Let’s get one thing straight—”Hey” is not an acceptable way to start a texting conversation.

First of all, it takes minimal effort to type three letters into their phone, leaving you incredibly confused about the purpose of this convo. Are they interested in you? Do they need homework help? How are you supposed to engage in a conversation when you have no idea where it’s going?!

Zoey with a towel turban on her head sitting on her bed and looking at her phone in Grown-ish

(Grown-ish via Freeform)

Which brings us to our second point—”hey” doesn’t actually start any kind of functional dialogue. It’s the texting equivalent to a nod of the head in the hallway at school—they’re kind of opening the door for you to chat, but they’re making you responsible for continuing the conversation. Rude.

Still, you’re not going to ignore a text from your crush—you just need a little help figuring out what to say. That’s where we come in. Keep scrolling for what you can respond when your crush texts you “hey.”

1. ‘Hey’

As stated above, your crush simply texting you “hey” puts the pressure on you to make the conversation interesting. It’s a frustrating tactic, especially considering they did text you first, so if you want to add a little “I don’t need you” sass to the convo, respond “hey” right back and put the ball in their court. You increase the chances that they just won’t respond at all, but do you really want to chat with someone who doesn’t want to put real effort into talking to you?

Rebecca texting Josh Chan in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

(Crazy Ex-Girlfriend via The CW)


Also read about: What It Means When Your Crush Leaves You on Read


2. ‘Hey, how are you?’ or ‘Hey, what’s up?’

One step above simply responding “hey,” adding a “how are you?” or “what’s up?” adds a little bit of interest to the conversation. It’s simple enough that you can feel out your crush’s intentions and see if they’re willing to have a two-sided chat, and it has the added benefit of asking a question, which increases the likelihood that your crush will respond. However, it’s a pretty vanilla question that will likely result in a fairly boring back and forth of “not much, wyd?” and so on, until one of you stops responding. It’s not the most interesting text response, but it at least shows that you’re interested in having a conversation.


Also read about: 10 Responses for When Your Crush Texts You ‘WYD?’


3. ‘Hi 😊 How’s the day going? How did [insert specific question about their life] go?’

This is probably the maximum amount of effort you should put into a “hey” text reply. Adding an emoji shows that you’re friendly and open to a conversation, and asking a specific question about their day on top of that gives the conversation some direction. Whether it’s a particularly difficult test, a hard sports practice or anything else you know they might be struggling with, narrowing in on a particular topic shows that you pay attention to their life and that you want to have an interesting conversation. After that, it’s up to them to show the same level of interest and keep the convo going.

Gilmore Girls: Rory staring at her phone

(Gilmore Girls via The CW)


4. Send a Meme or Gif

We know it’s your crush we’re talking about here, but just because they’re putting in minimal effort doesn’t mean you have to do all the heavy lifting. Instead of putting in a ton of energy into coming up a response, send something lighthearted, whether it’s a meme or gif you think they might like, or even a video you’d like for them to check out. That gives them the opportunity to respond with something more thoughtful, without overthinking it too much.


Also read about: What the Different Heart Emoji Colors Mean


5. No Response

We know, we know—not responding to a text from your crush feels like a death sentence, but sometimes it really is the best thing you can do. It communicates that you’re not just waiting around to hear from them, and that you’re not interested in having a conversation that has no point. Your crush might decide that you’re not interested or they might realize that they need to put in a little more effort to engage with you. Either way, not responding is going to have them thinking about you, which definitely isn’t the worst thing in the world.

Ms. Marvel: Kamala Khan texting in Mrs. Marvel

(Ms. Marvel via Disney+)


Struggling to decode your crush’s text messages? Click HERE for a guide to emojis from your crush.