Despite what your super normal and certainly not “unhinged” friend says, just because somebody is a bad texter doesn’t mean you have to break up with them. Believe it or not, there are people out there who remain blissfully unattached to their phones, who text like they’re sending an e-mail to a co-worker they kind of know, instead of somebody they want to ‘like’ like them.

On the other hand, some stay 100% locked into their phones at all times, and still somehow come across as dry and unenthusiastic, despite how charming they may be in person. It’s frustrating, sure, and it could be a sign that you aren’t compatible in some deeper way, but there are some things you can try before you resort to pulling the plug!

Strike up a conversation that interests them

The very first thing you need to do is establish their baseline text style, but since you’re here you probably already have a library of, admittedly very boring to read, evidence. You’ll know what kind of issues you have with the way they write, whether it’s their tone and choice of language, or if they throw out emojis like they’re going out of style.

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See if that changes when they’re in charge of the conversation, and check if that brings out a side of their texting that you enjoy more. It’s a similar principle to dealing with somebody face to face, a lull in conversation can be reignited by a well-placed prompt, so try and get them engaging more with the process.

Look at their social media pages

Not in a stalker type of way, of course. Consider this textual analysis… and the text just happens to be directly tied to the author. Although not everything on the internet is worth taking seriously, the way somebody conducts their personal business very much should be. If they’re spouting abusive hatred, then clearly that’s a red flag, but you can compare still how they post with how they text.

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Do they reply to people, or write their thoughts with more effort than they put into talking to you? Do they engage passionately with internet strangers instead of replying to your texts? If so, that’s not exactly a promising sign. Confrontation and conflict are parts of communication, but if they require that to put effort into a conversation, it’s probably a sign there’s something bigger that needs to be resolved.

Switch to voice messages

If you’re looking to hold on to your poor texter, they’re likely good enough in person to make any effort worthwhile. Recording a little snippet of your day to log like an audio diary can be a fun way to get a more natural flow of conversation going while you’re apart. Plenty of people are just talking on their phones in the street and coffee shops, you’ll blend right in.

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Some people are stimulated much better by audio on a pretty fundamental level, we typically associate it with learning styles, but it contributes to how we communicate. You might find once you establish a pattern, the lower frequency of texts results in an improvement of the ones they do send, helping you two grow closer while resolving the pesky issue.

Try to ignore it

If they truly are great enough in person, then a problem with the way they text will be small enough to overlook, at least for now. As long as his texting style isn’t dismissive, if he isn’t a completely different person through writing, then it will only be an issue until you start spending more time together.

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Let it drive you to dig a little deeper, and hopefully, in the process solve the issue either over time, the growing intimacy you share, or just general conversation revealing his rationale. In any instance, the worst thing that can happen is that you two break up, which is a completely normal and healthy part of life.