While text messaging was created (I think) to be a convenience, when it comes to dating, texts tend to make things messy. Before you can even get into matters of length of time to respond, there’s the question of whether some texts even deserve a response. Like the ever-annoying “WYD” text.
Like “Good morning” texts, “WYD” messages are at the bottom of the effort chain in my mind. It’s not just that a man can’t bother to type out “What are you doing?”, it’s that the context of said message is basically the daytime equivalent of an 11 pm “you up?” proposition. It’s a lazy way for a man to put himself on your mind and there’s about a 0.0001% chance his response to your answer of “nothing” is going to be “Well, can I take you out?” That man is either bored and wants you to entertain him or he’s keeping you in his back pocket for the next time he’s bored and wants you to entertain him.
The problem is, we make all sorts of excuses for this behavior. “He’s just busy.” “He works a lot.” “He hates texting.” “He prefers spending time in person.”
Writer Kahlil Haywood tackled this topic in a blog post titled, “Why Does The ‘WYD Guy’ Exist and How Do We Get Rid of Him?” In the piece, he interviewed a few different women about their experience with “WYD” men and the real reason they persist. According to these ladies, sending said text is less about a lack of interest and more about a lack of interpersonal skills.
“What I personally see is the continuation of low expectations and accountability for men unable to have strong communication skills outside of business/sports,” a woman named Tass said. “As a society, we allow boys/men to exist and thrive with poor communication skills. We suppress those functions in them from early childhood. A man who can’t freely express himself to himself is chained to his childhood.”
Another woman named Simone blamed social media for the sour conversation starter.
“[I]t’s starting to seem like guys I have interacted with already think they know me from my social media profile. They are at a loss for things to find out and learn about the person they are talking to or they don’t want to come off as corny or thirsty. I am not sure what to make of it, but I think that social media plays a large role in this. People either don’t want you screenshotting them or they feel like they already know you based on a Google search.”
While those hypotheses have certainly proven true in my dating past, I’m more inclined to agree with Kahlil who wrote, “I feel that conversation or lack thereof is congruent to the interest levels of the parties involved with each other. Bland conversation simply means disinterest as far as I can see it… I find it very simple to make conversation with people you’re genuinely interested in. When you’re not as interested, you tend to fish for stuff to talk about. In this day and age even that should be as easy and viral as everything is these days.”
I hate to go all 2004 on you, but the message is the subtext of a “WYD” text is “He’s just that into you.” And that means the answers to my questions, “Do You Respond To ‘WYD’ Texts From Men?” And “Should You?” are both “no.”
As Khalil wrote, “Ladies, in the pantheon of the men you’ve dated, I’m sure you can make that clear distinction. Some of you all have wasted enough time with folks that have nothing to say. Well, assume that they’re just not interested enough. Assume that maybe they just wanted some a– and they couldn’t even be real about those intentions either. Save yourself the time and headache. We’re talking about grown men who can’t articulate what they want. Grown men who have gotten past the hardest part, which was getting your contact information. They have access to you and don’t know what to do with it. Who has patience for that?”