We’re under the impression in today’s digital world that when we send a text, somebody needs to immediately send an answer back.

I mean how can someone not send an answer back right away? All you need to do is walk around your city on a regular day and you’ll see everybody attached to their phone 24/7, texting or browsing or whatever.

I use terms like it’s your third arm. It’s your lover.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the amount of time we spend on our screens every day should be spent connecting with someone else.

We Want an Immediate Response

So sometimes we’ll send a text to somebody – could be a friend, potential lover, a business associate – and they don’t get back to us immediately. We start thinking to ourselves, what the hell?

texting rulesObviously, the text went through. Obviously, I’m not important enough.

Obviously, they don’t want to talk about that.

Maybe they are just somebody who’s out enjoying life.

Maybe they’re actually doing something, maybe they’re present with another human being. Remember what that used to be like, when you’d sit across the table from somebody and look into their eyes without glancing down at the phone?

Do you remember those times?

The days when you’d go out with a group of friends and you wouldn’t pass the phone around because you had to show a text from somebody.

Remember the days when you’d actually talk to a stranger?

You’d go out every single day and have conversations with strangers. Now, we’re having conversations on Facebook, and ignoring people in public.

Why Aren’t They Texting Back?

So the next time you’re texting somebody and they don’t get back to you right away, don’t get all in your head. Think to yourself, maybe they’re actually doing something with their life.

Maybe they’re actually enjoying their children, or sitting in a movie and actually listening to the movie and watching it and paying attention to the big spy that comes across the movie screen in the beginning.

Please turn your cellphones off and silence them.

Maybe they’re walking on the beach and paying attention to the beautiful water and the waves, or reading a book and being present.

If you want to talk to somebody right away, pick up the phone and call them.

Leave a voicemail message. It’s so much warmer than a text. And sweet for them to get back to you. Remember the 80s and the 90s when we had answering machines and a thing called voicemail?

We would actually have to leave a clever message and just wait.

The Olden Days of Waiting

I remember when I was dating back then, I would leave messages for women that I was interested in. It would be painful sometimes to wait for 24 to 48 hours for somebody to get back to me. Of course, that was the rule back then.

We had to wait 24 to 48 hours. We didn’t want to look so over-anxious. So, we would let a voicemail message simmer. We would watch the clock and call that person back at a specific time.

Well, maybe not that anal.

But it certainly felt that way sometimes when I was calling women.

Now all of a sudden, texting is the way we meet people, get to know them. But, we text somebody and expect an answer back right away. It’s just immediate gratification. It’s also the way dating has become. If you don’t like somebody, you don’t give them a second chance. You can just go home and swipe on Tinder, or get on Bumble, Match.com or OkCupid.

There are so many potential mates coming into your life via your phone. Why bother actually really fully being present with somebody? We’re triggered by something they say so we don’t see them ever again? That’s what we’ve been doing. It’s what we’ve become really good at.

So, let me reiterate one more time.

The next time you text somebody and they don’t get back to you right away, take a deep breath and remember the olden days not so long ago.

And just wait and allow somebody to get back to you. Don’t get all paranoid and annoyed, or think they’re ignoring you. Just allow somebody to get back to you.