Picture this: She meets or swipes right on a guy she likes. She gets his number. They text a little, maybe even go out once or twice, and then, for seemingly no reason at all, she's greeted with radio silence. Maybe it’s for a few hours, maybe it’s for a day or two, or maybe it’s for longer. As each minute creeps by, she goes over some of their conversations, wondering where things went wrong. She dissects her date, asking her best friends for their input. Clearly, something bad has happened. Perhaps he got hit by a car, or dropped his phone down a sewer grate. Maybe he found the new love of his life and has abandoned her forever. As more time passes, she runs in circles trying to concoct some possible legitimate reason for his ghosting.
And then, he replies, and all is well.
Or, he doesn’t, and she's left hurt and confused.
Well, wonder no more! While there are plenty of out-of-this-world excuses she could convince herself of to explain his sudden disappearance, these 20 reasons why he's not texting are a lot more plausible.
20 He Lost His Phone
Hey, it happens! If he’s had a wild weekend or a crazy night out, he could have lost or broken his phone. Forgetting his phone in an Uber or in a club means that he might not be able to text you back right away because he’s too busy tracking down his device. If you have him on social media, he may have updated his status to let everyone know the situation so you’re not left completely in the dark, but losing or breaking a phone is a very real thing that happens and a totally legitimate reason for not getting a text back.
Although, hopefully he contacted you in some other way if he’s actually interested.
19 You’re Coming On Too Strong
Sending multiple texts or spamming his phone with unnecessary emojis in the hopes that he’ll reply can wear on people really fast, and guys are no exception. Keeping up with all those messages can be exhausting and, frankly, you’re showing your cards too early.
We’re not saying that you need to be playing hard to get, but keeping some of your feelings and intentions a little closer to your chest can create some much-needed mystery, which is critical in the early stages of a flirtation or relationship. Constantly messaging him – especially if there’s no variation in what you’re saying – is boring and, honestly, irritating.
18 He’s Into Someone Else
We’ve all been there. We’ve struck up a flirtatious communication with someone and, when things began to fizzle, our eye wandered elsewhere. We might even have become interested in someone else.
If he’s no longer being cute or engaged in your conversations, it could be because someone else has captured his heart, and he’d much rather put in the time and effort to woo them rather than continue talking to you. Being ghosted never feels good, but it’s become a part of life. Besides, would you really want to waste your time chasing after someone who was interested in someone else?
17 He’s Avoiding You
Maybe he made a mistake and he knows it. Maybe you made a mistake and he doesn’t want to deal with it or speak to you. Whatever the reason, he’s leaving your texts on “read” because he’s avoiding you.
If he does reply, it might be in a terse, one-word response that gets a clear point across: he is mad. Giving one another space is important in a healthy relationship, but in this case, this guy would rather have the upper hand by keeping you in the dark, which is no good. Avoiding potentially awkward situations is a natural response for many, but in this case, it’s just plain disrespectful.
16 He’s Not Feeling It
Sometimes, guys won’t text back because they’re just not that into you. It’s not even a case of him losing interest, it’s that he was never that engaged from the beginning. You might wonder why he would even bother asking for your number or give you his in the first place. Maybe he needed attention or validation, maybe he was feeling bored or maybe he wanted to make someone else jealous.
A guy who is interested in you will text back, or at least make an effort to let you know why he can’t. A guy who isn’t that invested in you, your well-being or your relationship will simply extricate himself from the situation entirely.
15 He’s Out With Friends
It’s a silly term, but the Bro Code is a very real thing. When he’s out with all of his friends, he doesn’t want to be the guy who’s glued to his phone all night, texting some girl. It reads as, well, whipped, which would make him ripe for ridiculing from his friends.
Having some quality guy time is as important to him as it is for you to hang out with your girls. Being removed from that by being on his phone the whole time is a major faux pas, and he would expect you to understand that and not spam him with messages begging for his attention.
14 He’s Using You
No one wants to be used, especially when we thought we were forming a genuine connection with someone. Alas, it can be a reality, and a reason why he isn’t texting you back.
The guys who do this are the lowest of the low and prefer to have their cake and eat it too, all while playing mind games with you. You may not even be the only person he’s doing this to, but the experience nonetheless makes you feel vulnerable and betrayed. If he’s only texting you late at night and ignoring you throughout the day, it’s because he’s only looking for one thing.
13 He’s At A Loss For Words
We all get a little tongue-tied around people we like, but some of us can even get text-tied, which means that we’re unsure as to how to write the perfect, witty and memorable response to a text. If a dude is feeling this way, it might cause him to leave your messages unanswered for hours while he thinks of what to say.
Where emotions and feelings are concerned, men have been trained to ignore them, so if the conversation gets deep he could be at a loss for words. He might simply need the extra time to collect his thoughts, so don’t take it personally, especially if his eventual responses are solid.
12 He’s Waiting For You To Text First
Hey, guys don’t always want to make the first move – that’s how Bumble got so popular! This is especially the case in instances when you’ve just met. Perhaps he doesn’t want to come on too strong and would rather you make the first move. Don’t let the romantic comedies and women’s magazines tell you differently – some guys dig a girl who is confident enough to go after what she wants!
If you haven’t already texted him, go ahead and approach it with something casual to get the ball rolling. If, however, you were the last to text and he hasn’t replied in days, it might be better to move on.
11 He Forgot
Sometimes life happens and we forget to respond to people. He may have read your text and made a mental note to get back to you when he wasn’t in the middle of doing something else, and it simply slipped his mind. It happens to the best of us, and even if he’s on his phone 24/7, he may have been busy when you first reached out.
This is a totally understandable reason not to text back, but it’s important to remember that if this is repeated behaviour and he regularly tells you that he “forgot” to text, it’s because he doesn’t want to, so you’re better off dropping him altogether.
10 He Doesn’t Know You That Well Yet
When we’re still getting to know someone, conversation can be stilted, especially through text. Sometimes the person we’re communicating with simply isn’t that good at or interested in making small talk, and the whole experience can be kind of awkward. He might put off text conversations in order to get to know you better in real life.
Plus, certain things, like a sense of humour, don’t always translate that well when your communication is limited to emojis and texts that don't offer a tone of voice or facial expression.
The important thing, however, is that he's making an effort to find a way to have smoother, easier conversations with you, such as by meeting up in person. That shows real effort.
9 He’s Busy With Work
Occasionally, there is no deeper meaning for his lack of response than being busy with work or school. Maybe he has a big project or presentation coming up that requires his attention, maybe he’s working hard to land an important internship or maybe he's cramming for exams. There are plenty of reasons why he could be kept busy and away from his phone.
The important distinction to realize here is how he responds to your texts when he gets around to them. Is he apologetic, or does he brush off his behaviour like nothing happened? Does he promise to make it up to you when things calm down? If he’s genuinely interested, he will make an effort, even if it’s delayed.
8 He’s Trying To Play It Cool
Men, like women, are concerned about how they come across, especially when a relationship or a flirtation is in its infancy. They don’t want to tip their cards and let you know how crazy about you they are, and so he might avoid responding to your texts right away so he can play it cool.
In this case, he usually does care about you, he’s just not ready to let his guard down quite yet. A good way to see if he’s pretending to be chill is if he’s always down to hang out. Suggesting solid date plans means he’s into you.
7 You’re A Bummer
If you’ve ever been around people who complain all the time and who constantly whine that the world seems to be against them and only them, you’ve probably distanced yourself in order to maintain your sanity. The same thing applies here. No one wants to be around a Negative Nancy all the time, and if your conversations with this guy are just a litany of how you’ve been wronged or everything that’s ruined your life, he’s likely grown tired of the drama.
Venting to someone is normal, but if it makes up the bulk of your conversations, he might just stop responding so that he can have a break.
6 He Got What He Wanted
There are people we text just for the ego boost, and guys are no different. This dude knows how you feel about him and enjoys milking you for compliments. If he’s feeling low or down on himself, he might text you for words of encouragement, but offer you nothing in return.
This is another way of being used, but one that’s more about emotional manipulation than anything physical. He can rely on you to make him feel good, but doesn’t care about how his absence and silence make you feel. If the conversations are all about him and he never asks about you, you know why.
5 He Hates Texting
Some people just don’t like texting. Maybe they prefer speaking in person, maybe texting takes too long, maybe they don’t want to be misunderstood – whatever the case may be, your guy isn’t responding because he’s not someone who enjoys this kind of communication. At least you’ll know that if he really likes you, he’ll pick up the phone and give you a call to set something up!
If he isn’t a big texter for you or for anyone, this theory checks out. If, however, he claims to hate texting but you see him messaging all his friends when you’re together, something is definitely amiss.
4 The Conversation Is Boring
If your conversations are some variation of “Hey,” “What’s up? “NM, u?,” then sorry, but your talks are way too boring to continue. You’re not expected to be some pro of instant messaging, but if neither one of you is giving anything of interest for the other to work with, can you really blame the guy for ducking out, rather than slogging through another mundane conversation?
In the early stages of a relationship, it’s important to kindle that spark into a flame, and if your texting convos read like the above, they don’t have the brightest future for the two of you.
3 It’s Too Late At Night
Sleep is a wonderful thing and for many of us, with our busy lives and hectic schedules, a good night’s sleep can be elusive. If you’re running on different schedules or simply up late one evening, you can’t always expect him to text back, especially if you know he has an early day or is simply more of a morning person!
Looking at screens before bed has been proven to negatively impact sleep, so your guy may have put his phone out of reach until he wakes up the next morning. If it’s late at night, don’t expect a reply, just as you wouldn’t always reply to him!
2 He’s Distracted
No matter what their age, it seems a lot of guys are into video games of some kind or another. Usually, this means that their hands, brains and eyes are pretty busy, so they can’t exactly pick up the phone every time it pings with a text from you.
Distraction is a very valid reason to not respond to someone, especially if you know the guy's into gaming. If the guy is into you, however, you’ll get a response between games, often with an explanation for the delay. If, however, hours go by and when he eventually responds you get no reason for his delay, it might be because he doesn’t see you as a priority.
1 He Doesn’t Like You
It’s never a good feeling to have unrequited love, or even an unrequited crush. It’s what they rarely (if ever) show in all the romcoms we were fed growing up. But the fact of the matter is that if a guy doesn’t text you back, and never has a good, valid reason for it, it’s because he simply doesn’t like you.
You might have thought you were reading all the right signals and feeling all the correct vibes, but the truth is that he’s just not into you, not as a friend, not as potential relationship material and not even as a fling. It hurts, but it’s better to know early on rather than risk getting crushed later.