.”
The “I have to cancel” Text
So you and your guy planned a date for tonight, but he texts you and says he’s sick and has to cancel. If he doesn’t offer to reschedule, he could be standing you up. “Unless I’m actually sick, it means I don’t want to really hang out,” says Paul*, a Hobart College junior. So how can you tell for sure?
Text back: “Aw. I can bring you soup or [other item to cheer him up].” According to Sean, a guy who is genuinely sick will likely accept your offer of comfort. “Most guys would love some TLC when they’re feeling ill,” says Sean. And if the guy declines your offer or suddenly got sick only an hour before he’s supposed to see you? “He’s probably blowing you off,” Sean says. A guy who likes you will either reschedule the date or find another way to see you. Nothing short of the end of the world will stop him.
The “one-word” Text
One-word texts are the most frustrating texts of all. Usually, this means that he doesn’t want to take the time to send you a full reply because he’s otherwise preoccupied and doesn’t want you to think he’s ignoring you. It can also mean he’s annoyed about something. Matt, who recently graduated from Stark State College, says, “He’s not wanting to talk or something at least is bothering him, and he’s being short for a reason.”
Text back: “Not very talkative today, eh?” According to Sean, this will help you gauge the situation. Your guy might respond with a longer answer and let you know what’s up, and you can take it from there. Unless you’ve asked a question that only requires a one-word answer, regular short responses from a guy you’re flirting with are a bad sign.
The Compliment Text
If you’re getting compliments, then you’re in luck. He likes you! He really, really likes you! According to our survey, guys compliment girls who’ve snagged their interest. Tue, a University of Louisville sophomore, says, “If I like a girl, I’ll text some compliment that I like about her distinct personality.”
Text back: “Thank you! You’re not too bad yourself!” You want to make sure to thank him and follow up by complimenting him as well. It’s a great opportunity to try out your flirtexting. Keep it light and fun. Hopefully, it will lead to a date!
The Random “Come Over” Text
According to Ben, a University of Pittsburgh senior, a guy who sends you a late-night text and asks to come over wants a booty call. He’s not making a date, which usually requires more time to plan, but he does want to see you... for sex. “I texted ‘hey, sweetness’ as a joke once, and it actually worked. I use it mostly for booty calls,” Ben says. Then he often asks the girl if she wants to come over or if he can come over to her place.
Text back: Yes or no, depending on whether you want to be a booty call or not. You can also text him back and tell him that you’re not interested and let the subject drop. If you’re a girl who’s looking for a committed relationship, guys who send you these kinds of texts early in the dating game should be crossed off your list.
The Explicit Photo Text
This kind of text has no alternative meaning. Sean says, “When a guy starts sexting, he wants sex, 100 percent of the time.” Your sexting partner is being upfront with what he wants, so be honest with what you want. Do you want to have casual sex with him? If so, it’s time to find that sexy Victoria’s Secret lingerie set.
Text back: A racy (but not over the top) photo. Check out our guide to sexting before you begin. Reveal enough to get him excited to see you, but don’t reveal so much that your sexy photo ends up somewhere you wouldn’t want it to be. Sexting is fun, but just like sex, you still need to be safe.
Need more guy behavior decoded? Submit a question to our Real Live College Guys!