Ignored texts are hard to read.
I mean, literally. There is nothing to read.
So how can you know what’s wrong, if anything?
Are you overthinking about it and being obsessive? Or are you right to question why your texts aren’t getting responses?
There’s many reasons someone may be ignoring your text, both good and bad. Read on to learn why.
13 Reasons Your Texts Are Being Ignored
While we outline the possible reasons your texts are being ignored, the only way to know is to ask them. If you still don’t get a response, it’s likely the person doesn’t want to talk anymore. If you don’t think you did anything wrong, try not take it personally, even though it can be hard. If you can, try to see it as an opportunity to meet someone who will treat you better.
#1 They’re Busy
One of the most common reasons why people ignore your texts is that they’re actually not ignoring you at all; they’re just busy. Even if someone seems to have the time to text you all day every day, it’s possible they’re having a busier day at work. Or maybe they’re out running errands. Or maybe they’re driving a lot that day and can’t text.
If you’re working and you take time out to text them, it can be hurtful to believe they wouldn’t make the time to text you back too. But consider how your jobs may be different. For example, it’s a lot easier to sneak a text working a desk job than someone operating heavy machinery or bartending with guests and managers watching your every move.
#2 They’re Not Sure What to Say
Sometimes, people just aren’t sure how to respond. You may be a great conversationalist, but the person you’re texting may lack those skills. Maybe they’re not sure the appropriate response or they’re afraid of responding the wrong way. Maybe the conversation is so generic that they don’t know how to answer another “what’s up?”
#3 They’re Bored With the Convo
There’s been plenty of times I don’t respond to people because I feel like I’m the only one carrying the conversation forward and I’m frankly tired of it. If they’re asking all the questions and you don’t bother bringing up new topics, the person can get bored.
Talking to many guys who use dating sites, this is a frequent reason. Nobody gains anything from the standard
“How are you?”
“Ok, so what’s up?”
“Nothing much, you?”
Point being: If someone doesn’t know how to carry the conversation forward, they won’t. It’s up to both parties to put effort into making conversation that’s interesting and that you look forward to reading.
#4 They’re Thinking of a Response
Depending on what the topic you’re talking about is, the person may need time to think about a response. For example, sometimes I read texts and then I put my phone away for awhile and do something else. I don’t mean to ignore the person, but I want to give them a thoughtful response. I can’t do that if I write whatever is on the top of my head. Maybe you asked a good question or told an interesting story and they’re brainstorming the best ways to respond.
#5 You Said Something to Upset Them
Many people’s first response to ignored texts is “what did I do wrong?” In most cases, people who ignore you probably aren’t upset. But sometimes that could be the case. For example, if they told you a deep story about their family problems and you only respond with “oh cool,” they could be upset at your lack of care or empathy. Or it’s possible something came across the wrong way through text.
#6 They Forgot to Text You Back (Or You Forgot!)
I can’t count how many times I’ve typed a message and forgot to press send. Or worse, I’ve responded in my head and I’m eagerly awaiting a text back. When I feel ignored, I check the message again to make sure I didn’t say anything wrong. Then I realize, duh, I didn’t respond at all.
#7 They Have Substance Problems
Sometimes, when someone ignores your texts, it can hint at substance problems such as with drugs or alcohol. When someone uses substances too much, they can forget about the world outside of it or slack on responsibilities.
One of my exes would go through periods of responding and then ignoring me. Although it would be easy to read it as “he doesn’t like/care about me,” I learned that the issue was more troublesome and sad. When he was drunk or high, he tended to only pay attention to the people doing the substance with him. He was erratic and careless. He also likely didn’t want to text me when he wasn’t feeling “normal,” because he didn’t want me to know about his problems, since they’re something he deeply struggled with/was ashamed about. If this is the case in your situation, remember that you can support them wanting to change, but you ultimately have no control on whether they change.
#8 They Want You On Their Schedule Only
If someone ignores your texts for most or many days, yet randomly seems available to “meet up,” you should consider whether they’re using you as a booty call. Of course, if you want a hookup, there’s nothing wrong with that. But be sure you know their intentions so you don’t get your heart hurt if you’re looking for more.
This is commonly seen in people who won’t respond for days and then text you out of the blue, “hey are you up?”
#9 They Lost Their Phone
Sometimes, somebody may not text you back because they lost their phone or are having phone issues. Everyone knows how iffy technology can be sometimes, so it’s definitely a possibility.
However, if the person is always claiming they “lost” or “broke” their phone, they’re either lying, horribly uncareful or frequently under the influence of something that makes losing a phone very easy.
#10 They Hate Texting
One of my exes was very bad at responding to texts, even though I knew he was just on the couch watching TV anyways. The reason? He just really wasn’t into texting. Although rarer in today’s world, some people are old-school and would rather you just pick up the phone. They refer to texts as having a “pen pal,” complain their thumbs are too big for the little letters, and find the ongoing communication weird and a little annoying. To each their own, I guess.
#11 They Don’t Care
Sometimes, the person doesn’t want to cut contact and they don’t mind texting, but they’re careless about how you feel. Maybe they like you, but they take you for granted. They get your texts, so they feel ok. But they don’t really care how you feel when you feel hurt from being ignored. If you know this is the case, consider whether you should cut contact—you probably deserve better.
#12 They’re Trying to Gain Power
This is a common reason if you find yourself asking, “why do narcissists ignore texts?” Sometimes, people don’t text back because they know it will cause you hurt. When you’re hurt, they break you down so they can build you back up when they decide to randomly text back. And then it happens again, like a roller coaster of emotions, leaving you guessing what tomorrow will be like. Controlling your emotions in this way gives them a sense of power over you. If you identify their ignored texts as a narcissistic tactic, run! It’s a big reg flag that’s likely to be accompanied by a lot more red flags down the road.
#13 They Want to Cut Contact
Lastly, someone may be ignoring your texts because they want to cut contact. Although this is a common fear, it’s a common reason if it’s been quite some time since they’ve replied. In today’s world, instead of saying “I’m not into this anymore,” some people will just ignore you until you get the hint. This is called “ghosting.” If you’ve met someone online and have only been talking for a few days, they don’t necessarily owe you a big goodbye. However, it can be more painful if you’ve been on a few dates and they just stop replying.
The reason they want to cut contact could be one of many. Most people assume it has something to do with them. Maybe they realized they were looking for something a bit different, and that’s totally ok, you’re still a great catch. Sometimes, it has nothing to do with you at all. I’ve ghosted people when I was depressed and just didn’t want to pretend I was feeling normal.
Summary: Reasons They’re Not Texting Back
Before questioning why someone isn’t texting you back, first ask yourself if your expectations are realistic. For example, if it’s only been a few hours, that can be totally normally. While you may respond to texts within seconds, the other person may text less frequently or hardly ever.
We’ve outlined the reasons someone may not text back, but the only true way to tell is to ask then. You could consider sending them a text like, “hey, I’ve noticed you’ve been ignoring me lately and I’m just wondering if something is wrong or if you want to move on from this?” Still, there’s no guarantee you’ll get a response. If you don’t, it’s probably safe to say the person doesn’t want to make contact anymore and you deserve better treatment with someone else.