When He’s Not Answering Your Texts, Keep This In Mind

When a guy’s not answering your texts, it’s hard not to take it personally. He’s online but not responding to your messages, so what gives? He’s posted a selfie on Instagram and updated his Facebook status but your inbox is still strangely quiet. You might never find out the answer when it comes to why he’s gone radio silent, but here are a few things to remember when you feel like he’s ignoring your texts.

  1. You deserve someone who makes time for you. If he can’t take two seconds to send you a message, then how is he going to set aside enough time to go out on dates with you? Texting isn’t really a big deal, but it can represent something huge. You don’t want to waste your time with someone willing to neglect you, especially so early on.
  2. A double text isn’t the answer. You shouldn’t have to text him twice in order to get his attention. If he actually liked you, then you wouldn’t have to push him to answer you. If he wanted to talk to you, then he would. Unless you have something important/major to add to the discussion, don’t embarrass yourself by texting him again.
  3. There are plenty of other men on your contact list. If your crush won’t give you the attention you deserve, take your flirting elsewhere. Text another guy you know or browse through a dating site. It won’t take long for you to find someone that’s interested in you.
  4. A text message isn’t a proposal. Even if he does text you back, it doesn’t mean that he’s declaring his love for you. That’s why you don’t want to spend too much time stressing over whether or not he’ll answer you. Texting should be casual and used as a mode of making plans to meet up in person at most. Don’t give it the importance it doesn’t deserve.
  5. It doesn’t mean he hates you. If he’s taking a while to answer you, it doesn’t mean that he hates your guts and wants you to leave him alone. Don’t overanalyze his actions or you’re going to make yourself sick. What could you possibly have done to make him suddenly despise you? Stay in reality here.
  6. He might legitimately be busy. Most of the time, “I’ve been busy” is code for “I’ve been ignoring your messages,” but your crush might actually have a long to-do list. If he’s trying to balance a full-time job and a social life, it makes sense for him to take a few hours to text you back.
  7. It’s nothing to cry over. Even if his lack of a response means that he’s rejecting you, so what? You shouldn’t ruin your mascara over some man. You have more important things to worry about than your single status.
  8. You’re guilty of the same crime. You’re upset that your crush hasn’t texted you back, but isn’t there someone that you’ve been ignoring? You might not be doing it on purpose. It just happens. You probably weren’t even doing it on purpose, so don’t stress about it quite so much.
  9. He might be playing mind games. He might be trying to make you sweat so that you realize how much you like him. It’s a d-bag move, but it’s also a common one. So if he hasn’t responded to you yet, he might be playing hard to get.
  10. It’s better to talk in person, anyway. If you’re planning on flirting with him, it’s best to do it face-to-face. That way, you can bat your eyes and touch his arm instead of relying on emojis. Plus, when you talk in person, you’ll have the opportunity to kiss.

It’s true that much of our communication these days happens via text, so it makes sense that the way the guy does or doesn’t do it would stress you out. However, it’s not the end of the world. If you don’t hear from him, the message is clear: he’s not worth your time and therefore did you a favor by bowing out before he causes any real damage.

How to get a guy who’s not answering your texts to finally reach out

close-up of woman texting in bed©iStock/Martin Dimitrov

If you don’t think he’s a lost cause and you want to try one more time to grab his attention, you’ll have to get creative and do a bit of work to get an answer. Once he’s talking, it’ll be easier to keep the conversation going, but it’s getting things started that can be so tough. Here are a few tips to try if you really want to.

  1. Send him a message you know he’ll like. I’m not saying you should start sexting him out of nowhere (though that’s always an option), but sending a text that you know he’ll be into is one way to deal with the fact that he’s not answering your texts. Throw him a genuine compliment that pumps his ego up, show interest in something you know he’s really into, or yes, maybe send a flirty, sexy message. He’ll be way more likely to type a message back to you.
  2. Don’t act needy. Whatever you do, beware of taking on a needy tone or acting as if you’re desperate. You’re not and you shouldn’t act like it. While there’s no need to pretend you’re totally aloof and couldn’t care less if you ever talk again — he’d see right through that given that you wouldn’t be messaging him at all if you didn’t care — you also shouldn’t act as if you’re going to be devastated if you don’t hear from him. Cool, calm, and collected is the key here.
  3. Ask a question that needs answering. If a guy’s not answering your text, maybe it’s because you’re not saying anything that warrants a response. A simple “hey” or a comment on a topic that seems pretty final and doesn’t invite conversation really isn’t going to encourage him to write back to you. Ask him about something you know he has going on in his life or bring up a current event or another topic that you’d like his opinion on. If he has a chance to voice his opinions and get engaged, he’s way more likely to do so.
  4. Plan to get together rather than just texting. Maybe this guy really just doesn’t like texting very much and you’d have better luck if you used it for something more productive like making plans to hang out in person. If you’re going to text him again, ask him if he wants to get together to do something, whether that’s getting some food, seeing a movie, going to a concert, etc.
  5. Don’t send him multiple texts or extremely long ones. If he’s not answering your texts, the last thing you should be doing is messaging him repeatedly and sending multiple paragraphs as if you’re writing a novel. That’s not going to get his attention and if it does, it’s for all the wrong reasons. Keep it to a minimum and say only what needs to be said.
  6. Don’t start chastising him or telling him off for not responding sooner. Again, the last thing you want to do is get on his bad side. If he’s not answering you, it could be that he has a good reason for that. By telling him off or being confrontational, you’re basically vindicating all other reasons he’s better off not talking to you at all. Having a go at him because he didn’t bend to your will won’t get you where you want to be with him.

What to do when you finally hear from him

If you manage to win him over and he does message you back, what do you do now?

  1. Act normal. If there’s been a long absence since you last spoke to him, don’t be awkward and keep remarking about how long it’s been or making sarcastic remarks about how it’s so great he could finally be bothered to get back to you. This is alienating, obnoxious, and he’s probably going to go AWOL again. If you want to talk to him that much and he actually gets back to you, just enjoy the conversation rather than being dramatic.
  2. Play up your best qualities. When you talk to him, it’s all about showing him what he’s missing when you’re not around. Be your naturally charming, hilarious, intelligent self and he’ll easily want to talk to you more. He’ll realize that you’re worth talking to and that he was actually being a jerk. (Oh, and you’ll get to feel a bit smug knowing you were right all along.)
  3. Try to figure out his communication style. Chances are, part of the reason he hasn’t texted back is that texting just isn’t as much of a priority for him. Maybe her prefers to talk in person or on the phone. Whatever the case, discover what mode of communication works best for him and try to engage with him in that way moving forward. You’ll probably be a whole lot happier with things if you’re both on the same page.
Holly Riordan is a writer from Long Island, New York who has authored several science fiction and horror books. A graduate of Stony Brook University, she has spent nearly a decade writing for publications including Thought Catalog, Huffington Post, Teen Vogue, and more. You can find her on Instagram @hollyrio and Twitter @hollyyrio.