Friendly or Flirty: How To Decipher Ambiguous Texts

Say what?

No one leaves home without their phone (not intentionally), and most prefer typing messages rather than making calls. Yet, it can still be hard to decipher the meaning behind the texted word (or the dreaded “no response”), especially when dating.

Here’s a look at a few of the most ambiguous texts, why they’re confusing, and ways to make them less cryptic so you don’t leave your date hanging.

"What are you doing tonight?"

Texting this to a friend might not be cause for alarm. But, sending this to a date may cause confusion. It’s the word tonight that’s tripping up this sentence. It implies you want to see them sometime this evening . . . anywhere from 7pm to 3am.

Instead of using the word tonight, be more distinct. “What are you doing after work?,” or "What are you doing for dinner?," implies you’d like to see them but not necessarily in the late evening hours. (Or, if it really is about the late night, be upfront, maybe you’ll get the response you’re hoping for.)

“I heard about last night”

The text, “I heard about last night,” can definitely have a few different meanings. Here’s why: The word heard suggests that someone knows something you may or may not know, and last night implies something scandalous because it supposedly happened in the evening. The first conclusion when getting a text like this: “What did I do?"

If you send someone this type of message, be more specific to what you might have heard: “I heard you had a date last night.” Or, instead of insinuating you already know the situation, ask for the details: “What happened last night?” Don’t keep the rumor mill running unnecessarily.

“Wanna try something new?”

At first glance, this text doesn’t seem that ambiguous. It’s simply asking if you want to do something out of the ordinary. Easy-peasy, right? Wrong. The words used: something and new don't tell you what that something new is. Do you want to try a new sushi place or new sexual position? Very different suggestions.

When in doubt, be sure to text what you want to do, such as “Wanna try that new Mexican spot?” You are still suggesting something new, but now you aren’t leaving the other person [fearfully] guessing.

“Can we try for sometime next week?”

Plans change all the time. But, when you’re counting on them, a change of plans can really be a hard blow. If you text a love interest or friend about getting together this week, and they reply with, “Can we try for sometime next week?”, it sounds like they may be blowing you off. The reason being they’re using the words try and sometime . . . very vague. No concrete plans are provided, which can cause you to think they’re not that into you.

A response of “how about next week?”, is much more clear and shows that even though a person is busy this week they still have the intention of seeing you the following week when things slow down.

“I’m waiting for you at home.”

This text seems to be pretty flirtatious. You have the words waiting and home, which makes the person receiving this message think something will happen once they get there. However, this could either be a good surprise (say, wine and sexy music) . . . or a bad one (an annoyed significant other ready to throw on the gloves).

If there’s not a hidden motive behind your simple check-in text, try using, “I’m home. See you soon.,” to keep things easy and clear.

“Hi”

Although a normally friendly greeting in person, the word hi in a text can mean so much more. If it were written out like, “hiiiiii,” we might think of this as a flirty message that calls for attention in a cutesy way. However, when you send only a simple “hi,” they can wonder if you’re just checking in or if there is cause for worry. The reason for confusion? There is no punctuation.

To fix this, add an exclamation point for when you’re excited or use a period to show you’re not happy and have some business to discuss.

“Love you”

These two small words can have a very big meaning. And yet, they are thrown around in texts all the time. Texting “love you” to someone doesn’t necessarily mean you’re madly in love with them. It can be more of a slang phrase used in a snarky or playful context. For example, “love you, you’re so funny!” Or, “Love you, but really . . . that dress?”

Here’s the problem. You have the word love and the word you in the sentence, which means you’re stating affection. If you don’t actually feel that intense affection though, don’t put these two words together. Instead, reply with “love that,” making for a slightly clearer message, less hurt feelings . . . and no empty ice-cream tubs later on.

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