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Dry Texting: What It Is, 44 Signs & Ways to Avoid Being a Boring Dry Texter

Are you struggling to respond to a dry texter? Whether you are a boring dry texter or receiving dry texts, here’s everything you need to banish and prevent dry texting for good!

dry texting

The point of communication is that it is a two-way street. Both parties put in the same amount of effort, asking questions that bat back and forth, creating a long-running dialogue to get to know each other and entertain one another. Dry texting isn’t a two-way street.

Do you agree?

So, when you’re receiving nothing back but ‘yes,’ ‘no,’ ‘ok,’ or even worse, ‘k,’ what are you supposed to think?

Lazy, that’s what you’re supposed to think, shortly followed by “time waster” and “okay, bye.”

Dry texting gives someone the cold shoulder without actually having the guts to outright reject them. Or dry texting could simply be the product of a terrible communicator, someone bordering on zero social skills.

Dry texting is a pet peeve of a lot of people, and if you’re the culprit, you might have noticed.

Some people would rather someone didn’t text them back at all than text back in a dry manner. That’s not to suggest that you reply with a full-on paragraph, but a little more substance to your message would be nice!

Come on, you need to put some imagination into it. Why shouldn’t you?!

Texting means you must find a way to show your personality in written words, which can be extremely different from face-to-face communication.

It’s for this reason that the world is full of so many dry texters because they don’t understand how to make up for the lack of communicative body language. We’re glad you’re here to learn how to shine in a world full of dull texters. [Read: How to be a better texter and be someone everyone enjoys texting with]

What is dry texting?

You’ve no doubt experienced dry texting before. You might even be someone who does this on a regular basis yourself. In that case, learning how not to be a dry texter is important, and you’re going to learn that very soon. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. For now, let’s put a definition on it.

Dry texting is when you reply to a text with an “okay,” “uh-huh,” “oh,” or one of the most-hated phrases, “lol.” Seriously, please don’t use “lol.” 

It’s annoying because you might have spent a long time coming up with a message, putting as much thought into it as you can to get the meaning over clearly, only to have someone come up with zero imagination and say “okay.” [Read: Dry texting and the real reason behind those one-word text responses]

Okay, what?! For many people, dry texting shows a total lack of care, attention, and respect. Yes, that might sound dramatic, but it’s so annoying! It’s even worse when they leave you on read and don’t bother answering at all. 

Now, it’s totally understandable that sometimes you just don’t know what to say. Advice for that? Give it a few minutes, and then inspiration is more likely to strike. 

Most people would rather wait a few minutes for an actual full reply than have someone shoot back “lol” within a few seconds. [Read: Texting before the first date – 15 rules to make them eager to see you]

Potential and forgivable reasons for dry texting

Let’s look at a few situations in which dry texting is forgivable. [Read: 16 discreet signs you’re always being taken for granted]

Someone could be busy at the moment they receive your text, and rather than not answer it at all, they acknowledge it with a quick one-word reply. In some ways, that’s better than leaving you on read, but it becomes unforgivable when it continues, or they don’t bother to apologize for it later.

Another possibility is that you’ve had an argument. They’re still a little upset or angry about it that you’re not in the mood to text. Fair enough, we’ve all done this, right? 

For example, if you had an argument with your partner, and then they message you something completely off-topic, you might be so annoyed that they aren’t texting you with a groveling apology that you might be guilty of using the dreaded ‘k.’ [Read: 15 unwritten rules of texting you need to remember]

In that case, expect the dry texting to end when the argument is properly forgiven and forgotten.

Those are the only two reasons that could signal dry texting isn’t about to become a deal breaker. The rest of the time, a lot of people have zero tolerance for a lack of imagination when replying to their texts!

What do you think about this situation? We’re all guilty of dry texting occasionally, but that’s the keyword – occasionally. [Read: Texting anxiety – how to send and receive texts without freaking out]

If you notice the texts you receive from a specific person are always the same *one-word, non-committal*, and they leave you scratching your head about what to say next or make you want to just throw your phone away, everything is totally one-sided.

Put simply, dealing with a dry texter is a waste of time. This is what people do if they are obviously not interested in the other person.

In that case, stop texting them and see what happens next. If they’re simply lazy texters, they’ll likely notice your radio silence and text you back once more, probably adding to the word count as a result. If they don’t bother to text after that point, you’re well rid of them.

The most obvious signs your texts are dry

If you want to learn how not to be stuck in a dry texting situation, you first need to know whether this is a problem you actually have or not. Let’s look at a few examples of dry texts and signs that point to having a seriously parched texting game. [Read: How to be a fun texter! Make them ROFL while reading your texts]

1. You always struggle with things to say

Having a brain block when a text comes in is normal, but if it happens to you every single time and you struggle to come up with a witty remark to send in reply, it could be a sign of dry texting on your part.

2. Your predictive text automatically comes up with “lol” or “ok”

You can’t hide from predictive text! If yours has “lol” or “ok” as the first thing that comes up when you go to type, that’s a pretty solid sign that you have dry texting issues and need to be a little more imaginative or perhaps text off the cuff a bit more. 

3. People don’t tend to text you back much anymore!

If you’re constantly replying with dry remarks, people are probably going to stop texting you. If your message inbox is looking a little bare, that could be the reason why. [Read: When a girl doesn’t text back! 39 reasons and what you need to do next]

4. Someone has pointed out that your texting game is bad

People can be blunt, and if a close friend has said to you that you’re a bad texter and your texting game needs an overhaul, you should probably sit up and take notice. 

5. You don’t enjoy text conversations

Some people just don’t find it easy to get their message or their personality over in a text. Perhaps you prefer talking in person, and that’s fine.

If you find that you really don’t enjoy text convos and they feel stilted and uncomfortable with you, that could be a reason why your texts are drier than the Sahara.

6. People tend to call you more than message you

We just mentioned that some people don’t like texting, and if that’s the case, your nearest and dearest might have picked up on it and decided that to avoid getting dry texts from you, they’re going to call you instead. [Read: How to not hurt people’s feelings: The 20 golden rules you need]  

How to stop dry texting in a text conversation

If you’ve decided that you are indeed guilty of dry texting and want to learn how not to be a dry texter, you’ve come to the right place. No judgment here; we’re just pleased you’ve seen the light and decided to overcome your issue!

We’re not going to lie and say that dry texting doesn’t bother a lot of people because, from the introduction section, you probably realized that, yes, it does annoy people. 

However, not everyone is naturally gifted at texting. For that reason, let’s check out a few reliable ways you can avoid dry texting in a text conversation. [Read: How to become a more fun person and make people love your company].

But before you read the ways you can avoid dry texting, here’s a helpful guide on how you can become a more fun conversationalist. Read this before going ahead if you want to learn the little details that make you a more fun person, especially if you’re texting someone you like.

1. Read the text properly

One of the main reasons people don’t reply adequately to a text is that they don’t take the time to sit down and read it properly. Don’t be that person! Make sure you read the text properly, and don’t just scan it and quickly send back ‘lol.’

2. Imagine the person saying it to you rather than reading it

As you’re reading the text, imagine the person saying the words to you rather than just reading them on the screen.

This can often add context, especially if you know the person well, and that can help you come up with something witty to reply back. Again, avoid ‘lol.’ [Read: Do you understand and embody the 15 good qualities of a person?]  

3. Give it a moment before you reply

Don’t assume that you have to reply within seconds of receiving a text. It’s okay to wait a minute and spend time giving your response some thought, especially if you think you don’t have anything to say anymore.

On the other hand, don’t leave them waiting too long; otherwise, they’ll forget they sent you the text in the first place. 

4. Text as you would talk

If you really struggle with dry texting, it’s usually what happens when someone is trying too hard. Text as you would talk if you were with that person having a real conversation. That adds a personal touch and makes your text far more interesting to read.

5. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through

Stamp your personality on every text you send, and you’ll avoid dry texting forever. It can be an emoji you love, signing off with your nickname, or perhaps even a catchphrase you have.

Whatever it is, let your personality shine through, and your texts will be more exciting.  [Read: How to make conversation over text, so you never bore the person you’re talking to]

6. Text back whatever comes into your head first – within reason! 

Sometimes, it’s best to just fire off whatever first pops into your mind because that’s often the most entertaining and honest reply!

However, there are rules to this – be careful that whatever you send isn’t sarcastic, upsetting, or downright insulting!

7. Be aware that sending dry texts is annoying, and double-check what you send

Simply being aware that dry texting is super annoying can help you learn how not to be a dry texter. Double-check whatever you want to send before pressing the button, just to confirm that there’s actual hydration! 

8. Make use of emojis or memes

When words fail us, emojis and memes save us! If someone texts you something and you can’t think of something to say back, search for a funny or poignant meme or even a GIF and send that.

Emojis can also add character to a dry text if you’re really stuck for words. [Read: Colorful heart emojis – How to decode their meaning and use them correctly]

9. Ask yourself how you would feel if you received the text you’re about to send

Before sending a text, ask yourself how you would feel if you received it. Would you sit there and think, ‘wow, that’s dry,’ or would you read it and want to reply back?

Giving yourself a second and asking yourself that question can help you avoid dry texting. 

10. Avoid anything generic or one-word answers

Dry texting is basically when you send a one-word answer or ask the most generic question possible. “How are you?” or, “you ok?” etc. These are things you should avoid. 

Yes, they get a conversation started, but it’s going to be a pretty boring conversation! Instead, come up with something witty, or just randomly send a GIF if you’re really stuck! [Read: How to be a better texter and become someone everyone loves texting with]

11. Be the one who texts first sometimes

Don’t always rely on other people to text you first. Everyone gets fed up being the initiator after a while.

Sending a text and making it something funny or cute is a great way to get a conversation started, and it will build up your texting confidence too. 

12. Focus on the connection you have with the person

A good way to come up with something to say is to think about the connection you have with the person you’re texting. If they’re your partner, you can send something cute and flirty. 

If they’re your best friend, refer back to a funny memory you both have. Alternatively, if it’s a new acquaintance, find a common interest so both of you can engage in the conversation.

Sometimes the personal connection is what really makes a text enjoyable to receive. [Read: How to get to know someone over text and build a real connection]

13. Ask open-ended questions

If you say things like, “What’s your favorite food to eat?” they can reply with a one-word answer like “pizza.” And then it’s over, and you need to bring up another topic.

So when the conversation is turning dry, ask questions like, “What do you think of people who are procrastinators?” They can’t reply with one or two words. It opens up an ongoing dialogue.

14. Shoot over something flirty

If you are texting someone that you are romantically interested in or even dating, then you should get flirty with your messages.

Tell them how nice their smile is or that you think they are adorable. Everyone likes hearing something flirty now and then.

15. Say something random

If you don’t know what to say, then just say something. It can be completely random such as, “Did you know that rubber bands last a lot longer if they’re refrigerated?” This is funny and will make them laugh. Then they’ll ask you how you know this random fact. [Read: 177 fun random questions to ask a girl and make her enjoy your company]

16. Create an air of mystery

You can create mystery by acting coy and avoiding direct questions.

For example, if they say things like, “What are you up to this weekend?” You can say, “Wouldn’t you like to know? It’s top secret!” That will get them interested and make them wonder what you are really up to. It can keep the conversation going.

17. Use proper punctuation

Even though it’s common these days to use texting style like “ur” instead of “your” and to not punctuate properly, most people really don’t like reading it. It’s not always obvious when someone abbreviates or doesn’t use commas. 

For example, look at the difference between the same sentence without using a comma: “Let’s eat grandma!” and “Let’s eat, grandma!”

The first line says you want to eat your grandmother. The one with the comma suggests that you are telling your grandma that you are hungry and want to eat some food. Very big difference, right? [Read: How to text a girl – the do’s and don’ts to leave her addicted]

18. Read between the lines

Sometimes people don’t come right out and tell you what they are thinking or feeling. When this happens, you will have to read between the lines and take some guesses.

When you do this, you can ask some questions to try to clarify what they really mean in their texts.

19. Send photos or selfies

Sometimes words are boring, and people want to see something visual in a text. So, send some pictures of where you are and what you are doing. Or, you can just send some simple selfies. You can make goofy faces or do anything to make it more interesting with visuals.

20. Send an audio message 

If you’re not really big into photos or selfies, you can always send an audio message instead. A lot of people are dry texters because they just don’t like using their fingers to type very much.

So, a good alternative is to just record a voice message and send that instead. It’s a definite change of pace from normal texting. [Read: Texting etiquette and flirting – 26 rules guys and girls must follow]

21. Don’t assume they’re not interested

Sometimes people send short texts because they aren’t sure if the other person is interested in texting them. They might not want to bother them or intrude into their lives.

So, they keep it short. But don’t assume that they’re not interested. They’ll definitely be more interested if you put more effort into your messages.

22. Don’t be repetitive and predictable

You don’t always want to send the same texts at the same time of day. An example of dry texting is only sending “good morning” or “good night” every time. It’s very boring. Mix it up a little.

Don’t ask the same questions like, “how’s your day going?” That shows a lack of creativity and effort. Think of different things to say.

23. Ask for their opinion and share yours too

Another great way to keep a texting conversation going is to bring up an interesting topic and ask their opinion. It could be something like, “Do you believe in aliens, or do you think we’re alone in the universe?”

Or it could be “Who do you think is the most popular singer of all time?” Then tell them what you think about the topic too.

If it’s a new crush you’re texting, asking for their opinion will give you a better opportunity to continue texting them longer and get to know them better. [Read: 35 best text conversation starters for the shy and socially awkward]

Do’s and don’ts for when texts start to get dry 

When texts start to run dry with someone, there are some basic do’s and don’ts you can keep in mind to make it better. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Do

1. Try to start a deeper conversation

If you’re just talking about how your days went, sometimes that can get a little boring if nothing special happened to either one of you. So, try to bring up a more interesting conversation that will keep the texts flowing better.

2. Mirror their responses

If you are texting with someone who is a dry texter, there is no need to put in more effort than they are. It’s annoying when someone only sends one or two-word texts.

If you’ve already tried asking them open-ended questions and they don’t send the ball back, just mirror their dry responses and give them a taste of their own medicine. [Read: 25 honest truths and ways to stop feeling ignored by someone you like]

3. Change the topic

When you are talking about something but running out of things to say, simply choose a different topic to talk about. It doesn’t even have to be related to what your previous conversation was. Just make sure it’s open-ended to keep it going between the two of you.

4. Stop texting if you can’t take it anymore

If the person you’re texting is dry and it’s frustrating you, then you can just stop texting. No one is forcing you to talk to someone who isn’t very interesting and doesn’t give you much to talk about. You have the free will to end the conversation whenever you want.

5. If you’re the dry texter, then step up your game

If you are the one who is the dry texter, then you need to do better. Don’t expect other people to carry the burden of all of your texting conversations.

It’s not fair to them. So, you need to step up your game and use these suggestions to be more interesting to other people. [Read: How not to be a boring texter and keep your crush interested]

Don’t

6. Be rude

Sometimes one or two-word answers seem rude because it seems like they are very lazy or just don’t care. So, whether or not you’re the dry texter or the receiver of dry texts, don’t be rude to the other person. It’s always important to be polite.

7. Give up

If you are a dry texter, don’t get frustrated and just give up. That won’t help the relationship at all. Instead, just try to do better. Use all of these tips and learn to be a better texter. 

8. Text only one or a few words

Well, that is the definition of dry texting, isn’t it? So, in order to stop doing that, you have to write more. If you don’t like typing, you can always use the voice-to-text feature. It makes it more convenient and faster. It’s definitely worth a try.

Bottomline, change up your style a bit to get out of your dry texting zone. [Read: 25 fun and cute ways to say hi in a text message in a casual way]

9. Text unless you’re adding to the conversation

If you run out of things to add to the conversation, there’s no reason to keep the conversation going. Or, if you don’t have anything interesting to say with the first text, then don’t even bother.

Think of something good to say before you reach out, regardless if you’re just getting to know the person or you’ve already known them for a long time.

10. Forget to use emojis and GIFs

Dry texters are often perceived as emotionless. They come across as boring, and you don’t want other people to feel that way, do you?

So, try adding some emojis or GIFs to your texting conversations. They’re great text additions as they convey emotions and are just downright funny most of the time.

Texts to send to a dry texter

Now you know how not to be a dry texter, what do you do if you actually receive a dry text? How should you reply to it or fix a dry text conversation from the get-go? [Read: Signs to recognize a selfish person and steps to stop them from hurting you]

Basically, take the text by the horns and go for it. You should be the one to ask the questions and coax the other person out of their texting shell. 

Yes, it’s annoying, and yes, you’ll probably question why you’re even bothering, but some people just don’t have the texting confidence that comes naturally to others.

However, everyone has a limit. If, after a few tries, you’re still getting one-word answers, perhaps it’s just that this person doesn’t want to talk at that time. Choose your battles wisely! [Read: How to text after a first date and make them fall for you even harder]

Here are some texts you can send to a dry texter:

1. What’s something you’re looking forward to today?

This shows that you care about what happens to them today and want to be a part of their life. It’s also open-ended, and it gives them the opportunity to tell you a variety of different things. 

2. Send an article or post related to a recent conversation you’ve had

This is a good idea because not only does it extend a conversation you had, but it also adds more information to it.

It also shows that you have been thinking back about what you talked about and that they are on your mind.

3. Tell me something funny that happened to you today! 

This one is similar to “what’s something you’re looking forward to today,” but it’s something you ask at the end of the day.

Plus, it prompts the person to find something silly that happened so you two can laugh about it together. [Read: 77 funny things to text a girl and make her laugh and love you over text]

4. What’s your most embarrassing childhood memory? 

Everyone has had embarrassing things happen to them in their lives. Many want to forget it, but sometimes they’re really funny.

So, encourage them to talk about it, and then you should share yours, too, so it doesn’t feel like they’re the only ones sharing private moments.

5. Where do you want to travel next, and why? 

This can lead to a deeper conversation. Once they tell you where they want to travel, then you can ask them why they feel that way.

And if it’s somewhere historical, you can delve into some of the facts surrounding the destination. You can also share where you want to travel too.

Are they just not that into you?

If the person you’ve texted is someone you want to get to know romantically and you want to move things in the right direction, tread carefully. If this person sends you dry texts, does it mean they’re just not that into you? [Read: Love lessons “He’s Just Not That Into You” taught me]

Well, probably.

Of course, they could be stressed about something in their life, or they could be simply lazy, but that isn’t an excuse for rudeness. To many people, dry texting is the epitome of communication rudeness. Ask yourself whether you really want someone that disrespectful in your life.

Of course, you don’t!

It’s like they’re keeping you hanging on in many ways. If they’re not into you, but they’re still replying in a dry way, they’re not ghosting you, but they’re not really grabbing the string you’ve left dangling either. It’s a tease. It’s not something you should spend your time entertaining.

Stop giving it excuses

Let’s face it, even the shyest person on the planet has more confidence when texting, so that’s never something you should accept as an excuse for dry texting. [Read: How people text when they like you and 15 things they do differently]

It really comes down to you understanding that this person isn’t worth your time, whether they’re actually into you or not, and finding someone who knows how to have a two-way conversation instead.

After all, how are you supposed to get to know someone with ‘yes’, ‘no’, or ‘okay’? It’s not going to work!

Dry texting someone shows a total lack of imagination, and it’s not something that some people would look for in a potential partner. You can’t be together all the time, so communication via text is something you should have in your life.

Texts are supposed to ping into your inbox and make you smile, maybe even laugh out loud and take you by surprise. It’s not supposed to feel like hard work that never really brings you any rewards. [Read: Where to draw the line when you’re putting in too much effort]

So, is it zero tolerance to dry texting?

For a lot of people, yes. Maybe you feel differently about it. Most people like a two-way conversation with someone where they don’t feel like a constant bother with their mere presence.

If you’re guilty of dry texting on a regular basis, rectify the situation immediately! You could easily be pushing people out of your life without realizing it. [Read: Here’s how to make someone laugh over text]

Maybe you don’t understand that what you’re doing is rude, but sending one-word answers to texts, especially when someone has thought carefully about what to say and maybe even drafted it beforehand, shows a total lack of thought and care for that person.

We’re not placing blame here, but being more aware of your texting habits can enhance your friendships and relationships. At the end of the day, texting is fun! Back-and-forth jokes, memes, and gifs — who doesn’t love all of that during a boring day at work?

[Read: How to respond like a grown-up when someone ignores you on purpose]

Dry texting isn’t fun or imaginative. Whether you are the dry texter yourself or you are on the receiving end, the good news is that you can easily have better text conversations with a few simple methods!

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Nicky Curtis
Nicky Curtis
Having stumbled from one relationship drama to another throughout her 20s, Nicky is now somewhat of a guru in the crazy world of life and love. Telling it how i...
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