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9 Reasons Why Your Boyfriend Is Ignoring You and What to Do About It

Jorge's relationship advice is based on experience and observation. Let his trial and error be your success (hopefully).

Has your boyfriend suddenly gone silent?

Has your boyfriend suddenly gone silent?

Why Am I Being Ignored?

Is your boyfriend suddenly taking longer to reply when you text him? Is he not responding at all? Are you calling him over and over, and he won't pick up the phone?

If it's only been a few hours, then it's probably not something to worry about. He could just be busy or in the shower. However, if it's been more than a day or so, and your boyfriend is still acting like you don't exist, then no one would blame you for being a little concerned.

Assuming that there hasn't been some kind of emergency, it could be that your boyfriend is ignoring you deliberately. This will be especially clear to you if you notice that he is still active on Facebook or if he's still hanging out with your other friends. Obviously, if he can be bothered to "like" his brother's latest status update, but he can't even respond to your calls, then something is fishy.

What could be wrong, though? Why is your boyfriend ignoring you? Well, there could be literally hundreds of reasons why your boyfriend is ignoring you, but let's narrow it down to the most common ones. Chances are, he's ignoring you for some version of the following reasons mentioned below.

9 Reasons Why Your Boyfriend Is Ignoring You

  1. He's mad at you and can't deal with it.
  2. Talking to you brings him down.
  3. You always want something from him.
  4. He feels smothered and needs space.
  5. He is considering a breakup.
  6. He's preoccupied with something major in his life.
  7. He's cheating on you.
  8. He hates talking on the phone.
  9. He's tired of people.

1. He's Mad at You and Can't Deal With It

Have you ever been mad at someone, but didn't know how to articulate your feelings, so you just ghosted them for a while? This could very well be the case with your boyfriend.

In particular, if your boyfriend is ignoring you after a fight, then you can pretty safely assume that it has something to do with your argument. It could be that he doesn't want to jump into all of the negativity again and think about your problems. Naturally, talking to you reminds him of all of that negativity.

It's kind of like the "gorilla in the room" situation. He can't see you without the hidden pressure of all of the unsaid things, but he doesn't want to talk about it, either.

If you want to get him to stop ignoring you, the first thing you need to do is try to remember your last interaction. Were you unpleasant to him? Were you unfair to him? Did you push him to address something that he didn't want to talk about, and he just clammed up?

While communication is important in a relationship, and arguments are just part of that, it's important not to get too personal in your fights. Even if he is ignoring you, he is probably reading your texts, so send him a message and tell him that you want to understand his perspective. Invite him to convey his feelings to you in a non-judgmental way, and don't blame him for what happened between you.

Does this mean that you should act like a doormat? No!

Don't approach him with profuse, needy apologies. Just tell him that you want to understand the situation.

The same goes if you didn't have a fight and he seems to be ignoring you for no apparent reason. Contact him and tell him that you want to understand what's going on. If your boyfriend is ignoring your texts even after you explain your intentions, then he could just need some time to cool off, or it's something else.

Maybe he's mad at you for no good reason but expects you to psychically know.

Some people are just like this. Every little thing offends them, and they will never directly tell you about it. Basically, it turns into a huge guessing game trying to figure out why they're giving you the silent treatment. My advice is to just forget someone like this and ignore him right back.


2. Talking to You Brings Him Down

"Why is my boyfriend ignoring my texts?"

Maybe because you only text him to complain about your life.

Do you start most of your conversations off with negativity and complaining? This is actually really common. It's also common to be in denial about it. If your first reaction was, "Oh, no, I'm not a negative person at all!" then look through your text thread with your boyfriend.

What were the last few things that you talked about?

Were they mostly you complaining about something that happened during your day? Do you gossip about people? Do you bring drama into his life? Do you never seem to have anything nice to say?

Even if your boyfriend is the same way, he still might find it draining to talk to someone like this. If you are very negative, consider changing your mental habits—not so much for his sake, but for yours.


3. You Always Want Something From Him

Are you always asking your boyfriend for lots of favors? Do you ask him to do something for you every time you call? It may be hard to think about this objectively, but you may be asking more of your boyfriend than you realize. Your boyfriend might be ignoring you simply because he doesn't want to keep helping you with random tasks.

Some guys like doing their girlfriends lots of little favors, but most guys don't, and some guys really don't. One good way to tell that a guy doesn't have that sort of "helpful" personality is if he never asks you for favors either.


4. He Feels Smothered and Needs Space

This is another common reason why your boyfriend might be ignoring you. It's not a good reason since he really should be upfront and tell you that he needs space, but a lot of people who are afraid to speak their minds do this.

He could feel suffocated for many reasons. Some of them might not even be your fault necessarily; he could just be the kind of person who needs a lot of time alone, and you've been hanging around too often. Maybe he doesn't want to hurt your feelings by turning you down, so he's just been ignoring you instead.


5. He Is Considering Breaking Up With You

It's sad but true: some people are just too cowardly to tell you the truth, so they decide to "ghost" you instead. It could be that your boyfriend is considering leaving you--or has already decided on it—and rather than having a long, painful conversation with you about it, he's ignoring you.

He might be contemplating how to tell you, but can't bring himself to face you in the meantime. He could also just be secretly hoping that you'll take the hint and disappear from his life.

Obviously, whether someone would do this or not depends on their maturity level and how much they value the relationship. Think back towards the past: has he ever refused to communicate about something before? Did he ever avoid telling you something important because he thought it would hurt your feelings? Have you ever seen him give a friend the cold shoulder rather than discussing the issue?

These could all be signs that he has trouble expressing what he wants openly. If he really is avoiding and ignoring you because he's too afraid to tell you, then maybe you're better off single. It sounds terrible, but relationships like these really aren't worth it.


6. He's Preoccupied With Something Major in His Life

Your boyfriend's whole world probably doesn't revolve around you—nor should it. (And if your world revolves around him, then stop it.)

It is possible that he is deeply preoccupied with a huge life change or event, and has simply been too absorbed in that to contact you. Of course, that's no excuse to not say anything, but at least it's a reason.

Consider this possibility especially if you tend to be very demanding on your boyfriend's time. Ironically, if you don't have a tendency to call your boyfriend a million times per day, and calls from you are relatively rare, he's much more likely to answer.

However, if you constantly want to spend hours upon hours talking on the phone, and hours more hanging out in person, then he'll realize that replying to you is a huge time commitment. If he's short on time, he may put off contacting you and end up forgetting about your texts and calls.

Again, that's not necessarily a good excuse, but it's understandable to a degree. If you have a needy girlfriend who wants constant attention, but you are in the middle of writing your dissertation, you're going to ignore at least a few calls.


7. He's Cheating

Just because your boyfriend is ignoring you, there's no need to get paranoid and jump to conclusions automatically. Before you decide that he's unfaithful, you need to assess many different suspicious behaviors, not just one.

But if he's been ignoring you a lot and hanging out with other random women, then you might want to consider this possibility. Again, there is no need to go totally psychotic on him, but you should think about taking some steps to figure out if he has been hanging out with other women instead of hanging out with you.


8. He Hates Talking on the Phone

It could be that he simply hates talking on the phone, so he habitually ignores all phone calls. In that case, it's nothing personal; he probably didn't even know that it was you who was calling because he might have not even glanced at his phone.

For some people, it's hard to fathom how anyone in this day and age could dislike playing with their phone, but your boyfriend could be part of this minority. I've definitely been guilty of this myself and I have ignored phone calls from the women in my life. Sometimes you just don't want to be bothered with pressing a hot piece of metal and glass to your ear.

If you think that this might be the problem, then try texting him instead and just waiting for him to get back to you. You could also try seeing him in person. You might find that he never noticed that you had called.


9. He's Tired of People (That Means You, Too)

Some guys are very introverted and regularly "unplug" from their social life. In other words, he could be ignoring you on purpose—but only because he's ignoring everyone else, too.

This might seem unfair to you, but it's just a fact of life that some people need more silence than others. It would have been polite of him to tell you what he needed ahead of time, but some women can get loud and complain about that sort of thing (which defeats the purpose of silence).

What do you do if your boyfriend is ignoring you because he just happens to be one of these intense introverts?

Nothing. You just wait. If you can't handle it, that's perfectly understandable. Let him know that a relationship like this just isn't for you.


What to Do When Your Boyfriend Is Ignoring You

Now that you know some reasons why you are being ignored, the question remains: what do you do? You can't just sulk in your room all day pining for your boyfriend to contact you, instead you have to go out and do something productive.

  • Hang out with your friends: Go out and meet up with your friends and do something fun. Doing this will help take your mind off the situation, plus who doesn't like having a fun time with friends? You can also try turning your phone off entirely during this time, so you don't obsess about your boyfriend contacting you.
  • Do something active without your phone: Another great strategy is to disconnect and do an activity without your phone. Going for a run, hike, swim, or bike ride are all great options. Getting out in the world without your phone is a great way to relax and not dwell on the situation. Plus it's good for your health!
  • Watch a movie or read a book: With Netflix and Amazon, you have plenty of options when it comes to getting movies or e-books at the touch of a finger. Pick something that will capture your attention and relax. Again, turning your phone off enhances this greatly as you won't become distracted by anyone.

How to Get Your Boyfriend to Stop Ignoring You

For many people, it is not so much the why but the how—namely how do you get your boyfriend to stop giving you the silent treatment? Here are some strategies to help you get him to start talking to you again.

  • Remain calm and composed: Don't hassle your boyfriend and don't appear frazzled or upset, all that will do is make the situation worse. Instead, take a relaxed approach and wait for him to respond to you. Trying to call him multiple times or sending multiple texts will not help the situation get better, be courteous and respectful.
  • Be straightforward: Let him know that you are concerned and that you feel that he is acting in a way that makes you think he is ignoring you. Don't go accusing him of anything, simply state how you are feeling.
  • Change your perspective: As I've stated before, there are many legitimate reasons why he is not responding to you. Take a step back and try to see things through his perspective. He could very well have a lot of other things going on in his life that require his immediate attention. His world does not revolve around you, and your world should not revolve around him.

Questions & Answers

Question: I asked my boyfriend if our relationship is over, but he didn’t respond. What does that mean?

Answer: It probably means you should move on. Silence is telling. Don't waste your time on a guy who is unsure.

Question: My boyfriend has been ignoring me for one month and few days. What should I do?

Answer: It sounds like he might not be your boyfriend anymore.

Question: My boyfriend is ignoring me. I have called, texted, and even chatted him up. He has seen my messages and still has not replied to me, neither has he returned my calls for three weeks. What do you think I should do?

Answer: It sounds like you don't have a boyfriend anymore. I guess you would just do what any other single person would do, because that's what you probably are now.

Question: What if my boyfriend has not spoken to me since 5:00 AM and it's now 3:00 PM?

Answer: It's been less than a day, cool your jets. He's probably just busy.

Question: What if my boyfriend doesn't respond for five minutes after opening my message?

Answer: Then he's probably too busy to reply right now. If he's only been unresponsive for five minutes, and you're already searching the Internet for answers as to why he is ignoring you, then you need to chill a bit. Give him some space.

Question: My boyfriend has been ignoring me for a day and some hours now, after suddenly ending a conversation about his sleeping with another girl. What does that mean?

Answer: It probably means that you don't have a boyfriend anymore.

Question: How can I tell if my boyfriend is not that into me?

Answer: It depends on the person, but if he ignores you a lot and doesn't seem interested in spending any time with you, then I would say that's a good sign.

© 2017 Jorge Vamos