Dating and Relationship Advice

“Cool.”

“Lol.”

“What’s up?”

Everyone who’s received these texts before, let’s all sigh (or groan, or cringe) together.

When people send dry texts, they’re sending short responses that “dry up the conversation.” In turn, these people put pressure on the other person to keep the conversation going — which can be exhausting and unhelpful, especially at the texting stage of getting to know someone.

Signs of dry texting

While it’s normal to not always know what to say, dry texters lean on these brief responses too much. They aren’t trying to keep the conversation going, or at least it doesn’t seem that way. Some other signs to look for are if they don’t text you first, they don’t seem interested in your messages, they don’t reply for days, and they don’t ask you any meaningful questions.

Why people dry text

I don’t know about you, but in a lot of my relationships, the person who had the “power” was the one who cared less. It wasn’t cool to be the one always starting conversations, or typing long messages, or appearing interested.

Which, obviously, sucks. I easily felt unwanted, needy, and clingy, simply for being a “good texter” who was interested in the other person.

So are dry texters being malicious? Do they purposely send dry messages to look “cool” or because they don’t care?

The answer is an annoying one: it depends on the person.

Several people have tweeted why they dry text, and their reasons differ. Some dry texters are socially anxious. Some are trying to tell you they aren’t interested. Some are just straightforward. Others prefer talking in person.

But regardless of their reason, remember this: don't take it personally. It’s not about you; their opinions and actions don’t define your worth.

What to do if you're getting dry texts

Don't give up on someone just because they dry text you — it's important to give people the benefit of the doubt. At the same time, try to not linger in a relationship that makes you feel unhappy.

If you notice someone is dry texting you, a great first step to communicate your concern. Be frank (but not rude) about what you’re noticing and how it’s making you feel. Ask what’s up and let them know what you need.

Another option — a millennial/Gen Z-friendly one — is to turn to none other than TikTok, where creators share videos with interesting conversation starters.

And if you’re still not feeling the other person? Move on and find someone who deserves all you have to bring to the table.

Most importantly, as much as you want to, don’t throw your phone across the room. While doing so is terrifyingly tempting, it’s not worth it.