He’s Online But Not Responding To Your Messages—Here’s Why

Seeing your messages go ignored while the guy you’re seeing is “liking” Instagram posts or has the green dot next to his name on Facebook Messenger can be both confusing and frustrating. While some reasons for his lack of response may be perfectly accidental, there are others that may indicate that his silence is intentional.

He needs a break from his inbox. When you have a million things on your plate, sometimes the last thing you want to do is answer the constant pinging that comes from your inbox. Even if the guy you’re seeing is really into you, he might just need some time to mindlessly scroll through memes and not worry about answering anyone (including you) for a couple of hours. Different people have different capacities for how much digital communication they can handle in a day, and he might be at his limit by the time you message him.

He’s trying to make you want him more. Yes, sometimes this is a strategy, though the end result may not be what the guy intended. He may be following the mentality of absence (or, you know, lack of response) making the heart grow fonder, unaware that it’s probably just making you irritated and anxious. This doesn’t mean his behavior is acceptable, though. If he’s leaving you on read for a day at a time, that goes beyond “taking a while to respond” and enters into “being super rude” territory.

He’s thinking about how to respond. Have you ever been so into someone that you didn’t want to freak out and send something embarrassing that would scare them away forever? Well, you’re not the only one. Read your last messages to him and ask yourself if they’re mostly tame or involve a complicated question or introduce a potentially in-depth conversation. If you’ve sent a relatively deep message, he might just need some time to think about how to reply to it.

He’s busy handling other social media tasks. Just because he’s “active” on Messenger doesn’t mean he’s goofing off on social media. A lot of people are required to use Facebook and even Instagram for work purposes, so he may have just hopped online to chat about business with a potential client or post something for the company he works for. Maybe he’s just carrying on a conversation with other friends or family members as well. Either way, there’s no need to panic (yet) just because he’s taking a while to get back to you.

Your last message seemed to end the conversation. A conversation can’t be carried by one person alone. If your last message to him was something like “OK” or “That’s cool,” he might have interpreted that as you not being interested in chatting anymore. Make sure your messages indicate you want to keep the conversation going—ask questions, give thoughtful replies, and if you feel like the discussion is falling flat, change the subject. Otherwise, you can’t get upset when he gives up.

He missed your messages. The “maybe his phone is broken” excuse is something we’ve all tried to convince ourselves of when a guy hasn’t replied to us, but honestly, technology isn’t infallible. Apps malfunction and don’t send notifications, messages get buried under more messages, and bad service can prevent messages from coming or going through. If this really does seem like a one-off incident and isn’t a regular occurrence, just wait a while and see if he seeks you out. He might realize that he just needs to update his app.

He doesn’t want to appear needy. Just as you may not want to seem like you’re staring at your phone waiting for his texts, he might want to appear desperate either. We’ve all heard horror stories about guys who take things to the next level and send ten messages in a row to a girl they’re into, and the man you’re seeing might really really not want to come across as “that guy.” Striking that balance between appearing clingy and appearing uninterested is tough, and he may be worried about looking like he has nothing better to do than stare at his screen waiting for your next message to come through.

He thinks you’re being needy. How many texts have you sent him in a row? Do you guys ever take a break from messaging each other, or have you been chatting nonstop for the past 12 hours? Maybe you’re being a little clingy, maybe not, but it doesn’t hurt to take a step back and make sure you’re not overwhelming the guy’s inbox. If you’re double-texting him every time he takes more than a few minutes to respond, just wait a while. He’ll get back to you when he’s ready.

He is, in fact, ignoring you. Sorry, but sometimes, your biggest worry is the truth: he’s ignoring your messages on purpose. If this happens regularly, he’s probably just not as into it as you are. Whether he just doesn’t think of you as a priority or has other women he prefers to message instead, he certainly doesn’t deserve for you to be wasting your time and emotional energy waiting for him to reply.

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