Regretting text messages you sent and can’t take back

Texting is alot of fun when it takes place between two lovers that are close to one another but physically far apart. For example, if your fiance sends you text messages from his bachelor party in Vegas, it is probably OK. But, if someone you met on the internet yesterday is sending you text messages that are explicit in nature then, not OK. The extent to which you really know someone often dictates the acceptability of texting.

I’ll give you a story of texting a virtual stranger then regretting it after the fact. I have a friend who met a man on the dating web site plenty of fish. While plenty of fish is a bonefide free dating web site, among many circles it is also considered to be a site where many are looking for uncommitted casual relationships. Different people use internet sites for different reasons. If a site is free such as the case with plenty of fish, expect to find alot of lookyloo surfers on the site along with people genuinely interested in meeting the love of their life.

So this friend communicates a bit with this cute man on plenty of fish. After a few emails on the site, they exchange cell numbers and take the conversaion over to cellphone text messages and some emails sprinkled in. They start chatting and become fast phone buddies. They start flirting a lot on text. They talk about their past relationships and conversations meander gently into becoming explicit.

Before she knows it, she is sending explicit text messages to this person, including one or two more inappropriate snap shots that show body parts. They flirt back and forth in long late night text message conversations. Over the course of about 7-10 days, my friend starts to think about what she is doing. She realizes that she has not met this person and he is not making any moves to ask her out. They talk about meeting but nothing materializes.

Then, it dawns on her. They are in a go nowhere text relationship and will likely never even meet in real life. It’s all fantasy. And, if they even were to meet it would be all too awkward given the inappropriate nature of their conversations up to this point. How could they meet after all this explicit stuff and what if they aren’t what the other person expected. How embarrassing.

She thinks more. She realizes that she is the one who sent photographs to this man, and in actuality he never sent photos to her. He coaxed them out of her. She grows angry. Very angry. Angry at him for easing this explicit content out of her. Then she started to ask herself who is this person? I don’t even know his last name and I don’t know him from a perfect stranger.

No I did not make up this story. My friend felt like she had been used. Clearly, she wasn’t and the text exchange was mutual between two consenting (at the time) adults. But she felt somehow violated and understandably so. So you see something that happened on her own free will was truly regrettable after the fact.

I tried to console her and reminded her that with all the photographs swamping the internet, that one or two photographs of her would simply get lost in the noise. It’s true, it’s just noise and this person didn’t know her so it didn’t matter much. The incident faded into the sunset and she forgot about this person. But we both learned the obvious lesson that you don’t want to send inappropriate texts or photos to someone you barely know. You may feel upset by the incident and it would be essentially your own fault for having a lack of good judgement and personal boundries. Instead of learning by personal experience the hard way, you could learn what not to do, by reading this blog post. Save yourself the hurt.


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