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Is the guy I'm dating not interested and ignoring me?
January 15, 2013 3:13 AM   Subscribe

I have been dating a guy and he hasn't responded to my text message for over a day, its quite unlike him. Why is he ignoring me? I was wondering if anyone can help me understand what is happening? Has anyone had this experience before and guys in particular, what do you think? Am I over-reacting?

I have been dating this guy for just over 2 months we have been taking things slowly and just getting to know each other well. We do see each other regularly and tend to text nearly every day. We haven't made our relationship official and both lead quite busy lives.

Recently my feelings have started to grow and I am starting to quite like him, I thought the same was happening for him. Over Christmas he asked me to stay at his for a week and it was lovely to spend that much time together. I last saw him on Saturday morning as I had stayed the night and everything seemed fine.

On Sunday he went to a football match (UK) and was drinking, he was texting me on his journey home. He was a little drunk but we were messing about and everything seemed fine. I sent him a last couple of messages on Whatsapp, following our conversation, and didn't get a response (around midnight) I didn't think much of it assumed he had fallen asleep etc. I wasn't too worried as this happens sometimes.

Normally he messages me the next day just saying 'sorry I fell asleep;' however, I heard nothing. Again I wasn't too worried as we both have busy lives and I know he works hard. He is an accountant and I thought he was just managing his hangover and a morning at work.

Still heard nothing from him by the end of the day, which is unusual and I could see he had logged into Whatsapp, and was clearly not messaging me. Finally, before bed I thought I would drop him message just saying 'Hey you, how was your day? Hope you are ok?' Normally he would respond to this and just let me know he had been busy etc. But nothing. Again I could see he had logged into Whatsapp and would have seen the message. So he is clearly ignoring me!

I still haven't heard from him today. I know its hasn't been that long but I don't understand what's happened. I mean how difficult is it to drop someone a text? There has been a time before when we didn't speak for a day but that was when we first started seeing each other, things have moved on a little since then. Does this mean he is no longer interested but doesn't have the guts to tell me :( Or am i just overreacting? What should I do?

I'm quite hurt as I was starting to quite like him.
posted by artystar to Human Relations (60 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
Try calling.
posted by mannequito at 3:18 AM on January 15, 2013 [10 favorites]


Phone him and ask him. Maybe he lost his phone or got hit by a bus.

You're an adult, phone him.
posted by taff at 3:18 AM on January 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


Yeah I'll drop him a call tonight if I still haven't heard anything, but I'm thinking if he's ignoring my messages does he want me to leave him alone? I don't want to come across as overly clingy.

I know I'm an adult that's why I'm fed-up of playing games like this. I wish people could just be honest if he's not interested, had enough or scared to commit just tell me that he doesn't want to see me any more. I'll be upset but its better than not knowing what the hell is going on. Or if something has happened/work is busy just a couple of lines just saying 'have x happening/has happened will be out of contact..'
posted by artystar at 3:26 AM on January 15, 2013


Only time will tell, so there's no use upsetting yourself in the meantime. There could be a million reasons. That being said, there books written about this very issue of communication between couples, especially during the first months of dating. While much of what these dating books recommend, one point that is very clear and makes sense to me is that you, as the woman (!) should not initiate contact so much, as that will kill his enthusiasm for you. While it feels great for a while, people who are in constant contact, especially via text, there is a tendency to take each other for granted rather than if you had remained busier with your own life and only communicated with him by telephone or in person, especially upon his request and effort. It's kind of dated in that women shouldn't feel intimidated and pushed back into a submissive role, but in fact you hold more of the cards when you are pursued rather than pursuing, and if you keep texting him you are definitely not putting yourself in a position to be pursued even if he wanted to persue you. So, whatever the issue is here, being only two months into your relationship, you may want to give him the opportunity to miss you, not text you with an update every day, etc. This is going to be hard, it's hard for most people, but you have a long, long time ahead of you so it's better to set the stage now for your independence from being too clingy. The bottom line is, it doesn't really matter why he didn't text you, you will be better off not being in a position of worry every time he lapses from your schedule.
posted by waving at 3:31 AM on January 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


I went out with a guy for about three months who used to do this. I wouldn't hear anything from him for a couple of days and I always had to be the first to initiate contact again but he never gave a reason for it. It became frustrating and clear that we weren't compatible.

I would also say call him and see what's going on, but if this becomes a pattern then he might not be interested in you as much as you would like him to.
posted by TMBelair at 3:35 AM on January 15, 2013


Yeah part of me doesn't want to come across as too bothered by this, although obviously I am. If I ring him will he not think that I can't even bear to be a moment apart from him? And that im pushing too much? But then I just want to know.

I do have my own life and my own friends, I was just starting to like him and thought we had past the stage of silly games.

I'm more just confused as to what happened, we didn't argue or anything. He didn't seem cold or nonchalant.

This isn't a regular pattern, although he isn't as crazy a texter as my ex was, so I do find that different but at the same time its quite nice to limit the texting and see each other etc.
posted by artystar at 3:47 AM on January 15, 2013


I'm thinking if he's ignoring my messages does he want me to leave him alone? I don't want to come across as overly clingy.

Clingy schmingy. Ignoring messages is rude in pretty much all but non-stalkery relationships. By not saying "hey I'd like to slow things down" or "really hungover will be in touch in a few days" or whatever, he's put you in the position of guessing what's going on in his head. You don't have to play the game. Just ask him what's up & tell him what you want. He may or may not give you the answer you want to hear, but at least you won't be sitting around wondering.
posted by headnsouth at 3:50 AM on January 15, 2013 [16 favorites]


There has been a time before when we didn't speak for a day but that was when we first started seeing each other, things have moved on a little since then. Does this mean he is no longer interested but doesn't have the guts to tell me :( Or am i just overreacting? What should I do?


I think you might want to consider this a slight overreaction.

I know it feels like you've been together a while, but two months is really not very long. It takes around 30 days to turn an action into a habit, for example. If you'd been going to the gym for 2 months it would still be early to expect dramatic results. Two months is a reasonable amount of time to age a beer. It's still quite young for a whisk(e)y, wine, or cheese. As far as relationships go, this one is but a mere infant.

At this point, 36-48 hours between communications is not a terrible thing. Just because we have the technology to contact one another at any point doesn't mean that all people are wired for that level of intimacy.

The trick to making a relationship work is for you to continue being a functional person even when your partner isn't there.
posted by dubold at 3:52 AM on January 15, 2013 [21 favorites]


You sent a text message? Text messages are not reliable -- inherently, since SMS is based on best-effort delivery. Echoing that you need to just call the dude.
posted by ellF at 3:59 AM on January 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Leave it alone and then ring him on Wednesday evening. Do not jump to the "clearly he is ignoring me!" conclusion - he could also have been hit by a car or come down with the flu or been called to a family emergency or lost his phone any number of things.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:59 AM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


One day does not seem to me to be a reasonable amount of time to panic. I would wait a couple more days then call him.
posted by katrielalex at 4:00 AM on January 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


....Darlin', it's only been one day.

You said that he was out on the town last night - maybe he just got drunker than usual and was hung over. Maybe his phone ran out of batteries. Maybe a lot of things.

One day is nothing.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:25 AM on January 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


Yeah I'll drop him a call tonight if I still haven't heard anything, but I'm thinking if he's ignoring my messages does he want me to leave him alone? I don't want to come across as overly clingy.

WTF has happened to communication norms to make us feel this way??

Presumably you're having sex with the guy, right? As part of a monogamous relationship? And you recently stayed with him for a week?

If he wants you to leave him alone, he can say as much. You are not a mind-reader, nor do you play one on t.v. It's not 'clingy' to call someone's number instead of texting. Good grief.

On behalf of women everywhere, I am sick of this shit. It doesn't matter if he ignored you on Whatsapp, or whatever; you are perfectly entitled, and in no way stalkerish, to pick up the phone and call him, once, whenever you goddamn feel like it. You do not have to pussyfoot around him to be the 'cool girlfriend'. Fuck that.

That said, don't do it after one day. Sit tight. Do it tomorrow night, but feel no shame.
posted by Salamander at 4:33 AM on January 15, 2013 [53 favorites]


I disagree with the general sentiment that this is an overreaction. After a pattern of daily communication has been established, 36 hours of essentially standing you up electronically is very rude and worrisome. Even if a horrible tragedy has befallen his kingdom, "I can't talk right now, will call you in a few days" takes seconds to write, same with a few sentence email. Clearly, no one can tell you what happened in his head, but I would say that barring extreme circumstances, I would not glide over this - it's very disrespectful.
posted by namesarehard at 4:33 AM on January 15, 2013 [10 favorites]


I know I'm an adult that's why I'm fed-up of playing games like this

Who knows why he hasn't texted you? He could be sending a message, but there are a thousand other perfectly reasonable explanations. It has only been a day. In this situation, given what we know, of the two of you, you seem to be the one playing the games. Call him or let it go.
posted by OmieWise at 4:33 AM on January 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


This happened to me several weeks ago, and in that case it was because his ex was visiting for a few days, something I know only because he told me immediately afterwards. You said yourself you're not official, so if this is the case for you, it's up to you to determine how much it bothers you.

Go ahead and keep texting/calling him.
posted by phunniemee at 4:42 AM on January 15, 2013


I will call him tomorrow, it has only been a day, if I haven't heard anything. Thanks Salamander, I agree. I'm not saying phone calls are more clingy than texts; just should I contact him at all if he wants to be left alone. And yes to all those things you listed.

Ok Omiewise, I'm not intentionally trying to play games anyway, If it was up to be I would just tell the guy I like him a lot and be done with. But every but of advice you read etc suggest this is not the way forward. Plus I want to be sure of his feelings. So call it game playing or whatever I just want to protect my heart a little because god knows its been through enough in the past.

I will call him and put this to rest but will give him the benefit of the doubt for another day. His whatsapp status does say 'busy.' I guess my problem comes from what namesarehard said- once you establish a behaviour pattern its weird when someone breaks that and makes you think something is up!
posted by artystar at 4:46 AM on January 15, 2013


I don't think OP is the one playing games.

I think she's internalized the message women keep getting sent these days that men like things to be casual and carefree and they get to drive the communication and anything you do that can remotely be construed as 'wanting more' or 'clingy' or 'desperate' CAN AND WILL BE HELD AGAINST YOU and will turn him off and then everything between you will be officially Ruined and it will be All Your Fault.

Fuck that noise.
posted by Salamander at 4:47 AM on January 15, 2013 [59 favorites]


Yeah part of me doesn't want to come across as too bothered by this, although obviously I am.

I recently went through a breakup of a 3-4 month dateship where a big part of the problem was different communication-frequency expectations. The BIGGER thing, though, was this: he didn't actually express what upset him and just assumed I'd "figure it out," which is frankly terrible since it built resentment and confusion on both sides. If you are bothered by something, you need to tell him. It's entirely possible that "communicating every day" is not something he assumes is a given, but will make an effort to do if he explicitly knows it matters to you.
posted by psoas at 4:55 AM on January 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think there's something to be said for the gut instinct you have that because he's behaving inconsistently, there's something up. You don't want to assume anything, but you should talk to him about it.

The last time a decrease in communication that felt "not right" happened to me, the guy had started seeing someone else. He thought he was being slick and was surprised I had picked up on it. Your gut is worth following.
posted by houndsoflove at 4:56 AM on January 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


How do you know he even got the text? If you are not on the same carrier the carrier-interconnects can have delays. Just this past weekend I sent an text to friend on Friday night and he received it Monday afternoon.

Shit happens.
posted by COD at 5:11 AM on January 15, 2013


should I contact him at all if he wants to be left alone

1. You should contact him if you want to contact him.

2. He should tell you "I want to be left alone" if he wants to be left alone.

3. If he has a problem simply because you contacted him when you wanted to contact him, then...well...you have a problem that you need to talk about, leading to either a mutually agreeable compromise on communication needs or not seeing each other anymore.

4. If he says "hey, artystar, great to hear from you!" and continues on, but this radio silence behavior happens again a few times, then...well...you have a problem that you need to talk about. See no. 3 above.

If it was up to me I would just tell the guy I like him a lot and be done with it. But every bit of advice you read etc suggests this is not the way forward. Plus I want to be sure of his feelings. So call it game playing or whatever I just want to protect my heart a little because god knows its been through enough in the past.

Confession time: I find myself doing this as well, in the general sense of holding back on my true feelings/desires for fear of rejection. It feels like you're protecting yourself, but if you break it down logically, you're really not. It is an extremely ineffective method for protecting yourself from rejection or disappointment.

You're gonna feel what you feel, and want what you want, regardless of whether you've told him or he reciprocates. And he is going to feel what he feels (he likes you, he doesn't like you) and want what he wants (to deepen the relationship, or not), also completely irrespective of whether you share your feelings with him. It's gonna hurt if he doesn't feel what you feel or want what you want, COMPLETELY IRRESPECTIVE OF WHETHER YOU EVER CONFESS YOUR FEELINGS OR DESIRES. In fact, it's probably going to hurt more, because it's going to take you longer to figure out you're not on the same page. Plus, in the meantime you're going to feel kind of emotionally all over the place, because of the uncertainty.

If it turns out he doesn't like you all that much, or is not interested in moving forward with the relationship, ask yourself how or why it is would be less painful to deal with that if you continue to not tell him what you are feeling on your end.
posted by drlith at 5:40 AM on January 15, 2013 [12 favorites]


Ya, in going to disagree with the common consensus. It is rude to ignore texts, especially if there's been a pattern of responsiveness. It takes literally two seconds to respond, and unilaterally changing the nature of your communication without a heads up is inconsiderate.

My sense is that things are cooling for some reason, and he's avoiding telling you or putting you on the back burner. Once you're dating, men who are really into you will make sure you know it.
posted by snickerdoodle at 5:44 AM on January 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Ya, in going to disagree with the common consensus. It is rude to ignore texts, especially if there's been a pattern of responsiveness.

Just to be clear, the common consensus is that we don't know that that is what's happened in this case.
posted by OmieWise at 5:53 AM on January 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


It is rude to ignore texts

Except that text messages may or may not arrive at any time they feel like it. That's what a "best effort" communication system does: it makes no guarantees about when or if the message being will ever arrive. You cannot assume that any particular text reached your recipient, nor can you know when those that did reach him did so.

Texting is fine for informal, unimportant messages. That's it.
posted by ellF at 5:54 AM on January 15, 2013


Another vote for something is up. I use whatsapp (which lets you know the message has been delivered to the server and has been received by the recipient, it is pretty fool proof) and if he has clearly seen the message and been online since and ignored it then you need to know what he is doing. I dont care how cool you think you need to play things, it takes 30 seconds to reply to someone. Fast replies would make me think they want to talk to me, no reply would make me feel like they have someone better to talk to...
posted by krisb1701d at 5:55 AM on January 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Don't read too much into it. My ex once "ignored" me the entire time he was visiting his family over a weekend. Turns out he'd forgotten his phone charger at home and his family all had different phones. He apologized profusely when he got back in town.
posted by DoubleLune at 6:21 AM on January 15, 2013


Yeah I know he got the message because Whatsapp confirms it, that's what stopped me giving him the benefit of the doubt. I also saw he was online.

I know I sound a little crazy about it all but I genuinely thought everything was fine! I can't pinpoint what has happened, if anything at all and thats why its driving me crazy.
posted by artystar at 6:38 AM on January 15, 2013


Since you feel him pulling away from you, why are you encouraging that by running towards him? Throw your energy into what's fun for you. Go to the gym.
posted by esprit de l'escalier at 6:51 AM on January 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


It is rude and or thoughtless that he didn't contact you after 2 months of being is constant contact. Dump him unless you want to tolerate this kind of treatment for the rest of your relationship. It sounds like you have very different communication needs or expectations than he does, and that is perfectly fine. You shouldn't deny yourself your needs, but you also shouldn't IGNORE the fact this guy hasn't been in touch with you and make excuses for it. Even if he were in a serious accident, which I doubt since he's online as per your checking up on him, he would get in touch with you some way if he cares about you. Boyfriends who care about their girlfriends call them first or soon after (maybe mom comes first). They don't forget to call just because something's come up, and in fact, they call straight away. Dump him and find someone better. Look at this as a gift, it's better know this now and move on rather than investing more time into someone who doesn't care enough about you to keep the regular contact you have established. Or, learn how to not text ever day and be OK with that. Like Salamander says, women shouldn't feel like they cannot call first, text when they want, etc, but they choose to do that they have to cut losses when the other party doesnt' participate any more. But then again, the world is full of people with different tolerance levels. It boils down to seeing how you participate in your own life, tolerate or don't, just do what's right for you.
posted by waving at 6:54 AM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


yeah I'm not going to run towards him. Thing is this pulling away thing has only happened in the last 24 hours! It wasn't like that at the weekend.

Anyway as far as I am concerned I offered him an olive branch yesterday with the text , asking if he was ok and how his day had been. If he can't be bothered to respond then I'm not going to push it. I might drop him a call later this week if it continues and ask if something is going or I might just decide I can't be bothered with all this.

Life is too short and the gym is far less complicated! Seriously I wish dating was easier, I can't even pinpoint an argument we've had or anything like that!
posted by artystar at 6:57 AM on January 15, 2013


[Hi there artystar, I'm one of the moderators here. Not a big deal, but Ask Metafilter isn't really meant for discussion. So I'd suggest you just let the answers come as they may, and not respond unless you need to clarify some element of your question, for instance. Let us know via the contact form if you have any questions, thanks.]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:14 AM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can't even pinpoint an argument we've had or anything like that!

There doesn't need to be an argument...there doesn't need to be anything.

I was dating a gal, it was going extremely well. We were getting together every evening for dinner--she even initiated it, and then I initiated the non-dinner outings and activities. Things were going extremely well, and she was so excited to be dating me and texted me 30 times each day.

Suddenly, one day, she stopped contacting me for dinner and she didn't respond to me trying to contact her. I let this go on for a week. Finally, I resorted to breaking up with her over voicemail (and felt dumb, but it was the only thing I could do). She called me back within 30 seconds of my voicemail and was so thankful I finally broke up with her; she was too chicken to do it herself.

There was nothing "wrong" between us. She just wasn't feeling it and didn't know what to do, even after saying she probably loves me the day before she stopped communicating!

So............my point? Don't waste any more time with this guy. Dating doesn't have to be complicated. It wasn't for me once I had this experience with this gal and woke up a bit.

If you have been seeing him regularly and HAVING SEX, then calling him and texting him several times a day and expecting a very timely response is NOT out of the question, at all!
posted by TinWhistle at 7:16 AM on January 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, you sound a bit out of control. Why you're asking a bunch of random internet strangers what's going on when you're the one sleeping with him is unknown.

Why you're checking an app to figure if he's gotten a text instead of just calling him sounds odd. Just call him or drop by? Either he'll be YAY or NAY. Either way you'll have an answer and won't be treating this treat as some sort of counseling session.

Deep breath. Relax. Call him.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:16 AM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Recently my feelings have started to grow and I am starting to quite like him, I thought the same was happening for him.

So...have you told him how you feel?

It seems like you are treading in this murky, dating-but-not-dating, spend a week staying at his place but not discussing relationship status sort of situation.

Maybe the dude is stressed out, depressed, having a family issue, has the flu, or some other such thing he does not want to talk to you about (and since it seems expectations are unclear, perhaps he doesn't know how to proceed). Since it's only been 24 hours, I do think you are overreacting.

If it was up to me I would just tell the guy I like him a lot and be done with it. But every bit of advice you read etc suggests this is not the way forward. Plus I want to be sure of his feelings. So call it game playing or whatever I just want to protect my heart a little because god knows its been through enough in the past.

It IS up to you. You can do whatever you want. So instead of being up front about your feelings, in order to "protect your heart" you doing the opposite, and worrying that he might not feel the same way as you, and worrying about calling him on the phone. Wouldn't it be less stressful just to have an honest chat with him and either moving forward with the relationship, or move on with your life?
posted by inertia at 7:17 AM on January 15, 2013


"I was really into that woman until she had the effrontery to PHONE me," said no worthwhile man, ever.

(And that goes for all permutations of gender.)
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:19 AM on January 15, 2013 [30 favorites]


I've been in a relationship for two-and-a-half years now and there have been days where I haven't been able to get back to my SO for 24+ hours. Other days I can text back regularly. It isn't because I'm trying to be a big jerk playing games, it's because I'm busy and tired and don't always feel up for non-stop texting all the time.

Maybe your guy is just not always communicative. Chill and let it go. At this point my SO would either send a joking "hellooooooo" text or just a funny anecdote about their day, I would remember I hadn't gotten back to them and send back a guilty and apologetic text.

But one day is nothing, really.
posted by schroedinger at 7:49 AM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I really disagree with the people who say that she should contact him and he will say NAY or YAY. Really disagree.

In the dating situations like this that I have been in (I am a woman who dates men), often the man cools off but still wants to have sex, but knows that telling me that things are cooling off will not lead to sex.. hence ignoring texts then popping back with some bullshit excuse. It is maddening trying to figure out what is going on and it messes with your judgement.

OP, I'd advise keeping an eye on this, actions speak louder than words when you are trying to get to know someone.
posted by cakebatter at 7:55 AM on January 15, 2013 [12 favorites]


To the op and everyone else; what's the problem with simply communicating (email, voice message, text) "haven't heard from you, are you ok?"
Because, maybe he is NOT ok, and asking would open a dialog instead of leaping to conclusions .
posted by Sophont at 8:24 AM on January 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


To the op and everyone else; what's the problem with simply communicating (email, voice message, text) "haven't heard from you, are you ok?" Because, maybe he is NOT ok, and asking would open a dialog instead of leaping to conclusions .

She already did this, when she sent the "Hey you, how was your day? Hope you are ok?" message Monday night. Ringing is the next step.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:40 AM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Artystar, here's a couple of points I'm pulling from your various comments:
"Or if something has happened/work is busy just a couple of lines just saying 'have x happening/has happened will be out of contact..'"

"His whatsapp status does say 'busy.'"

"This isn't a regular pattern, although he isn't as crazy a texter as my ex was..."
I have no idea what he's thinking, but perhaps in his mind he told you he's busy.

If that's correct and you're not comfortable with his method of communicating that, just say so, if everything is otherwise fine, when you talk to him again.

He's the only one who can definitively answer your questions and concerns. The rest of us are just spitballing.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:55 AM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


He broke up with you without telling you.

I'm sorry. It happens a lot and there is NOTHING wrong with you!! He's just not the guy you thought he was.

Cakebatter has it spot on. Keep the door open for him if you want to have sex with him a few more times, only to have him disappear for good soon after.

There is no good reason for him not to phone/text/write a quick line or two, and you know it. In your mind, dump him. When he pops back up again, steel yourself against feeling excited. There's NO good excuse for this. He could have dropped you a line with that app. He didn't. His feelings have changed and he doesn't know how to tell you.

The right guy will never pull shit like this. This isn't worth your investment into the future. Move on.

(I think some people missed that he could have responded to you in that app. Even if his phone was lost or whatever, he has other ways of reaching out and didn't. That's usually it in 99% of cases like this. It's not your fault! Really. Sometimes things just don't click. Also, he's being shitty for doing an unnecessary disappearing act, which indicates to me you should drop him, because fuck that behavior. Who needs that?? You don't. Seriously.)
posted by jbenben at 9:16 AM on January 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


The argument for calling him: you are allowed to ask for what you want, at any time, and it is silly to expect something without asking for it. Open communication is an absolute necessity in any healthy relationship.

The argument against calling him: When you're first dating someone, it's easy to overinterpret their behavior and look too hard for signs that they still like you, or have stopped liking you. If you constantly seek reassurance, it can come across as clingy and insecure, and can ultimately turn the person away.

Both of these are true, and useful to keep in mind as you figure out whether someone's relationship material.. For anything that you could describe as "well, something is slightly different and I want to make sure he still likes me," I would fall on the Against side. It's only been a day, there are plenty of other possible explanations for his absence that have nothing to do with whether he's into you, and you don't have any other evidence his feelings for you have changed. If you'd had a fight, or if he's incommunicado for longer than a couple days, my answer would turn to For.
posted by Metroid Baby at 9:22 AM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


give him a call and see how he's doing. maybe he just got distracted with something? 2 months is a pretty short time and the 2 of you are just casually dating, but i also think that if he was really wanting to speak with you he'd get in touch! make your needs known if you decide to call him. maybe you aren't that compatible because you expect more "being in touch often" than he does.

i think this is helpful (perhaps good to read for future situations).
posted by zdravo at 9:28 AM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't think it is productive or effective to contact someone who is actively ignoring you to tell or ask them anything..


I wish I knew of a graceful way of sticking it to prople like this and getting them to 'fess up about their fellings, but I don't!


He knows it is shitty to suddenly go silent. Whatever you say about that to him will only get you excuses.

He knows he should just ask for space/communicate/make a decision/break up with you. He knows. But he's doing the cowardly thing instead.

OP, there i nothing you can or should do to spackle over his mistreatment of you. A quick message on Monday morning would have smoothed it all over - "Work crazy today. Be in touch tomorrow." But even THAT was too much effort for him.

Meh. Throw this one back in the sea. Give yourself permission not to tolerate stupid shit like this again. Let that (seemingly small) act on your own behalf be your closure here. It's a big lesson to grok, let me tell you!

Two months isn't very long. If someone can't show you Common Decency after dating you for 8 weeks, why would you want to keep them around?
posted by jbenben at 10:00 AM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


He broke up with you without telling you.

I'm sorry. It happens a lot and there is NOTHING wrong with you!! He's just not the guy you thought he was.


He didn't reply to a single text message within 24 hours. That's not "breaking up" with someone, or treating someone like crap. Goodness, what if his phone battery died? What if he cracked the screen? What if he got busy?

Sheesh.
posted by ellF at 10:03 AM on January 15, 2013 [11 favorites]


He broke up with you without telling you.

jbenben, I agree with you 90% of the time, but that's a pretty certain way to state something that no one on this board has any real way of knowing.

In sum: No one can read this dude's mind. Less attempted reading of the tea leaves and more communication are a good idea.
posted by ablazingsaddle at 10:44 AM on January 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


If he has a problem simply because you contacted him when you wanted to contact him, then...well...

Yeah, exactly.

It seems like people are kind of shocked by each other's answers here, because half the thread has been busy for 36 hours and was too preoccupied/absentminded to text back, and the other half has literally been dumped by someone going completely silent after two months without any explanation. And that second half knows the signs of a guy flaking out and being a coward about it. But it's really hard to say which one is true when you've only known someone for two months.

If I were you, I would call him 48 hours after this whole no-contact thing and say, "What's up? I saw that you were on Whatsapp but I haven't heard back from you." You don't have to say "I THOUGHT YOU DIED" or "are you breaking up with me," just be clear that it was out of the ordinary not to hear from him for two days and you were wondering if something was going on. It's not fucking clingy ughh god I hate the world.

It's kind of weird how much of a mindfuck dating is; in any normal relationship you'd expect communication patterns to hold relatively steady, and if they changed, checking in would be just fine. If he is interested in you he will respond normally. If he just liked having sex with you and is dipping out then he'll continue to be immature and cowardly and you can dump him.

But all these emotions should come after the phone call. You're calling to see what's up and if he acts like a shitheel then you can be pissed at him, not embarrassed about your "clinging."

But seriously if he continues to do this kind of thing and it doesn't mesh with your idea of an intimate relationship you are allowed to break up with him and look for someone with clearer communication patterns. Some people are fine with no checking in, others aren't.
posted by stoneandstar at 11:05 AM on January 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


Salamander: On behalf of women everywhere, I am sick of this shit. It doesn't matter if he ignored you on Whatsapp, or whatever; you are perfectly entitled, and in no way stalkerish, to pick up the phone and call him, once, whenever you goddamn feel like it. You do not have to pussyfoot around him to be the 'cool girlfriend'. Fuck that.
On behalf of men who aren't bigoted dickheads everywhere, I am sick of the same shit. FUCK THE "RULES". Treat your SO like a friend. If a friend didn't respond to a text after one day, there's no need to make a huge deal out of it, nor to avoid calling because of which gonads you were born with.
That said, don't do it after one day. Sit tight. Do it tomorrow night, but feel no shame.
Nonsense. Call. It's NBD. Don't accuse, just call. I regularly miss texts and even voicemails, thanks to my phone service - yet my past girlfriends will still describe me as a boyfriend who tends to respond quickly to any form of communication. Shit happens. Just communicate.

That being said, it does sound like you're attaching a lot of importance to this. One instance of slightly irregular behavior is not a trend. Relax.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:17 AM on January 15, 2013


It's been one day. He didn't respond to a text for one day! Just call him. Playing games like this is stupid.
posted by Justinian at 11:33 AM on January 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


It seems like people are kind of shocked by each other's answers here, because half the thread has been busy for 36 hours and was too preoccupied/absentminded to text back, and the other half has literally been dumped by someone going completely silent after two months without any explanation.

Don't forget the random ~1% of us who freaked out on someone for going dark over a weekend, only to have our idiot phones suddenly receive 30 "hey, whyfor you no text me back" messages! Thanks AT&T...
posted by like_a_friend at 12:43 PM on January 15, 2013


This sounds way more painful to you than it should be. I know we are now living in the world of instant gratification, but for you to feel so much angst over a matter of twenty something hours does not sound healthy, nor does it sound like it is making you happy.

You are still getting to know him, is it possible that his texting you back all the time was trying to keep you happy, but now he is finding more balance and middle ground between both of your communication styles?

Could you try to live in the unknown right now, with the plan that you will call him tomorrow? None of us can say if he is breaking up with you or not. That you are so immediately reading that into this makes it sound like you don't feel secure in this relationship yet, and that is something to look into for yourself.

Add to this that you are not in a committed relationship with this man, so maybe it would be a good idea not to commit your heart and emotions as well just yet. Feel free to get to know other people and date them until you become exclusive with this person. You might find that he is actually a flake and handle difficult things by avoidance, but you might at the same time be meeting a man who meets your needs.

I have experienced the anxiety you are going through, but looking back, I see that it was my anxiety driving my emotions more than the actual facts. Maybe try to take the rest of the day to work on finding what is triggering you so intensely.
posted by Vaike at 12:46 PM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'll go against the grain in encouraging you not to call him or try to contact him again. I highly suspect if you do call him he won't answer, and it probably *will* make you look more desperate to him -- even though rationally it shouldn't. If anything he's much more likely to answer a text. I would just leave it be and write him off unless some tragedy befell him.
posted by timsneezed at 1:44 PM on January 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I did call and got not answer- oh well you win some and you lose some.

I guess these days the way to end something intimate is to act very interested, show no signs that your feelings are changing/ it's not what you want. Then disappear off the face of the earth with no explanation. Pretend like the other person doesn't exist and eventually they'll go away.

Got to love dating- wont be doing that again anytime soon. Far too many bad experiences in the last couple of years.

Won't lie I am little hurt I thought things were going relatively well :s
posted by artystar at 3:02 PM on January 15, 2013


Hmm just had a message from him along with an apology, apparently he could really snowed under yesterday and has just settled down with some free time today... Asked how I was and if everything was ok as I had called...?
posted by artystar at 3:41 PM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I hope your update answered your question. I really don't see a reason to freak out over one day. I also strongly agree with other people like salamander and their comments, but would put it more on a timeline of at least more than 1 day.

As you get going in a relationship you'll find that going a day without a text shouldn't necessarily mean that the world has now ended, at least wait more than a day to jump to that conclusion! (Just kidding there, asking directly and trying to find out is the best bet, at least you can get a vibe from the other person instead of making up your own scenario's in your head about what might be going on). If it's been a few days, then there's some cause to wonder wtf is up.

Glad you got some kind of resolution :) It's really hard "not knowing". Good luck!
posted by readygo at 5:56 PM on January 15, 2013


Grey area, I think. Are you OK with his message?

I'm stuck on why he couldn't write you a short text/email/app message/phone call to say this BEFORE it got weird enough for you to post a question here.

The door is now open to have a conversation about how often communication is going to happen. The door for that conversation was closed until he responded to your initial messages. Hence, my my statement (paraphrased) "It's not productive to start a dialogue about communication styles when the other person is actively ignoring you."

FWIW, communicating every day with someone you are dating and not living with is a lot for me, too, whether it is 2 months or 2 years.... But the pattern was set between you both. The "radio silence" was weird.

Maybe he just didn't realize how often you two have been connecting? Maybe he needed a little "down time" after a full week together (I would!)

Your boundary should be: Totally acceptable to focus on other things, totally UNACCEPTABLE to drop off the radar without a brief heads up.

Cell phones are often a form of Electronic Leash, and I detest this. That said, manners and common decency still count for a lot.

Doesn't have to be dramaz, but it's OK to state you need a quick check-in if you've messaged or texted.

An absence of reply is just weird in this day and age.

If he was trying to get a little space (down time) this was a shitty way to let you know that. If he had let you know, you would not have posted this question. You're not a clingy girlfriend-type. He was a bit thoughtless and rude. That's all that happened. Take this under consideration moving forward.
posted by jbenben at 7:11 PM on January 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


As the update indicates, it really takes more than one day to determine whether or not somebody is dumping you. If you truly feel his update represents a gray area and you still have questions then you don't trust him anyway and may as well break it off. If I were him and I found this question I would be pretty disturbed.

I suppose the definition of "clingy" is dependent on the person. But if I were snowed in somewhere and didn't respond to you in a 24-hour period I would feel on a pretty tight leash, especially if we were only two months into the relationship. I am guessing if you were a guy and you responded about your girlfriend not getting back to you this soon people would be calling you controlling and abusive.

Also, I am a girl.
posted by schroedinger at 7:14 PM on January 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I guess these days the way to end something intimate is to act very interested, show no signs that your feelings are changing/ it's not what you want. Then disappear off the face of the earth with no explanation. Pretend like the other person doesn't exist and eventually they'll go away.

Sadly, this is very common. It happened to me with a guy who had seemed really into me, and I almost went out of my mind. There were no prior warning signs that his interest was waning, he just suddenly went cold. It happens.

I fully agree with jbenben that an absence of reply in this situation is just weird, and a legitimate cause for concern (even considering the recent reply). If you've been in contact very regularly up til this point, to my mind a sudden drop-off is a fairly clear indication of a corresponding drop in interest. I don't think you're being overly sensitive or paranoid - I think your intuition is telling you that something is up, and you should listen to it.
posted by RubyScarlet at 9:33 PM on January 15, 2013


Yeah, I'm not really the kind of person who likes to check in every single day-- in most relationships it was a text/call every other day type situation, until me and my boyfriend of three years were long distance (at which point in the relationship trivial things about each other's lives interested and concerned us, rather than provoking awkward small talk).

But I do know what it's like to get a "vibe" even when things seem fine, and sometimes that vibe is a really intense initial chemistry waning off into a realization of incompatible goals, lifestyles, personalities, &c. It's common for people to come down to earth a little ways in and realize things aren't headed in a good direction. But it's definitely on the person who realizes that to communicate his or her needs, or to let the other person know it's over, not just ice them out.

So, while the concept of worrying over 36 hours of no contact sounds ridiculous, it is a surprisingly common warning sign. Of two things: either that he's cooling off, or that you value the relationship differently. BUT (I hope) it could also mean that he truly was just busy and somehow didn't think to drop a text back at you. I have in the past read texts that I proceeded to inadvertently ignore because I couldn't compose a decent response right away.

I don't think if you were a guy people would be calling you "abusive." It doesn't sound like you want to control him, it sounds like you're used to dating guys who don't really know what they want, which can make a person look crazy. But which is actually a pretty understandable response to mixed messages, which amount to being lied to, however non-maliciously.

Finally though, I remember early early in my current relationship my boyfriend almost fainted and was rushed to the hospital. I heard about it secondhand and got really worried-- sat on my hands for awhile but eventually texted him that I heard what had happened and wanted to know if things were okay or if there was anything I could do. (Didn't have contact info for his parents and didn't want to call his phone in the hospital, and didn't know the severity of the issue.) It turned out it was a really minor incident, but he obviously didn't text me right away because he was feeling off and was mildly embarrassed and overwhelmed. Nowadays, we would let each other know what was happening right away. Communication grows over time.
posted by stoneandstar at 1:45 AM on January 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


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