He Seems To Like You, So Why Does He Never Initiate Contact?

An ideal “flirtationship” involves each person initiating contact roughly 50% of the time. Obviously, it doesn’t always work out that way, but it is a problem if you’re always the one initiating contact. Here’s what might be going on if he seems into you but never reaches out.

  1. He’s scared of seeming “needy.” We’ve all been on the receiving end of a barrage of texts from a guy who just didn’t know when to back off just a little bit. The guy you’re talking to might be freaking out about coming off as too needy, opting to let you reach out to him all the time so he doesn’t risk bothering you. Unfortunately, this approach can sometimes have the opposite of its intended effect, and he may cause you to lose interest if you decide you’re not OK with the lack of effort he’s putting in.
  2. He’s playing hard to get. Plenty of people play hard to get in the early stages of potential relationships, and this might just be this guy’s tactic to get you to want him even more. By making sure that you’re usually the one to message him, he could just be using an age-old tactic to get you to put more effort into your courtship with him. If you get the vibe that this is why he’s avoiding messaging you first, just remember that two can play at this game.
  3. He’s super busy. Lots of people say that “you make time for the people you want to make time for,” but some people are genuinely unable to take a few minutes out of their day to send a few messages. If you know the guy you’re talking to has a hectic schedule, try not to hold it against him too much if you’re always the one to start conversations. He may constantly be stuck in a cycle of deciding to message you when he has 10 free minutes, then realizing he’s not going to get 10 free minutes until bedtime.
  4. He’s lazy. If your guy isn’t super busy, he may fall on the completely opposite end of the spectrum of effort. Some dudes simply can’t be bothered to pick up their phone and send a text message, even when they really do like the person they should be texting. They’d rather wait for the other person to put in the (minimal) work to spark a conversation. No matter how sweet and handsome he is, be careful if you get the feeling that this is why you always have to be the one to send the first message — it’s not a good sign for any future work he’ll have to put in to maintain a relationship with you.
  5. He’s not sure if you like him. Second-guessing ourselves can be the cause of our own demise when it comes to relationships. Just as you may be doubting that this guy even likes you due to his lack of contact initiation, he may be avoiding messaging you because he’s not sure if you’re into him. Ask yourself if you’re sending out the right signs for him to pick up on. If you tend to come across as a bit aloof or treat him more like a “bro” than a love interest, he might be staying silent to avoid embarrassing himself.
  6. He’s scared of rejection. Being left on “read” is actually the worst. It’s way easier (emotionally, at least) to wait for the other person to call or text you so you know for a fact that they want to talk to you. He’ll have to suck it up and just take the risk at some point, but you can help him be more comfortable doing so by making sure you’re open about the fact that you are interested in him and do enjoy chatting with him.
  7. He worries about catching you when you’re busy. If you’re constantly bouncing between work, the gym, hobbies, and friends, you can hardly blame the man for deciding to wait for you to shoot him a message. As nice as it feels to see a text or two waiting for you when you finish up your work day, a five-hour gap between his “hey” and your “what’s up” isn’t exactly conducive to a thrilling conversation. He may just be waiting for you to decide when you’re free so that neither of you has to wait too long for a reply.
  8. He wants to make you miss him. You can’t miss him if you’re always talking to him, right? That could be his train of thought anyway. Sometimes absence really does make the heart grow fonder, and he might be hoping for that when he gives you radio silence until you contact him.
  9. He needs to feel “wanted.” Some people constantly need their egos stroked, and for this guy, that validation may come from you always being the one to send the first message. This alone isn’t necessarily a red flag. However, pay attention if he shows other signs of constantly needing reassurance or compliments. He may be so in love with himself that there’s no room for him to fall in love with you.
  10. You’ve misread the signs. The truth is sometimes simpler (and more painful) than all the other possibilities out there. Even though you think this guy really likes you, he may not be as serious about you as you are about him. He might only see you as just a friend (or a friend with potential benefits). Either way, a guy who can’t be bothered to start a conversation with you isn’t necessarily one who deserves to start a relationship with you.
Diana is a writer and waitress living in Tennessee with her "fur family" (two cats and a ferret). When she's not working, you can find her hiking, cooking, or taking really long naps.