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The “Goodnight” Text Means Nothing

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I use a dating app called Bumble. I’ll explain for our woods-living demographic. It’s Tinder, except once you’ve matched, the girl has to talk to the guy first within 24 hours for any conversation to happen. That’s how disgusting men were on Tinder. We sent so many dick pictures and unsolicited invitations to something called a “Bone Zone” (grossest Chuck E Cheese ride ever) that girls had to create a new Tinder with a Dick Pic forcefield. But what started as a statement of feminism has become a big win for men. The issue with Tinder was the numbers. If a guy gets ten matches his penis will be like, “Dude, talk to all of these chicks, one has to work out.” And talking to ten different girls is way too much. Keeping track of how everyone’s weekend was on a single Sunday night is exhausting. With Bumble, the numbers are cut. If you match with ten girls, maybe only four will actually talk to you. Those are four girls with enough initial interest to say something and you’ll probably find two that you and your penis can agree on. The result is a penis that’s kept a bit caged. He can only give you so many bad ideas. But also, the girl is getting a more attentive participant. Tinder offered endless possibilities and Bumble adds a little more reality.

The above description of Bumble is very positive. It acknowledges the fact that all men are animals trying to get off while also showing how a woman is getting a better option. Now, I’ve explained Bumble this way many times. And I know there’s a woman sitting at her computer or phone with a scowl. A dissatisfied scowl that every guy has witnessed. It’s half anger, half wishing they dated in another generation. I’ve had girls hear me say Bumble and bluntly interrupt to say, “A guy should text first” in a tone that made me want to become gay. But I don’t understand the line in the sand we’ve placed on messaging. They all seem like they’re being made through hearsay and then just accepted. A guy should text first and you should never text twice in a row and you should wait fourteen minutes before responding so you don’t sound too desperate. These rules all sound like the 300-pound guy at the gym telling you how to burn fat; I just don’t buy it.

A perfectly insane example is the “Goodnight” and “Good morning” text. This is something girls lean on. When I speak to female friends about their dating issues they’ll produce a long list of the things they are having problems with and then say, “BUT he texts me “Goodnight” all the time.” They treat it like some sort of pre-engagement contract. Can we all realize how little that text matters? I can write “Goodnight :)” and then copy and paste that into as many other conversations that I want. One “Goodnight :)” to the girl I canceled on. Another “Goodnight :)” to the girl who I just met on Tinder. One last “Goodnight :)” to the girl who blew me. And the girl who got canceled on rests easy because I tucked her in with a text.

I have a friend who recently told me that if he takes a girl out for drinks, he won’t go on a second date unless she texts to say thank you the next day. At first glance, I agreed with this rule. I mean how could you not? Of course there should be a thank you. Then I thought about it. That’s not how relationships work. That interaction isn’t really a good date anyways. What good date ends, then has no communication until the next day when the guy receives a text that reads like a thank you note you would write to an Aunt after the holidays?

Good meetings and dates and interactions are messy. They go into tangents and jokes and stories and get flirty then too flirty then back off a bit when the guy could possibly be typing with his boner. There’s no time to check a “Thank you” off the list or consult with a friend to ask if you’re being too much. The texting rules are there to distract us from the many times we are actually just getting turned down. We can put stock in these texts so we can look back on the relationships that never went anywhere and say, “Oh I texted that guy too much” like a referee disqualified us from the game. That’s a lot easier than looking back and saying, “That girl didn’t like me and there’s not much about me I can change.”

Text when you have something to say. There’s no wrong move you can make. There’s no too early. There’s no too much. You can use the corn emoji to mean penis without worrying about her being an eggplant girl. None of it matters. Not even that “Goodnight” that got sent from the bathroom on his Bumble date.

Image via Shutterstock

Check out today’s episode of the Inside TFM Podcast. Special guest, comedian Steven Crowder, tells us about his terrifying showdown with Trigglypuff at UMass, and we answer more of your deranged, drunken questions via phone and email. Listen below:


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Jared Freid (@jtrain56) is a New York City-based comedian who has been featured on MTV’s Failosophy and is the host of The JTrain Podcast presented by TFM.

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