Lariat Letter: We Don’t Need a Reason to Text Back

[In response to “Not interested? Then don’t give him your digits”, published Oct. 21 and written by a dear friend whom I have known for several years, Thomas Mott.]

I am approaching this piece with an open mind, knowing it may not be well-received by some — particularly men — as Mott’s piece was ill-reviewed by women.

In his article, Mott talks about the hurtful impact of a girl giving a guy her number, but never responding when he texts her. Mott continues by offering a solution: Don’t give a guy your number if you are uninterested.

I’m not going to counter-argue with the statistics of men being rejected and the violence that occurs as a result. I’m not going to argue men can be forceful and women are fearful. I’m not going argue anything other than my personal reasons (reasons I don’t owe anyone) for not texting back.

Men have asked me for my number at bars, in class, at parties and even in the grocery store. There are differing scenarios that played out when I chose to give a guy my number.

Scenario #1: I was genuinely interested in the guy. Gave him my number. He texted me. I responded. Cue dating.

Scenario #2: I was slightly interested. The kind of interested where I think he’s cute and I’m having a great hair day – so why the heck not. Afterwards I realize I’m happy without the complications of a relationship. Or I lose interest. Two people can be in a relationship for years then one day it’s over. Same goes for two people who just met.

Scenario #3: I meet a guy and we have a fun, friendly conversation. I assume we’re just friends exchanging numbers and he assumes it’s more than that. We start texting and I quickly realize he has no idea he’s been friend-zoned. I do my best to explain the misunderstanding and that’s that. Friends.

The third scenario is where things get tricky. When trying to explain to a guy that I’m uninterested, it almost always causes more trouble than if I had just cut off all contact. It’s the few guys who can’t handle the truth that lead girls to avoid being upfront and honest from the start.

Even if I gave a guy a million legitimate reasons or made-up excuses for not responding — rejection is still going to hurt. As someone who has been on both sides, I know it is just as hard to be the one doing the rejecting as it is being rejected.

So, is it OK for a girl to give a guy her number, then never text him back? Yes, it’s perfectly OK. Just like it’s OK if a guy decides to never text a girl back. It happens.

To my dear friend, Thomas, this may not be the reply you wanted from a girl, but you asked for bluntness. Dating is frustrating. Relationships are awkward at first. Technology has only made relationships more difficult. If a girl doesn’t text you back, oh well, there will be others. Don’t lose heart; you’ll learn more often than not we never get the answers we want or the closure we need.

Leigha Faulkner, recent Texas A&M graduate, political science & journalism major