How To Get His Attention When He Ignores You

Being ignored by the guy you like is infuriating. You thought there was a spark between you, but now it seems like he’s forgotten you exist. Before you spiral into despair and doubt your self-worth, take a minute to breathe and remember that it’s probably not personal (and if it is, you might be able to change it). Before you write him off entirely and walk away, try these tricks to get his attention when he ignores you.

  1. Use a different mode of communication. If he’s ignoring your texts, it may just be because he hates texting. Don’t assume he’s ignoring you just because you check your phone every few minutes. He may not even know where his phone is half the time. Try calling him or seeing him in person. Chances are, he’ll be more responsive in those settings. If he isn’t, you can move on to other options to get his attention.
  2. Start being unavailable. One of the reasons he’s ignoring you is probably that you’re always responsive and available. If you want him to stop evading you, stop pursuing him. Don’t check in to let him know when you’re free. Don’t ask him how he’s doing or what he’s up to. The more available you make yourself, the less interested he’ll be in taking you up on it.
  3. Start having fun without him. You had a life before he came along. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you need him around to enjoy yourself. Embrace the things you love that have nothing to do with him. Go out with your friends, meet new people, fill your schedule with activities that make you happy. If he senses that your interest is drifting, he’ll realize he might be losing you and rush back to your side.
  4. Make him jealous. While it’s not the most subtle way to get someone’s attention, posting about your incredibly full, happy life on social media is always an efficient way to make a person jealous. It shouldn’t be all about appearances though. If you manufacture a situation just to get photos that you think will make him jealous, it will be obvious, and it will only make you more miserable than before. Focus on actually enjoying your life and let the photos be a natural reflection of that.
  5. Play the field. If he isn’t paying attention to you, he doesn’t deserve your undivided attention. Going on a date with someone else will distract you from the guy who’s ignoring you, make him jealous, and maybe give you the perspective you need. Being ignored is not a good sign early in a relationship. Maybe you should stop trying to get his attention and find someone who wants nothing more than to obsess over you for a change.
  6. Leave him on read. Ignoring his silence will eventually get you some attention, but don’t stop there. When he finally does resurface, don’t jump to his side. Ignore his attempts to reach out and see how he handles it. Give him a few days to get really freaked out before responding with as few words as possible. If you respond immediately when he contacts you for the first time in a while, you’ll undo all the work you did by giving him the silent treatment.
  7. Don’t be understanding when he makes excuses. A lot of people try to turn their bad behavior into a bid for sympathy to deflect blame. He might tell you that he’s been really busy and is exhausted and feeling low. That is not a good reason for you to rush to his side and take care of him. He is trying to manipulate you into feeling sorry for him when really, he’s been treating you like an afterthought and should take responsibility for it.
  8. Tell him how you really feel. You may fear that speaking your mind will scare him away just as he’s finally started to show interest again. But he’s not a rare species of bird that you’re trying to tame. He’s just a guy. There are lots of them, and if you’re going to date him, he should treat you with the respect you deserve. If you don’t call him out on ignoring you, he will think he can walk all over you. Respect yourself enough to demand better.
  9. Give him time. He may be getting over another relationship and isn’t ready to jump into another one. He may have thought he was ready, only to discover, after getting to know you, that he wasn’t. If this is the case, he needs time. After a few weeks to himself, he may be ready to start something with you, but pressuring him to make up his mind when he’s signaling through silence that he isn’t able to yet will drive him away for good.
  10. Let him go. Sometimes, giving someone the silent treatment and trying to make them jealous when they ignore you will not get their attention. Instead, it will make them even more distant. If this happens, let him go. You cannot force someone to want you. It is not a reflection of your worth or attractiveness. You don’t know what’s going on under the surface. Take comfort in the fact that you’ve done what you can do, and move on.

Why he ignores you and won’t give you attention

young woman staring at smartphone

provided by iStock

The fact that you have to go to great lengths to get his attention in the first place is pretty obnoxious, but it’s also important to understand the reasons why this guy might be ignoring you. Knowing the motivation behind the radio silence could make it easier for you to decide whether it’s worth trying to get him back on board or if you’d rather cut your losses and move on.

  1. You said something to annoy him/make him mad. Yes, it’s petty to basically give you the silent treatment because he’s pissed off, but it happens. Instead of communicating that he didn’t like something you said, he’s shutting you out to send the message that he’s mad at you. What you’re supposed to do about that is anyone’s guess, but it would be nice if he would use his words like an adult.
  2. He’s talking to other women. It’s entirely possible if you’ve only just started talking to that there are other women on his roster as well. Maybe he’s not purposely ignoring you, he’s just struggling to keep up with all the women in his contacts list and can’t pay attention to all of them. In this case, you might not want to bother trying to get in touch.
  3. He doesn’t know how to tell you he’s not feeling it. Again, maybe things started off well and he was super keen to get to know you before he suddenly disappeared into thin air. Oftentimes this happens because he’s lost interest or decided he doesn’t like you all that much but doesn’t want to have the awkward conversation of simply telling you that.
  4. He got what he wanted and now he’s over it. If you sleep with a guy and he disappears without a trace, it’s pretty clear that he was only interested in hooking up (whether he told you otherwise before the deed was done or not). In this case, trying to get his attention back is a waste of time and completely undermines your dignity and self-respect. Let him go.
  5. He’s unsure how he feels about you. Maybe it’s not that he doesn’t like you but he’s just not sure if he likes you enough to keep dating you. He could be putting distance between you to give himself time to think and decide what he wants to do, but why is it all on his terms? The best thing you can do here is make the decision for him and kick him to the curb.
  6. He’s legitimately busy/has other stuff going on. Of course, it’s entirely possible that he’s not ignoring you at all and that he simply doesn’t have the bandwidth to go hardcore into a relationship right now. While that probably means that he shouldn’t be dating right now, he might legitimately like you but just isn’t able to pay as much attention to you as you might like.
Rose Nolan is a writer and editor from Austin, TX who focuses on all things female and fabulous. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from the University of Surrey and a Master's Degree in Law from the University of Law. She’s been writing professional since 2015 and, in addition to her work for Bolde, she’s also written for Ranker and Mashed. She's published articles on topics ranging from travel, higher education, women's lifestyle, law, food, celebrities, and more.