Here’s a question I have heard so many times throughout my life that it is impossible to count: “What does it mean if he doesn’t answer my texts?” You’ve asked it, your best friend has asked it, I’ve asked it myself. We’ve all been there. You’re talking to a dude, things are going pretty well, and you text a lot. Suddenly, he doesn’t answer you. You wait a few hours without feeling too anxious, but nothing comes. You restart your phone to make sure it’s not broken. Still no text. A day goes by and you panic. Should you –gasp– double text? Did you do something wrong? Is he with another girl? Are you guys over before you even started?!
Because, really, what does it mean when he doesn’t answer your texts? It’s a hard question to answer, because there are a lot of possibilities and a lot of different situations. For example, him not answering a “haha I know” text is much less of a big deal than him not answering a “I like talking to you :)” text. Maybe he frequently bows out of your texting conversations without warning, maybe he takes days to respond, or maybe he hasn’t responded in forever and you have no idea what’s happening.
There are many reasons a dude didn’t respond to you (and we’ll get to those in a second, I promise!), but I can tell you the one thing that definitely is NOT the reason: He is not blowing off your text message because he likes you a lot and is scared. I feel compelled to say this, because I hear girls say it to each other all the time. It’s always some variation of: “Maybe he’s just overwhelmed because he really likes you and he doesn’t know what to do.” This response gives you hope, because you’re like, “Wow, yeah. Maybe he’s just emotionally complicated, and he needs a little bit of a push. Everything is fine. Everything is fine.” Why are we doing this to each other? If a guy is ignoring you, it’s not because he likes you too much. That doesn’t even make sense!
So what does an unanswered text mean? Let’s discuss. Here are eight things a guy really means when he doesn’t answer your texts:
He's Genuinely BusyWhen This Makes Sense: If he sometimes forgets to respond to a text, but he texts you back hours (or even a day or two) later apologizing and explaining his absence. When This Does Not Make Sense: If he doesn't respond to something and does not text you again. It also doesn't make sense if he waits a week or more and then says, "Sorry, I was busy." He was so busy that for an entire week he couldn't manage one text? No. What It Means: If the first scenario is what you're questioning, then it probably means he's genuinely busy. That does happen to some of us! Here's the deal: if a guy is genuinely to busy to respond to a text but he really is interested in you, he will make a point of responding as fast as he can. So, if he doesn't answer, but then texts back apologizing for not texting back earlier, that's a good sign! If he does not apologize or if he waits way too long to say he was busy, that means he just blew you off and is now using a stupid excuse. Get it?
He's Backing Off Because He Thinks Things Are Getting Too SeriousWhen This Makes Sense: If you guys have been pretty hot and heavy, and you're getting close to the "what are we?" talk, although you haven't had it yet. If he doesn't answer a more emotional text, this reason could make sense. If he sometimes doesn't answer your texts, but then other times does, this could make sense. When This Does Not Make Sense: If he stops responding forever. Then that means he's already gone. Sorry. What It Means: Dudes can be weird, especially when they don't know what they want. Sometimes guys are texting a girl they're kind of into, but they're not into that girl enough to be in a serious relationship with her. If they sense that she wants something serious and they feel like things are heading that way, they might just back off a little to give a subtle hint. You might not want to see that hint, and so you ignore it. Don't ignore it.
He's Not Interested And Is Hoping You'll Just Take The HintWhen This Makes Sense: If he doesn't text back and really doesn't reply to your next text. Or if he DOES eventually reply and just gives weird, vague, one word answers that make you want to scream. When This Does Not Make Sense: This probably isn't the case if he eventually respond to you apologizing or acting like he cares. Basically, if he continues to put in effort, this probably isn't the reason he isn't responding sometimes. What It Means: If a guy just stops responding to you, or if he doesn't text you first anymore but answers your texts with one word responses and short convos, he's trying to get a message across: he's not interested. He doesn't want to say it, because he feels bad, and he's not ready to full on disappear just yet, but he's hoping that you'll get the hint from his lack of enthusiasm and move on on your own. Cowardly move? Of course. But it happens all the time.
He ForgotWhen This Makes Sense: If he doesn't respond to a text for a few hours or, at most, a day, then texts back apologizing and saying something like the lines of, "Oh man sorry I'm such a jerk and forgot to answer." When This Does Not Make Sense: If he goes days or longer without responding, then suddenly out of the blue responds and says, "I forgot!" If he does that, he did not forget. He was waiting for the moment he felt like texting you back and is now lying to you. What It Means: As someone who sometimes looks at my texts, thinks "I'll respond in five minutes so it doesn't look like I was sitting here staring at my phone waiting," and then completely and utterly forgets to respond, I know this is something that can really happen. So, if he does eventually text back apologizing, and it's been a few hours, then maybe he means it! But I'll tell you this: you don't forget to answer a text for over a week, and then suddenly remember. Especially with someone you like.
He's Seeing Someone ElseWhen This Makes Sense: If he never answers your texts or if he only answers them *sometimes* then abruptly stops answering at other times. When This Does Not Make Sense: Honestly, that's hard, because there are more ways it does make sense. What It Means: If a guy just stops answering out of nowhere, then it could mean he's seeing someone else. It's as straightforward as that. Unfortunately, you'll only know if you do some quality Facebook stalking. Or, you know, if you confront him.
He's Ghosting YouWhen This Makes Sense: He stops answering completely and basically disappears and you have no idea why. When This Does Not Make Sense: If he, at some point, tries to get back in touch. What It Means: Ghosting sucks. It means he's not interested anymore but is too scared to say that to you. So, instead, he just stopped answering and started pretending you don't exist. That hurts to hear, but it's the truth.
He Doesn't Know What To SayWhen This Makes Sense: If he stopped answering during a lull in the conversation, or if the conversation was dying and he just didn't formally end it. When This Does Not Make Sense: If he goes days or weeks without responding or texting you. What It Means: If the conversation is dying down and then he just stops answering, then yeah, it's possibly he just didn't know what to say, so he said nothing. If he eventually does text you back, then it means that maybe he really just didn't know what else to say. But if he does not eventually text back, then this isn't the case, my friend.
He's Terrible At TextingWhen This Makes Sense: He is very inconsistent, everything he says is boring, and he says some guy phrase like, "Lol I hate texting." When This Does Not Make Sense: If you never hear from him again. What It Means: Yes, even in this day and age, some people suck at texting. I don't know why or how. If he otherwise seems interested in you but is just off on the texting, it's a good possibility that this is why. It just means he needs to work on his texting abilities - and as long as everything else seems solid, that's not that big of a deal.
Why do you think bae didn’t text back? What did we forget to include? Let us know in the comments.