Let’s talk about one of the most common relationship issues plaguing today’s woman: how to get a guy to text you back.
Here’s a fun fact, ANM’s relationship section was built on this very question! We started out as a fashion and beauty site and just for fun published an article called: “Ask a Guy: Why Guys Don’t Text Back” and holy smokes did it explode! We didn’t realize how many women of all ages and all over the world were grappling with the seemingly impossible riddle. And so we shifted gears, focused more on writing about relationships, and here we are!
But back to the matter at hand … men and their texting habits.
Texting is our main mode of communication in this day and age. So much so that if someone actually calls you on the phone you think there must be some sort of emergency! It’s how we communicate, and men and women typically communicate differently and therein lies the problem.
From there, everything gets blown up and magnified and innocent things turn into major problems. When you understand how men operate when it comes to texting (and in general), you’ll realize that you’ve stressed yourself out for no reason. You’ll also learn exactly what it takes to get a guy to not only text you back, but to want to text you back.
Ok, let’s dive in and talk about exactly how to get a guy to text back:
Take This Quiz And Find Out Right Now: Why Isn’t He Texting You Back?
Why Guys Don’t Text Back
I’m going to speak in generalities for the sake of this article. I realize that these things may not be true of all men and all women, but I’m speaking about behaviors that are common to most men and most women.
Most men are not efficient multi-taskers and don’t enjoy talking for the sake of talking the way most women do. A woman can efficiently do a thousand things at once. Most men can’t. For example, a woman can be at work doing her job and texting with a guy all day, while G-chatting with her best friend, while shopping online at a flash sale, while painting her nails, and she’ll do a great job at all of these things! When a man its at work, he’s at work, and he has a very hard time flowing in and out of nonwork-related tasks. Women flow, most men don’t.
Now, you might want to counter with, “But he used to text me all the time when we first started dating, so I know he’s capable of it!”
OK, fair enough. That leads us to another important point about men.
Men are goal-oriented. If a man is trying to win a woman over, then that’s his goal and he’s going to be on point. In the beginning of a relationship, the “courtship” phase, everything is up in the air. He doesn’t fully know how you feel so he brings his A-game. He texts you a lot because he doesn’t want you to forget about him and find someone else.
When things get a little more settled and established, he doesn’t have to be so on point with his texting game and he can relax a little bit because texting all day just isn’t a sustainable habit, especially for men because, as we discussed, most men can’t multi-task that well.
Here is a guy confession from an interview I did a while back to drive the point home: “When I really like a girl, I will text her a lot throughout the day because I am always thinking about her. But that’s not sustainable. As the relationship goes on for a while it’s not something that feels natural, it starts to feel like work. And then it becomes a problem because the girl wants you to keep texting as much as you did in the beginning, which makes the guy want to do it even less!” Kevin, 29
Speaking of men being goal oriented, another common theme you’ll see amongst most men is that they will respond to texts when the text serves a purpose. For example, if you’re making a plan for a weekend. Where you might see guys drop off is when you’re just going back and forth with useless banter. Banter isn’t useless to most women, we enjoy it and it makes us feel good to talk to a guy we like, even if it’s about nothing. Most men really just feel bothered by this and it feels like a nuisance to them.
Here are more common reasons a guy won’t text back:
- He’s busy with work or something else that demands his full attention.
- She’s being needy and it’s annoying.
- He honestly didn’t have his phone nearby.
- He’s not interested in her, or is losing interest in her and feels no motivation to reply.
- He’s with another girl (a big possibility if you’re not yet in an exclusive relationship)
- He didn’t think the last thing you said warranted a response ( For example, you say: “I’m going to watch a movie now” and he doesn’t reply and you get mad, even though he figured you’re just off watching a movie and he doesn’t need to reply and wish you well in that venture!)
- He’s not interested in the conversation anymore and/or got distracted
And these are reasons a man will be more inclined to text you back:
- You’re making a plan.
- You’re having a really interesting conversation about something.
- You’re having a “sexy” conversation.
- He feels good talking to you.
- He isn’t doing anything urgent at the moment.
How to Get a Guy to Text You Back
Now let’s get into the meat and potatoes of this article and dive into exactly what it takes to get a man to text you back, and to want to text you back. It’s not about tricks or games, it really comes down to a simple mindset shift. That is what will change everything.
1. Don’t Be Desperate
Desperation kills attraction and even the most seemingly obtuse man can sense when a woman is coming from a place of desperation. Desperation and neediness go hand in hand. We’ve talked a lot about neediness on this site (you can refer to this article for much more on the topic), but essentially neediness is a state of mind more than a set of behaviors. It’s not what you do, it’s the intention behind what you do.
So when we talk about not being needy, we’re not saying watch the way you behave, it’s more about watching your thoughts and the mindset, and this, in turn, will impact the way you behave.
The neediness mindset is that you need him to respond to you in order to feel OK. So you text him, he doesn’t reply right away, and you panic. There is no end to the panic, it just mounts as the minute rack up. You start doubting yourself and doubting the relationship and your wheels are spinning at a frantic pace. The thoughts just keep piling up, you can barely catch your breath, a feeling of dread slowly takes you over. You need him to text you back in order to feel OK again. And until he does, it will be absolute turmoil in your inner world.
This poisons you with a negative vibe. Soon it stops feeling good to talk to you and be around you and he’ll begin with withdraw more and more.
A much better mentality is to just be OK. Remember that if he doesn’t text you back, it’s OK. You’ll be fine. Maybe he’s just busy, maybe he lost interest … either way, you can handle it. Either he’ll resurface (and hopefully you’ll do a better job in the future of not feeding into the needy mindset), or he won’t and you can move on knowing he isn’t the right guy for you. The right guy for you is a guy who wants you and wants the same kind of relationship you want. So if he doesn’t, then it just isn’t a match and that’s totally fine.
A very important life lesson is to not settle for what you don’t want. If he can’t or won’t give you the kind of relationship you want, then stop obsessing over how to get him to step up and just move on to someone who is more on your wavelength.
2. Stop Stressing Over It
I’ve said it about a million times and I’ll say it a million more: stressing kills relationships! There is nothing sexy about a stressed out basket case who overanalyzes everything. Men are put off by it and people, in general, are put off by it.
Women think that the only reason a man isn’t texting back is that he’s losing interest and they absolutely panic over it. But as we discussed above, there are several possible reasons so stop fixating on the worst case scenario because that really doesn’t serve you.
Most men have no idea how big a deal this texting thing is to women. So while you’re obsessing and panicking over the state of your relationship, he’s walking around totally oblivious and thinking everything is great!
Stressing ruins your mood, it ruins your vibe, and it doesn’t feel good. And in turn, it won’t feel good to be around you anymore. The reason you stress is that you’re attaching too much to the outcome. If he texts back, it means you’re lovable and worthy. If he doesn’t, then you’re destined to be alone for all eternity.
Or, maybe you just like him a lot and you really want it to work out. That’s fine, it’s normal and even healthy to be excited about a guy, but you have to OK with any outcome. You have to accept that if it doesn’t work out and he doesn’t want to continue seeing you, then it’s probably because he’s not a match for you, and not because you are fundamentally flawed and unlovable.
Again it’s really important to watch your mindset. There is a huge difference between texting a guy because you want to impress him and because you want him to text you back because it gives you a shot of dopamine when he does, and texting him because you’re thinking of him and want to let him know and want to make him feel good. The differences are slight, but significant and trust me when I say men notice these things!
Another important point to realize: every guy has his own texting style. Some are just naturally terrible texters. If you want to know where your guy’s texting habits stand, be sure to take our super accurate, “What’s His Texting Style?” quiz. The results will let you know exactly what you’re dealing with!
3. Texting Isn’t a Barometer for the Relationship
You can’t measure the quality of a relationship based on the quantity of texts exchanged. You measure a relationship based on the quality of time you spend together. The real question to ask isn’t, “Why isn’t he texting me back?” It’s “How does the relationship feel when we’re together?”
It’s not about how many compliments and kisses she gives you- a lot of guys know how to be sweet and charming and this doesn’t really tell you much about where he stands in the relationship. These are the things to pay attention to instead of his texting habits:
- – How open is he with you? How accessible is he to you? Does he share himself, his real and true self?
- – Are you the person he goes to and trusts to be in his corner? His confessional? His sanctuary? His safe place?
- – Does he confide in you, open up to you, and let his guard down with you? Do you get to see the man behind the mask?
4. Men Move Toward What Feels Good
Here is the most basic core truth about men: Men move toward what feels good and away from what feels bad. Men don’t like drama or conflict or heavy emotional conversations. If you send him a text and there is even as a slight hint of any of those elements in there, then he most likely won’t respond.
If you send him a lighthearted, happy text, then he will want to respond! He won’t feel like, “Ugh, I can’t deal with this now, I’ll get back to her later.” He’ll be more like, “Aw, what a nice text, she’s so sweet. Let me reply real quick.”
Guys are more inclined to reply when they know that they aren’t going to be dragged into something that will be unpleasant emotionally or take them away from whatever they’re doing.
If you are a happy, emotionally healthy woman who is not needy, then he won’t feel any pressure when it comes to texting you. He can relax knowing that if he can’t reply right away, you won’t throw a tantrum. He knows you aren’t trying to get something out of him. That you’re texting him because you enjoy talking to him, not because you need him to respond to you in a certain way in order to feel good about yourself.
Now, what if you have something serious to talk to him about? Well, save that for another time, not on text. A serious matter, emotional issues, and the like should be in-person conversations.
A guy just isn’t going to want to go there via text. Most men don’t even like texting, and they also don’t like heavy emotional situations so that’s just a double whammy.
Also, so much gets lost in translation via texts and things can totally come across the wrong way.
Some Texting Do’s and Don’ts:
- Lash out at him for not texting back and made harsh accusations
- Keep texting over and over and over, this will just make you look crazy (You there?? … What are you doing?? …. ?????? …. Dude, where are you?? … Are you going to reply?? …. Hello??? … WTF?! … etc. etc.)
- Send him some long emotional dissertation about how you’ve been hurt in the past and him not texting is triggering all your old wounds.
- Act passive aggressive and start taking forever to reply to his texts after he does respond in retaliation
- Obsess and analyze his texts to uncover hidden clues about how he feels.
- And don’t always expect a response!
- Send him texts that inspire a response (Asking, “What movie should I watch?” Instead of, “I think I’m going to watch a movie.)
- Have a happy, positive mindset.
- Text him because you want to, not because you want him to reply a certain way
- Be confident in yourself
There you have it, a thorough and in-depth look at exactly why guys don’t text back, and exactly how to get him to text you back. I hope it helps! Please leave your thoughts and questions in the comments section!
Take This Quiz And Find Out Right Now: Why Isn’t He Texting You Back?
How To Get A Guy To Text You Back:
- Don’t be desperate- neediness kills attraction
- Don’t stress or obsess over why he isn’t texting you back. Be OK with the outcome
- Realize that texts are an arbitrary measure of the relationship. Look at the time you spend together
- Send him happy, lighthearted texts or texts that require a response
- Don’t pressure him, force him, or guilt him into texting you back