What A Man Is Thinking When He Ignores You  (Psychology of Ignoring Someone) post image

What A Man Is Thinking When He Ignores You (Psychology of Ignoring Someone)

Let’s talk about why a guy you’re seeing or are in a relationship with is suddenly ignoring you.

Here is how it usually goes: the relationship gets off to a great start, you text and talk on the phone and hang out and it seems like this is going somewhere, and just as you’re settling in and enjoying the bliss of being in a blossoming relationship, he abruptly pulls back.

He may fade away slowly or just completely ignore you or “ghost,” and you have no idea what you did to cause this.

MORE: 5 Steps to Stop a Man From Withdrawing

There is nothing more frustrating than not knowing where you stand with someone. If he doesn’t like you, fine, that hurts but you can move on. When you’re stuck in this gray zone it makes you crazy and sends your brain into overdrive.

The human mind doesn’t like not knowing so we spin and spin hoping to come to some sort of conclusion. All that spinning gets you nowhere, it just makes you dizzy and even more off-kilter.

Don’t worry, I’m going to break it all down so keep reading.

Is he actually ignoring you or are you being paranoid?

If he’s just going a few hours without responding, it might not be a big deal. Things come up and he may just be settling into a more normal routine with you, one where things aside from you exist and he needs to tend to those things, he can’t just be texting constantly

In the beginning, a guy is trying to win you over, so he may text a lot. Once things are a little more settled, then he doesn’t feel the need to go so full force. It doesn’t mean he’s losing interest, it just means he’s settling into a more normal routine and that’s a good thing.

MORE: Telltale Signs He’s Pulling Away From You

Now if he doesn’t respond to you at all, or goes days without replying to your texts and then his answers are short and cold, that signals a problem.

Here are the biggest reasons why he’s ignoring you and what to do about them:

1. He’s mad at you

One of the most common reasons we ignore people is to punish them because we’re angry

Maybe he caught you flirting with another guy or maybe he thinks you’ve been sending mixed signals and he doesn’t know where he stands with you. Or maybe you said something that really offended him, maybe you didn’t even realize you did it.

The best thing to do here is just to ask him straight out. Don’t be accusatory or angry because if you come from that place he’ll just shut down.

Say something like, “It seems like you’ve been a little distant the last few days and I just want to make sure everything is okay…”

Or if you know why he’s mad at you or have a suspicion, then apologize without making excuses for it.

Don’t give him a “but” apology. A but apology is when you say “I’m sorry I was flirting with other guys … but you never pay attention to me!”  Whenever you use the word but in an apology, everything you said before the but loses all significance so just be sincere.

MORE: Exactly Why Men Withdraw From Relationships

2. He’s not your boyfriend and he’s acting like he’s not your boyfriend

A lot of the time when we meet a guy and click with him, we assume he’s our boyfriend or we abandon other options and just hone in on him because we really want him to be our boyfriend.

You have to look at the relationship you have, not the one you want.

If he isn’t your boyfriend, you can’t expect him to be emotionally available at all times. He isn’t your boyfriend so he doesn’t have those sorts of obligations, that’s the benefit of being in a non-exclusive relationship.

It’s possible he’s not responding to you because he’s asserting his independence and the fact that you guys aren’t a couple.

If he hasn’t made it official, you can’t expect him to behave like your boyfriend… and you shouldn’t act like his girlfriend!

Another big reason he could be ignoring you is he’s with another girl, and if he’s not your boyfriend he’s not technically doing anything wrong

MORE: Signs He’s Not Serious About You 

Watch The Video: When a Man Ignores You, This is What He’s Thinking

3. He needs space

The fact is, when a man is stressed or overwhelmed, he will pull away and deal with it internally.

He may not intentionally be ignoring you,  he might just be focusing on himself or other things.

Men don’t like to be seen as weak, especially not in front of a woman he really cares about. So that’s why he might shut you out or ignore you when he’s dealing with something difficult, it could be trouble at work or family problems or emotional problems.

I know your instinct is to pull him closer, but this will backfire. Don’t badger him, just let him know you’re there if he needs you and leave it alone. If he truly likes you, he will come around and will let you know why he’s been so distant.

If he continues to push you away, then he might be having doubts about the relationship.

MORE: How to Give Him Space the Right Way

4. You’re being too needy

Men have a visceral adverse reaction to neediness. If he feels that needy energy coming off you, he will shut you out because he just doesn’t want to deal with it.

Neediness is a mentality where you need him in order to feel OK. You need him to text you promptly or you’ll think he doesn’t like you anymore and will start to panic.  You need him to compliment you in order to feel good about yourself. This is not to say compliments aren’t nice- we all love compliments, but when you can’t feel good about yourself unless he says nice things to you, that’s a problem.

Neediness is relying on him for your emotional wellbeing – it’s outsourcing the task of feeling happy and good enough to him instead of building these things from within

If you are coming at him from a needy, desperate place, he just won’t want to deal with it and he will want to avoid dealing with you.

Guys like to feel a narrow range of emotions — somewhere between feeling calm and content, anything that goes beyond that can make him easily emotionally overwhelmed

5. He wants to break up with you

Like I said, guys like to feel a narrow range of emotions. Him coming right out and dumping you and having to deal with you being upset and angry is the precise situation that terrifies more men

Instead, he might just fade away, hoping this will cause you to break up with him.

He might slowly fade away or be more abrupt and just ghost you. Most guys don’t intend to ghost, it just kind of happens. He doesn’t want to have to hurt you, so he tells himself you’re probably on the same page and you probably also see the relationship isn’t working, so what’s to talk about?

If you sense this is what’s happening, then say something to him. Try to refrain from being overly emotional or angry because that won’t get you anywhere. Just say, “I can tell something is going on and if you don’t want to be in this relationship anymore, I need you to just tell me.”

If he wants out, then he will take this opportunity to make a clean break. If something else is going on, then hopefully he’ll open up to you about it because he doesn’t want to lose you.

MORE: The Biggest Signs He Wants to Break Up With You

6. He doesn’t like you

The fact is, when a guy likes you, he’s in it. He’s there. He texts and calls and he shows up.

When a guy is confusing and some days he’s super into you and the next he’s nowhere to be found, it’s a strong sign he just doesn’t like you enough.

We don’t ignore people we truly care about. If that’s what he’s doing, then he’s either very self-involved and incapable of being in a relationship, or he just doesn’t want a relationship with you …

but he still likes you a little so that’s why he is still sort of in the picture.

MORE: 11 Definite Signs He Doesn’t Like You

Now let’s talk about what to do when he’s ignoring you:

1. Don’t badger him

I know you’re upset and confused and hurt, but don’t demolish your dignity by badgering him and trying to corner him into talking to you.

He knows where to find you, so just leave him alone.

MORE: Why He’s Ignoring You

2. Don’t sub-tweet him

Don’t post angry tirades or sappy love quotes on your social media profiles hoping to get his attention — this just makes you look sad and desperate.

Yes, it hurts when someone doesn’t want us. It’s painful and we have a lot of feelings about it, but it’s best to keep those feelings amongst you and your girlfriends and maybe your therapist or your journal or me, but do not unleash them to the internet.

3. Don’t stalk him looking for clues

You don’t need clues. I told you everything you need to know. You can’t badger someone into wanting to be with you. If he doesn’t, then you have to let him go and do it gracefully.

Don’t try to run into him. Don’t seek him out looking for closure. I get asked about this all the time- a lot of women think they need this magical closure in order to move on and yes I agree you need closure, but the closure won’t come from him. In fact, he’s the last person who can give you any closure.

Nothing he says will ever be enough and he probably won’t tell you the full story of how he’s feeling anyway because he doesn’t want to hurt you.

You can create your own closure. Closure means it’s closed, it’s done, it’s finished. When you can accept that, then you will have closure.

Usually when we want to seek him out for the closure conversation, what we really want is one last chance to plead our case. We hope if we re-hash what went wrong and have a whole emotional conversation about it, it will spark something in him and he’ll change his mind about ending things and all will be better than ever.

This never happens. All you’ll get out of a closure conversation with him is a second round of heartache so don’t do it to yourself!

MORE: What to Do If He Stops Texting You Suddenly

So there you have it. That is why a man will ignore you and what you can do about it.

Sometimes you can salvage things, but you just need to know the right way to go about it. If you want to know what to do when a man pulls away, read this next:If He’s Pulling Away, Do This...

Written by Sabrina Alexis

I’m Sabrina Alexis, the co-founder, and co-editor of A New Mode. I love writing relatable, insightful articles that help people understand relationship dynamics and how to get the love they want. I have a degree in psychology and have spent the last 10 years interviewing countless men and reading and studying as much as I can to better understand human psychology and how men operate. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Instagram.

7 comments… add one

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Seems to me we treat men like they are children. Why can’t we expect men to act like adults and just say what it is? Why are they so different? Because we accept this facade that they need extra space or treatment because emotions are so foreign. You may be right about the tendency of men to behave this way but women need to not change who they are to appease their childish behavior. You are right about one thing if a man can’t have the decency or maturity to tell you his thoughts then RUN and save yourself from a lot of misery. We want and deserve men who are willing to be honest and respectful. Don’t give me the line He disappears because he doesn’t want to hurt you….He is self absorbed and doesn’t want to take responsibility for his choices. I have raised four young men and I hope they never behave like this.

Reply May 23, 2021, 1:27 am

Eric Charles

Has this approach worked for you in your relationships?

Reply May 24, 2021, 8:46 am


Article massively caters to men.

Reply May 14, 2022, 11:18 am


I don’t think it’s that emotions are foreign to them. They know how they feel but for whatever reason they don’t want to express them or in their logical sense, there is no good reason to. Even the most mature men, men who have been married can do this. It happened to me. A very communicative, mature, divorced man did this to me. I don’t know why but I have to accept it and move on.

Reply December 5, 2022, 12:01 am


You don’t need to ask him if he wants to be out of the relationship while he’s upset. It’s just not how you handle things.

Reply January 2, 2021, 10:40 pm


I love this aricle. However I dont agree with the advice. Dont badger him or confront him. Isnt that a dream come true? Every time I do Badger they come running back? Why? Men like confrontation. Some men liked some stalking. They like it and then stop ignoring you. If you dont do anything and dont get closure you lose. Whats the difference at that point? You might as well say something like Go F Yourself and walk off. Sorry but I see positive results when this happens.

Reply June 4, 2020, 11:10 pm

Antonio Zoli

What you’re proposing is unsettling. Sounds like you’re dealing with a lot of simps too.

Reply October 15, 2020, 2:05 am

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