It's as much a ritual as Sunday brunch for some women.
In fact, Sunday brunch is probably where the majority of our weekly text message interpretive sessions take place — perhaps more commonly understood as the time we pass our phones around the table and ask our friends to decipher the cryptic meaning embedded in the text message from the guy you are dating.
For the few seconds it takes for him to type a few words, we certainly spend ages trying to figure out what those words mean. So to aid daters on their quest to wrestle the "correct" interpretation out of these messages (namely: is he into me or not?), a few enterprising web citizens have set up HeTexted, a site that allows people to post their love interest's words online and crowdsource a response.
"[W]e set out to create a place where you could finally find some answers, advice and usually, a game plan-- all from people that are totally unbiased. Basically, the kind of community that tells it like it is," reads the site's intro page.
"Now you can insert his texts, emails, BBMs or Facebook messages and get some feedback from other girls going through the same thing."
Here's how it works.
Kate, for example, wanted to know if the guy she's been seeing for a month is really into her after he tapped this into his phone and hit send.
"Sorry fell asleep last night... Can't believe you were outside and I didn't hear you. Come over tonight?"
She offers some context below and explains how confused she is that someone who appears to be so into her could fall asleep while awaiting her company. Readers can use a thumbs up/thumbs down mechanism to determine the couple's likelihood of survival.
Of nearly a thousand respondents, the majority believed he wasn't that into her. Some even offered their life-experience explanations in the comments section.
"My take is that he had another (better?) offer. I've done it (I'm a chick) and I know guys who've done it also. You put out feelers and see who responds then you choose the lucky winner from the responders," reads one reply.
There are also "sociological lessons" on text message romantic engagement. Take this bit of advice from a commenter-in-the-know.
"So I've heard it on good authority that you def can't text guys to thank them after a date. Even thought it seems like you're doing the right thing and just being polite and whatever, it makes them think you want them. They start to think their chase is over."
True? Perhaps. Harsh? Definitely. But that's what you get when you expose your private life to the Internet, similar to the way a person's physical attractiveness was either validated or destroyed on Hot or Not before it became the world's most terrifying dating website.
For those who prefer a little more privacy, HeTexted has employed the "bro" expertise of two dark sunglasses-wearing young men named Mason and Ben.
While this online service certainly provides a larger pool of potential interpretations, it removes the bonding experience involved when you share a text with a trusted friend, and with it, that thin but important layer of sugar coating that may prevent total ego destruction.
But if you know someone who demands that all her friends pontificate on every single message she receives, you may want to politely direct her toward this very apt alternative.