When He Doesn’t Text Back …
When I tell people I write about relationships for a living, their first question is always: “So, what’s the most common relationship question you get?” The clear winner to that is: “Why do guys take so long to text back?” or why they don’t text back at all or what their texts mean… always something in the realm of texting.
And I totally get it because I asked myself those very same questions in my single days … and it drove me crazy!
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?
Trust me, 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 about texting?
There is a lot of bad texting advice out there. You’ll find plenty of scripts on what to say and when to say it, but what happens after? They don’t give you any real insight into how men feel about texting and what inspires (and de-inspires, if that’s a word!) a man to text back.
So here is the truth about why men don’t text back … and what you can do about it!
Take This Quiz And Find Out Right Now: Why Didn’t He Text You Back?
Why Do Guys Take So Long to Text Back?
This question has several answers …
1. Men are not good at multi-tasking.
The first is the simplest and it comes down to the fact that most men simply just aren’t as good at multi-tasking as women. 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.
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 or doing something else. I remember times when I would be at work doing what I needed to do (and getting the job done quite efficiently), all while G-chatting with a guy I was seeing all day. 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 long term.
The reason women get so frustrated is that 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 proceeds to panic when he doesn’t.
Guys don’t like to be bothered during the day. We have one track minds and lose focus easily. Personally, I keep my phone on silent during the day so I don’t see texts immediately. Guys get annoyed by clingy girls that text all the time. Just leave me alone during the day is the message I’d say for the most part. I have things I want to get done and every text with a girl is a distraction. It’s nothing personal its just how we operate. However, If I’m thinking of you I’m definitely going to text you. If I don’t text you within like 12 hours then I don’t care about you. That’s just how it goes. – Brad, 28
Now you might want to ask …
But he texted so much in the beginning, what happened?
Well, in the beginning, he was trying to win you over so he brought his A-game. He didn’t want to lose you to some other guy so he didn’t leave a crack of open space. He had a goal: winning you over. Once he won you, he didn’t need to pursue you so ardently and he could relax a bit.
It just isn’t sustainable to text all day long for the reasons noted above. Once a relationship gets a little more settled, it just isn’t necessary and that’s the reason behind the decline. And this is precisely the point where women often ruin what they have.
They interpret the decrease in texts as a sign he’s losing interest and reflexively panic and become consumed by fear. As a result, she starts acting needy and is no longer the cool girl that captured his attention in the first place.
Moral of the story: just relax! Nothing is wrong, he is just getting back into a more normal rhythm. There is no problem but you will create one if you can’t be OK with how things are.
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 at the beginning, which makes the guy want to do it even less! – Kevin, 29
2. Men communicate differently than women do.
Men don’t talk for the sake of building a connection, 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.
When a guy doesn’t respond or gives quick, short responses, what it really means is … nothing at all!
“Girls expect a response even to texts that don’t elicit a response. For instance, “I’m going to watch a movie tonight” is not a text that NEEDS a response. A better text is, “What movie should I watch?” If the guy doesn’t respond then he probably is busy. If it’s a pattern of behavior, then he doesn’t like you very much. Leave him.” – Nate, 26
3. He just isn’t that interested in you.
This is an area that trips a lot of women up. Maybe you hung out with him a few times, maybe you’ve been hooking up for a few months, whatever the case, he’s a guy you like and he seems to kind of like you but you don’t really know … and his texting habits aren’t clearing anything up!
Sometimes he initiates texts, sometimes you go days without hearing from him. Sometimes he replies to your texts right away, other times it takes hours or days or maybe even weeks. You are so confused. Does he like me or not?
Well, he likes you sort of. He’s attracted to you, he enjoys your company, he likes having you in his life, but he doesn’t really like you in a significant way, meaning he doesn’t see you as someone he wants to be in a relationship with.
Trust me, I know how painful that is. You want to hold onto the signs that he does like you, and sure, you can find plenty. But there is just as much evidence pointing to the fact that he doesn’t like you enough.
When a guy likes you, it’s obvious. He won’t leave you hanging, he won’t let your relationship status remain vague and undefined, he won’t disappear and risk losing you to some other guy. And if a guy likes a girl and she texts him, he will feel excited and will want to text her back. He won’t glance at his phone and say, ugh, not in the mood for her right now, I’ll text her later (and then forget all about it for the next few days).
When a guy likes you, you won’t need to remind him you exist.
4. He’s busy.
Sometimes the simplest explanation is the correct one.
Just because you’re home alone and bored doesn’t mean he is. And just because you check your phone 45 minutes per hour doesn’t mean he does. People get busy. People go into another room while their phone is charging. People see a text and wait until they have a few minutes before responding.
And sometimes texts just don’t go through, or they come through a few hours after they were sent. You have to look at everything in context. If overall he seems really into you (and when a guy likes you, it’s easy to see), and he doesn’t text back, then it’s probably because he’s busy or distracted. If he’s been wishy-washy with you from the beginning, then his texting is a reflection of how he feels.
What to Do When He Doesn’t Text Back
First and foremost, don’t panic and assume he’s losing interest and he doesn’t like you. When has prematurely panicking ever taken you down a good path? I’m thinking never.
If he hasn’t texted you back, it’s probably for one of the reasons I listed above. If you can’t quite tell which it is, then just leave it alone and please do not obsess over it.
Also, do not text him a million times to follow up. If you texted and he didn’t respond, then just leave it alone. Don’t follow up with:
I know you have your phone because you just posted something on Instagram!
Doing this will just make you look crazy and pathetic. Just do nothing. If you don’t hear from him for about three days, then maybe shoot him a follow-up text. If he still doesn’t respond … well then remember that no message is also a message and take it for what it is and move on.
Why Is It So Hard?
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 you, that he’s leading you on or is trying to get something out of you.
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 the 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 ignore all the proofs 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 how he feels. 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, it’s not because he’s busy, it’s because he isn’t interested in you, or he’s texting some other girl.
If he doesn’t respond to your texts for hours, it’s not because he didn’t have his phone nearby, it’s because he doesn’t think you’re important.
If his answers are brief, it’s not because he hates texting and would rather just see you in person, it’s because he’s annoyed by you and doesn’t want you to text him anymore.
I think you get the point. The fact is, we create our own stories and if we let those negative stories stick to the point where we actually start believing them as truth, we also create our own realities, a reality that brings our biggest fears to life.
Just think about the guys who were into you that you didn’t really like. I’m sure you didn’t even notice how often they texted, and you didn’t even care when they replied or what they said. You were luke-warm, there was nothing at stake … and if you heard from him, cool … if not then whatever.
Trust me, I know how hard it is to have this mentality with the guys you actually do like, but what I want you to see is how much of an impact the thoughts we allow into our minds can have. (Make sure to also read this article for the real reasons it drives you crazy when he doesn’t text back.)
What to Do When He Doesn’t Text You Back
Above all, stop worrying about it so much! Guys have no idea what a big deal this is to women. Most guys are shocked when I tell them how many questions I get about this topic. There most likely is no problem, so don’t create one!
If his lack of a response causes you to feel physically sick with fear and worry, then these feelings are coming from you. Something within you is causing you to feel terrified of rejection or maybe it’s feeding into your feelings of being not good enough and unworthy. No amount of texts from him is going to solve this, you need to dig deep and get to the root of the issue on your own.
Texting is not a barometer for the relationship. Focus more on the quality of the time you spend together as opposed to the quantity of texts exchanged each day. It’s natural for the number of texts to decrease as a relationship progresses and you spend more quality time together. A drop in texts does not mean you’re going backward.
Just focus on yourself and being in a strong emotionally healthy place. Focus on your level of confidence and feelings of worth. Focus on controlling your thoughts and stopping them from spiraling into the obsession zone. Focus on the things that are within your control (you and your thoughts) as opposed to things that are outside of your control (him and how he feels).
Guys can sense the emotion behind a text. I don’t know how it works, but it does. They know when you’re coming from a desperate needy place. From a place of needing him to respond a certain way in order to feel good about yourself, as opposed to reaching out to him out of desire or just wanting to because you like him.
When you get yourself and your mind under control, this whole texting thing will be a non-issue.
What to Text a Guy
If you’re looking for ways to keep your conversations with him interesting over text, then check out these articles.
To make sure you’re the last thing on his mind before he goes to sleep, send one of these sweet goodnight texts to melt his heart.
And check out this list of amazing questions to ask a guy over text to really deepen your connection.
I hope this article helped you understand the real reasons men don’t text back, At the heart of it, you’re afraid it means he’s losing interest, and sometimes this is the case. There will come a point when a guy might pull away and start to withdraw. Do you know the right way to respond when this happens? If not, read this: If He’s Pulling Away, Do This...
Another fear might be that he’s not serious about you. There will come a point when a guy will ask himself: Is this the woman I want to commit to? His answer will determine everything. Do you know what inspires a man to commit and see you as “the one”? If not, read this too: The #1 Things Men Desire in a Woman
In summary …
Why Guys Don’t Text Back:
- Guys aren’t good at multi-tasking and can’t text all day if they want to get anything done.
- Men communicate for the sake of achieving a goal, not for the sake of communicating.
- He’s just not that into you.
- He’s busy.