Ask a Guy: How to Get Him to Text You Back post image

Ask a Guy: How to Get Him to Text You Back


OK… I’m confused. How do you get a guy to text you back?

The guy I’ve been dating for the last two months used to text me back right away whenever I texted him. He would send me sweet messages, he’d never leave me hanging, and he seemed really into me.

However, for the last two weeks I feel like something changed. Now there have been times where he won’t text me for a day or two and when we do text, I feel like it’s always me initiating the conversations. It went from him showering me with attention and affection to him not responding to texts for hours.

I don’t know what changed but I have this horrible feeling I screwed something up or maybe I’m bugging him. I’ve eased up on the texts (just in case I was overwhelming him), but for the times I really want to hear from him can you tell me how to get him to text me back?

Let me start off by saying that if you’ve ever read anything by me, you know that honesty is my brand and I don’t sugarcoat my messages.  I’m prefacing my immediate answer with that disclosure because I don’t want you to mistake my bluntness for rudeness.  Everything I’m saying is with the intent to help you… that’s why I’m here.

In terms of you wanting him to text you back, my most blunt question is: What’s there to gain and what’s there to lose?

Let me explain…

First:  What’s there to lose?

I’ll share some of my personal experience…

I work all the time.  From the moment I’m up to maybe an hour or two before I go to bed, chances are I’m working… it’s what I do.  It’s who I am.

So throughout the day, I get texts from all different people.  My employees.  My friends.  The woman/women in my life. Some of those texts get responses immediately.  Some don’t.

Here’s a list of the texts that I avoid responding to:

  • Texts that are going to lead to a distracting conversation away from what I’m concentrating on
  • Texts where someone wants me to drop everything to do something for them while I’m in the middle of something else
  • Texts where they want me to be the audience to whatever drama or issue they’re experiencing at the moment
  • Texts where I have to deal with something… anything.
  • In short… texts that take something away from me (my focus, my attention, my positive mood, my sanity, etc.)

It’s not that I don’t like the people texting me… and it’s definitely not because I’m greedy or self-centered (I’m generous and I like giving to others… I put others first to a fault, to be perfectly honest.)

The fact is, I can only give so much and when I get a text that adds yet another thing to my plate of things to deal with, I’m likely to ignore it, or at least put off responding.

Before you know it, minutes turn to hours and daylight turns to past-midnight… all of a sudden, it’s too late to respond.

Texts that take energy away from me (or any guy) are more subtle than you think.  I’m a considerate guy, but when I’m dealing with thirteen crises during my work day and a girl is texting me about how I should be texting her more and giving her more attention… that’s a drain I could do without.

I’ve talked about neediness so many times before that I don’t feel like explaining it in great depth, but I’ll reiterate to say:

Neediness is a state of mind, not any specific action or actions.

It’s the feeling that if you don’t get some kind of emotional reassurance or validation from another person, then you won’t be “OK”.

Neediness is crippling to the quality of any relationship (whether it’s a guy or woman acting needy) and it’s something you need to prevent from creeping into your mind at all costs.  Needy texts are guaranteed to be ignored by a guy. Personally, I don’t ignore needy texts out of cruelty – I ignore them because it’s an insatiable relationship monster that I don’t ever want to feed (metaphorically speaking).

MORE: A Guy’s Take on Neediness

What’s there to gain?

From another angle, you could say what does make him want to text you back?  Eagerly even…

Well I’ll share the texts I most readily respond to immediately:

  • Anything urgent or a crisis.
  • Something light and funny, with no expectation for conversation or even a response necessarily.
  • A work colleague who wants to do business with me.
  • Anything from my family.  No matter what.
  • Anything hot and sexy (like I said, blunt honesty is my brand)

Let’s talk about that last one.  If a girl wants to flirt with me over text and send me sexy pictures, I’m all over that.  I’ve never portrayed myself as a saint and when it comes to sexting… well… that’s something I don’t mind dropping everything for.

Now before you march to my South Beach condo with a burning pitchfork, let me explain.

I work constantly and I work hard.  I can’t express in words what a breath of fresh air it is when a sexy woman appears on my phone and her fundamental message is:  I want you to feel good.  I want you to be turned on.  I want you to want me.

And if you think I’m being a pig with what I just said, I challenge you to find a man who disagrees – even the most feminized, wouldn’t-hurt-a-fly, harmless man would agree that if there’s a sexy girl sending him some alluring messages, you can be sure he’ll be all over that.  Guaranteed.

However, my overall message here isn’t so superficial to suggest that sexting is the answer to all text message dilemmas.  What I’m really driving at is if you want him to respond quickly to your texts and love texting you, then make the experience of texting you awesome.

Don’t make it a chore for him.  Don’t make it a performance he has to do for you.  Don’t make it something you chastise him about.

Be a woman that he loves to text because his life is more fun and more full with you perking him up.  Orient your mind towards giving him what he likes, not on what you want to get from him.

Men love when someone makes their day lighter and simpler, not heavier and more complex.  At the heart of it, that’s the secret.

Is His Texting Style His Habit or a Troubled Relationship Symptom?

You’d be amazed at the number of questions I get about guys and texting.

One of the first questions I ask is, “How is your relationship when you’re together?”

I ask this because, to be quite frank, a lot of guys ... (continued - Click to keep reading Ask a Guy: How to Get Him to Text You Back)

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C

What a load of crap – you are such a self important git. “I
so important and busy so I’ll only respond to texts that make me horny” LAME

Reply August 19, 2014, 9:05 pm

Yeny

Makes sooo much sense now!!! Wow

Reply August 14, 2014, 12:36 am

Teresa

We had a 4 year very rocky relationship, we tried to commit and be engaged but it felt so wrong and awkward, we finally broke up and usually when we fight we text for days debating and trying to figure out how to change and stay together, this time he hasn’t responded or called at all. I’m worried he moved on, what to do?

Reply August 3, 2014, 11:57 pm

Tania

Is there anyway I can write personally to you? You know, just to get private answers on my questions.

Reply July 20, 2014, 11:46 am

Claire

Been dating an older guy for 3 months, speaking most days on line.
He is from USA never been married and no children.
Things in my mind very going very well.. He told me he was invested with the relation and he even came all the way from the USA to visit travel time 36 hours.
We spent 5 great days together and and met up since.
We talk almost everyday.. Here is where I need help.
I have never been needy until out last meet up he was leaving to do a dangerous job ie gone into a war zone you can only imagine.
He told me he would contact me when he reached there( never did..
I sent one message saying hey I hope you made it.. First one was to Skype and no reply.. Second was to what’s app he replied I did make it A lot going on will get in touch with you soon.. It’s been 3 weeks and nothing I have backed off completely ..as I am unsure if he has or if he needs space due to his job and what he dealing with. How long do I wait I have no closure. Please advise, this man seems far to mature not to put closure on what we have we were even planning on me going to see him in the US.

Reply July 20, 2014, 9:35 am

TJ

Hi Eric, thank you for the wonderful advice! A few weeks ago I was driving myself crazy thinking I had done something wrong. I’m playing the waiting game right now and every time I feel like texting or calling, I read your articles again to drum it into my brain to stop! I’ll update when he comes around, but in the mean time, I’m keeping busy with my own stuff!

Reply July 2, 2014, 6:45 pm

stephanie

I don’t know how I have never read your advice columns before, but these have made me feel like I know more than ever before. So I have been talking to this guy that I met online in January. We have not met yet because I was away at school and only just got home. He initiated the relationship and used to be incredibly attentive to me. He would text me, sext me, call me…it was great. All of a sudden he says we are moving too fast and now he rarely texts me at all. He doesn’t answer my texts some times and it makes me crazy because he claims to want to talk to me more and meet me but I don’t know what to think. Please help.

Reply June 4, 2014, 11:19 am

Lans

Hi Eric
I don’t know how I didn’t read your columns before lol.. I think you are the love guru and I am reading your articles now for the first time coz I am going through a break-up myself at the moment. I had this problem: I didn’t know what else to do this guy to text me back. To my dismay I have broken up with this guy but by reading your article made me see clearly some of my own mistakes and I do want to thank you for your advice. It has helped me a lot today. Cheers from OZ.

Reply May 26, 2014, 5:27 am

L

I went on a trip with a guy. I know he’s busy from witnessing first hand the demand of his job. After the trip I texted him hi one day and he responded headed to dinner with a client I hope all is well. The next week I tested him with I know you’re stressed and pressured feel better. He responded the next day early in the morning with traveling sorry my text isn’t working great outside the us. I hope all is well.
He told me he did have to go out of town internationally and domestically for work. He even warned this would busy month. But the I hope all is well confuses me

Reply May 11, 2014, 5:50 am

rachel

I love you so much in my heart

Reply May 10, 2014, 12:55 pm

LA

Meant to say “responding” not “resounding.”

Reply October 24, 2013, 4:13 pm

LA

I just had to leave a comment on this issue… I was seeing a guy who was doing the exact same thing: texting all the time, showering me with attention, etc. I noticed after a while, we texted less and less, and pretty soon I was texting him and he would take hours, sometimes a full day to respond! I realized after doing some research on this site that I was way too readily available for him. I wasn’t making him chase me. I wasn’t making him sweat it out wondering what I’m doing and why i’m not resounding. I decided that I needed to back off the neediness factor 100%. It was really hard not texting him and wondering what I could have done wrong, and wishing I could go back in time and redo it all. But I stayed strong and kept myself busy. After exactly one week of silence, he texted me! He apologized and said he has been so busy… he asked if I’m doing OK… he responded to my texts within minutes–not hours or days! I suddenly felt a HUGE shift in power in our relationship. I was making him chase me… and he liked it! I’m telling you ladies… this really worked. I got my second chance to “redo” everything. And now I always keep my cool. I will be the first to talk tohim once in a while, but i usually wait for him to come to me. I thought I was being rude at first by doing this, but men are weird. He is actually drawn to me more the less I act like I want him. Try it. It will suck at first, but if your guy is anything like mine, your silence will act like a magnet and draw him right back to you!

Reply October 24, 2013, 4:11 pm

Maureen

I think this is an ok article, but fails to answer the most important part! And that is, of you ARE in an established committed love relationship, and HE initiated 15 texts a day, and multiple e-mails a day, and multiple phone calls a day, and THEN gets “too busy” to even connect at all, THAT’S what seems to make even the strongest most independent women “needy”…

It’s when men change their attentiveness that women ask questions… And that SHIFT in the man’s behavior was NOT addressed in this article… Every woman knows that being busy and involved in their own lives is a healthy thing to do and a good way to be, but when your bf or fiancée pulls away and gives less and stops texting or responding to your attempts at quick easy connection, yes, sometimes that makes a normally and still independent strong woman ask questions!

It’s not needy, it’s curiosity! Shifts in behavior prick away at foundations of trust… An occasional lapse or the odd shift in behavior (a one-off), no problem, but the wholesale changing of entire relationship and love connection patterns deserves SOME explanation… And I didn’t hear that in this article…

Reply August 17, 2013, 12:07 pm

Eva

Well said!

Reply July 17, 2014, 3:29 am

Penny

When he finally texts you how long should you wait to text him back? minutes, hours days??
mine is the typical story where he used to test me atleast once a day if not more. Now 6 months into casually dating (we’re NOT exclusive) his texts are getting less and less frequent. We are both in our 50′s (if age is a factor..lol)

TIA!!

Reply August 16, 2013, 6:10 am

Elle

Eric,
My guy went from texting every day to going MIA for a couple of days after I told him how I felt about him. I realized in reading this article that when I told him I liked him, it was for him and not for me…so while I would have liked a reply I didn’t need it to feel secure about his feelings. Ok, maybe I was a tiny bit worried about whether he would reply because he could have gone into the freak out phase. You were right, the sexy text did the trick. It took 3 minutes for him to get back to me after 2 days of radio silence. It felt good to give him something nice to look at during his long work day :)
Thanks!
<3
Elle

Reply August 1, 2013, 5:14 pm

Linda

Hi Eric,

I have disagree with you. I think that we often make too many excuses for men, saying how differently wired they are, when really, all humans are the same. If a woman/man wants a woman/man, rest assured that he/she will not lose an opportunity to communicate with her/him. Now if we take an extreme case where the woman/man is really busy at work…at the worse point she/he would reply saying that they can’t chat now but will reach out later during the day. I truly believe that a real grown up relationship should work that way…otherwise the woman/man is definitely not that into the other person.

@Eric, ask yourself and please be honest (I know that you like being straightforward) if that woman was indeed the one* (let me clarify the one, wouldn’t want you to think that I am stuck in a Disney Movie ending). The one: being a woman that you would consider as a serious long term partner, that you would be proud to introduce to your family and with whom you could see yourself having children. Would you really risk losing the relationship by blaming not responding to a text because you are busy.

When I justify an action by me being busy, it usually means, sorry dude I consider that the things that I am doing at work right to be of a higher priority and interest than you are. This was me being brutally honest. Now it doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t care for that person intimately on a superficial level…it just means that since they are not a long term investment for me or possibly because I am not at that stage of commitment…

This text was only to point out that at times we blame women for coming out as needy and dependent but really I have been in a few relationships where men were needy as well. After having experienced those needy men, I came to the conclusion that they came off needy to me simply because I didn’t care enough about them to make them feel confident about the relationship, again simply because I didn’t US in the long term; momentary distraction.

Reply June 1, 2013, 11:43 am

Mia

Well said and agreed! It’s all about common courtesy and the respect you have for a person. Unless you have a career that requires you to be without your phone, there is no excuse that you can go 24 hours plus without responding back to someone’s text message. The advice given to females is to not act needy, yet then we are given advice that makes excuses for guys not responding…sure, sure it is possible that a guy was just busy when you texted him, but more times than most a man will make time to respond to you. That response can be “hey, I’ll text you later, kinda busy right now,” or a response to continue the conversation but the point is people don’t just put people off that they are interested in, in fear that the person will lose interest in them.

By not saying this, but making an excuse for the guys texting habit only leaves many woman to assume everything’s alright with the guy they like and that he feels the same way about them, it is until they begin to see the mixed signals–like infrequent to long wait response times–that they can begin to exemplify signs of neediness. Yes, neediness is a mental and often emotional projection, but many people become needy in these relationships when they are led to believe they are close to achieving what they want (as in closing the deal and having the man/woman of their dreams be their gf/bf).

Simply put you don’t want women to be needy but then you tell the poor girl to continue contacting this man and subconsciously making him her priority when he’s giving signs he doesn’t see her the same way? Oh that’s the key to making a needy woman.

Reply July 14, 2013, 4:17 am

Changed

I used be the type of girl who got worried when a guy didn’t text back but now I don’t care cause I realised if a guy is really into you he will text you and we all get busy. I used to look at my phone at times hoping he would read my brain signals. The first think I have learnt with my new job is texts can be distracting especially when you’re in the middle of a line of thought trying to do your duties at work. You want to text back but you don’t respond as you get caught up in whatever you’re doing and the texting can drag on, sometimes you’re tired you want to respond but your so stressed out that you just want piece and lastly it can be hard at times, I know with myself I admit I have been faced with this dilemma one to many times if a guy is that into he will text you when his free. Eric I think this logic applies to both men and women .Thanks to your straight out truth I have come to not care so much as I did before if a guy liked text me because what is worrying going to do nothing and really ladies do we want to spend time messaging the guy who doesn’t put any effort at all and just cut our loses before we realise he is just not that into me or wait until the right one comes along who makes the effort and is really into us.

Reply June 1, 2013, 8:19 am

Merelyn

Yeah but what about if someone is hard of hearing and/or dead dating a man who can hear perfectly fine???

Reply May 31, 2013, 1:00 am

Merelyn

I mean deaf* lol not dead!

Reply May 31, 2013, 1:07 am

sophia

I dont know Eric. Its incredible to believe men arent into texting or that they are all busy as you are because we live in a technological era. Texting is all we do. Men, woman evenly.

Men may not text long emotional texts with their buddies, but they text. Woman in the other hand text and we can never have enough of the long texting thing.

I usually prefer e mailing than texting. I love computers and I hate cell phones.

All we want is that they show us some signs that they are still alive. Maybe 1 text a day asking us about our day. They just cant spend days not talking to us because that means they are treating us like their buddies, they arent showing us genuine interest. They are treating us like one of them. That is all we want.

The main problem with all of this (and I think that life will be much easier for everbody) is that men dont know how to treat woman. They dont know how we connect. Period.

Reply May 23, 2013, 12:39 am

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