When you’re getting to know someone new, you’re probably spending a lot of time trying to avoid boring them or pushing them away. Every text can be a source of anxiety, trying to figure out if you’re sharing too much or not enough. If you’re trying to figure out how to not be boring when texting a guy, we’ve got you covered!
How to Not Be a Boring Texter
Being yourself is important, but so is curbing certain tendencies—especially when you’ve just started talking with someone. Consider some of the responses below when it comes to cultivating a text exchange with your new beau.
1. Never Respond with One-Word Answers (or Single Emojis)
Seriously, this is a surefire way to kill the conversation. Responding with a single word, or with just a single symbol, gives the impression that you can’t be bothered to respond properly. If you’re not going to put any effort into this exchange, why should he continue it?
2. Avoid Asking Standard, Uninteresting Questions
How much do you roll your eyes when someone texts you to ask how you’re doing or how work went? Exactly. Ask him what was something wonderful that happened that day, or what his favorite sandwich was when he was a kid. Something unusual that will inspire him to answer, rather than grudgingly responding with a simple “okay”.
3. Be Engaging, but Don’t Overshare
Let’s say you had a very full, busy day that stressed you out. Try not to send him 17 texts telling him all about everything that went to hell over the course of the day. Tell him something weird that happened, but be brief. Like mentioning how someone at the nursing home you work at wore their underpants on their head again. Spare him gory details, but share something short in the vein of “I can’t make this up”.
4. Don’t Offer Vague Answers
If he asks you if you have any interests or hobbies, be specific with your answers. For instance, if he asks whether you like to work out, don’t just say “yes, sometimes”. You can let him know that you enjoy running, yoga, and ultimate frisbee. If he asks whether you like to read, let him know the genres you like best. Or ask him if he’s read a particular title, etc.
5. Build Upon the Questions He Asks You
To expand upon the previous tip, when he asks you questions about yourself, turn those around and ask him similar ones. And don’t just ask “how about you?” in response. As an example, after you’ve told him about the sports you like to play, you can ask him if he’s ever gone white water rafting. Date time! Or, if he’s more of a poetic, literary soul, you can ask if he’s read a particular book. If he hasn’t, suggest that you two read it together as a two-person book club.
6. Ask Him Things More than Talking About Yourself
If you catch yourself starting to write long, rambling texts, backspace on them. Keep things brief when talking about yourself, and ask him things instead. Ask for his opinion or advice about a project or situation. Or ask him for book or film recommendations. Get to know him more by engaging him sideways, not with a direct interrogation.
7. Take Your Time Answering
Taking your time and answering with interesting, engaging responses shows that you’re actually thinking about your responses. You’re not just diving at your phone every time it bleeps at you. You’ll show that your responses to him are important, rather than just impromptu filler.
8. Toss in Some Flirtiness
Sure, being intense and cerebral is awesome, but so is sending flirtatious texts. We’re not talking full-on lingerie shots (at least not immediately!), but he’ll likely appreciate a bit of playful innuendo here and there. Toss in a heart or wink emoji for emphasis and you’re golden.
9. Don’t Keep Him Hanging
In the same vein as the tip above, try to avoid keeping him waiting too long for a response. If you find that it’s getting late and you might fall asleep before texting him back, let him know that. Or tell him if your phone is dying: just in case you don’t get back to him promptly, it’s not for lack of care or interest. Oh, and if you do drop off without warning, be sure to let him know what happened. That shows a lot of courtesy and consideration.
10. Share Fun or Silly Gifs/Memes
Text-based conversations can get a bit dry at times. Liven them up with some fun memes once in a while: they’ll capture his attention and encourage him to respond with the same. You can even try to one-up one another with terrible puns, bad movie references, and such.
What Do I Do if a Guy is a Boring Texter?
When you’re putting in the time and effort to not be boring when texting a guy, it can be disheartening to only receive mediocre, one-word replies.
Consider the Circumstances
Is he coming across as boring when you’re trying to engage him late at night? If that’s the case, he might just be tired. If he’s put in a lot of hours at work or at school, he’s probably wiped after 9 pm. Sure, he’s still be happy to hear from you, but he might not have the energy to express himself properly.
Similarly, you may not know everything that’s going on in his personal life. His responses could seem boring or non-engaged, but he might be giving you all he’s able to offer in that moment. Does he have a parent who’s sick or dying? Is he dealing with a stressful or upsetting situation at work?
Look a little deeper to see where this “boring” behavior might be coming from. And hey—it doesn’t hurt to ask him if everything’s okay with him. Showing that you care might encourage him to open up to you a bit more.
If You Know Him Well in Person, Compare Personality Differences
Remember that the way people communicate via text doesn’t always correspond with how they are in person. Some love to take regular breaks from screen time. Others prefer more “human” interaction, such as voice or video calls, or in-person conversations.
Do you know this guy pretty well in person already? Then do a quick mental comparison about how he is face-to-face vs text. Is he really friendly and engaging with you in person? Then he might simply like to have a lot of undisturbed alone time when he’s at home. He’ll keep his texts short, or just won’t pick up the phone if he’s watching a favorite show or game.
This will have nothing to do with you, and everything to do with his own preferences.
How to Respond to a Dry Text from a Guy
There are tons of ways to prod people into offering you a bit more of their energy without annoying them. Just make sure not to cross boundaries that they may be trying to set.
Try to Engage Him with Humor
Pretty much everyone responds well to humor… provided that it’s actually funny. If the guy you’re texting with sends you a message that’s really dry or boring, see if you can respond with some humor or weirdness.
Here’s an example: let’s say you asked him what he had for dinner, and he says he just threw something together. Respond with a story about one of your most horrific culinary disaster. Something like: “You must be a better cook than I am. The last time I ‘threw something together’, I ended up with ramen noodle mushroom soup with crushed Fritos on top.”
Or something similarly traumatizing.
It’s almost guaranteed that he’ll respond in kind. Then you can build upon that and turn the exchange into a real conversation.
Ask Him Something Thought Provoking
There’s only so much you can ask about someone’s day without them rolling their eyes. Consider trying a flirty or deep conversation starter instead. A guy who’s just phoning it in, text-wise, might sit up and pay attention if you offer to exchange flirtatious photos, or ask him something that really makes him think.
Just a note to keep in mind: If the guy you’re texting with is only giving you short, clipped replies, you can try the approaches mentioned above… but only once or twice. On the off chance that he still doesn’t engage, then he’s got his own stuff going on. Don’t force yourself into his space: let him approach you next.
Try not to stress about whether you come across as boring or not. If you’re anxiously trying to figure out how to not be boring when texting a guy, that will likely come across in your responses.
Take a deep breath, relax, and follow the tips mentioned above.
Be yourself in your expressions, and find that middle ground between keeping things succinct, and being lively and expressive. Ask more than you express, and give him plenty of space to answer on his own terms.
Most importantly, have fun! You’re getting to know someone new, and that’s always an exciting adventure.