Ok, I am confused…I thought guys were totally into the text versus actually talking on the phone. But there is one guy who I am interested in who seems to not fit that mold. Help! He takes hours to answer a text message when we all KNOW that our phones are glued to our face. I don’t understand…we will be texting back and forth for a few, then nothing…air silence! I told him it bothers me but he keeps doing it!
What is the deal? I am so OVER the four hour response time…especially when we don’t talk over any other media.
I would say that we guys prefer text because it makes it easier to avoid talking to someone when we don’t feel like it. Speaking for myself, there have been times when I’ve bailed on responding to a text simply because I’m busy with something else.
I think all guys would generally agree: we tend to be single-minded in what we’re doing and focus on meeting one objective at a time. Anything outside of our focus at that moment is a distraction that we don’t want to “deal with”.
The times in my life that I would go MIA on a text message would be:
1) If I wasn’t that into her.
2) If I was really busy with work.
3) If the girl was being needy.
4) If I honestly did not have my phone near me.
5) If I’m with another girl (note: If I’m in a relationship it’s monogamous, I never cheat, but if not dating around is fair game.)
If you want to know why specifically he’s not texting you back (and what to do about it), click here to take our “Why Doesn’t He Text Back?” Quiz.
In your situation, it sounds like this guy will try to make plans and then when it gets complicated, or it seems like it isn’t going to happen, he directs his attention elsewhere and doesn’t feel the need to text further (again it comes down to the concept of a man’s tendency to single-mindedly fixate on fulfilling an objective or reaching a goal).
Now you mentioned that you’ve expressed your frustration over his behavior and he hasn’t changed. The reason for that is simple – when you call a guy out on something (‘why didn’t you call?’ ‘where were you?’ ‘why’d you take so long to text back?’) you might think you’re drawing a line in the sand, but he sees it as something else entirely: NEEDINESS.
I think I speak for all guys when I say avoid acting needy at all costs. Neediness has repelled me away from more women than I care to disclose.
A few clarifying points: I know the term “neediness” gets thrown around a lot these days, so I want to be really specific in how I define it. Neediness, at it’s core, is a mindset. It finds a way to telegraph itself no matter how much the person tries not to “act needy”.
So when I talk about neediness or acting needy, I’m not recommending that you change how you behave or even try to avoid these actions. Rather, I’m recommending that you change how you think about things and, therefore, the needy behaviors and ways of acting naturally disappear.
So what specifically is the neediness mindset? It’s believing that you “need” the other person to act a certain way, be a certain way, do specific things or say specific things… or else you won’t be happy.
There’s nothing wrong with having preference for what you want and only settling for what you want. No problem there.
The problem with the needy mindset is that when you’re not getting what you want, you have a strong negative reaction because you think of his specific behavior as something you “need” in order to be OK… happy… fulfilled.
A much more empowering mindset is to simply not settle for what you don’t want and seek out what you do want… without blame, argument, accusation or attack.
Also, I want to be clear that good, clear communication of what you want and what you don’t want is part of any good and healthy relationship. So bear in mind that this response to you is from the context that you’ve repeatedly brought this up as an issue and there’s been no change in his behavior.
At this point, rather than calling him out when he doesn’t respond, you would be far more effective if you make other plans when this happens. DON’T wait on him because people tend to fall into a routine with other people based on past behavior.
If you’re always available to the guy, it’s only natural that he’ll expect you to be available whenever he feels like contacting you. If your availability is limited (and therefore requires planning and coordination to reach you), then he will make an effort to set time aside for you and make solid plans with you (instead of contacting you only when it’s convenient for him).
This isn’t just a guy thing… it’s a human thing – we only put effort into interactions that require it. And the interesting part is that the more we put effort into a relationship with someone, the more invested WE become.
I would encourage you to look for opportunities for the guy to make an effort toward you. The more of an effort he puts into seeing you or doing things for you, the more invested in you he’ll become. This is why being accommodating to bad behavior is actually harmful to creating a bond with the guy in the beginning.
Any woman I’ve ever really cared for (and showed priority towards) didn’t settle for behavior that wasn’t what she wanted. She didn’t put up with behavior that didn’t work for her – namely, if I left her hanging, I could be sure she’d make other plans.
Now, I know there’s a lot of talk out there about being a challenge… and that being a challenge is somehow inherently attractive to guys… but I’m here to tell you that being a challenge is not attractive. Not settling for what you don’t want is attractive.
Nobody wants to put up with a person who’s argumentative, unpleasant or adversarial for no reason. On the other hand, nobody is going to admire, respect or prioritize a doormat (who will put up with anything because they’re afraid of losing the other person and desperate for their attention, love and validation).
Bottom line: Don’t accept or ignore behavior that you don’t want… but realize that “not accepting” behavior doesn’t mean fighting the other person.
Showing the guy that you’re not going to wait around for him if he disappears demonstrates a lot of good things about you: you have your own life, you have options and your world doesn’t revolve around him. A guy wants a woman like this because he knows that you can take care of yourself and you won’t drag him down with neediness.
This is an example of not accepting behavior that you don’t want without conflict.
If he doesn’t change and you continue to feel frustrated by his behavior then remember that you can always drop him and move on. Nobody is forcing you to be in a relationship with this guy and if he’s not putting in the effort to communicate with you, you’re going to be far better off filling your time with other ways to be happy (versus what many women do… which is to stress over the guy more and more, which makes the guy even more of a fixation point, invests her in him more emotionally, etc.)
I would highly encourage you to read the comments and discussions from different women who have experienced their guy not texting back. You’re definitely not alone – as you can see, tons of women have experienced the “guy doesn’t text back” phenomenon.
Not only will you see a pattern, but you’ll also see tons of comments where Sabrina and I personally responded.
Leave us a comment and we might respond to yours too.
One of the most frequent things I notice is that the women fixate on the guy acting a certain way or doing something they want him to do (in this case, texting her back).
In general, this is a very disempowering way to live life – you are essentially shackling your happiness to the actions of a guy (and at the moment, it doesn’t even seem like he’s doing a good job delivering on what you want him to do.)
Something to consider is if it’s just a matter of your guy’s texting habits – take our “What’s His ‘Texting Style’ Mean?” Quiz and see what his texting habits really mean about your relationship.
Whether it’s his texting habits, the way he talks to you or the ways he shows (or doesn’t show) his affection for you, you don’t want to be chasing his affection. All that this does is show him that he can treat you like an option while he makes other things a priority.
MORE: How Do Men Show Love?
This scenario tends to lead to a relationship downward spiral since the less he puts in effort, the more upset the woman tends to get… and as the woman gets more upset, she tends to act more desperate, more paranoid and more guarded.
This is not the energy that attracted the guy in the first place – chances are that when he met you, you were happy, carefree and having fun. That’s a much better way to be and it’s far more attractive to the guy as well.
When you don’t let the guy in your life be a source of disappointment, you’ll not only save yourself from heartache, worry and misery… you’ll also have a lot more fun.
In short, if he leaves you hanging, make other plans and have fun.
Hope that’s helpful.