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Dry Texting: The Real Meaning Behind Those One-Word Text Responses

One word answers coming your way? You’re experiencing the terrible epidemic of dry texting, and it’s time to wave goodbye to time wasters!

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 which bat back and forth, creating a long-running dialogue which helps them 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 ‘k, bye.’

Dry texting gives someone the cold shoulder without actually having the guts to admit it, or simply being a terrible communicator, bordering on someone with zero social skills.

Dry texting is one of my pet peeves, as you might have noticed.

Personally, I would rather someone didn’t text me back at all than text me back in a dry manner. I’m not suggesting you reply with a full on paragraph, but a little more substance to your message would be nice!

I mean, come on, I put some imagination into it. Why shouldn’t you?!

Rant over. [Read: 16 discreet signs you’re always being taken for granted]

How should you respond to dry texting? 

If you notice someone messaging you back with one word answers, to the point where you literally cannot think of anything else to say to continue the conversation, it’s time that you became so dry with your texts that they literally evaporate… Stop texting them back!

Okay, maybe I’m being a little unfair, because it could be that someone is a little busy at that moment and doesn’t have the time to tap out a fully reply. That’s fine. But I do expect a better reply next time, or to receive a surprise text later in response.

The odd dry texting situation is fine, because we all have distractions in our lives. If you notice that answers are always this thin and dry, question why you’re even wasting your time. [Read: 10 signs to recognize a selfish person and 5 steps to stop them from hurting you]

Potential and forgivable reasons for dry texting

Let’s look at a few situations in which dry texting is forgivable.

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. Fair enough, we’ve all done this, right? I know I have. When I’ve had an argument with my partner and he’s messaged me something completely off topic, I’ve been so annoyed that he wasn’t texting me with a groveling apology that I was guilty of using the dreaded ‘k’. Yes, I’ll admit it, I’m not proud. [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.

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

What do you think about this situation? We’re all guilty of dry texting occasionally, but that’s the key word – occasionally. 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, everything is totally one sided. Put simply, you’re wasting your time.

In that case, stop texting them and see what happens next. If they’re simply a lazy texter, 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.

Are they just not that into you?

If the person you’ve texted is someone you want 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?

I hate to say it, but probably.

Of course, they could be stressed by something in their life, or they could be simply lazy, but that isn’t an excuse for rudeness. To me, 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 a little like 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 have time for. [Read: How people text when they like you and 15 things they do differently]

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. It really comes down to you understanding that this person isn’t worth your time, whether they’re actually into you or not, and to find 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’, ‘okay’? It’s not going to work!

Dry texting shows a total lack of imagination, and it’s not something I 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 me, I’m afraid so, yes. Maybe you feel differently about it. Personally, I like a two way conversation with someone where I don’t feel like a constant bother with my 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. 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.

I’m not placing blame here *okay, I am a little*, 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: Here’s how to make someone laugh over text]

Dry texting is a serious pet peeve of mine, and I know I’m not alone on this. If you’re regularly receiving one word answers to your carefully crafted texts, don’t waste a second more of your time.

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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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