Deciphering His Vague, Confusing, Off-Putting and Totally Awkward Text Messages

Staring at your phone and not sure what to think or much less reply? Our dating expert cracks the code on four real life text messages that his lady friends recently received, and tells you how to answer.

woman staring at phone
(Image credit: Getty)

I promise I won't use a Groupon on the first date.

It sounds like you have found a really fancy gentleman. I'm kidding around of course, and thankfully so is he. It sounds like you met this guy, flirted a bit, and he has just asked you out. Either you haven't said yes yet, in which case he is joking around but actually saying that he'd like to take you somewhere at least a little bit fancy, or you have just said yes and he's psyched and letting you know he's planning something good. In either case, he doesn't strike me as the type to actually use a Groupon on a date, and is more likely making fun of a recent bad date experience you mentioned.

Your response: If you're on the fence about him and think this is charming? "In that case, how could a lady say no?" would do the trick. If you think you might not want to date him you could say, "That's very kind, but I think I need to pass." A firm no; he'll get the message. And if the date is already on the books? "Can't wait."

Hey girl. I don't think it's a good idea for me to come out tonight. I desperately want to go and see you but I'm running on empty and I need more than five hours of sleep. I'm really sorry, have fun for me.

How is this unclear? Dude likes you. He is yearning to see you, and has actually spent the last hour trying to muster the energy to try to make it out tonight. He simply doesn't have it in him and knows he has a long day tomorrow. The fact that he opens with the "Hey girl" shows implied affection. It might be a bit too soon for him to be using the "Hey girl" with you, but let's forgive him for a moment. After all, he's not mincing words about wanting to hang out – he "desparately" wants to see you. He's stretched super thin and apologizes at the end. I think he's a stand-up guy. Considering some of these texts I've been seeing this guy may be my pick for Gentleman of the Month.

Your response: Be kind no matter what. Even if you're not interested, still be polite. For example: "No problem, hope you sleep well." If you've been seeing this guy or are romantically interested? :Sounds good. Dream of me?" or "No worries. Make it up to me?" Something inviting and playful would work well here.


Text Messages From a Guy (And What to Respond)

I would like to hot toddy all over your face.

Ew. Typically a hot toddy is a warm beverage, a mixed drink with a brandy or whiskey base. Apparently it has also been used, as is the case here, to describe male ejaculate, particularly when it is cold out. I'm guessing this guy stumbled into that definition. Maybe you were sharing that you were curled up by the fireplace with a blanket and a hot toddy in hand, which led to this shocking confession. I'm going to assume here that you and the man in question have had intercourse and the sharing of bodily fluids on skin has occurred. If that's the case, and this sort of text gets your heart racing in an amorous way, good on you. For some people, receiving a text of this nature might be a big turn off. For those people: good on you too.

Your response: If you are grossed out, say so to spare you both future embarrassment. "Gross" or "Ew! Don't ever say that again" are both perfectly fine responses that won't cut the conversation off prematurely. I feel mildly embarrassed to respond on your behalf if you're into this sort of message but here we go: "Sounds delicious." Okay. Someone should probably send this excerpt to my mom.

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Bye Felicia

I happen to know for a fact that this is not the lady's name. It took me a minute to figure this one out but this is actually pretty funny. Apparently "Bye Felicia" is a line from the 1995 movie Friday, starring Ice Cube and Chris Tucker. In it, their neighbor Felicia comes by asking if she can borrow a car or a joint. Chris Tucker is unkind to her so she turns to Ice Cube, about to make the same request. Before she can, he says, "Bye Felicia." In other words, get lost. Why this term is making a resurgence in this decade I cannot say, but it has come back into play in a pretty regular way. I'd just as soon see it fade back into non-existence.

Your response: The dude is being a jerk, and likely is trying to play it off in a passive aggressive way. I wouldn't put it past you to tell him where he can stick it. Or a "Bye Felicia yourself," is a bit kinder. You can also decide to not respond at all, and cut this person out of your life.

Lodro Rinzler is the author of 'Walk Like a Buddha: Even if Your Boss Sucks, Your Ex is Torturing You, and You're Hungover Again' and the founder of the Institute for Compassionate Leadership.