You’ve been talking to this guy, and one day, your phone buzzes.
It’s a text from him. But before you can smile at seeing his name, you see the text is just one word: hey.
Even if you’re a conversational expert, this one-word text can be so hard to answer. It doesn’t necessarily convey a lot of emotions, so you don’t have anything to go off of.
Wondering what to text a guy back when he says hey? You’re in the right place.
We’ll dig deep to give you the answers you need. Curl up on the couch with your phone and scroll down for some of the best options out there.
What to Keep in Mind
Before we go much further, though, there’s a couple things you should keep in mind while you think about what to text him back:
If all he’s texting you is hey, he may not be super invested in you at this point.
“Hey” is one of the easiest things you could send to anyone. It takes absolutely no effort to type those three (sometimes four if he’s going for the more flirty and sexual “heyy”) letters into his phone and press send.
Usually, when someone is really chasing you, they’ll want to put more effort into winning you over. In that case, you’d probably see something more than a simple “hey.”
But it’s also possible he just doesn’t know what to say. “Hey” could have been the first thing that came to his mind.
So what are you looking to get out of it?
This question is the easy part. What do you want from this relationship?
In other words, are you even looking for a serious relationship, or something more on the casual side? Or are you potentially not interested in him at all?
This is important to think about, because it will completely change what you’ll respond to him with. Obviously, if you’re not interested in him, you won’t reply with a seductive text, for example.
Related Article: 15+ Things to Text a Guy After a First Date
What to Text A Guy Back When He Says Hey
Respond in kind.
It might seem a little boring, but one option is to just send a “hey” back to him. When you’re also not sure what to say yet, it’s the safest way to go.
For one thing, it puts the spotlight on him for making the next move. And for another, it kind of calls him out subtly on his lazy ice breaker.
If he wants to talk to you, he’ll reply with something that will give you more to go off of for the rest of the conversation.
Answer with another simple greeting.
Which one sounds friendlier to you: hi or hello?
We’d be willing to bet you said hi. That’s because different greeting words have different embedded meanings, even if they’re all just a way to greet someone.
If you don’t go with “hey,” there are a number of others to choose from. Choose one that best reflects your feelings towards him, whether it’s more formal and cold or more laid back and warm.
This method has all the benefits of just sending him “hey” without sounding like you’re being unoriginal or boring.
- Hi (sounds a little friendlier and a little more cutesy).
- Hello (more formal and can sound slightly cold).
- Good morning (friendly, cheerier, lighter).
- Hey there (low-effort like hey, but it still comes off sounding warmer).
Don’t answer him at all.
Here’s the riskiest option you could take. That’s because if you don’t answer him at all, it could kill any potential you have for a conversation.
On the other hand, not answering him shows him you’re not at his beck and call. He might be forced to realize that he has to put more effort into talking to you.
This could also be the way to go if you’re not interested in him at all. We will almost always say that you should be honest with him about that, but sometimes, guys don’t get your hints.
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Ask him a basic question to get the ball rolling.
Asking him some kind of question in return ups the odds he’ll respond to you. If you’re thinking he just doesn’t know what to say, this is your best bet.
By asking him something, you’re throwing a nervous guy a lifeline. He’ll have something to leap into the conversation with.
Many guys go nuts over a woman who’s willing to take the initiative here and there. You can amaze him with your conversational skills or at the very least calm his nerves a little when you take this approach.
- “Hi, how are you doing?”
- “Hey, how is your day going?”
- “Hey, what are you up to?”
- “What’s up?”
Read Also: 30+ Things to Text a Guy about Topics
Push him to put some more effort into talking to you.
Maybe the guy you’re into is a chronic “hey” texter. He may have demonstrated that he likes you, but he just can’t seem to get the conversation started in text.
In that case, there are ways to challenge him to do better. The downside to this is that it could potentially turn him off and drive him away, though.
Word this challenge incorrectly, and he’ll think you’re being too harsh. No one likes when someone is being overly critical.
We recommend softening it a little with a joke. That way, he’ll see that his conversation starter didn’t exactly sweep you off your feet, but he won’t be hurt, either.
- Send him a simple question mark (Potentially seems a little rude or demanding)
- “…” (Comes off as harsher)
- “That’s it? ;)” (A soft and joking response)
Tired of having to remind the guy to actually try and romance you? We get that.
The good news is, there resources like this Text Chemistry Course that give you tips on how to drive him wild. With some of the examples in the course, you won’t even need to push him to make an effort, because he’ll already be doing it on his own.
Reply with a picture or gif.
Sometimes, words can’t properly express the fine nuances of everything you want to say….but a picture can.
There are many apps you can use to paste images or gifs into your text that show your reaction. It’s possible to show just about any emotion this way.
Send him a gif of someone excitedly waving if you’re really into him. If you’re feeling let down by his text, send him one of someone tapping their foot to indicate you’re waiting for more.
The sky’s the limit here.
- A picture of gif of someone waving
- A picture or gif of someone with the caption “I’m waiting…”
- An image of characters from a book/tv show/movie you both like to make it extra personal
Recommended Article: 30 Things to Text a Guy After Hooking Up (The Complete Guide)
Been dating him for awhile or have an established relationship? Share your emotions with him.
We don’t recommend spilling your emotions to him if you’re still in the earliest stages of a relationship. But say you’ve been on a few dates already or you’ve made it official.
Then, it’s perfectly fine to convey these feelings to him in response to a basic “hey” text. You’ll have talked to him enough to gauge his interest in you.
The benefit of doing this is that it makes him feel welcome. In the event he’s been having a bad day, it could really cheer him up, too.
- “Hey! I’m happy to hear from you. :)”
- “Hi! I was just thinking about you.”
If you don’t want to strike up a conversation, tell him to go away for now (but not in those words.)
Maybe it’s been a long day and you’re too tired to try and put all the effort into the conversation yourself. Or maybe you’re not interested in him, you’ve told him before, and it’s just not getting through to him.
Those are some reasons why you’d take this option. And it doesn’t necessarily mean just texting him “go away,” although it can in drastic situations.
There are gentler ways to tell him you’re not in the mood to talk. Telling him you’re tired and you’re going to bed, for instance, makes him think you’re just going to sleep and that he shouldn’t talk to you for a bit.
Remember: if you are actually interested in him and use this option, it does have the potential to push him away, especially if you haven’t built up a good connection yet.
- “It’s a little late, so I think I’m going to crash for the night.”
- “I’m kind of busy now. We can talk later.”
- “Can I help you?” (This one is colder than many other options and comes off as formal. It may not be a good one to use unless you’re looking to push him away a little.)
If You Need Some Additional Inspiration…
“Hey” texts are so hard to answer. His mood could be literally anything when he sends you something like that.So if you need a little extra help, Amy North can shed some light on texting technique. This texting expert (dare we say textpert?) can give you all tools you need in her Text Chemistry Course.