I can remember the anticipation I felt waiting for texts back from the man I would eventually marry, before the three bouncing dots, read receipts, and sending screenshots to friends were even a thing.
Maybe I’d forward a text or two of his to a friend, followed with “What could this mean??
In these questions, there is an avoidance of direct expression of one’s interest (or lack thereof) in another person.
With the spirit of hookup culture—play it cool—guiding texting behavior, no one wants to be the first to express interest, state preferences, or communicate needs.
Security is established when we build trust with our partners, through consistent communication patterns, validation, and emotional availability.
While technology has changed how we meet and interact with potential partners, the science of building connection remains the same.
At this point, you have to look within to find out if you are giving up control for a specific reason, inclusive of intentionally satisfying the need of the person playing the mind game, or are you unwittingly being coerced, manipulated and controlled?
Feelings of insecurity might also come with resentment.
Yet, texting and technology don’t have to be a relational stressor and have the potential to enhance relationships when used to communicate how we feel, especially among young adults. This could mean stepping out of the game and sending a text when you would like to talk to or see that person of interest.
If someone you like texts you, a text back can communicate trust and care to that person, increasing their positive emotions associated with hearing from you.