#Love & Sex

Website Analyzes His Text Messages for You

by Amy Copperman

Website Analyzes His Text Messages for You

A mystery of the dating universe is decoding what guys say versus what guys mean. We obsessively try to find meaning in their “What’s up” and pass the phone to our friends asking “what could this text possibly mean?”. The mystery may be over as one website seeks to help you decode those text messages.

Online relationship forum, HeTexted.com, replicates one of the most ludicrous (yet oddly satisfying) conversations girls can have and multiplies it by infinity (as the Internet is wont to do). But instead of serving up the supportive feedback of gal pals, it delivers viral rejection. Doesn’t that sound like fun?

HeTexted.com invites you to share a seemingly ambiguous text exchange in order to receive unbiased feedback. Then people vote on whether the texter is into you or if “the verdict is still out.” Hint: If you’re tempted to submit an exchange to the site, chances are the answer will be a deafening “he’s just not that into you.” Helpful Internet commentators can explain their vote in the comment section with empathetic, thoughtful responses such as, “What universe do you live in?” or “Could mean you have a smelly meat pocket.” (Actual examples.)

According to Co-founders Lisa Winning and Carrie Henderson McDermott, who have both fielded their fair shares of esoteric texts, HeTexted.com seeks to create a place where you can “finally find some answers, advice, and usually, a game plan–all from people that are totally unbiased.” While their hearts are in the right place (and I’m slightly jealous I didn’t think of a site as addictive as this), I believe the site misses a crucial part of the motivation behind analyzing texting behavior. Why do women ultimately engage in this pointless practice? Is it because they truly don’t know if someone is into them? Maybe. Sometimes. But I’d wager more likely, it’s because they’re looking for validation and because it’s fun.

Analyzing virtual conversations is one of life’s greatest guilty pleasures, and is less about getting unbiased feedback and more about the prerogative to lie to oneself. Personally, I get a sick pleasure out of close-reading text messages. Partly because I miss annotating passages for my college literature classes, and partly because I like to live in a world of delicious denial and delusion. Passing my phone to a trusted friend after I get a noncommittal text from “that guy” and I can be sure that we’ll eventually come to the conclusion that he’s intimidated by his feelings for me. On some level, I know that’s a total lie. On some level, I know that if I have to wonder if he’s into me, the answer is probably “no.” But that’s not really a level I want to live on.

HeTexted.com replaces fun denial and hopeful ambiguity with unambiguous rejection in the form of brutal tallies:

As if that one-word response wasn’t already enough, you can now feel the sting of rejection thousands of times over as strangers weigh in on the sorry state of your love life. I recognize that debating whether to put two or three periods at the end of a text (three is flirty; two says I’m too busy being desired to type three, in case you were wondering) is not the best use of time or energy, but neither is refreshing HeTexted.com compulsively to see how many people on the Internet think you’re an idiot.

If you want practical dating advice, don’t look for it in a message forum. Simply abide by the mantra that if he’s into you, you’ll know it. It’s that simple. Except not only is that attitude terribly hard to cultivate, it’s not nearly as much fun as showing your friend your phone and waiting for her to say something like “he probably just doesn’t want to get hurt.”