Almost everyone has dealt with someone who isn’t texting them back. Often this happens after a first date. Typically, it means the other person isn’t interested in you, but they are afraid to simply say that.  Instead, they hope the silence will be enough.

Unfortunately, that’s not the only possible reason. There are dozens of legitimate reasons that could have him away from his phone. He may be dealing with a family emergency, for instance. There is a chance he has been too busy with work to devote any time to his social life. Maybe your last text was something easy to dismiss, like “hello, how are you?” (hint: send texts that encourage a response, such as “we should go to the movies on Friday if you’re not busy” or “I’ve really wanted to try that new sushi bar, do you want to go sometime?”).

It isn’t always easy to tell the difference between someone who is busy and someone who is busy playing games. It can be frustrating, even discouraging at times. The best thing you can do when he doesn’t text back is learn to handle the silence.

The first step you need to take is away from your phone. As long as you are looking at it, you’ll feel compelled to text him over and over. You’ll eagerly be waiting for the response. In doing this, you are likely to start over thinking. Yes, there could be a million reasons. No, you don’t need to think of all of them. In fact, don’t think at all! The worst thing you can do is over think when he doesn’t text back.  You need to take a break from thinking

In order to turn your brain off, you have to keep yourself busy! Don’t sit around at home. Go out for a walk or treat yourself to dinner. Go to a movie or an art gallery. Stay out of the house. You may even choose to meet up with a few friends for the night. Just make sure that you’re keeping yourself busy. This atmosphere is healthy because it allows you to focus on the other joys in life and helps you maintain a positive outlook. Surrounding yourself with supportive friends can also help you to keep the situation in perspective. Plus, you may be able to ask for advice (just avoid gossip and self-deprecation).

Finally, when he doesn’t text back, give him space. The worst thing you can do is text him too frequently. Ultimately, you’re only pushing him away. He’ll feel that you’re needy and a little desperate. Even if it is hard, you have to be patient with his silence. If he does have a legitimate reason, he’ll appreciate your patience. This behaviour will show him that you’re kind, supportive and you don’t jump to conclusions. That is the kind of partner that everyone is looking for.

Unfortunately, there is a chance he is simply playing games. You may hear from him one night when he’s lonely and doesn’t have something “better” to be doing. If that happens, ignoring the text is your best bet. If you call him out on his silence, he’ll make excuses and you may even believe them. Give him the same treatment that he gave you and move on.

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