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  • Writer's pictureElizabeth Rossi

3 Ways to Respond to Unwanted Sexting

Updated: Mar 15, 2023

"How do I handle a conversation that's getting heated, when I'm not interested and only see this guy as a friend?" was submitted by one of our readers from Atlanta, GA. Below are 3 easy and straightforward (but still polite) tactics you can use to put a stop on unwanted texting advances.

Sometimes, seemingly out of the blue, a texting conversation will start to spiral from innocent flirty messages to explicit sexting messages that'd make *anyone* blush. Suddenly you may be asking yourself, "How did we get here?!", wondering how to politely respond to cool things off, perhaps before receiving the inevitable and unwarranted peek-a-boo picture. You know what I mean ladies??

If you're reading this blog, you've probably been in this or a similar situation, and felt unsure of what to do... but don't worry my friend! Below are 3 different methods of how to respond that'll suit a myriad of situations - whether it's someone from an online dating site, a friend, or even an ex that is trying to make a reappearance. Whichever it is, choose the best method that fits you and your personality, as well as the situation, and keep it in your back pocket as a new texting tool.

Feel free to bookmark this article as a handy reference page for when you need it and subscribe to future posts! Also check out The Text Book for dozens more texting tips, and 100s of sample texts for every occasion so you're never at a loss for words.

1. Be Direct Sometimes it's just best to be direct and share how you're feeling. It can be a little scary to open up and of course not wanting to hurt someone's feelings, but done in the right way your words can be received well and heard. So for example, let's say you've received the message "I really want to _______." You can fill in the blank with your own imagination, but let's assume the original intent of the message is sexual and for whatever reason, you're just not there or there yet. This method uses honesty at the core to reveal your true thoughts on how you perceive the other person. Remember though this person may be opening up in new ways and feeling vulnerable, whether or not their showing it. With this in mind, I always suggest approaching the direct method (and really any situation!) with kindness and empathy, rather than sending "Are you crazy?! I'd never want to be with you that way you sleezeball" which is hurtful and degrading. You can be firm in your responses and opinions, but still be kind. :-) Here are some example texts using the direct method:

  • "Wow! So I'm flattered by all of this, really, because I think you're great - I'm just not there yet. I'd like to get to you know better first, before we move towards something physical."

  • "Ha - this was really unexpected! You know I love you as a friend, but I just don't see you that way... I know the right person will come along soon though."

  • "Heyyyy now! No offense here, but I don't really appreciate getting texts like that. We need to cool things off! haha"

2. Deflect This method takes the text you've just received, and deflects the original intent of the message and spins it in a different way. This method is effective because it cools down the sexual tension, without dealing with it straight on, and can be useful in situations when maybe you're not sure if you want something to continue or develop, and you need a breather. I personally tend to deflect with humor, sometimes sarcastic humor, or try to purposefully inject some funny awkwardness into the conversation to cool things off. Gifs are GREAT for deflecting, because you can usually find a funny reaction or two, like the Chris Farley/Adam Sandler one below and send that which gets you off the hook, at least for alittle while. ;) Just search for how you're feeling. After sending a giphy or two, you may want to use method 3 below.

3. Redirect The redirect method takes the text you've received and, as the name suggests, redirects the conversation back into safer waters. The redirected topic can be anything, but is most successful when the topic is something the other person likes to do or is knowledgeable about. This helps to ensure the conversation continues in that direction, as opposed to making a U-turn. Using the same example from above with the "I really want to _________", here are some example messages that use the redirect method:

  • "Wow... alright I'll keep that in mind for the future! haha :) So are you going to the BBQ at Jaimy's house this weekend?"

  • "Ha! I didn't realize you have so many talents. ;) Change of topic... but aren't you a really great guitar player too? When did you start learning? I've been thinking of taking lessons."

As mentioned, it's possible to combine a couple of these methods, such as using a direct message first followed by a redirect message, or use a deflect message and then redirect. Okay here's the usual links for subscribing, this month's book discount code, and NEW... how to submit your own texting dilemma to be featured in a post. Thanks to Dawn in Atlanta, GA, for submitting this question/topic!!!

Get the Book: To help you create better posts and messages that build connections and improve relationships with others, check out The Text Book.

How to Subscribe: Get helpful texting tips every month by clicking the "Contact" link in the top menu.

Until next time friends... stay safe and stay healthy! :-)

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