“Soft Nexting” Isn’t Okay—This Dating Trend Needs To Die

Some guys have really warped ideas about how to get you to chase them. They might try to neg you or they might “soft next” you. This is just as bad as negging because it’s also a type of manipulation. Here’s what you need to know about this sick dating trend so you don’t fall into their trap.

  1. It’s about ignoring you. Soft nexting is when a guy ignores you for a short period, such as a day or week. It might happen that you’ve done something in the relationship to piss him off so he thinks the silent treatment should be administered.
  2. It’s how he deals with drama. He thinks you’re being super dramatic or acting “crazy,” so he decides that instead of engaging with you, he’ll just ignore your calls and texts for a few days. Who acts like such a child?
  3. It’s messed up. Soft nexting is really just a way for a guy to punish you when he thinks you’ve done something wrong. It’s like he’s hoping you’ll take the time to think about what you’ve done. Um, you’re not a five-year-old, FFS.
  4. He’s a man-child. If a guy resorts to the silent treatment, it actually says more about him than whatever you’ve done to upset him. It shows you that he can’t communicate like an adult and he’s sulking like a little kid. Ugh.
  5. But he doesn’t want to break up with you. Although you might think the guy’s ghosting you when he doesn’t take your calls for days, he’s going to resurface. Soft nexting isn’t about breaking up with you. This is actually worse because it’s a relationship game to gain control over you.
  6. It keeps you guessing. A guy who resorts to this behavior wants to keep you on your toes. He’s hoping to make you crazy as you wonder what’s up with him and why he’s gone AWOL. It can even mess with you in a worse way.
  7. It makes you try harder. Soft nexting might make you feel guilty over what you’ve done and push you to make amends with the guy. You might want to work harder on the relationship. This isn’t always a good thing. Hear me out. If the guy’s using his soft nexting strategy to make you chase him or to control you, he’s probably going to do it every damn time he doesn’t get his way.
  8. It’s a way for him to win. Sadly, some guys try the soft nexting technique because they feel that if they give you attention instead of ignoring you, like if you’re fighting with them, then they’re going to lose and you’ll win—and they certainly don’t want that. Yup, it’s a stupid ego thing. As one blogger states, “When you’re arguing with her, you’re playing her game at that point, a game she is biologically designed to win and you are not.” Haha, it’s pathetic, really how guys who soft next are really just low on self-esteem.
  9. It’s toxic AF. If the guy you’re dating is a narcissist, soft nexting could be a regular occurrence. He might sulk and ignore you for days even when you haven’t had an argument. It’s the narcissist’s way of controlling you or playing to your biggest fears, which he might know is the fear of being ignored or dumped. Sick. But even if your BF isn’t a narcissist, soft nexting is relationship manipulation.
  10. Even if it’s not malicious, it’s still bad. Truth is, even if he’s just taking some time to figure out if he wants to keep the relationship going or not, soft nexting is still dodgy behavior. If you’ve been dating, he should have the decency to say he’s taking some time away from you to figure things out. He owes you that much!
  11. It’s condescending. The idea that your BF is giving you the silent treatment so that you can think about what you’ve done is so insulting! It can also be sexist. It’s like you’re the dramatic or crazy woman and he doesn’t want to have to deal with that, so he’ll shut you up for a few days. Ugh. Whatever. He needs to grow a pair.
  12. Don’t beat yourself up. You might worry you’re to blame for why he’s gone AWOL, but honestly, you didn’t make him “soft next” you. He chose to do that, instead of sticking around and dealing with your fight or whatever caused him stress. Instead of sorting things out, he ran away. Instead of trying to save the relationship, he’s throwing it into the fire. So, no, don’t beat yourself up.
  13. How to deal with the soft nexter. Honestly, instead of worrying if he’ll ever call you again, you really should use the time away from him to take stock of the relationship and ask yourself if he’s the right guy for you. Do you really want to date a man-child with such low emotional intelligence? If you want to confront him about his soft nexting then go ahead and tell him how you feel. If he doesn’t meet you halfway, then maybe instead of giving him time to do his thing, you should stop wasting your time on him. Next!
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.