If He’s Not Texting You Back, Here’s What You Should Do

Is there anything worse than the unique torture of seeing that little ellipses pop up signaling he’s texting back, only to have it hover there for hours and then disappear completely? It sucks, but you know it’s true — if he’s not texting you back, you have no choice: the only thing you should do is nothing at all.

  1. He might just be busy. The most logical explanation is usually the right one. If you were texting each other and everything seemed great, but he suddenly stopped responding, he’s most likely just caught up with something. Sure, in a perfect world people tell you that they won’t be responding for a little while, but that’s just not how it works. Chill out and be patient — you’ll probably be back to happily texting in no time.
  2. Texting him incessantly will not make you look good. There’s no way you’re delusional enough to think double, triple, and quadruple texting him until he responds is going to turn him on. Yes, wanting to text him again but knowing deep down that you absolutely can’t is infuriating, but it’s a golden rule that must be followed.
  3. Consider what you would think if the situation was reversed. If you didn’t respond to a guy’s message and he texted you again and again for no good reason, you’d write him off as clingy and never think of him again. Unless he’s really into the high-maintenance type, he’s probably going to have a similar reaction.
  4. Another text isn’t going to miraculously make him want you, no matter what you say. You might think you’ve crafted the perfect one-liner that makes it clear you’re soulmates, but chances are, if he’s already decided to stop responding, it won’t change his mind. You’ll just end up looking desperate. Might as well hold on to what little pride you have left.
  5. The ball is already in his court. You responded to his last message, so now it’s his turn. That’s how a conversation works. Of course, there are always exceptions, but give him a minute before you jump in. maybe he’s trying to craft the perfect response — you never know.
  6. Even if you have nothing better to do than wait for his text, you don’t want him to know that. If you send another text, he’s going to know you’re wondering where he disappeared to. It’s better to just wait it out a little bit and let him be the one that initiates the next conversation starter. Let him chase you a little bit and believe you have so much going on that you barely noticed he wasn’t texting you.
  7. That being said, you should have something better to do. It would be a lot easier to get your mind off how much time has gone by since his last text if you actually have stuff to do. You know, like friends to hang out with, hobbies to pursue, that kind of thing. You have those things, right? If you don’t, you really should work on that before you go looking for a boyfriend.
  8. Text fades happen to everyone. Even if you really have heard the last of him, there’s no need to blame yourself. There isn’t a single girl out there that hasn’t been ghosted via text before. You’ve done nothing wrong, but if you continue to text him for no good reason then you can go ahead and be ashamed of yourself.
  9. If he’s really interested, he’ll text you. You could keep pursuing him and he might keep responding, but if he’s being passive about it, he’s probably not really that interested. If he was, he’d make an effort. He’d ask you out. He’d make sure he didn’t miss his chance with you. If he’s not talking to you, it’s because he doesn’t want to.
  10. You shouldn’t have so much invested in a text conversation. Save your excitement for times you actually get to interact with him in person. Most guys are notoriously bad at texting unless it’s for the purpose of making solid plans or sending pictures of their junk, so judging him based on his phone etiquette might not be the best plan.
  11. What’s your relationship like in person? So he’s slow when it comes to texting and sometimes you wonder if he even wants to speak to you at all. Before you convince yourself of that, consider your relationship as a whole. What’s he like when you’re together? Is he engaged, present, chatty, smiley, enjoying himself? If so, it’s clear that he does really like you, maybe he just doesn’t like texting.

He’s not texting you back — does that mean he’s not interested?

black woman afro bench texting©iStock/LeoPatrizi

Not necessarily. In addition to being busy, there are other totally reasonable explanations. Maybe his phone battery died and he doesn’t have his charger. Maybe he’s visiting his mom or he went to see a movie so he’s not looking at his phone. Not responding to you isn’t necessarily about you.

It’s possible that he’s not texting you because he is talking to other women or because he’s decided he’s not interested but he doesn’t want to have the awkward conversation with you saying as much. Is this the likely explanation for his (temporary) radio silence? Not really. Don’t freak out about this unless you notice other signs that this is the case.

How to deal when he’s not texting you back

If this is frequent behavior on his part and it’s driving you up the wall, here are some ways to cope with his lack of texting communication.

  1. Talk to him about it. Chances are, he views texting in a totally different way than you. If this is a mode of communication that’s particularly important to you, let him know. It could be that he doesn’t realize that it’s a big deal and you can come to a compromise together tha both of you are happy about. At the very least, you’ll give yourselves a chance for clear communication, which can only be a good thing.
  2. Use texting strategically. If you’re sick of this guy not texting you back and you know he really doesn’t like doing it all that much, you need to shift the way you use it. Instead of texting him to make small talk and shoot the s**t, so to speak, use it to make plans to hang out in person or to confirm that plans you’ve already made are still good to go. Save the full-blown conversations for when you’re together.
  3. Lessen its importance. Again, this is all about a shift in perspective. You don’t have to completely ignore the fact that you like texting and want a partner who’s happy to communicate regularly this way. However, you should recognize that in the grand scheme of things, it’s really not a big deal. Recognizing how little it matters to a relationship will help you gain some equilibrium and not stress so much when he’s not responding in the ways you want.
  4. Find a distraction. So you’ve texted him and he’s not texting you back. And? This guy is only a part of your life, not the whole thing, so what else could you be doing other than staring at your phone? Go to the gym, do some work, hang out with your friends, call your mom, go to the farmer’s market, bake something… the list literally goes on and on.
  5. Shift things to in person. Instead of stressing so much about the texts he is or isn’t sending, work on spending more of your time together in the same place. You won’t need to rely on technology to get your feelings across and you’ll see just how little texting matters in the grand scheme of things.
By day, Courtney is a digital marketing copywriter living in Toronto, Canada. By night, she's a freelance lifestyle writer who, in addition to Bolde.com, contributes regularly to AmongMen.ca, IN Magazine, and SheBlogs Canada. Want to chat about relationships, Stephen King or your favorite true crime podcast/documentary/book? She's on Twitter @courtooo.