What to Do When He Doesn’t Text Back

A guide for the ghosted and confused*

Harris Sockel


*Co-written by Adeline Dimond because we’ve both got it bad.

Still Life With Skull and Writing Quill, Pieter Claesz, 1628 | Metropolitan Museum of Art Open Access Program

Take your dog’s Xanax.

Put your phone on silent. Put your phone in Focus Mode. Take your phone off Focus Mode because maybe that’s scaring him off; you’re not actually Focusing, you’re just sitting here being scared of your phone. Confidently place your phone face-down on the table and immediately flip it over. Throw your phone across the room. Get up and go get it.

Draft a long text to break up with him. Realize that he will find this hilarious because he’s already broken up with you, he just didn’t bother to tell you.

Workshop the Long Text with five friends in a Google doc anyway. Incorporate minute line edits. Never send it.

Hire a Taskrabbit to steal your phone and change the password.

Become a bed creature. Have two stress-dreams in which he does text you back, but it’s something so vague that you’re forced to reply asking for clarity. The clarity never arrives… it just gets vaguer with every text. Wake up. Check your phone.

Create content. Become a wellness influencer but don’t call yourself that. Confidently give common-sense self-help advice via TikTok. Stare into the camera and speak in calming tones. Then, after you reach 1M followers because you recommended people should “breathe” when stressed, fake your own disappearance. Check your phone.

Write and direct an off-Broadway play called The Man Who Didn’t Text Back. A psychological thriller, the play is adapted into a film directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Timothée Chalamet. In the end, Chalamet texts “meet up tonight?” to Florence Pugh but she never replies. Chalamet dies in the end. At the premier, leave a space front-row center for the guy.

What if you shaved your head and performatively posted about it on Instagram?

Start a new countercultural festival called “Burning Men” where the men burned in effigy are named “David” or “Tom” or “Matt” or “Camaro Man,” or whatever. These are just random names.

Go on a five-year Vipassana silent meditation retreat. Forget how to speak, read, or text. Spend…