“XOXO” means “hugs and kisses,” with each “X” representing a kiss and each “O” representing a hug.
It isn’t known exactly when or how “XOXO” became common.
“X” came to represent a kiss sometime around the 1890s; an 1893 poem read “Why do our sweet sentimental young misses in love letters make little crosses for kisses?”
“XOXO” is thought to date back to at least the late 1950s, based on a letter to Santa published in the Fort Pierce News Tribune in 1960.
It might have puzzling origins, but the meaning of “XOXO” is clear. It’s a sign of fondness between friends, couples, and crushes.
Below, we list more than 20 ways to respond to an “XOXO” text, plus some tips for choosing the best response in your particular situation!
- I’m glad we’re friends.
- Thanks for being there for me.
sends back hugs only
short for “I love you”
- Back at ya!
- Lots of love
- Virtual hugs aren’t enough!
- All my love
- We should catch up soon!
- Much love
short for “sealed with a kiss”
- I hope I didn’t give you the wrong idea
to respond to someone sending unwanted, flirty “XOXO” texts
- Love ya!
- Many hugs
- Let’s get together so I can hug you for real!
- Can’t wait to see you again!
even more hugs and kisses!
- Aww, that’s sweet.
- Send a hugging emoji.
- Respond to the rest of the message:
“XOXO” is usually attached to something like “Miss you” or “See you soon,” so you can always respond to the rest of the text while ignoring the “XOXO.”
- Change the subject
If “XOXO” said at the end of a conversation, you can simply change the subject when you text the person again.
Choosing the Right Response to an XOXO Text
Your response to an “XOXO” text will vary depending on who is sending it, how serious they are about it, and how comfortable you feel with them.
Keep the following tips in mind when choosing your response:
- Consider your relationship with the sender. Is the sender a close friend, significant other, or family member? If so, you can respond fondly and let them know you love them too! If you aren’t very close with the sender, their motives for sending the text might not be as clear — check our additional tips below to handle the situation gracefully.
- Consider the sender’s culture. Text message etiquette varies around the world. In the U.K., for example, signing off with “x” or “xx” is very common, even when texting a friend you aren’t particularly close with. Keep differences like this in mind if you’re confused about the meaning of the text!
- Don’t make assumptions. While “XOXO” can be flirty, it can also be friendly, or simply a habit of the person sending the text. It’s good to set boundaries and be clear about your feelings, but you don’t necessarily need to assume that anyone who sends an “XOXO” actually wants to kiss you. Making assumptions can lead you to overthink the situation or feel awkward around the person who sent the text.
- Be polite. If you receive an unwanted “XOXO” text, it’s best to respond carefully and politely. Explain that you aren’t interested or that the text made you uncomfortable, but don’t be unnecessarily cruel if the situation could be an honest misunderstanding.
- Take your time. You don’t need to respond to every text immediately. If you’re unsure of the meaning of someone’s text or need time to think through your response, take all the time you need!
- “13 Simple Ways to Respond to an “Xoxo” Text,” wikiHow
- “15+ of the Best Ways to Respond to a Flirty XOXO Text,” Tosaylib
- “What is another word for xoxo?,” Word Hippo
- “The XOXO Meaning & Origin That Everyone Should Know About,” The Knot