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Men, I’ve got bad news for you: women are judging your direct message game hard. They’re showing their friends all of your messages. They even have their friends sitting around them, watching your exchanges live, analyzing everything you say and helping the woman you’re talking to formulate her response. Women, I’ve got news for you: stop that sh*t. Some poor guys don’t even stand a chance in the online/dating app game because they just aren’t good at cyber banter. But if you think about it, you probably know a lot of guys—good, sociable, normal, likable guys—who actually wouldn’t be very good at direct messages, either. Some personalities just don’t translate into direct message. And you wouldn’t want them to! So, unless a guy says something blatantly mean, rude, or creepy, we shouldn’t be so judgmental. Here are reasons you shouldn’t judge a guy for his direct message skills.

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The witty DMers can be too much in IRL

The DMers who always have a funny store to tell, meme to send, or witty comment to make can be too much in real life. Think about it: if they talk as much as they DM, then they are always on aka never shut up.

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If he’s really skilled, he’s probably a player

Don’t be too impressed by the guys who are great at direct messages, either. If it seems like this guy knows all the right buttons to push to get you to hang out, it’s because he does. And he does it every day with plenty of women.

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He may be messaging from work

A guy may just be short in his replies or slow in response time because he’s at work. He might not have hours to dedicate to formulating witty direct messages. At least he’s responsible.

DMs are more an area where women shine

Women are kind of just better at expressing themselves through writing. We can be very thorough communicators when we use our pen (or keyboard, in this instance). We can’t expect men to keep up with us.

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Some humor is best understood in person

In fact, the humor that is best understood online can be rather hacky in real life, don’t you think? Here’s another time in which you have to ask yourself, “Don’t I know a lot of really funny guys whose humor wouldn’t translate online?”

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He may not realize DMs are important

A lot of men just don’t realize the importance that women put on direct messages. Some believe that, if you’re willing to DM with them, that you’ve already decided to go out with them, so they can save the banter for the IRL encounter.

No Love On Tinder

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And honestly, DMs aren’t that important

Ladies, you can drag out the DM process a bit too long. Obviously, you need to feel safe and comfortable with a guy before meeting him, but some of you develop month-long pen pal relationships with guys before meeting them. Naturally, many men will give up at that point.

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Strong but silent types can’t DM

If you’re into the strong but silent type, then you have to know that you aren’t going to find one that is good at direct messaging.

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Busy guys can’t DM either

Do you want someone who has all the free time in the world to DM with you or do you want somebody who has a life? Because the guy who is always available to DM and fully present in those messages will be very needy if you date.

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Maybe English isn’t his first language

There’s always the possibility that English isn’t this person’s first language, and so he is a bit shy using the written word to communicate.

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He might just talk about himself IRL

Here’s another problem you can come across with guys who have plenty of fun things to say in DMs: they talk about themselves constantly in real life. In the DM world, you don’t notice it—you’re just happy to read their witty stories when you have the free time to do so. On a date, you’d never get a word in edgewise.

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He may have been out of the game for a while

It’s also quite possible that this guy has been out of the dating game for a while. Maybe he was in a long-term relationship—so long that he never really did the app dating thing before. At least he knows how to be in a committed relationship.

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His Internet connection could be limited

He may be low on data, so he can only use it to DM so often, or may live somewhere with spotty Internet.

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Some people are just better in person

Look, a lot of people are just better in person. If you spend ten minutes with them, you understand them and like them instantly. And then, you forgive and better understand their odd DM skills.

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Or at least, on the phone

At least get someone on the phone before writing him off because of his DM skills. It’s a totally free, easy step to take so you don’t potentially write off a great guy.

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