Ask Willow: Confused text-flirter

GIF by Rachel Edelstein

GIF by Rachel Edelstein

The Oak Leaf Staff

Introducing “Ask Willow,” a new advice column from the Oak Leaf Student Media. To send your own question to Ask Willow, email [email protected]. You will remain anonymous. 

Dear Willow,

I’ve been texting a person I like who I used to work with. They just got a new job. I get mixed signals because, in person, we’re very flirtatious, but when I send a text, it shows “read,” and they take forever to reply, if at all. Can we have a relationship, even a friendship, if I’m a texter and they’re not?


Confused text-flirter


Dear Confused text-flirter,

Consider a meet-up so that both of you can catch up in person, and maybe even express how you feel. If your crush’s new job has them working crazy hours, that could be why they aren’t replying fast. Don’t think that they are ignoring you or uninterested until you ask.

If you’re able to develop a relationship with this person, tell them that you value contact through texts, but remember that’s not a substitute for real communication and interaction. Remember not to get offended if texting communication is flaky.

Not everyone will have the same relationship to communicating through technology as you. Something that might look like a snub to you could mean nothing to someone else.

Make sure you define the relationship, or ‘DTR’, in order to avoid unrealistic expectations. If, after talking about your feelings, this person continues to leave you on “read,” don’t wait around until their feelings for you change.

There are other ways to maintain a healthy relationship that go beyond texting. Don’t solidify a relationship as a digital one. There are plenty of interesting people out there who can excite you in person, rather than through text.


Hope this helps,