The Dilemma of Texting First

A few weeks ago, I received a direct message on Snapchat from a girl who I didn't talk to on a regular basis. She was a social media friend, that friend you met once at some event long ago and who you messaged a few times but have largely seen the intricacies of their life play out through what they choose to share with the digital world. She knew I came to UM and she happened to be on campus and asked whether I was too because she did not know anyone here. Luckily, I was around and we finally got the chance to meet again. Thankfully, we have continued seeing each other since.

This was a rare situation. From my experience (and from conversations with my guy friends), girls tend not to speak to us first. I wanted to hang out with this girl earlier but was too nervous to contact her. I figured so many other guys probably tried talking to her on a daily basis and she was used to ignoring them and I did not want to be so easily dismissed. But since she reached out to me, all I had to do was say yes and things would go from there. The problem here, however, is that if I don’t reach out to her and if she does not reach out to me, we may simply never cross paths and never find out how we feel about each other.

Messaging first is risky for both guys and girls. There is the risk of getting rejected and having to suffer a slight blow to your ego and having to wonder: "Is there something wrong with me?" If you are left on read, it feels as if you put yourself out there without having any good come from it. It can make you self-conscious when you think about pursuing someone else and could make you sit back and wait for someone to approach you first. Unfortunately, guys don’t normally have the luxury of sitting back and waiting to be approached by the apple of their eye. If they do decide to take the waiting approach, some other persistent guy will eventually be dating the girl they want.

The cliché “communication works both ways” is a tired but true phrase. Right now, there is a boy waiting for a girl to message him and, at the same time, she is waiting for him to message her. And if I could speak to either one of them, I would say: call them right now. Nothing good comes from waiting or hoping something transpires. Guys and girls should just go for it when someone catches their interest. It's that easy.