Texting Mistakes Boyfriends Make

You’re playing Dota or MapleStory Mobile when you receive a message from your girlfriend. You pause your game and reply her like the good boyfriend. 15 minutes later, your phone lights up with a series of rapid-fire texts.

Your girlfriend is raging at you, again, for no apparent reason. What went wrong?

If this sounds familiar, you’re probably tired of accidentally triggering your girlfriend. So to help unfortunate boyfriends who kena, I’ll draw from my personal experience and attempt to explain why girls get annoyed with these texting responses.

1. When you reply texts incompletely

Girlfriend: Eh babe, next week dinner and drinks with my best friend and her bf
Girlfriend: And they ask you to come, you can anot?
Girlfriend: If you can what time can you make it?
Girlfriend: Also, is there anything you want to eat?
Boyfriend: Ok can, we go

My biggest pet peeve is when I send my boyfriend a few questions and he doesn’t reply to all of them. In my mind, I’m like, “WHAT GOOD ARE YOUR EYES FOR IF YOU CAN’T SEE AND REPLY MESSAGES COMPLETELY?”

It’s worse if he purposely avoids a question or changes the topic because he doesn’t want or is embarrassed to answer.

How to reply:

From the feedback I’ve gathered from my other guy friends, they’ve confirmed most of the time, guys don’t do this intentionally. They tell me guys generally suck at multitasking, and can respond to only one question at a time.

So I think this one’s on girls to message their man only one question at a time.

2. When you sarcastically remark “lol”

Girlfriend: Hey are you going to meet your friends later?
Boyfriend: Yah I already told you what lol

Unless your girlfriend makes a joke, or you’re pointing out something funny you saw, please don’t end your sentences with “lol”. Some use in place of “lah” or “leh”, but it can come off as condescending.

How to reply:

Just leave out the “lol”. The only time you should be lol-ing is when something is actually funny (use “LOLOL”). And whatever you do, don’t use “ok lol”.

3. When you use “k”

Girlfriend: I bought you dinner! Gonna reach your house soon.
Boyfriend: k

The laws of the texting Universe dictate whenever you use “k”, your girlfriend will get pissed off. The longer her message, the angrier your girlfriend.

It’s the ultimate conversation killer with a huge serving of “I really don’t care” on the side. And because “k” is commonly used when people are frustrated or angry, your girlfriend might interpret it as you being unhappy for no reason and get upset.

How to reply:

Use “kk”, “ok” with a smiley emoji, or “kk b”. When you “b” or “babe” your girlfriend, the term of endearment makes it difficult for her to be mad at you.

4. When you use “Fine.”

Girlfriend: Hey sorry I can’t meet you later. I’m going to eat dinner with my parents.
Boyfriend: Fine.
Girlfriend: Dafuq are you angry at me for eating with my parents?

Punctuation has a lot of meaning over text. Because texting norms demand we omit punctuation at the end of each sentence, adding a full-stop comes off as clipped and curt.

“Fine” on its own treads on neutral territory. It could be passive-aggressive, but you can’t be too sure.

But “fine” with a full stop is the cherry on top of the anger cake, with a 100% success rate of getting your girlfriend’s temper going.

How to reply:

If you insist on using “fine”, try a “Fine!” or “That’s fine!”. You sound happy and your girlfriend will be too.

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5. When you unintentionally dismiss her texts

Girlfriend: Omg I went to eat dinner just now and we went to this new restaurant
Girlfriend: It’s at Orchard
Girlfriend: I was thinking we should go there for dinner
Girlfriend: And we can go for a nice date, what do you think?
Boyfriend: Oh haha cool

This is one of the most common ways boyfriends fall into the fiery inferno pit that is their girlfriend’s displeasure.

Usually, it happens when she sends you a long text or series of texts chronicling her day. To which you reply, “oh that’s cool”, “oh haha cool”, or some variant, sealing your fate.

Initially, she may have brushed it off as “a guy thing” but it’s probably happened one too many times. She’s probably upset because she interprets your response as disinterested and dismissive; she’s trying to share her life with you and feels her efforts are unrequited.

How to reply:

When you notice your girlfriend sending more than four texts in a row, know you’re required to respond with a full-fledged sentence and related follow-up question. Throw in a smiley face for good measure.

6. When you ask her things she’s already mentioned

Girlfriend: Eh babe remember this Saturday I booked tickets for Crazy Rich Asians
Boyfriend: What time is it ah?
Girlfriend: OMG I tell you how many times already

It’s only human to err and forget random pieces of information. Though your girlfriend knows this, she may interpret your forgetfulness as you not paying attention to her and rage at you.

How to reply:

The best way to counter this is to just… remember. Write down her schedule on your phone’s calendar. Talk to her and have her understand you’re trying your best.

7. When you use “???”

Boyfriend: Hey what time are we meeting later?
Boyfriend: ???

You may think you’re repeating your question, but your girlfriend probably interprets your reply as you being impatient.

How to reply:

Remove “???” from your texting vocab immediately. Send her an emoji or cute Telegram sticker instead.

8. When you give one-word answers such as “ya”, “cool”, “sure” 

Girlfriend: I want to buy that Topshop bag I’ve been wanting for a long time
Girlfriend: Is a bit ex but I think it’s worth it
Girlfriend: Should I buy?
Boyfriend: ya
Girlfriend: Uhm are you okay is it you don’t want me to waste money

Marginally less annoying cousins of “k”, these alternative replies are used by those who know “k” is rude. Some guys reply this way to acknowledge their girlfriend’s messages to show they’re listening.

But girls do communicate differently. When you give monosyllabic answers without further elaboration, girls might overthink and interpret your unintentionally ‘cold’ response as a sign you’re unhappy or something more.

How to reply:

Sending a one-word text may be more convenient, but the fall out is not worth the trouble. Add the “b” to these replies. B for babe, b for better.

9. When you end of sentences with “…”

Girlfriend: The MRT is damn slow, I’m going to be 10 min late, sry!
Boyfriend: Uh, you said 7.00pm sharp…

You’ve probably noticed when you end statements with “…”, it drives her nuts. Letting your sentence dangle causes you to sound unsure, or passive-aggressive as the brain interprets it as an “uhm…”.

How to reply:

Use a full stop; don’t let your sentence dangle.

Replying Text Messages

If you realise you have any of the above texting habits, hopefully, you now know how to avoid unintentionally annoying your girlfriend!

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Cover illustration by Asher Mak