When a Guy Doesn’t Text Back: The Real Reasons It Drives You Crazy post image

When a Guy Doesn’t Text Back: The Real Reasons It Drives You Crazy


I don’t know what the biggest relationship issue was before the invention of cell phones, but in this digital day and age the culprit behind most issues and confusions is texting.

Women can’t seem to understand why guys take so long to text back and men are either oblivious to all the turmoil their texts (or lack thereof) cause, or they just don’t get what the big freakin deal is!

Trust me, I get it. I’ve been guilty of waiting with baited breath for my phone to make that beloved ding, I’ve played Text Detective, I’ve endured the agonizing pain of a stomach twisted in knots and a mind demanding to know: Why is he taking so long to write back?… Why haven’t I heard from him today, isn’t he thinking about me?… Why are his answers so short and vague, is he not into me anymore?…. Why did he initiate a conversation and then just disappear?

I’ve asked all the questions and have experienced the roller coaster of emotions that they produce. But why? Why do we get so wound up and stressed and anxious?

I’ve given this topic a lot of thought and narrowed it down to three main reasons why us ladies work ourselves into such a tizzy over a guy’s texting habits. Here they are:

1. We Just Don’t Get It
Reality isn’t absolute, it’s created based on our own experiences and how we interpret them. And we measure other people against a yardstick determined by our own personal codes of conduct. For instance, if a girl likes a guy she may want to text frequently. If this guy doesn’t text her often, she assumes it must mean he doesn’t really like her because when she likes someone she would never, ever, leave them hanging.

What a lot of women have a hard time understanding about men is the way they operate when they’re working on something. Men typically get absorbed in whatever task is at hand, and when they’re in that mode, nothing else exists outside of it. Women, on the other hand, are much more fluid and can shift gears more seamlessly without completely losing focus.

Also, many studies have demonstrated that women primarily gain their sense of worth and self-esteem through their interpersonal relationships. Men primarily gain their sense of worth through their ability to have an impact on the world, from their ability to be “winners.” So in the context of texting and relationships, a woman’s head is always in the relationship, even when she’s at work. I remember times when I would be at work doing what needed to be done and G-chatting all day long with a guy I was seeing.  Most women can do this, men typically can’t (at least not the ones with demanding jobs). A guy may start out texting you all day, no matter how crazy his day is, but that will only happen in the early stages of a relationship and simply isn’t sustainable for the longterm.

MORE: What Guys Really Think of Texting

The reason women get so frustrated is because they expect men to experience relationships the same way they do. She wants to hear from him during the day because that makes her feel cared for and even when she’s at work, she can’t help but think about why he hasn’t texted just to say hi or see how her day is going. She really wants to text him, because she likes him and wants to talk to him, but she doesn’t want to be the initiator so instead she uses restraint and waits/hopes for him to text her, and then hits the panic button when he doesn’t.

Which brings me to my next point…

2. You Think It Means He Doesn’t Care  
Men communicate differently than women do, and they usually talk for the sake of achieving some sort of a goal or making a plan. A woman might get upset if she’s having a cute, banter type of back and forth with a guy and then he just stops responding but this really means nothing! To her, going back and forth and being all cute and flirty was their way of connecting, but to him the conversation wasn’t moving toward anything, and he just didn’t see a need to respond further. While the girl might be getting all upset and wondering if something she said turned him off, the guy is just going about his day and focusing on something else and is completely unaware of the mayhem he has incited within her.

QUIZ: What’s His Texting Style?

Men, in general, are goal oriented while women are process oriented. Men typically talk for the sake of solving a problem or making a plan, while women enjoy talking just for the sake of talking. For women, talking is a way to bond and connect. For men, talking is just a means to an end. What matters more to men is the quality of the time spent with another person.  This is why two guy friends can sit on a couch watching the game and say absolutely nothing to each other and still call it male bonding. If two female friends were sitting on a coach not talking, it would be because they were in a fight!

In sum, when a guy doesn’t respond, or gives quick, short responses, what it really means is….nothing at all!

3. Fear
At the heart of why girls get into such a tizzy over the whole texting issue is fear. The fear that this guy isn’t really interested, that he will hurt her, that he’s leading her on or is trying to get something out of her. When we have a fear or belief within us, our psyche will try to find proof to back up how we feel, no matter how destructive that thought is. We all navigate through the world with filter systems that take in information we deem relevant and discard everything else. For instance, if you think no one likes you, you will hone in on people not being nice to you and will disregard all the signs that people do like you.

Liking a guy is scary, especially when the relationship is in the early stages and you’re not quite sure where he stands or if he’s on the same page as you. You feel vulnerable, you feel guarded, you’re nervous… and you don’t quite trust that this one will be different than the rest. So you look for proof that he will hurt you, thus confirming that you’ll never be able to get the kind of guy you want. When you don’t hear from him, … (continued – Click to keep reading When a Guy Doesn’t Text Back: The Real Reasons It Drives You Crazy)

37 comments… add one

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John

Tired of all this talk about men not being fluid so we can’t shift gears and text while working. The real reasons we don’t text back as much as you want are what you dread: we don’t feel like texting you (you’re boring, you’re annoying us, you’re not the priority at that moment); we don’t know what to say since you scrutize everything we say; we’re cheating on you; or maybe we can’t text you (in a meeting; working out; fell asleep; trying to study); we are intentionally making you wonder why we aren’t texting you; we don’t want you to think we have nothing else to do; you unknowingly offended us.

Reply December 2, 2016, 5:44 pm

Lina

When a man suddenly stops talking to you and doesn’t care to even say something about this disappearing and respond it means that he does not care about the relationship and had never looked for anything more with you. Why do we always try to justify the guys and blame ourselves for seeking communication and security- these things are essential in a relationship. When the other person doesn’t communicate, of course you will start feeling insecure. I

Reply November 3, 2016, 3:43 am

John Shepherd

I am a loser as I do not text women back. I do not even know how to use my handset. My ex-wives and children must not know about this secret.

Reply July 18, 2016, 6:32 pm

Amanda

As long as a guy is consistent with his texting habits, there should be no red flags. Look out for patterns or changes in behaviour. Sometimes texting habits COULD mean he IS cheating with another woman or losing interest in you. So, not answering texts for hours (he COULD be with another woman!! Having sex!!! Or whatever else!!) and short responses COULD mean he is texting another woman (women) at the same time… and no responses COULD mean he just started a text conversation with someone else.. HER.
I do believe texting habits from men could signal problems. If he keeps you hanging for days… never initiates… takes too long to answer all the time… is short in texts all the time….. these are not things to ignore.
Just saying that women also need to keep men ACCOUNTABLE. Not let them off the hook and equating their “dropping the ball” to men being men. Not so. A woman needs to tell him she likes to receive texts from him and likes text communication and would appreciate his effort in this area. It is what SHE NEEDS to be HAPPY. If he understands this, wants to keep her happy and makes the effort, great. If not, he does not care enough about her and the relationship. Remember, men, you need to keep doing what you did in the beginning of the relationship to keep it going. Too many men drop the ball once they have her.

Reply June 12, 2016, 7:28 am

juanita juniper

YES! “A woman needs to tell him she likes to receive texts from him and likes text communication and would appreciate his effort in this area. It is what SHE NEEDS to be HAPPY.” She cares what makes him happy and makes the effort, he should do the same. Or else, just say no texting in this relationship at ALL.

Reply October 7, 2016, 9:57 pm

juanita juniper

BUT, this article helps one to calm down and not let it eat away at you, no matter what. If you can’t trust someone, let them go and don’t let them play games with you. NOrmal people will care enough to at least TRY to make the person they like happy.

Reply October 7, 2016, 10:02 pm

Donna

I’m 56 and the man I just recently had a first date with is turning 60 this year. Wer’e no spring chickens and both have been around the block many times. It can take a woman decades to learn the one golden dating rule, ie: Let the man chase you, make him work for it, the longer the chase the greater the chance to sort out the players from the stayers. This article is top notch as it shows me and the women of my age group that in the last 3 decades men and dating have not changed at all, only the technology has. It use to be an an answering machine message being ignored now it”s text messages. I’m too old now to let a man and his dating style screw with my head, especially when it took me many years to get it on straight. To the younger ladies remember that, ‘men do not change no matter how old they get’.. Good luck & happy dating.

Reply March 16, 2016, 12:22 am

Victoria

There’s this guy I like and We follow each other on Twitter and he’s commented on SEVERAL of my tweets and I’ve always replied; to everyone not just him and I’ve recently commented on one of his tweets and it’s been 17 hours and still hasn’t replied or liked it and I just saw that he’s been tweeting on Twitter so he must have seen it and just bypassed it and I have classes with him at school so I don’t really know how to react to that..? I can’t be angry or sad bc we are merely friends at school so my guess is to just “bypass” this myself and act like nothing happened??
I feel that if I don’t mention it I’ll look pathetic or something :/ if anyone could give me any advice please

Reply February 7, 2016, 3:06 pm

Dee

I have been dating a guy for over 3 months. We talked and texted several times a day. 2 weeks ago he could not get enough of time with me but in lthe last week seems distant and not answering text or phine calls sone days. Its hard notvto think I have said or done something and harder to wait for him to come out of his cave!

Reply February 4, 2016, 9:47 am

Cheryl

This article really helps alot. For me very same scenario as others. I met a really great guy online who lives in my area about 20 miles apart. We hit it off great through our communications on the dating app, texting etc and finally when we met in person. We have much in common, etc. At first he would reply quickly to text and then it died off a few days and then he is back at it texting me which is what I don’t get. He will text to discuss anything. He is not in it for fwb or nsa as we established that even prior to meeting. Last time I heard from him was this Thursday and he is yet to reply. I know its not work as he has been not working for a bit due to pto. Is ut worth waiting on him due to the circumstances I hace shared here?

Reply January 24, 2016, 8:50 pm

Adina

WOW! This article totally woke me up. The guy I just started seeing has only ever shown me positive signs (which bizarrely I choose to ignore when he fails to reply to a text or call in a timely manner). He has been honest, opened up and told me something deep about himself, actually made himself vulnerable by telling me he likes me and yet its like I need more confirmation from him?? I’m scared to let go and believe him so I know I look for signs he’s not genuine to save myself from any hurt. Thereby sabotaging my own chance at happiness. I’m gonna focus on the positive from now on and just let him come to me. If he’s the one it should feel natural, which it does. Didn’t Shakespeare say that ”The course of true love never did run smooth”.

Reply December 14, 2015, 4:57 pm

Grace

How did it all turn out? I am in the EXACT same situation with a guy right now – he opened up, told me he has liked me for 6 months, told me some very personal stories,.. as you said, which made him vulnerable… but I am beside myself as i don’t hear from him frequently / he doesn’t do chatting via text. It’s so hard to control the panic inside!

Reply June 13, 2016, 4:27 pm

Emily

He’s too busy and self absorbed to text me for two days… fine, but how come he has time and isn’t too focused on his job to post on twitter five times a day?? Its all excuses.

Reply December 8, 2015, 12:25 pm

Taylor Fulton

“Liking a guy is scary, especially when the relationship is in the early stages and you’re not quite sure where he stands or if he’s on the same page as you. You feel vulnerable, you feel guarded, you’re nervous… and you don’t quite trust that this one will be different than the rest.”

This article hit me hard =_= Thank you for understanding.

Reply October 28, 2015, 4:45 pm

Emilyyyy

I have been talking to this guy for like a couple weeks. He is a farm kid so he might be really busy, but It has been almost 24 hours and he hasn’t texted me back. On Friday he sent all the signs that he likes me via text… GUYS ARE SO CONFUSING. But this actually helped alot. Shout out to whoever wrote this.

Reply October 11, 2015, 10:01 am

Sophia

Omg. Same here, he texted me, giave me all signs that he like me. But when I text him, it takes days sometimes to get the answer. Last week, he asked me for a date. Then we scheduled it that we will meet next Friday the 23 of Oct. yesterday he messaged me back say that he have to go away that weekend to meet his client. Then we were texting back and forth and he say he misses me. today morning I texted him but he haven’t responded yet even though I know he was on the phone checking his Facebook.
So confusing and crazy

Reply October 17, 2015, 8:28 pm

couples therapist

Using these universals about men vs women is a bit overboard. While it’s true that some people have different relationships with texting/calling than others, it doesn’t always apply to a man/woman polarization. Beyond that, if you tell someone that the way you like to connect is via text when between hanging out, and they continue to ignore your texts/wait days to respond etc, then maybe it isn’t a compatible situation. Either way, you’re not going to know what’s going on unless you have conversations about things you like/need when dating. If time passes, you keep hanging out and get the sense that he is interested and wants you to feel desired, most likely he will work on responding in ways you feel desired if you need him to. The key to satisfying relationships is having reasonable expectations and choosing a partner who will respond to your needs. Expecting him to change his patterns immediately, completely or exactly as you need may not work out well. but taking small steps, this kind of behavior change could be possible if you speak kindly about it and talk about how good it feels to be wanted by him.

Reply August 22, 2015, 10:16 pm

tiff

so i have met this guy twice, we were texting non stop the slowly die off, even the second time we met we seemed didnt have much to talk about. the amount of msg decreased heaps. he doesnt reply as often but the funny thing is i always see him online active on the dating app that i met him of?

Reply August 15, 2015, 4:38 pm

Caitlyn

Interesting but most obvious reason is quite simply “he is not interested” and one should stop bothering about it and move to better things.

Reply July 15, 2015, 12:23 pm

Charlotte

This is so true! Thanks for writing this article 🙂

Reply July 7, 2015, 5:02 am

Lauren

I’m trying to figure out how a guy is feeling about me. We went to high school together and have reconnected since then. We went on a date and had a great time. We ended up sleeping together and I stayed the night over at his apartment. We have been texting each day since then. A few days later I went over to his place again and we watched a movie on the couch. He has told me thru text and in person that he could date me and does like me. When I went over to watch a movie, he invited me to a wedding he is in. I didn’t know how to respond to that so I just smiled and said thanks. He also told several of his friends that he likes me and wants to keep seeing me. I am just trying to get a gauge as to how he is feeling. I could see something with him. Am I being crazy? I don’t want to push him away. How do I move forward?

Reply June 15, 2015, 11:37 am

Brenda

Uh, yea, it’s a little different when you’re in a long-distance relationship, folks. We rely on texting and IM’ing for our relational livelihood right now. If said boyfriend isn’t working, doesn’t volunteer and gets up at 2 or 3 pm, then 1 text an hour is not cool.

Reply June 12, 2015, 2:23 pm

Mily

Hello,

I’ve got to know a guy recently, through the application. We talked through a messenger for about 3 weeks, we met last Friday for the first time. He came to my University around 11, because he already works and has to stay overtime often. He said a few times that I am beautiful and attractive. He even played with my hair. We keep in touch and have a plan for a date today after his work. However, his last message was yesterday around 3 pm. He said that he had to focus on his work and that he would talk to me later. It’s been almost 24 hours since then, and still no message. He might be just busy with his work, but wouldn’t he at least confirm the date? We didn’t set up an exact time so I am a bit worried.

Reply June 10, 2015, 1:25 am

Joy

I can relate with this right now…by the way I wanted to post my situation in forum..how?

Reply April 15, 2015, 12:04 pm

Gayle

This article helped me so much. I am, like most women apparently, always thinking the worst when he doesn’t text back or his texts are less playful and just seem polite. So hard to just back off because we desperately want to feel better and only he can ease our suffering! So awful. I have actually had times when I felt physically sick because of this. One thing I have changed and realize is that men do respond to women a lot better when they respect the man needing time alone. If you want any chance of him coming back from his cave you have to do this, as hard as it can be sometimes to bite your tongue!

Reply April 15, 2015, 1:09 am

patricia

Just do not bother about text so that you can focus on how to make the relationship a never-let-go thing by the man,men run away from girls who get itchy easily.

Reply April 4, 2015, 1:48 pm

patricia

This piece of information has enlightened me not get itchy when a guy does not text.To me it is just important to know if the guy loves you and not shorten your lifespan worrying over nothing.He will text when he feels as to do so.So ladies focus on doing a great part in making your man happy and your relationship successful rather than allowing text issues to crush your happiness.

Reply April 4, 2015, 1:43 pm

anne

Great article, but still I find texting a mine field. I’m back dating after a years break and still mind boggles to it all. My friends say one thing, the article another. Makes its so clear to why they say men are from mars ect. . Us women do over complicate things , and iv learnt a few of my friends have some serious bunny boiler issues lol

Reply March 30, 2015, 8:37 am

Sinobuhle

Thank you very much for the articles you sending to me l have not subscribe because of my financial situation. But l know one day l will because this little summary you are giving me. It has changed my life in many ways. Please keep up the good work u doing to us ladies

Lots of love

Reply March 23, 2015, 5:11 pm

Mindy

Uhhh… How to solve the opposite problem? I don’t like being sucked into texting forever. I like to reply to text whenever it’s convenient for me, maybe right away, maybe a few hours later, or even the next day or the day after…

A few guys I’m involved with seem to have a problem with it, or at least they make me feel a bit bade because most of the time (I would say 95% of the time), they reply within at most 5 minutes, if they don’t, there is an explanation or an apology… So I have to “behave” in like manner and it’s time consuming. Or, at least I feel pretty “constricted”.

There was this guy, he texted me the day before Super Bowl evening, I didn’t want to reply at the time, then DURING Super Bowl, while he was WATCHING it at work (Police officer) with his co-worker, he texted me “I guess you don’t want to talk to me any more 🙁 …” Serious????

And then another guy “I noticed that I’m always the last one who texts last in a conversation, you don’t even say bye any more and it takes you several hours to reply”. Dude, I have my phone on silence during work hours. When texts come in, there’s no vibration, there’s no sound notice.. If it’s so important, why don’t you call me…

It’s not just he girls’ problem, it’s guys’ too.

Reply March 23, 2015, 10:25 am

Sofia

Mindy, I totally agree with you that it’s guys’ problem as well. I have a super busy schedule and prioritize work over anything. Sometimes I can reply right away to someone outside of work; sometimes I just have too much going on. But when someone just sits there and waits for the other person to respond to them, he/she needs stay busy with the daily life. And some guys, not just girls, text to just talk (because, again, they probably have too much free time) and act like women in a way. So here is an example. While I was still sleeping on a Sunday morning, I had one guy texting me and asking if we were still doing anything and then sending me another text an hour and a half later calling me “distant, too busy, and stuck up”. And that is all only after one date.. Really? Wow!
I think, guys should learn from this article too.

Reply April 13, 2015, 4:24 pm

Frankie

I am assuming this is at the beginning of the relationship. This is always the case in my experience. Men will get off on the chase and if they feel you are not available they will freak out and make all sorts of assumptions. Once they have you locked in, the communication slowly starts to fade.

Reply March 14, 2016, 7:28 pm

Jen

This is so true. I had a couple of really nice dates with a guy, I texted him about something or other (I honestly can’t remember), and then didn’t hear from him for weeks. I’m insanely busy anyway, so I just continued on with life and lo and behold – guess who texted me! I don’t know whether we’ll go out again or not, but it pays to take a breath before you get all wigged out about a guy’s silly texting habits and just go with the flow. I mean, in the end, you’re only making your own life harder if you send an angry text or make an exasperated phone call.

Reply March 19, 2015, 4:04 am

angel

Say what you will….if someone doesn’t text me back after saying he would (“I’m busy tonight but I will text you”). And it’s been 4 days. Chances are “he’s just not that into me”.

Reply August 30, 2014, 12:16 pm

Lynnsie

I used to get so wrapped up in these texting situations. But after awhile I realized if you stop waiting around for that one text and focus on doing something else matter to your life, then all of the insecurities would disappear. Doing this will shift the focus to your life and enables you to be less worried whether he stops liking you or not. Heck if he doesn’t, then his loss. You have other better things to do anyway.

Reply August 28, 2014, 9:55 pm

rider

Sorry but I might sound awful by stating that there is nothing better things for a woman to do rather than talking and having fun with a guy , because what makes you and your assets worthy is a guy who admires you and your beauty.
And a woman can never resist for a much time period from a lovely boy’s glimpse.
Personal experience of having 64 girlfriends ,anyways I am just 27 .

Reply October 16, 2015, 1:33 pm

Geena

Thank you so much!! I’m in this position right now: great first date, “we should do this again”, sent a follow-up “hey when works for you to get together again” text and…. nothing in 24 hours. This article really, really helps and makes so much sense to me.

Reply August 28, 2014, 1:57 pm

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