Well, so far we’ve kept things in a pretty comfortable place from a writing standpoint here at DCIAB, covering sports, ourselves, and hiding behind our keyboards while we mocked others. It’s been a blast. But I’m going to step away from that for this post and into the vast realm of teenage romance.

I guess you could venture to call this “relationship advice.” (I did exactly that in the tags, so, yeah, fine.) However, that begs the question who am I, a not-even-in-college teenager, to advise you on your relationships? I’ll tell you right now that I’m not even close to perfect. I’ve been rejected and hurt people in the past; who hasn’t? That being said, I would consider myself to be an observant and conscientious guy and this advice comes merely from what I see going on around me.

Something I notice that so many teenagers do when they like someone and they’re not sure what to do about it is to play the “Texting Game”. You know what I’m talking about—feeling the other person out through text conversations and over-analyzing everything the other person says. People playing this game fixate on inane details such as…

  • “Oh my god! She said “Heyyyy” with FOUR Y’s when I texted her! That’s definitely a positive sign!”
  • “Shit. Shit. Shit! I texted him ten whole minutes ago and he still hasn’t responded! I’ve ruined everything! Why am I so stupid?
  • “Wow she is using a bunch of exclamation points! She must be into me because she’s being so enthusiastic!”

The list goes on from there. Here’s the thing: this is complete bullshit. That girl most likely uses a few extra y’s all the time and habitually did the same for you. For all you know, maybe she still uses a BlackBerry and her y-key is stuck. The whole “he hasn’t responded in X amount of time and it’s killing me” panic attack is a little more understandable but also quite possibly pointless. Calm down, it’s likely that the person you’re courting just doesn’t have their phone with them. Just because they haven’t responded in a little while doesn’t mean the world will come crashing down at your feet. Finally, gleaning interest from punctuation is a waste of time. Personally, I use a lot of exclamation points and “haha”s when I’m texting. It doesn’t matter if I have romantic interest in who I’m texting or not, I’m just an enthusiastic texter. This also means that if the person you’re texting seems disinterested because they’re unenthusiastic, this may not mean anything.

Sure, from time to time the conclusions people leap to based on their flimsy over-analysis turn out to be correct. But here’s my point: this is a waste of time! The person you’re texting easily could be doing the exact same thing about your texts. If you like someone, just make that clear already. You’re wasting valuable time that could be spent dating them or getting over them if things don’t turn out like you hope they do. If you really like a girl and can’t tell her to her face, just tell her best friend. Chances are she’ll know within 30 seconds and then you can find out if you’re in or…still on the market.

Take it from someone that has personally wasted months keeping quiet and watched others do the exact same thing: just come out with it already. The answer is yes or no, and the number of emoticons he or she used won’t change that answer.