It started like this: you got really excited because King SelfieText was finally talking to you like a normal person, not just sending you selfies and broadcasting his accomplishments: a promotion at work, a medal in the race, new couches picked out by “a friend” named Kate. This time, he was actually showing interest in your life.
You got excited, and then you drank too much wine. You know by now to stay away from your phone once you get into the wine, but it seemed like the right idea at the time.
Among the many textual gems that flew from your fingers during the Evening of Drunk was this fine specimen:
Please tell me IN WRITING that you are interested in me.
I am sick of all of your headgames and I want to know what’s really going on.
Do you want me or not?
The problem with these confessions and demands is that you have to deal with yourself afterwards. You have to continue to be in your own head while you catastrophize and consider the possibility that the reply you get may not be the one you want, or worse, that he may not reply at all.
And so, when you haven’t heard from him the next morning (and of course you haven’t, because it takes a while to figure out how to respond to that), you prepare a retraction.
I would like to formally withdraw lines 1-3 of the text I sent at 1 a.m.
I had been drinking and the opinions expressed therein do not necessarily represent the opinions of Sober Me.
While sort of charming, the retraction betrays that you have indeed been agonizing over what you said. Why not just dig your hole a little deeper? Perhaps a good rule of thumb is this one: if you’re going to agonize over it later, don’t send it.
I received a great question about this post!
How do you know if you’ll agonize over a text later? Sometimes I send it and don’t realize how much it meant until I don’t get a response. Are there rules to follow?
Listen, I’m not the Ruler of the Texting Universe (not to my knowledge, anyway), so I’m not going to lay down any black-and-white rules. I’m no good at making up rules. But one thing I am good at is asking questions. So next time you’re deciding whether to press send, here are some questions you can ask yourself.
1. If a friend were in this situation and told me about it, how would I advise them?
2. Would I tell my best friend that I sent this text?
3. What am I going to make it mean if this goes unanswered?
4. What would my 80 year old self say about me sending this text?
What do you think? Have you sent texts that you later regretted? Let me know in the comments.