Is He An R-Bomber? How To Deal With A Guy Who Leaves You On Read

An R-bomber is a guy who reads your messages but then doesn’t reply to them, perhaps for days or even ever. It’s so annoying! Here are 14 ways to deal with his bad texting and when to respond to his bombs by bolting.

  1. Wait it out for a while. It’s crazy to think that just because he read your message five minutes ago but hasn’t replied that he’s not going to. He might be taking his time to come up with a witty, funny reply or he could be trying to find that funny dancing meerkat meme on his phone. Chill.
  2. He might really be busy. When guys say they’re too busy to chat, you usually know they’re BS-ing you, but what if he’s genuinely busy, which is why he takes some time to get back to you? At least he read the message—it shows that he was curious to see what you said.
  3. Don’t double-text. Whatever you do, don’t double-text. You know that he received and read your message, so you can’t use the “I’m not sure he got it” excuse. You shouldn’t double-text to try to push him for a reply because that will just backfire and he’ll be less likely to get back to you.
  4. Suggest calling or meeting in person. If he always takes a while to reply to your texts, it can be a bit annoying because it’s like he always has to think up a wonderful response. He’s not giving you a raw, spontaneous answer. In these cases, it’s worth suggesting that you have a phone conversation or you get together in person instead.
  5. Don’t linger online. If you’re waiting for him to read and reply to your message but he never seems to do it fast enough, don’t stick around online. He can see that you’re probably waiting for his message, which just comes across as totally clingy.
  6. Do something that makes you happy. Drop your phone and walk away from it right now. Worrying about why he hasn’t answered your message is just making you anxious. Besides, a watched phone never rings! Go and do something that makes you feel good again to show you that you don’t need to wait around for an R-bomber to make you happy.
  7. Reply if he gets back to you. Don’t give him a taste of his own medicine by taking forever to reply to his message when he finally reappears. He’ll see right through that. If you feel like talking to him, go ahead. See how he treats R-bombing you—hopefully it was a one-off and he won’t make it a habit.
  8. Ask him the tough stuff in person. Maybe he usually replies to your messages quickly, except for when you ask him about that girl he was chatting to on Facebook or what he did on Friday night. WTF? If he’s an R-bomber when it’s convenient for him (as in, when he doesn’t want to talk about certain topics), that’s shady. What’s he hiding? It’s a good idea to ask these questions in RL so that he can’t read and run!
  9. Remember your worth. It feels horrible when a guy’s not replying to your messages. You might think that he’s bored with you, he just doesn’t like talking to you, or your message was stupid. Whatever—it’s his loss. Don’t let a guy who doesn’t answer your text have so much power over you. You’re still the fantastic woman you were before he came along. You don’t need him to make you feel worthy. 
  10. Raise your texting standards. Think about what your textual demands are when dating someone. Is it a guy who’s great at texting (and doesn’t use the dreaded “I’m a bad texter” excuse, which is lame AF)? Is it a guy who makes time for you? If the R-bomber isn’t giving you what you need, perhaps that’s what’s really bugging you. Why are you even waiting for him to reply to you?
  11. Change your phone settings. Life was so much better when you sent a message to a guy and didn’t know if he received or read it. It made life less stressful and you knew that he’d get back to you when he got back to you. Right? Well, you can go back to that blissful state. Go to your message app settings and change your read receipts so that you no longer receive them. Phew, that’s better.
  12. Give him another chance if you must. If you really like the guy and don’t want to wait any longer for a text from him, go ahead and give him one last chance. But be sure to send a casual message, not something snarky like, “Wondering how long before you’ll reply.” That just makes you seem angry and kind of pathetic.
  13. If he still doesn’t reply, screw him. If he’s a regular R-bomber, there’s no coming back from it and the guy’s probably ghosting you. In other words, he’s a douchebag. Move on.
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.