Last Updated on March 14, 2023 by Alexander Burgemeester
If you receive a dry text from someone, there are a few ways to respond and keep the conversation going.
You can try to ask open-ended questions to encourage them to share more information, add some humor or personal anecdotes to make the conversation more engaging, or use emojis or GIFs to convey emotions and tone.
You can also acknowledge the dryness of the text and try to address it honestly and respectfully, by saying you sense that they may be busy or not in the mood to talk, and asking if they want to continue the conversation later or talk about something else.
Being on the receiving end of dry texts can be both frustrating and confusing.
You might feel annoyed with the other person’s disregard for having a meaningful conversation. Or you may worry that you’ve done something to offend or irritate them.
Regardless of the circumstances, it’s important to react appropriately to dry texts. You want to understand what’s going on, but you don’t want to put in more effort than necessary. Let’s get into what you need to know.
How Do You Respond to a Dry Texter?
You’re texting someone back and forth. Then, you’re suddenly met with either the dreaded one-word responses, erratic replies, or complete ghosting. What’s going on here?
Dry texting happens for many reasons, which we’ll outline below, but it’s important to know how to respond to these types of messages. Here are some tips:
Ask More Specific Questions
What are your main hobbies? What was the best part of your day today? What kind of music do you listen to?
These questions require specific answers and one-word responses like “k, haha, or lol” won’t answer them effectively! If you suspect someone is a dry texter because they’re shy or nervous, these types of open-ended questions can encourage them to open up more.
I really miss you right now. I can’t stop thinking about the other tonight. I wish you were here in my bed with me.
Getting flirty sends a subtle invitation that you’re in the mood to talk. Chances are if they like you, they’ll be thrilled and excitedly flirt right back.
And if they don’t, it’s probably a sign that they aren’t that interested in you. At that point, you probably have a clear sign that it’s time to move on.
Discuss Things You Know They Like
Along with asking specific questions, try to engage in conversations about topics that are meaningful to the other person. What are their main interests? What could they talk about forever?
That’s not to say the conversation should be totally one-sided. You deserve to get your say in there, too!
But if the other person is anxious, it may help to diffuse the tension by talking about things that they feel comfortable sharing.
Ask If Something Is Up
If you two are close, and the dry texting comes seemingly out of nowhere, it’s compassionate to ask what’s going on. This shows that you acknowledge their feelings and care about how they’re doing.
You can say something like, You seem a little distant. Is everything ok? You might also consider sending them a message like, Hey, this might not be intentional, but I feel like you’re withdrawing from me. Is something going on?
If they care about you, they will likely have a legitimate reason for their change in behavior. But if they act dodgy or strange- or they act like you’re overreacting- that could be a cause for concern.
Reference a Shared Memory or Experience
You can try to deepen the conversation by highlighting a special part of your relationship.
This might sound like, I just saw (mutual friend) today. She wanted to know how you were doing. Do you remember that time we all went to dinner and couldn’t stop laughing? Miss you!
See If They Want to Hang Out or Call
One of the best ways to respond to dry texting is to ask if the other person wants to talk in a different way. Maybe they’re bored with texting, or your conversation has fallen into a predictable rut.
If they seem eager to spend time together or talk on the phone, it probably just means they need a change of pace. But, if they make excuses or deny your request, it likely means something is up.
Just thinking of you- you’re so amazing!
I love having you in my life, and I wanted you to know that.
You’re seriously so beautiful, and I don’t know how I got so lucky.
When in doubt, genuine compliments can go a long way toward strengthening your communication and building a deeper connection.
And if someone keeps dry texting after a heartfelt compliment, that’s a clear sign that they probably won’t change how they text. It’s up to you to decide how you want to move forward.
Should You Respond to a Dry Texter At All?
It depends on the situation.
First, ask yourself, how much do you value the relationship? If this is your partner or a close friend, you want to consider having a genuine conversation about the situation.
In almost all cases, it’s important to share your feelings with loved ones before building resentment.
If you’re talking to someone new, and they’re a serial dry texter, you may want to reconsider moving forward.
Relationships are exciting when you’re just getting to know someone, so if you’re already being met with resistance, there’s a strong chance you’re being led on.
Do You Send Dry Texts Back?
Although it may feel tempting, try to resist the urge to send dry texts back in response.
Acting in this way often only perpetuates problematic behavior. It also exhibits a sense of immaturity by showing that you’re going to treat people poorly if they treat you poorly.
Instead, aim to be the healthier person in the dynamic. Treat people the way you would like to be treated. Even though you might feel frustrated, doing so will make you feel much better in the long run.
Why Is He or She Dry Texting?
People dry text for various reasons, and not all of them are inherently malicious. More than anything, it’s important to ask yourself: is this one-time behavior, or is this more of a constant trend?
If it’s a trend, it has to do with either their personality or your dynamic, and it’s unlikely to change unless they feel motivated to change it.
Consider How They Talk to You In Real Life
Are they talkative during face-to-face interactions? Do you feel like you sustain their attention and like you two have meaningful conversations?
If they’re engaged in real life, that’s a positive sign. It just may mean that they’re anxious about texting- or that they don’t prefer that mode of communication.
But if they’re minimal and guarded in real life- or if you two haven’t met in person yet– their pattern of dry texting may translate to everything they do. In other words, they probably won’t give you much attention.
Examine Patterns of Engaged Texting
Some people dry text when they’re in a bad mood, having an off day, extremely busy, or due to some other situational stressor.
So, take a look at your texting history. Does this seem like a one-off issue, or is this more of the norm?
If it’s the norm, it’s unlikely they will change. If you suspect it’s due to an external issue, consider asking them directly.
You’re Talking About Something That Makes Them Uncomfortable
Some people dry text because they feel angry, nervous, or awkward talking about a specific subject. This is an indirect attempt to try to get you to change the subject.
Notice if their behavior shifts once you change the subject. Do they suddenly seem eager to talk about something else? If so, their texting probably has to do with the specific topic instead of you.
They Feel Overwhelmed or Ambivalent About What They Want
Some people dry text when they’re playing the field. They might be talking to multiple people at the same time to get a feel for what they really want.
Consider if you want to be a pawn in this game. Maybe you’re also feeling things out, and that’s totally okay. But if you want to move forward, you deserve someone who can give you their full attention.
They’re Losing (Or Lost Interest) In You
Here’s the thing: regardless of how you want to complicate it, sending a text, even when you’re sending a couple of sentences, is extraordinarily simple. It often takes less than a minute or so to do.
And no matter how busy we are, we all seem to find the time to scroll through social media, drink coffee, watch TV, or lounge around.
So, if someone persistently dry texts you, it probably means they don’t prioritize you much. If they really cared about you, they’d value having your connection.
Is Dry Texting a Red Flag?
Dry texting isn’t inherently a red flag, but it can certainly be a cause for concern.
To distinguish if it is a red flag, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I constantly feel like I’m putting more effort into our conversations?
- Do I feel like this person engages with other people better than me?
- Do I feel like I’m just talking to a stranger?
- Do I feel like I’m always upsetting or annoying this person?
- Do I always need to be the one to reach out or check in?
- Do I get annoyed by our texting habits?
If you answer yes to several questions, it probably suggests that dry texting is a significant problem in your dynamic. You can either keep things as is (and continue feeling resentful), or you can take steps to improve the situation.
How to Open Up a Dry Texter
Dry texting doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed, but it’s helpful to be proactive when approaching the issue with the other person.
Remember that some people dry text when they feel nervous or shy, so try to give them the benefit of the doubt at first.
Here are some other steps you can take:
Ask More Open-Ended Questions
It’s possible that you’re a dry texter yourself, even if you don’t realize it. And even if you’re not a dry texter, you might text in a way that makes it challenging for other people to talk about themselves.
Consider prioritizing sending texts that focus on the other person. How did work go today? What did you do with your mom this morning, and how is she doing? What movie did you end up watching, and what did you think of it?
These questions give them more of a chance to talk about themselves, and that might encourage them to open up to you more.
It’s possible that you might be too forthcoming or aggressive in your texts. Look back at your recent exchanges. Do you double or triple-text? Do you send long-winded messages loaded with tons of complicated questions?
If so, these behaviors may come across as overwhelming or intrusive. Consider reducing the number of texts you send, and see what happens. The other person may notice right away, and that could make them more aware of their part in this dynamic.
Let Them Know It Bothers You
You can say something as simple as, I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but I often send you long messages and receive very little in response. It bothers me and makes me second-guess our relationship.
How they respond will be telling. Are they defensive or dismissive of your needs? If so, that could certainly be a sign of deeper problems in the relationship.
Do they apologize and own their behavior? If so, can they provide any insight into their behavior? Maybe they didn’t even realize they were being so short with you. Or maybe they picked up on some subtle signal to back off.
Either way, a loving person will respect your needs and want to collaborate on an effective solution. Even if they never become as engaged of a texter as you, they’ll ideally take steps to make more of an effort.
If you’re dealing with dry texting in a relationship, don’t just ignore it and hope it resolves on its own. Unless it’s due to a specific situation, dry texters don’t necessarily change their behavior. As a result, you’ll continue feeling annoyed and frustrated.
Confront the issue, assert your needs, and reevaluate the relationship as needed- you deserve someone who’s engaged and excited to talk to you!