Texting in normal times brings on a slew of emotions. We know this. And now, when it’s one of the few tools we have for dating, it spurs even more complicated feelings. Since you can’t necessarily see the person you sorta, kinda, maybe like IRL, it can be hard to gauge, well, pretty much anything. This leaves us to ride endlessly on a rollercoaster of reactions, with no clear timeline for returning to what once was. While I don’t have answers on how to fix that ride, I can try to put a name to all of those feels, aka every emotional stage of texting that certain someone.
1. “OMG, they texted me!!”
Butterflies flap inside of your stomach, fuzzy feelings happen, dopamine is released, excitement ensues.
2. “Oh, it was just ‘hey.’”
Butterflies die, fuzzy feelings stop fuzzing, dopamine goes back to where it came from, annoyance ensues.
3. “I’ll give them a couple minutes to see if they have anything else to say.”
Anxiety climbs, annoyance slowly rises, the question of “WTF am I supposed to do with ‘hey?’” comes up.
*Read in SpongeBob voice 8 minutes later*
4. “Still nothing. I’m gonna make them wait.”
Passive aggressiveness kicks in, your inner child folds their arms and stamps their feet, teeth grinding begins.
*2 minutes later*
5. “I guess I’ll text them now.”
Impatience revs its engine, your adult self comes back and decides to be mature, brain agrees to send a nice message.
6. “Aw that was a cute response!”
Butterflies wake from the dead! Dopamine reemerges! Inner child runs around joyfully! Adult you texts all of their friends a screenshot!
7. “Wait, I love them.”
Butterflies mate and produce excited offspring, brain begins to plan the future in its head, heart thumps, annoying voice of reason tells you to play it cool and shoot off a funny, yet flirty, text.
8. “Why the fuck did they respond ‘lol’ instead of ‘HAHAHA’?!”
Inner child flips an imaginary table while flames form around them, starts throwing any object they can find.
9. “I hate them.”
You think about unfollowing them on Instagram, deleting their number, and erasing any screenshot of a conversation with them that you’ve ever sent to a friend.
10. “I’m bored of this.”
Brain forgets the future it planned and starts ripping up photos of the two of you together, thumbs get back on Tinder to see who else is out there.
11. “Wait, I like them (again).”
Eyes read a text that maybe redeems crush, butterflies and dopamine run back to your body holding hands, brain is close behind taping photos back together.
12. “I’m not answering that.”
Inner child reminds you of what your crush did a bit ago and how they don’t think you’re that funny. Inner child wants a rage to build inside you yet again.
13. “Should I text them?”
Adult self and voice of reason question if you’re being too harsh. You kind of agree and compromise by saying you’ll think about it.
*Repeats steps 1-13 until the end of eternity.*