5 Things to Do If He’s Bad at Texting

His friends say that he's into you, but why is he so bad at replying to your texts? Sometimes it takes him forever, and other times he gives you the most boring reply known to man. Don’t ditch your campus cutie just because he isn’t Shakespeare! Here’s how to deal when he doesn’t have a way with words.

Scenario #1: He seems uninterested

Flirt it up

If your guy doesn’t seem into it when you’re texting, try flirting with him. Playing a game of “20 questions” or “truth or dare” or sending a flirty message will get him interested. Flirting with your guy over text will get him answering, and you’ll both have a lot of fun. If you don’t know how to start, try saying something like, “You looked really cute last night.” Not only will he answer you, but he’ll also want to keep texting you to hear more.

“What you’re doing is you are instigating, inspiring and triggering positive, sexy or sexual emotions within him,” human behavior and relationship expert Patrick Wanis says, “which will make him want to communicate more by a text message.”

Flirting with your guy will make him more interested and might even cause him to reply to you faster. Even a simple, “I can’t wait to see you on Friday” will make him wonder what you’re going to say next. If he’s intrigued by what’s going on, he’ll want to keep the conversation going in order to keep the flirting up.

Tell him what you want

The next time you and your guy are hanging out, let him know that the way he texts bothers you. If you drop a hint (even in a joking way!), he should get the message. Try telling him, “It leaves me hanging when you don’t answer for a while,” or “It seems like you’re not interested when we’re texting.” Odds are that’s just how he texts, so he probably doesn’t even realize it. If he knows it bothers you, it will be fresh in his mind the next time you ask him, “What’s up?”

“I've said things like, ‘I totally get that you're busy, so when you can't text, just let me know and we can talk another time!’” explains Kasia Jaworski, a senior at Villanova University, “or even a text like, ‘Text me when you get a chance!’ It gets the message across that you want them to be better at texting, but you're not nagging them.”

“Be direct with guys,” Wanis says. “If you want to have a strong, healthy, open, honest, real, authentic relationship, always speak your truth.” Try saying something like, “I love it when you text me before you go to sleep,” or “I love it when you send me sexy messages.”

Praise his “good texts”

If your guy makes an effort to be better at texting or sends you a cute message, let him know you noticed. Try saying something like, “Thanks for responding quickly!” or “That text really made me smile.” If he knows it made you happy, he’ll be more likely to keep acting in that way.

“Reward him for doing something right through praise,” Wanis explains. “Reinforce the behavior by rewarding the behavior.”

Scenario #2: He takes hours to respond

Let him text you first

If your guy doesn’t usually answer for a while or seems distracted while you’re texting, you may be trying to talk to him at the wrong times. If he’s busy, you won’t be getting his full attention, which may make it seem like he isn’t into you.

Wanis mentions that not texting him will make him want to text you more. “Let him chase you. I do believe men are hunters and men like the chase. Men value things, whatever those things are, for which they have to work hard,” he says.

“You don't want your guy to think that you are sitting there staring at the screen and waiting for his text,” says psychiatrist and author Carole Lieberman, M.D., who goes by Dr. Carole. “So it is better to let him text you first. Try to limit your texts to when you really have something to say, like confirming the time for when you're supposed to get together next or wishing him luck on his exam. But, too many, ‘Hey, how u doing?’ texts are just pathetic.”

Kasia mentions that letting a guy text you first will leave you with better responses. “When they're ready/not busy they'll text you, and you'll have their attention versus waiting hours for a response,” she says.

Give him a call

Gasp… An actual phone call?! Don’t worry – he can’t bite you through the phone. But in all seriousness, some guys just don’t look at their phones or aren’t interested in texting to keep up a conversation. Rather than sending him a, “Hey, what’s up?” text and waiting eagerly for a reply (which will likely come hours later and read, “Hey” – scintillating, right?), give him a call to see what he’s doing tonight. By actually having you on the phone, he’ll be more engaged in the conversation, and you can easily make plans to meet up.

“A phone call is much better than a text,” explains Dr. Carole. “You want to hear the expression in his voice that's missing from a text. And texts are too often misunderstood because everyone tries to use the least amount of words and there's no tone, so you don't know if he's being serious or sarcastic or what.”

Wanis agrees that if you’re trying to resolve a conflict, texting will not suffice. “It’s very easy to misconstrue the intention and the emotion behind a text message,” he says.

If you try one (or more) of these tips, the conversation should flow more easily and you won’t be stuck waiting for that text! Just remember that not all guys are into texting, and some may never want to have conversations for hours on end. Put your phone down, relax and remember that his texting habits don’t determine whether or not he’s into you – trust us!