LONDON Ah, the joy of love’s first flush. Oh wait , no it’s 2016.
Alas, when you’re a millennial, the start of a new relationship is anything but joyful.
We all know the feeling. You’ve exchanged numbers; you’ve friended them on Facebook; you’re now invested and every message counts.
During those early days of texting back and forth, it’s hard to know precisely where you stand with your prospective partner. Topics abound. Do they like me back? Do they think I’m funny? OMG, do they just wanna be friends?
Worst of all, however, is the nervous impression in the pit of your stomach as you await a response to a text. As period processions on, the nervousness increases, eventually becoming nigh-on unbearable. You feel all of the feelings known to mankind.
These are the 11 stages of waiting for a new devotee to text us back.
Stage 1: The post-send panic
OK, you have just hit send. That was scary. The deed is done. You’ve sent your new errr what do we call him? lover a text.
“Hey, how’s your week been? ” you wrote. Nice and casual with the added benefit of a question at the end.
But , now what? Do you sit and await by the phone? Time will officially stand still until you get a response.
Stage 2: The grammar and spelling freakout
There’s just so much to consider when you’re composing a message. There’s the need to be funny, cutesy and suggestive while also asking a question so they’ll answer. So many supposes, so little time. Then, quick as a flashing, you’ve fired off the message into the great abyss of hopeful messages with your heart in your mouth.
That’s when it hittings you. Recollect grammar? Remember spelling? Did you write “your” instead of “you’re? ” The horror.
Stage 3: Read-receipt realness
NEWSFLASH: he has~ read~ the message. I recur, “hes having”~ read~ the message. There is no going back. His eyes have read your words, which are now( hopefully) engraved on his intellect. Your heartbeat races. Any minute now literally, at any minute you could receive a response.
Stage 4: The ‘what ifs’
Your mind begins to stray from the pleasant track of optimism you’d previously been strolling along. “Are you sure he’s going to respond to you, ” your mind asks you. What if though.
This could be the very last message I ever send to him. The beginning of the end. “It was that final text she sent him, ” people would say in an audible whisper…
Stage 5: The staring contest
Your phone could move at any second. Phantom phone vibrations abound and the need to check your telephone for any form of communication has become a matter of national importance. Birdsong is the bane of your life right now because all noise basically sounds like a text notification. Lying down in a darknes, silent and phoneless room is what you need to do right now.
Stage 6: The false alarm
“Ping, ” your phone announces. On any other day, this ping would be utterly meaningless. You’d reject it as yet another mundane aspect of your otherwise fabulous life. But, today is no ordinary day; that ping no ordinary ping. Naturally you stop what you’re doing, you fell anything currently encumbering your legs and you run towards that phone like your life depends on it.
It’s your mum. She wants to know what you’d like for dinner.
Stage 7: The dawning of a tragedy
It’s been 30 minutes and he hasn’t responded. That’s an eternity in text years. In these 30 minutes you’ve experienced a rollercoaster of feelings. The very foundation of your nascent relationship has been rocked. All feelings for your new fan are pouring away like sand in an hourglass. “Just reply! Please, ” your spirit implores in desperation.
“The misery! The exquisite tragedy! Oh the Susan Hayward of it all, ” to quote Rupert Everett in My Best Friend’s Wedding .
Stage 8: Acceptance
Three excruciating hours have passed. Your impressions are nearing their expiration date like a yoghurt that’s watched better days. Amidst the heartbreak, the constant questioning, and the unrepentant playing of Whitney Houston love ballads, something happened. You realised that you don’t actually care. The relationship was good while it lasted and now you’re zen af. Bye!
Stage 9: Genuine concerns for his safety
Your newfound state of zen is fairly enjoyable. In fact, you could get fairly used to it. But, then, you think about the possible reasons for the absence of a reply. Is he unwell? Is his cat missing? Is he busy with work stuff? All genuine, 100% plausible the purpose of explaining his behaviour.
What if he died though? You flit between thinks about whether his final thought was of you; what outfit you’d wear to his funeral; and whether he read your message before he died.
Stage 10: The text
Just when you were keep moving with their own lives, your phone pings. Be still your beating heart. It might be your mum again asking about dinner.
It’s him. He’s replied. “Good thanks. You? “
Hallelujah! Somewhere nearby white doves are being released from their cages. Is that choir music you hear?
Stage 11: The reply
Then it dawns on you. Now you have to formulate a answer. And, don’t even think about replying right now.
Here begins the excruciating countdown until you can finally write back. Before you know it, you’re back at stage one. Great!