He Said/She Said: Decoding Text Messages

[He Said/She Said is a new series designed to help all our wonderfully confused readers figure out what he’s really thinking. So every week we’ll be throwing out a topic for debate…and unlike our fave dude, these guys won’t be sugar coating anything for you. But before you jump into their heads (which seriously will make you feel like you need to shower), check out what we think!]

Whenever I ask a guy for guy advice, he always says one of two things:

1. “Stop worrying about guys and just hook up with a girl….so I can watch.”
2. “Guys are not that complex. They say what they mean.”

I want to believe that (the second one; I usually just completely disregard the first one…after I smack him). I mean, he’s a guy so he should know, right? But hard as I try to take a guy’s word at face value, it’s impossible. They’re just so vague. And confusing. And what the f**k does, “whatever” mean?!?!

And that’s especially true when it comes to text messages.

Sigh. The text message. So few letters, so many hours spent analyzing it. And throw in some punctuation? My god, you might as well have me solve a trig equation. Ambiguous text messages leave so many of us ladies staring blankly at our cell phone screens, a look of completely confusion on our faces (and not always due to the iPhone auto correcting “we’re getting bombed” to “we’re getting boobed”). To say it’s frustrating is an understatement so I thought it was time to break it all down. Put an end to the textual over-analyzing once and for all. Give us back those hours to be used for more pressing tasks…like catching up on Million Dollar Listing.

Below, a list of common text messages and what I, a typical female, think when I receive them (as crazy as those thoughts might be). Read, relate, then click on over to see a guy’s perspective.

1. Sure – Sure? SURE? Way to be excited about whatever it is I just proposed.

2. What’s up – Either he’s trying to get a little witty text banter rolling…or he’s trying to get a little witty “will you come over for a booty call” banter rolling.

3. What are you doing later – OMG HE TOTALLY WANTS TO SEE ME LATER! Do I tell him I have no plans so then he asks me for plans? No, that might make me look like a loser. Who doesn’t have plans on a Friday night? But if I tell him that I’m going out with the roommates, he might not want to come and hang out with a bunch of girls.

4. I wish you were here – He misses me and is thinking about me enough to send a text message. He wants to experience things with me. He wants to experience LIFE with me. He wants to marry me! I wonder if he dreams about our wedding, and if he’s okay with the fact that I want to adopt. I hope he is because I really don’t want stretch marks. But I’m open for discussion if he has a really good reason for it

5. I’m not feeling well – OMG he’s totally blowing me off to hang out with someone else. But what if he’s not? Should I bring him soup? How cute would it be if I brought him soup and then we snuggled in his bed eating oyster crackers and watching Modern Family? But what if I go out and buy the soup, bring it over and he’s out with his guys? He’s totally blowing me off. But why? Did I text him too much? I was totally way too clingy.

6. It was nice seeing you last night – YAYYYY! He’s so into me! I can’t believe I tossed and turned all night wondering. Yayyy. But wait, why didn’t he ask to see me again? Should I respond to this and say it was nice seeing him, too? Or should I play hard to get and make him miss me so he asks me out again? I should totally ask Amy. She’s good at this stuff.

7. Whatever you want to do – Great, he’s so not into this. If he was, he’d be planning something, like a romantic walk through campus or offering to cook me dinner at his apartment. But no. He’s leaving it up to me, which means he doesn’t even want to see me.

8. I’ll text you later – When is later? Like, after class? Or after dinner? Or does he mean like “later” later, as in booty call time? Great, now I have to keep my phone on me at the gym just in case he texts. Or maybe I should leave it at home so I won’t be tempted to respond right away and then I’m all mysterious. But then I’ll just be thinking about it the whole time. I’ll just keep the phone by me. Yeah, that’s safe.

9. OK. He used a period. What did I do!?

10. haha – Convo ender. How do I respond to “haha”? I guess a smiley would work, but then there’s nothing for him to respond to. I guess that’s over. But he does think I’m funny. Smiley face.

Sound familiar? Yeah, don’t pretend you don’t do this. But guys do it, too. So let’s find out what they think when they get the same exact texts. Click here to see what he says on CoedMagazine.



  1. […] Ever wonder what a guy really means when he texts “What’s up” out of the blue? CollegeCandy helps you decode boy text speak. The Upside of Conflict, from Positively Present, has some great tips to help you work through a […]

  2. ted stevens says:

    Text messages are man's greatest creation, it completely disarms the power trips chick use when you call them, she says "call me tonight," so you do, then she says "I'm busy call me back" just to see if you will like a loser then she'll know she has the power already. So when she says "call me tonight," I text her, which says to her: "respond, or don't respond I'm not sweating it." Oh the lack of effort it allows Mwah hahahaha.

    1. Erin says:

      Au contraire, Ted. I use text messages to mess with the male brain, too. How lovely it is to, oh, I don't know, not text a man back for hours, or days, only to get him asking, "Hello? Did I do something wrong? You mad?"

      Don't pretend like dudes got texts lock, we do it too, sweetie.

    2. Ashley says:

      But life would be better for everyone if guys AND girls stopped using texts and phones as weapons in some kind of power struggle. If you like someone and they show interest, reciprocate!

      Can't tell you how many times I've read "Guys love the chase" then turned around and saw "Girls love the chase" two minutes later. No wonder there are so many singles, everybody's playing hard to get!

    3. thedudeman says:

      Haha I hate to break it to you, but you texting her doesn't mean you now have control: You contacting her at all, after she asked you, means you completely bought into the "she is the prize, I am the doormat guy, and now I'm gonna chase her like a good doggy" frame.

      When a girl says "call me later!" I say "Look I'm gonna be in an important meeting later, so I can't call you. But if you text me maybe I'll remember to get back to you after. Say something cute to jog my memory" and laugh. She may text you, if she doesn't so what? She wasn't interested anyway, on to the next girl. Once a girl stops playing into YOUR frame? Just go onto the next girl until the old girl finally gives up, caves in, and calls you or texts you! And when she does, you REALLY have her by the vajayjay.

      Just remember- never have one-it-is. That is your biggest cause of failure!

  3. katie says:

    Definitely liking the articles from both angles. Nice to know I'm not alone in some of my thinking.

  4. maybealittlemiffed says:

    oh, man! i love how women are ALL like this and ALL think exactly like this–especially since all men think exactly the same, too! thanks for decoding every person from every walk of life and not devoting a website to a small, stereotypical, and extremely offensive demographic of society. all women from all walks of life and all feminists appreciate it, not just the rich sorority girls. lol.

    1. S says:

      I would never read into text messages like this, but at the same time, I am not a typical girl. I have tons of girl friends who respond exactly this way… its super annoying but also hilarious to watch.

      The writer never claimed to be an expert on all girls, and obviously this article is not supposed to be taken too seriously.

  5. chick says:

    . I’ll text you later – When is later? Like, after class? Or after dinner? Or does he mean like “later” later, as in booty call time? Great, now I have to keep my phone on me at the gym just in case he texts. Or maybe I should leave it at home so I won’t be tempted to respond right away and then I’m all mysterious. But then I’ll just be thinking about it the whole time.

    lol I have done this so many times

    this is really good, funny and what I, a typical female, think when I receive them too.

  6. inflorire says:

    Ted, WHO have you been dating!? If I'm busy I just say, "Hold on, I'll call you back." Otherwise, I'm usually delighted if the guy I'm into calls…

    As for the article– I didn't want to admit it, but this is pretty much all true! Haha. I had a good laugh.

  7. Becca says:

    LEAST-favourite thing anybody says or texts: "Sure, go with that." in response to a suggestion or question. That makes everything you've said up to that point seem totally not-genuine.

  8. I can't believe this kind of article is for real. Read our response to a very similar piece here:

  9. Indigo says:

    Oh i love this article))) A+++ to the author! If anybody needs a text advice go to TheNextText dot com where you can share the thread and get advice of the next text! Fun and helpful, recommend!

  10. […] Marge and he was Homer Simpson. Yep, pretty bad. However, his personality was amazing! We had that witty text banter down, he made me laugh all the time and I thought he was the greatest guy I’d ever been with. […]

  11. Jazmine W. says:

    So me and this guy i like were inboxing so he started off with… “we all missed you tonight”… And i answered with “that actually made my saturday morning” and then he said a few mins later “:) well, enjoy your weekend! You are awesome Jazmine!!”…. Im sooo confused because lately he started to flirt with me and ive kinda been a lil more shy than usual. But im not sure if he is noticing i actually like him. Can someone help?

  12. frank alvarado says:

    Some girl said rape the benefits of my sexual wisdome. What does that mean??

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