Let’s say you go on a date with a hot person. You grab drinks, go home together, have sex, and then trundle on home. It was fun, but now it’s over, until they text you “Heyyyyyy :]” a few days later. If you respond, they start telling you about their day and asking you about yours, but the whole time you’re screaming inside like, “WHY AM I DOING THIS I WANT TO DIE.”
I submit the following: You can just... not text them back. Not replying to some rando you barely know is a wonderful muscle to exercise, and there’s no better day to start than today.
You don’t know this person and you don’t owe them anything, and even building a relationship based purely around sex doesn’t mean you have to talk about your day.
The same advice can also apply to someone you do know and care about. Yeah, it’s not that hard to send back a “slkjdsdf;;” every time a friend sends you an astrology meme dragging geminis, but also sometimes it is? Don’t feel like you need to respond immediately, especially if responding would mean ignoring the actual person you’re with. If it’s urgent, they’ll tell you. Or even call you!
Now, I don’t advocate not texting your loved ones or even your liked ones back. Trust, care, and communication is the least you owe someone you actually care about. Ghosting and fizzing on people is monstrous! Do better! Being an asshole isn’t self-care! That’s not what Audre Lorde was talking about!!!!
It’s safe to say that humans were never meant to be in contact with every single person they’ve ever met plus millions of people they haven’t at any given time of the day. It’s OK to feel overwhelmed by texting, because texting is, quite frankly, overwhelming! But you can own your feelings and decide not to text back. Besides, when you’re looking at your phone, you’re not looking where you’re going when pedestrian deaths are at the highest they’ve been in 30 years. Do this for yourself. Don’t text them back.
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This article originally appeared on VICE US.