Ghosted? What to Do If He Stops Texting You Suddenly
He Stopped Texting Me Out of Nowhere . . .
"I thought we were getting along, but he stopped texting me all of a sudden. Should I text him again? How do I get him to text me back?"
A girl wrote me the above e-mail about a guy she had been out with twice. I wish I could say it was an isolated case, but sadly, it has become very common for guys to stop texting girls without any warning or explanation. (To be fair, women are guilty of doing the same, but this article will focus on why men stop texting women and what to do about it.)
While texting between two people of the opposite sex can help ignite a romance, it can also lead to heartbreak. Read on to discover what to do if a guy suddenly stops texting you, why they suddenly stopped texting you, and if you should even want them to text you back.
How to Get a Guy to Text You Back
Before reading the tips below, ask yourself the following question: Do you really want this guy to text you back? When a guy starts ghosting you, it's a pretty good sign he's a jerk—and you deserve better than that! You should also be wary of getting into a relationship where all the other person wants to do is text. If they don't want to have a real relationship, it may be best just to move on. But if you still want him to text you back, here's what to do.
Note: These tips only apply to early-stage relationships and flings.
Play it cool.
Make it seem like you don't care if he texts you back. If a guy is at all interested in you and thinks you've suddenly become indifferent, he will reach out to you. No matter what you do, don't let him know that he's gotten under your skin!
Resist the urge to keep texting him.
It's been two days and you're dying to reach out to him. Don't! To go along with the point above, if a guy sees a wall of texts from you, you're going to come off as being way too eager (and maybe even a little desperate). Naturally, this is easier said than done, but beyond a simple check-in text if you absolutely must ("Hey, how're you doing?"), do your best to let him make the next move. If he doesn't, don't waste any more time on him!
Keep your messages short and to the point.
If he does get back in touch, keep things short and sweet for a while. Texting him an essay about your feelings and scolding him for his lack of communication will only hurt your chances at keeping him interested. Ever gotten the ubiquitous (and immensely frustrating) "K" in response to your message? Feel free to dish it right back.
Only text him when he texts you.
It all goes back to playing it cool. If he responds to one of your messages, don't take that as a sign that you should inundate him with a barrage of texts about everything you've been thinking and feeling since you communicated last. Try your best to ease back into a good pattern of communication by only texting him when he texts you.
Do NOT try to get his attention by sending a risqué text.
This is a big "No." While it may be very effective at getting a response, is it really the type of response you want to get? If a guy only texts you back because he thinks it will lead to sex, that's a huge red flag. So resist the urge to text him your tatas or anything else that you might regret later.
Know when to walk away.
This is key. If a guy is playing games with you and leaving you feeling bad about yourself, you're better off without him anyway. So if you try one or two of the tips above and he's still ghosting you or being minimally responsive, get out of there! You deserve so much better.
How to Deal with Being Ghosted
Signs He's Going to Ghost You (or Already Is)
These are some ghosting red flags to watch out for when you're texting a guy.
- He's "forgetful." Does he always seem to "forget" you messaged or called? If a guy disappears for weeks and then reaches out with some lame excuse for it, it's a pretty clear sign he's only keeping you on the back burner for the times when it's convenient or desirable for him to be in contact.
- He's brief. When you do communicate, he responds with one-word answers and keeps the conversation short. If you used to find yourself chatting with your guy for hours and now getting him to engage in a conversation is like pulling teeth, it may be time to step away from the relationship.
- He's suddenly unreachable. He hasn't responded to my text, so I'll try his Facebook . . . and his Instagram . . . and maybe his Twitter, just for good measure. Stop! It's highly unlikely that something is wrong with every single one of his accounts, so if he fails to respond to your messages, it probably isn't because he hasn't seen them—he simply doesn't want to.
- He's stopped going to places where you used to see him. This one is both painful and undeniable. If your guy suddenly starts avoiding all the places you used to see each other, it isn't by accident. He doesn't want to see you anymore.
- He told you he didn't want anything serious. If a guy says this from the get-go, kudos to him. Unfortunately, even if you think you guys have a fun, casual thing going on and there isn't any pressure to enter a relationship, he may still ghost you.
- He's suddenly spending a lot of time with a new girl. If he starts hanging out with a new "friend" at the same time that he stops messaging or hanging out with you as much, it's a bad sign for your relationship. Don't waste your time competing for him!
- He blocked you from his accounts. If your guy does this, it's a sure sign that things are over between you. Instead of trying to reach him through other channels, your best bet is to let him go and move on.
Ghosting /ˈɡōstiNG/ (verb)
The practice of ending contact with someone by suddenly withdrawing from all communication without any explanation (especially in a romantic relationship).
E.g. "I thought we had a really great time the other night, but now he's ghosting me."
Common Reasons a Guy Won't Text You Back
We now live in a world of instant gratification, so if the guy doesn't feel that rush of excitement when he's around you, or if he feels you aren't the perfect match for him right away, he's likely to just keep moving.
The following list is by no means exhaustive, but it should give you a decent idea of why your man might be ghosting you. You'll also notice that the last few reasons are fairly innocuous and can actually be indicators of a healthy relationship, so if you get radio silence for a little bit, don't immediately jump to the conclusion that things are over for good.
- The conversation doesn't interest him, so he doesn't feel the need to reply.
- He's no longer interested in you and doesn't want to hurt you by saying so (note that if you're in an official relationship, it is definitely not okay to end things this way—not that it's ever really okay, in my opinion!).
- He started seeing someone else and doesn't have the decency to tell you.
- He's not interested in you now, but he wants to keep you as a "future" option, so he doesn't cut things off for good.
- He didn't feel you were "the one" right away, so he's already moved on.
- He realized you weren't going to sleep with him and lost interest (harsh, but true—in some cases, this may be the only thing the guy was ever after).
- He's experiencing depression to such a degree that he completely withdrew from everyone around him.
- His phone died.
- He's busy with work, friends, or something else and either hasn't gotten the chance to respond to your text or simply hasn't seen it yet.
- He feels comfortable with you and doesn't feel the need to respond right away anymore.
Who Stopped Texting You?
Why Is Communicating With Men So Hard?
You may be asking yourself why present-day communication seems so complicated compared to all those 80s rom-coms where boy meets girl, boy asks girl out, and boy and girl fall in love. While part of that can simply be chalked up to the unrealistic nature of the silver screen, there is an undercurrent of truth to it. The rise of 21st-century technology has arguably dealt the classic relationship trajectory its biggest blow yet.
Relationships no longer start the way they used to.
In general, it seems that 21st-century boys and men love getting girls' phone numbers and juggling them around. Sadly, this trend appears to be replacing the days when guys—almost as a rule—chatted up girls face-to-face, had personal interactions with them, got to know who they really were, and developed relationships with them.
Okay, it still happens, but the process has been cut very short. Now, you often simply give a guy (that you met at work, school, a bar or club, the bookstore, among friends, and so forth) your phone number and wait for him to get in touch. Or you get a guy's phone number and get in touch with him.
Either way, the crucial first moves in relationships these days are often made via text or social media—and unfortunately, this shift from face-to-face communication to virtual back-and-forths doesn't seem to bode well for relationships.
Ghosting has now become the norm.
He contacts you and you two exchange pleasantries via text. Maybe you hang out, dance, eat dinner, or even kiss. You thought you had a good time and you want to go out again and text a bit in between. Then all of the sudden, this guy you had a good time with doesn't text you at all afterward. Or he says a few words like, "Hey, nice date," and drops off soon after.
According to a 2016 poll by the dating site Plenty of Fish, nearly 80% of users between the ages of 18 and 33 had been ghosted.
Sadly, this pattern is all too familiar these days. Instead of getting to know you and giving you two a chance, this guy has decided to just shut down communication. But why?
The Trouble With Dating in the Tech-Age
What does the ghosting trend say about modern relationships? Nothing good. This problem runs alongside the disturbing trend of fewer men being interested in marriage than ever before. While love at first sight happens, more often, true love is developed as you get to know someone. Those opportunities are being cut off by men who are simply jumping from girl to girl, looking for their perception of perfection. When it doesn't happen, they cut ties quickly.
Many guys like this texting behavior, though. They don't have to see a girl face-to-face to break it off. They don't have to feel responsible. They keep it impersonal. In essence, they get to walk off scot-free. The only way this is beneficial is that a text drop-off could avoid hurtful words a guy might say to tell a woman why he doesn't like her. This doesn't mean it won't hurt at all, but it will hurt less. There are also men who will take every opportunity to insult a girl just because. Trust me—not hearing anything is better than hearing that.
This is not to say that all guys act this way. We all know good guys who treat women well and don't want to waste anyone's time.
Is ghosting a thing only young people do?
Unfortunately, no. When it comes to suddenly cutting off all communication with no explanation, there are quite a few offending age groups—not just teenage guys, but all men with cell phones, period. I have heard the same ghosting scenario from women in their 30s and 40s who started dating in a time before texting was the norm.
Women commonly say things like, "I remember when guys would ask you out on one date, and then another, and you had a boyfriend before you knew it. Now you hardly ever see or hear from them again. Pretty disappointing."
Does ghosting only happen in new relationships?
Though it's far less common, ghosting does happen in established relationships. Whereas in dating scenarios, ghosters will often tell themselves that they don't owe the other person anything (which is incredibly lame), ghosting in relationships often comes down to conflict avoidance and a fear of direct communication. Some men will rationalize "breaking up" this way by saying it's easier and less hurtful. If only that were truth!
Having a serious (or even just semi-serious) relationship end with ghosting is very painful for the person who is ghosted. In these situations, you may choose to send one last follow-up message to that person acknowledging that things are over and asking for an explanation. If you need closure to move on (and most of us do), don't be afraid to ask for it. But, painful as it is, don't expect to hear back either. Your ex may be too cowardly to have that conversation with you, in which case you are truly better off without him!
Have You Ever Ghosted Someone?
The Emotional Effects of Ghosting
Women are still delicate in this day and age, and I don't think that is a bad thing. Women are brought up to feel that they are special, beautiful, lovely, feminine. So when they encounter men who don't "get this" about them, it hurts. Being ghosted robs you of closure and the ability to understand why things didn't work out (hint: probably because he's a dick).
It would be different if this kind of texting drop-off happened once or twice, but if you have been in the dating pool lately, you'll know that it is simply commonplace. You can have dates with ten different men in a year, and eight of them will simply vanish.
Being ghosted is not your fault.
When this constantly happens in a woman's life, the message she gets out of it is that she isn't good enough. In reality, she is good enough. You are good enough. Although not everyone is a match for each other, more people would be if they took the time to get to know each other.
In most cases, ghosting comes down to the "ghoster's" immaturity and lack of consideration for others. It is rarely the fault of the "ghosted," and the ghoster's favorite self-soothing line—"I don't owe them anything"—is just a lame excuse to act like a jerk.
You deserve someone who's willing to put in the effort.
Don't ever put more effort into texting than he does. So if he's putting in zero effort and has simply dropped off the face of the earth, don't go on texting him. It might be a little difficult (fine, a lot), but you can stop yourself from sending messages to someone who isn't replying at all. And to be honest, you really should. You deserve to be with someone who treats you well, and that includes taking the time to communicate with you without you having to get on their case about it.
A man should still do the chasing. You are worth that. If he doesn't want to chase you or if he barely gives you any regard (or none at all), then you are probably better off trying to forget he ever existed. Delete him from your contacts and start moving on. This applies to budding relationships too—even if you're still in the early stages of dating or a relationship, he should still be actively showing interest. These are age-old rules of courting communication simply applied to new generations of technology.
Miller, Korin. (2016, April 1). Ghosting Is Way More Common Than You Think. So What Should You Do If It Happens to You? Glamour. Retrieved from www.glamour.com/story/ghosting-is-common
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
What if he stopped texting me, then suddenly starts to text me again?
I'd let him wait and let him repeat his texts, or let him attempt to contact you. Don't respond right away. See if he is really going to make an effort for you.Helpful 326
What should I do if this guy decides to stop texting me for four days after texting me every single night? Should I text him "Hey"?
No, don't text him. Distract yourself with other things. If a man likes you few things will stop him from talking to you/texting you.Helpful 294
What if a guy seems really into me, but then stops texting?
Men are apt to change their mind like anyone else. You will know he is interested if he sends consistent messages or asks you out. Until then distract yourself with things you enjoy.Helpful 213
What do I do if he just suddenly stops messaging me? I only get one text a day, and that's if I spam him.
If he stops texting you then don't try to text him anymore. It shows a lack of interest on his part. If someone isn't interested for whatever reason then they are not meant for you. You want a guy that shows he likes you and wants to communicate with you. Men should do the chasing.Helpful 208
What should I say to a guy who stopped texting me that I am done?
If you want him to know you are done with him, don't contact him. He will understand. And you will be able to move on to better things.Helpful 204
© 2013 Hearts and Lattes