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.
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.
When A Guy Doesn’t Text You Back Immediately
No Text Back
1. This person who knows exactly what’s happening.
5. This person who had to incorporate a meme.
Take This Quiz And Find Out Right Now: Why Didn’t He Text You Back?
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
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
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
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.
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.