What Does It Mean When He Suddenly Starts Sending You One-Word Texts?

Unfortunately, the stereotype that guys aren’t great communicators is often true. Don’t get me wrong, most of them know just what to say to get you to take a chance on them, but once you start dating, they tend to clam up. If your boyfriend suddenly starts sending you one-word texts, here’s what might be happening.

  1. He’s mad at you. A lot of men are raised not to show aggression toward women. While this is an admirable thing, it often means they are afraid to express negative emotions for fear that we can’t handle it. Think back on the last few days or weeks. Is there anything that might have upset him? If so, bring it up the next time you see him and leave an open door for him to voice his opinion. It sounds mad, but sometimes we have to teach our guys how to be more expressive.
  2. He’s bored of you. Sometimes one-word texts are a red flag in a string of a dozen others. Look back on the relationship thus far. Are there things that he used to do that he no longer does? Perhaps your conversations were long and full of laughter but now they’re stilted. If there’s a bunch of other stuff that’s out of whack, he might have one foot out of the door.
  3. He’s feeling guilty about cheating on you. You won’t believe the number of times I’ve seen a guy break up with a woman rather than come clean and ask for forgiveness. Some men are emotionally immature and can’t handle conflict. In this case, their preference is to distance themselves until the feelings of guilt pass or you leave them. A shift in the dynamics of your relationship is just one of many signs that he’s cheating. One-word texts might be a method of self-sabotage for him.
  4. He’s getting pressure to leave you. If you recently met his friends and family and you sense he’s taking a step back, the chances are that they didn’t have anything positive to say about you. While this can be hurtful, it’s not something you should ignore. I wouldn’t want to date someone that can be so easily swayed by others’ opinions of our relationship. If you’re more of a “let’s wait this out” type of girl, you should do your best to win his friends and family over.
  5. He doesn’t see you as wife material. Again, a lot of men don’t have the courage it takes to voice contrary opinions. Everyone gets into a relationship with high hopes but as time passes, sometimes we realize that a person isn’t exactly the right match for us. A lot of guys will pull back, wait for you to get frustrated, and let you do the dirty work of ending things for them.
  6. He’s going through something he’s not ready to share. I remember one time when a guy I was dating started sending me one-word texts. At first I thought he’d lost interest, but when I forced the conversation, it turned out that his boss had just told him that he might be laid off and he didn’t want to come across as a loser. Sometimes there’s a good reason behind a guy getting cold toward you. It pays off to dig a little deeper and find out if there’s a good reason behind it.
  7. He’s playing hard to get. Sometimes when a guy chases a girl so hard, he starts to question if she’s as into him as he is into her. Pulling back is a way for him to see if you’ll step up and start reaching out to him. The fact is that playing hard to get actually works a lot of the time. It may sound childish, but don’t forget a lot of us women use this move ourselves. We can’t blame men for copying us!
  8. He’s testing you. I have seen this happen with guys that have dated “crazy” women — the kind that blow up over him missing one phone call or the type that demands a text before bed every night. The best thing for you to do is play it cool. Reach out and ask what’s up, but don’t push. Remember, guys like the chase. Panicking over his change of behavior might make him see you as nuts.
  9. He’s just busy. We live in a world where everyone wants to be successful. A lot of women don’t appreciate hearing that their boyfriend’s career comes first. I don’t mind being second place to a guy’s career because my job is my priority too. Most men aren’t great at multitasking so it’s no surprise that he may prioritize work over long chats with you. Either way, the most important thing to do when a guy starts sending you one-word texts is to talk to him and find out why. Then and only then can you make any final decisions.
Hannah is a twenty-something-year-old freelance writer, obsessed with reality TV, and all things sweet.