1. She better be dead. This is a horrible thing to wish upon someone, but admit it, you've thought it when someone didn't text you back. There are only a handful of reasons that excuse you from being a shitty person, and all of them involve personal tragedy. Being dead is a pretty good reason to not shoot back an "lol" text.
2. Don't send a follow-up text...don't send a follow-up text...don't send a follow-up text. This becomes a mantra. You don't want to be that person who just starts trying to stretch the conversation out by sending sparse half-sentences every few hours until your chat history is just a one-sided timestamp graveyard.
3. Maybe she didn't get my text? This is almost as bad as thinking follow-up texts are OK. Resending the same text is also a pretty bad idea. You can do this to a person, like, once a year. That's all you get.
4. Is this a mind game? Maybe she wants to see how I'll react. If this is a test, there is no right answer.
5. Screw this, I'm just going to do whatever. Guys typically have an innate ability to just throw their phone into a corner of the room and forget about it for a few hours. Honestly, if you're playing hard to get, 90 percent of their time is devoted to not thinking about the fact that you didn't text.
6. Oh, I have a text, maybe it's from her. Whenever you're hoping to hear from someone, the alert on your phone is always because of a text from your service provider saying your bill is due in a few days.
7. Maybe I did something wrong? At this point, it's about eight hours since he last heard from you. Now is when doubt starts to creep in.
8. WHAT DID I DO AM I A MONSTER? This won't occur to a guy until right when he's trying to go to bed. Now is the time to analyze every word of that last text and wonder if they fucked up.
9. Should I try calling? No. No one calls anymore unless it's an emergency.
10. If she's not responding, then neither am I. And now the relationship falls into a very tenuous place. Maybe you were just busy and you hit him up the next day, and everything is fine. Or it becomes a texting cold war and you both let your soul mate slip away because you were too proud.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.