Why Are Guys So “Bad At Texting”? What’s Really Going On?

If a guy is a self-proclaimed bad texter, you have to wonder what’s really up with him. He claims he likes you and wants to get to know you more but leaves you on read or takes days to reply to your messages, only to offer up one-word answers when you do finally hear from him. Is this a dating deal-breaker or no big deal? Here are 11 reasons why he’s a texting fail.

  1. He just hates texting. He’s not bad at texting – he freaking hates it. It sucks his enthusiasm and feels like the biggest mission on earth. It’s not about you, it’s about him. He hates texting in general, in the same way that some people hate social media and never go on it.
  2. He avoids texting but will find other ways to chat. Here’s the thing: he might not want to text but he’ll still try to text you to show you he cares. Or, even better, he’ll find other ways to communicate. Email, social media, calling, video chatting, in person chatting… There are tons of options!
  3. He’s using it as an excuse. If you’ve met a guy and exchanged numbers with him, only for him to dish you the line that he’s “bad at texting,” he could really be saying, “Don’t expect to hear from me.” Ouch. You’ll have to wait and see how this pans out.
  4. He doesn’t want to date you. He might be saying he’s bad at texting because he doesn’t see you seriously dating. He doesn’t want to commit to that with daily texts and romantic little emojis in said texts. Double ouch. So, don’t be surprised if he doesn’t make an effort in other ways, like by getting in touch via video chat or email, or by making plans to meet up.
  5. He wants to chat in real life. Right, so let’s be honest: texting can be potentially hazardous. It’s sometimes hard to read tone and there can be misunderstandings. Like, what does that eggplant emoji really mean?! He might be the type of guy who wants to chat in real life, especially if the topic is a bit sensitive or delicate. Hey, as long as he remembers to do so and you feel satisfied with your real dates, it’s no big deal.
  6. He’s super busy. Yikes, just when you thought the issue couldn’t become more frustrating, the guy not only tells you he’s bad at texting but he’s always claiming to be too busy to text. Is that for real or is he just sidelining you? You’ll have to gauge his behavior to see where he’s at and if he makes you a priority or not.
  7. He’s a lazy boyfriend. If he can’t make an effort to chat – yes, one-word answer man, we mean you – then you have to wonder if he’s going to be a lazy boyfriend. He might not initiate contact, set up dates, or carry his weight in the relationship. In other words, you’re dating a man-child.
  8. He’s got a different texting style. You might think he’s “bad at texting,” when really he’s not – he just has a totally different texting style to yours. Maybe you like to text a few times daily and he’s fine with going for a week with no texts. Or, maybe you like to have in-depth conversations via text but that’s not his style. The best way to deal with this situation is to communicate so you can find something that works for both of you.
  9. He doesn’t communicate well. Another benign reason why he’s bad at texting is that he battles to communicate. He might take a while to reply to you or you might see that he takes ages to type texts to you – you see that he’s “typing…” so much, you often assume your phone’s bust. Give him a chance. At least he’s trying.
  10. He doesn’t see your worth. Okay, so if the guy is bad at texting because he’s always taking forever to reply to your texts or “forgetting” to, and he leaves you on “read” for days at a time, he might be rude and taking you for granted. Next!
  11. He’s a manipulator. If the guy is using the “I’m bad at texting” line on you, it might be an excuse for his bad behavior. Here’s an example. He tells you he’s bad at texting, then proceeds to be rude with you or totally ignores your texts. When you confront him about it because it really upsets you, he says, “But I told you I’m bad at texting.” Nope, not gonna fly. If he cared, he’d be making an effort, not trying to cover his own butt.


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.