What Is “Deflexting” & How Do You Know When A Guy’s Doing It To You?

Chances are you’ve been on the receiving end of a guy’s “deflexting” behavior. How would you know? It’s basically when you ask a guy a question via text and he ignores it but continues speaking to you as though you never asked it. It’s so frustrating. Here are 12 signs that he’s trying to deflext.

  1. He changes the subject. If it happens regularly that the guy you’re chatting to changes the subject after you’ve asked him something, he’s deflexting. Shady, dude. But there are other, more subtle ways in which a guy can partake in this behavior too.
  2. He takes forever to reply. You send him a message and he takes ages to write a reply. You can see he’s busy typing, but it’s like he can’t seem to spit out whatever it is he needs to say. What’s so difficult for him to express? Maybe he’s actually not keen on opening up to you or he can’t seem to formulate a truthful answer. Hmm.
  3. He changes his mind. Sometimes he does the above but then he just stops typing and you don’t receive a message at all. Uh, what? It’s like he considered answering you but then changed his mind. What’s up with that?
  4. He waits it out. Sometimes, you can spot a deflexter by how he’ll purposely stop chatting to you after you ask him a question. He won’t be seen typing. He’ll then return to you the next day or so without making any mention of what you asked him. However, he’ll talk about something else that’s interesting in the hope of dragging your attention elsewhere. He might even send you a flirty text to further prevent you from pulling up that previous question.
  5. He focuses on everything else. Sometimes we pack our text messages with a lot of info, but the deflexter will use this to his advantage. He’ll focus on answering or commenting on all the other things you’ve mentioned in your text and ignore the one question you were hoping he’d answer first.
  6. He waffles. If he doesn’t stop texting you for a while, he might continue the conversation but go on a waffling expedition. He goes on and on about something else so that you have no choice but to go along with it. Or, he might actually waffle on about what you’re asking but without giving you a direct and clear answer.
  7. He says he’ll tell you in person. There are times when certain conversations are best reserved for chatting in person, but what’s the big deal about answering questions about his life, goals, etc. via text? If he’s always putting things aside for a later date when he sees you in real life, you have to wonder why he’s deflexting so much.
  8. He doesn’t want to define the relationship. A classic time when deflexting behavior will come up is when you want to define the relationship, but if a guy’s going to deflext about the future of your relationship, chances are he’s been hesitant to talk about your future together and his feelings for you for a while.
  9. He’s “forgetful.” Sometimes you want to give the guy you’ve been chatting to the benefit of the doubt. You might think maybe he’s just forgetful or really busy when he said he’d get back to you about what you asked him, like if he wants to hang out on the weekend. But let’s be real, no one who really likes someone is going to forget! He’s deflexting you and you need to forget him.
  10. He says he’ll let you know. Sure, we all have to check our schedules and see how our weeks pan out before we can commit to plans. Still, a guy who always throws in the “I’ll let you know” excuse for why he can’t tell you right now if he can meet up on the weekend is a deflexter. The thing is, even if he does come back to you and say he’s free, it still means that he’s always deflecting your question. You’re not a priority in his life because you always have to try to squeeze into his schedule.
  11. He’s always “busy.” The guy who’s so busy he can’t find five minutes to reply to your text or initiate a chat. Yeah, whatever. That guy has been a deflexter all along. He’s hoping to buy some time with you by claiming that he’s so busy dealing with drama that he’s close to tears. Poor baby. You’re not asking him to text you every hour while he’s at work, though. Also, doesn’t he ever take a break, use the loo, or eat? That means he can text.
  12. The conversation becomes sexual. Sometimes a guy who keeps turning the conversation onto sexual topics is horny and doesn’t want to invest time in getting to know you. But other times, a guy who does this is deflexting. He wants to distract you with how much he’s into you so you’ll let go of whatever problem you wanted to chat to him about. What a joke.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.