It can be challenging to interpret someone's exact intentions through text, especially when the person's behavior is inconsistent. This inconsistency can leave you feeling fixated and confused, wondering if you're losing your mind.
1. We've all been there and it's maddening
If you've been in the dating scene in the past ten years, you've probably encountered inconsistent texting behavior. This could range from being completely ghosted to receiving frequent messages one day and then no response for days without any explanation. It's a common occurrence due to the prevalence of game-playing and emotional unavailability in many people.
2. It starts with the other person's texting becoming unpredictable
You might have been exchanging texts with a lovely new match from a dating app for a few days, enjoying a smooth and engaging conversation. But suddenly, you notice a change in their texting patterns - they become less frequent or less emotional. While it could be because they are occupied, it could also indicate that they are losing interest in you.
3. You had big expectations
You thought you were really into the person you were texting with, and believed that things were going great between the two of you. You allowed your thoughts to wander and began planning a future with them in your mind, picturing them as your partner, and even imagining having kids with them. However, you may have become overly excited about something that was still in its early stages.
4. You begin to panic and obsession takes over
You start to come up with various theories about why the other person isn't responding to your texts. The most common assumptions are that they despise you or that they're going to leave you. Panic sets in, and it becomes challenging to remain composed. Instead, you become fixated on all the things that could potentially go wrong. This ruins your capacity to relish the present and enjoy the moment with the other person.
5. Intermittent reinforcement is the game
This is essentially a case of intermittent reinforcement, where rewards are inconsistently given out. In the context of texting, this means the messages are not consistent. This process can play with your mind, making you crave more and more. It's similar to gambling, where the thrill of the inconsistency keeps you coming back. If you were to receive what you wanted every time, it would become dull and unexciting.
6. This pattern is more likely when there's a childhood history of inconsistency
Individuals who have experienced inconsistency in their childhood are more susceptible to intermittent reinforcement. They may have felt their parents were inconsistent, leading them to choose partners who do not provide what they need consistently but only sometimes. This can feel like a roller coaster ride of emotions, leaving them exhausted at the end.
7. Hope keeps you trying
You believe that since this person is giving you attention some of the time, maybe they will eventually give it to you all the time. You hold onto a deep well of hope that keeps you coming back for more, despite feeling exhausted and hurt. It's your persistent hope for a loving relationship that motivates you to endure the inconsistency.
8. You're stuck in a pattern
This is not the first instance where someone has been inconsistent with you. You may have had a series of relationships where others have left you hanging in this way. Instead of being in a healthy relationship, you keep finding yourself in similar ones. You may not know exactly why you are stuck in this pattern, but it is painful and not getting you to where you want to be.
9. You're likely not being honest about your feelings
If the other person is acting weird for a day or two, do you address it? Do you let them know that their behavior (or lack thereof) is making you uncomfortable? I understand that it can be challenging to open up and communicate your feelings, especially when you are hurting. However, I suggest giving it a try next time to see whether the other person is worth your time based on their response.
10. You've likely not talked to the other person about your preferences
Have you communicated your texting preferences to them, including when and how much you like to text? Have you both discussed your respective preferences and how to find a compromise? Without open communication, you may continue to suffer silently.