The person you like hasn’t texted you back yet.
It’s been long enough.
How do you feel?
Like a loser.
Like you’re not good enough.
Time goes on and maybe you’re angry.
They’re probably with another guy or woman.
But now it’s definitely been too long and you’re worried.
Did something happen to them?
Are they okay?
Did they die?
Or are they just dead to you?
If you’re a texter and someone doesn’t text back quick enough, it can send you into a whole range of emotions. While you travel through them, the wait only seems to make it worse. Yep, it’s a crappy feeling.
When someone you like doesn’t text you back, you may feel like you have no control because you don’t know what’s going on. While you can’t make them respond, you do have some say in your own reaction.
Understanding and managing your emotions when you’re ignored can help you feel better. It can also give you the tools to communicate well when you’re in the right relationship.
In this post, we’re listing 8 things you can do to detach when your texts are being ignored.
8 Ways to Detach If They’re Ignoring Text Messages
If your match, crush or date hasn’t texted you back, the whirlwind of negative emotions can ruin your day or week—or if you’re like me—even longer 😬
Here’s how to deal with that and keep your self-confidence intact.
#1 Check Your Ego At the Beginning of This Post
What’s the number one question you have when a guy or woman won’t text back. We know it. “Should I double text?” Of course, you want to, because you think it could bump up your spot on the text queue. But, another part of you doesn’t. You don’t want them to think you’re a “loser” who sits around all day thinking about double-texting, begging for a reply.
Every gender contemplates the blow to their ego a double-text can have. But, whether you double text or not, in my opinion, it shouldn’t hinge on what the other person may think. Of course, if you’re getting mad after 15 minutes, sending a string of texts is understandably going to overwhelm them.
But if it’s been long enough, texting back can assert your real need for communication. If the person thinks you’re a “loser” because you value communication, it does hurt. But they weren’t right for you anyway. If you like to text a few times a day, you need someone who can typically do that. You shouldn’t be with someone who makes you feel bad about that.
So then, our question shouldn’t be “will I look like a loser?” or “will my ego take a hit?” It should instead be “are my communication needs appropriate?” and if they are, “is this person able to meet them?”
If you double-text to get your answer, don’t be embarrassed about it. The worst that will happen is that you get your answer (or don’t) and the person isn’t for you. Then, you can begin to move on instead of wasting more time.
#2 Stop Playing Games
Similar to the tip above, don’t play texting games. If they text you back in a day, don’t wait 2 days hoping to build suspense or “teach them a lesson.” Whether you’re casually dating or wanting a relationship, game-playing rarely works in the long-run. It’s usually an energy suck, a time-waster and will yield you no results.
If you think the other person is playing games, you don’t have to join in. Let go of the tug-of-war rope, let them fall, and walk away.
Finally, if you want to play a game, don’t date; take up Monopoly. It’s a less stressful way to burn a ton of time.
#3 Give Them Time for Non-Urgent Texts
How much time you should wait before writing someone off depends on your relationship with them and your communication needs. For example, if you just met someone online, don’t be angry if they take a few days to text back. Since you haven’t built an attachment yet, regular communication isn’t necessarily normal yet. Or, if you know your partner isn’t the best texter, don’t get angry after waiting a few hours. Of course, if the text is urgent (ex. “where are we meeting tonight?”), that’s different.
If you’re just starting to know each other, you’re getting to learn their communication and texting habits. It can take time to find a balanced ground that makes you both happy, so keep that in mind. Although having patience is one of my personal worst traits, I know it’s necessary in these situations. If you really like someone and you emotionally blow up because they didn’t text back soon enough, you could end up scaring a good person away.
#4 Reframe Your Thoughts
If you’re an anxious person, this section is for you. The reason it’s hard when people don’t text back is because it leads to snowballing thoughts. For example:
- Why isn’t she texting back?> Maybe she’s driving> It’s been too long, maybe she’s in a car accident
- Why isn’t she texting back?> Maybe she’s just having fun out with her friends > It’s been too long, maybe she went home with someone at the bar
- Why isn’t he texting back?> Maybe he fell asleep > Maybe he saw the new profile pic I uploaded and he thinks I’m ugly and it’s over
- Why isn’t my new Tinder match texting back?> Maybe he’s busy > Maybe he found a better match
As in those examples, sometimes our theories start out normal. But as the wait goes on, they take a turn for the worst. Unless you have (or later collect) evidence otherwise, try to reframe your fearful thoughts. For example:
- I’m worried she got into a car accident, but she’s actually a great driver and she doesn’t always text back quickly, so she’s probably ok
- I’m worried she met someone else at the bar, but she’s always been loyal to me and she hasn’t seen her friends in a while, so she’s probably just busy catching up
- I’m worried he hates my new profile picture, but he is always complimenting my looks, so it’s probably ok
- I’m worried my Tinder match met someone better. It sucks if he did, but I can meet someone else too. Plus, he could also just be busy.
#5 Give the Benefit of the Doubt
I know, there will be people who disagree with me on this. But hear me out, please. If the non-texter in question is someone you know to usually text back or they’re just not a texter, consider that. Are there times before when you got upset they didn’t text back, but you later found out there was a non-sketchy reason?
Of course, if you’re dating someone who has given you reason not to trust, having blind faith isn’t good advice. Turning your head when you know the reality won’t solve an issue. This tip is more for people who have a surge of anxiety, “freak out,” and later realize there wasn’t any evidence for it. If this is usually the case, see how you can give your crush or partner the benefit of the doubt.
Theorize the other reasons why they’re ignoring you, for example:
- Are they busy at work?
- Could their phone have died?
- Do they “shut off” technology in times of stress?
- Are they “old school” and hate texting altogether?
While working on your patience, your mind may be going crazy. So, you’ll need to self-soothe. This means calming yourself down without getting your ideal solution (i.e. a text back). A good way to self-soothe is to distract yourself. For example:
- Text someone else
- Browse other matches (if you’re not already in a relationship)
- Take a walk
- Read a book
- Watch a show or movie
- Do yoga
- Focus on your work/job
#7 What to Say When Someone Ignores Your Texts–Then Texts Back
Maybe you almost forgot the guy or woman existed, and then she finally texts back. What do you say? Should you list all 20 ways their non-response has impacted you? I’ve made the mistake of sending angry, ranting replies back. Although I felt they needed to hear it, they didn’t care and their lack of caring only made me angrier.
Or, should you completely ignore the fact that they ignored you, hoping it doesn’t happen again?
In my opinion, there’s a few better replies:
- Continue the convo (if it’s a new connection and wait hasn’t been that long)
- No reply (if it’s taken too long and you have evidence it won’t work out, what’s the point? This is the most mature “response”)
- “Thank God. I’ve been starring at my phone for the past 5 days waiting for your reply. Now I can finally get back to my regular routine.” (I don’t care if this chances me sounding like a “loser,” find it hilarious and I’ll never stop saying it).
- “Glad to see you woke up after my last text made you faint from excitement” (good if they have a sense of humor, but especially if they don’t)
- “Nice to see the good Lord resurrected you from death.”
- “Such a weird glitch that your phone only blocked the texting app but allowed you to access everything else like Facebook and Instagram. Glad that’s over with.” (JK, definitely don’t text this. But we know you see them active on all other sites! Ugh, we feel it.)
Okay, so some of our suggested replies are a little passive aggressive. While we’re not claiming they’re the most mature responses, we do think injecting a little humor into hurt can help us sometimes:)
#8 Address Communication Issues
Whether someone is rightfully or wrongfully ignoring you, if you’re reading this post, you clearly have a problem with it. There’s a few ways to fix it:
- Change your perception and expectation to be texted back in X amount of time
- Get partner to change their texting patterns
- A combination of both solutions
Since we can’t control other people, the easiest option is to change our perception of the problem. Sometimes, that’s warranted. For example, if we have an overly anxious personality that’s causing our worry of not being texted back, that’s on us. We need to find ways to calm ourselves while we’re waiting to be texted back. It’s not easy at all—but if we have a good partner, they should be willing to work with us through it.
On the other hand, sometimes it’s really not our perception. Sometimes the person really does take too long to text back. In these cases, it’s not on us to change. Then, we try to figure out why the other person isn’t texting back. Do they not like us? Maybe they forgot to respond, but we’re always thinking of them, so how could they forget us?
Communication About Communication with New Crushes
Although it’s not always possible to tell why someone won’t text back, it’s appropriate to stand firm in your communication standards.
How you communicate your standards depends on where you are in your relationship. For example, if you’re just getting to know someone, you don’t know their communication patterns yet. At this stage, communicating about communicating can be way too heavy. You also don’t have enough evidence. Did they just have a busy week or is their communication really that awful? If you don’t know the answer, don’t jump the gun. Instead, double-text to see if you can better learn their patterns. You may say:
- “Hey, are we still on for that drink on Friday?”
- “Seems like you had a busy week. Just wanted to check-in and see how you were doing?”
- “Seen this really cool [THING] and thought of you” [with attached pic, link, gif, etc.]
How they respond (or not) can give you more info to decide if you want to continue pursuing the person. If they don’t respond or their communication seems bad, why continue texting? Even if you could fix it, you can meet other people who already get you.
Communication About Communication with Established Partners
On the other hand, if you’ve been dating or are in a relationship with someone for a while, you may know the patterns. Since this happens frequently, you’d address it differently. Nicely tell the person what you like in terms of communication and how you wish they’d respond. But, you want to avoid making it sound like a lecture or like you’re scolding them; that will put anyone on the defense. You could say something like:
- “I noticed you really don’t seem to like texting but it makes me feel closer to someone when we text a little throughout the day. Do you think that’s possible?”
- “I know you don’t like texting but I miss you throughout the week, so I’m just wondering how we can feel closer.”
- “You should text me back more. It really turns me on.” (Cute, playful, kitschy but to-the-point)
- “I really love it when you text me this much.” (Positive re-enforcement when good texting happens).
If the person changes, they clearly care enough to stay in your life. That’s a good sign.
If they stay the same and continue ignoring your texts, they could be uninterested in you (in which case, that sucks so bad, but you really deserve someone who appreciates you).
…Or, maybe they don’t change simply because they don’t see the point or are too lazy. Maybe they insist your values are the ones that need to change; you’re too needy and overbearing.
While everyone is entitled to their own “texting preferences,” that doesn’t exclude you! Your needs are important. If a guy or woman doesn’t understand why they need to talk to you every day, that’s ok. They’re allowed to feel how they feel. But the fact you like to keep in contact with a partner is completely normal. You shouldn’t need to compromise that. So don’t. Find someone else who can communicate at a level you think is proper.
Summary: Focus on YOUR Control When There’s No Text Back
Again, if you’re reading this, it’s probably because you’re feeling overly anxious about someone not texting you back. That feeling is super crappy. We’re not going to lie, we don’t know of any healthy ways to get that to go away instantly.
But, a good way to lower your anxiety about no-texts-back is to focus on your control. You can’t control whether someone texts back, or what they say if they do. Although you can change some things about yourself, you have no control over who likes you or doesn’t. So, what can you control? Here’s a list:
- Who you pursue
- Whether you continue pursuing someone who doesn’t meet your communication standards
- How you react to no-text-backs
- What you do during your text back waiting time (ex. soothing, distraction, etc.)
- What you do long-term to control your no-text-back anxiety (ex. professional therapy for clinical anxiety disorder, learning coping strategies, etc.)