He stopped talking to me abruptly and with no warning, now what?
March 23, 2016 9:26 AM   Subscribe

I am utterly baffled and confused by the behavior of this person I've been seeing for the past 2,5 months, who has not contacted me in a week, and I am not sure how to proceed from here.

We met through a colleague and he seemed very into me. I wasn't into him immediately but I after agreeing to go out with him it definitely grew and as we proceeded slowly the intimacy grew as well. We agreed to be sexually exclusive (he brought up the conversation by asking me if i'm seeing other people and how would I feel about us being exclusive)and eventually we had sex; it was great and a few days before the vanishing act he was hinting at wanting us to be in a "officially" in a relationship, while we were planning a short getaway. On the night previous to our last convo we had a sleepover at his place, and after I left in the morning he was texting me all day to see how I'm doing etc. We kept texting until late at night as usual, and I sent the last text responding to his (he was telling me something work related). He didn't answer and i assumed he fell asleep.

The next day he didn't text me at all, i thought maybe he's busy at work since it was a weekday, but then next day came and still nothing, while I know he saw it and he was active on the app. It's been almost a week and there is complete radio silence!

I do have to note that I have not reached out to ask what is happening; I understand this might give me an answer, or it might not, but I was the last to write to him, and I don't see why he could not be reaching out. I find it incredibly rude and hurtful to not respond to me when he saw my text the next morning, and to have disappeared into thin air like this. I'm worried that if I do reach out, he might just not respond at all and then I'll feel even worse.

What makes it even more shocking is that I saw no warning at all that he might do this, we were getting along great, he had told me he really likes me and has no desire to see any one else. I saw none of what might have been red flags, he was always available when he had free time and there was no shady behavior. I'm disappointed and angry but at the same time I feel like he has offended me enough without me having to open myself up for more injury and double text him to see why he is not talking to me.

So what would you do in my situation? Cut my losses and move on, try to reach out and hope he answers while embracing myself for what would come out of that, or just wait it out and proceed from there?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (79 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
"Hey, [name], want to go [see movie you think he'd like | to restaurant you think he'd like | some other activity you think he'd like]?"

If he doesn't reply to that, you've got your answer.
posted by Etrigan at 9:30 AM on March 23, 2016 [24 favorites]

You aren't going to get an answer here. Nobody knows what's going on with this guy except him. If you want to know, you're going to have to ask him. "Hey, what's up? Why did you disappear on me?" Maybe he's got a sick family member or some other personal emergency that has suddenly upended his life. Maybe he broke both thumbs and can't text. Maybe he met someone else. Maybe he's married. You won't get answers without reaching out.
posted by something something at 9:34 AM on March 23, 2016 [7 favorites]

Just text again. Maybe he has some excuse, but if you are being ghosted, texting a second time isn't really going to make the rejection any more painful, and you'll know for sure what's going on.
posted by horizons at 9:35 AM on March 23, 2016 [5 favorites]

Seconding Etrigan. Ask him out to a specific place/event at a specific date/time and see what he says. If he accepts, great! If he doesn't accept but offers a concrete alternative, that's good! If he doesn't accept and brushes you off with a generic "we'll have to do something sometime", that's not good.
posted by Diskeater at 9:37 AM on March 23, 2016

I'm really sorry you're going through this. Been there, it's painful and the worst part is not having any idea what happened.

Maybe his text system broke down somehow? Try messaging him using another platform (email/Facebook Messenger). I would say something like: "Hey [name], I haven't heard from you in a few days. Hope everything is okay? Let me know. If you're no longer interested in me, please let me know as well." My two cents.

Good luck!
posted by dubious_dude at 9:37 AM on March 23, 2016 [2 favorites]

I think you should be explicit. "Hey, I haven't heard from you in a week. If I don't hear from you soon, I'm going to assume we are through." I suppose you could also ask the colleague through whom you met him about whether there has been some catastrophe (unlikely, but the only acceptable reason for his silence.)
posted by Alluring Mouthbreather at 9:37 AM on March 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

Hmmmm. I'd check to make sure they're okay. Maybe they lost their phone? I'd ask the colleague for information.

I mean, there's ghosting and there are slow fades but what you're describing seems like this guy suddenly cannot communicate.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 9:46 AM on March 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

Holy Toledo. NO!

Since he's been active on social media and you know he's not dead in ditch, mentally cut your losses and move on!! It's... I just... NO. OK? The answer is: NO.

This happens a lot. It's super weird. You never see it coming. It happens. Here's the thing... Once it happens, this person has broken your trust and shown themselves to be undependable at best, cowardly and selfish at worse. You can't fix it. There's no good excuse for it. You can't mitigate it. You can't go back in time and find out this person is not trustworthy. There's nothing for you to do! Mourn it, and move on.

Now... Let me assure you that this happens, especially after intimacy. I don't know why. It says much more about the other person than it says about you. YOU DID NOTHING WRONG. Even if you did do something wrong, you still deserved a conversation, so, the person that abruptly disappeared is in the wrong.

Let it hurt. Breathe through it. You'll be stronger the sooner you face how it feels and you find out you wake up tomorrow in one piece, anyway.

When he shows back up for a booty call or to rekindle, politely decline. If you accept, you will be establishing a pattern. Folks who do this WILL do it again, often at the most inopportune time. Bypass further heartache, say No Thank You, and wish him well.

Block. Delete. Move on.
posted by jbenben at 9:51 AM on March 23, 2016 [58 favorites]

What jbenben said. It doesn't matter why. It only matters that he did. You know he isn't dead. If it were you and the worst imaginable thing happened wouldn't you reach out to him? "Hey, random relative had horrific accident and I have to go to a place in the world where I will have no access to communicate. I'll miss you and as soon as I get back I will let you know!" Or, if he himself had a horrific accident.... you have seen his social media accounts are active... if someone else was accessing them, you'd think they would find/see the girlfriend-chats and say "Hey, Dude got hit by a truck and is at X hospital!", right?

Ergo, there is no acceptable reason. Don't waste the time trying to find a reason that doesn't exist.
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 9:56 AM on March 23, 2016 [10 favorites]

It's weird, but it's done. Unfriend him on Facebook and make your posts only visible to friends.

For whatever reason this guy is gone. You may never know, and it will SUUUCCCKKKK not knowing. But at the end of the day, he's a guy who is perfectly capable of falling off the face of the earth, and who needs that?

So assume it's over, block him from everything and move on.

You know that mini-break you were planning? Make it a road trip with your closest friends to blow it out of your system and get over it. Blast music, eat at Denny's, drink tequila.

Don't think too much about it. You're a person, he's a cockroach.

posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:00 AM on March 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

I don't see anywhere in the question where the OP says they've seen him active on social media. They said, while I know he saw it and he was active on the app but that's not knowing someone was active on social media. It means they could tell a text was read; that doesn't mean it was even read by this guy.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 10:09 AM on March 23, 2016 [9 favorites]

Wait. Did you all miss that OP also hasn't reached out to him at all in the past week? Is it not quite possible that he is freaking out just as much about the radio silence as she is?

It seems like serious self-sabotage to throw away what sounds like a perfectly good relationship out of some weird conviction that it's his turn to send the next text. I mean, what if he thought he responded and that it's thus her turn?

I would text: "Hey, sorry for the radio silence, want to hang out tonight?"

Yes, maybe he's ghosting you, but you lose nothing by being the reasonable person here rather than retaliatory ghosting over what might be nothing.
posted by 256 at 10:20 AM on March 23, 2016 [56 favorites]

I'm pretty baffled by most of the answers you've gotten that are absolutely 100% positive he is a jerk. So you were texting, and you sent the last text in that particular back-and-forth, and it's now been a week. What did your last text say? If it was something that can reasonably be considered an end to that particular texting conversation, then I don't really understand why he is deserving of the heaps of blame that people are shoveling upon him. You haven't contacted him all week, either. Why not just text him and see if he wants to get together? If he ignores you then that's a clear answer, but maybe he is wondering why you haven't texted him all week, too. It seems really weird to read so much into the fact you sent the last text at this juncture; it's not like your last text was "Hey, let's meet up for a drink!" or something similar.
posted by gatorae at 10:22 AM on March 23, 2016 [16 favorites]

Texting totally breaks down. Even if it is showing that he saw it, it's entirely possible he hasn't. That it never arrived. That he thinks YOU are the one who suddenly disappeared. It is 100% worth it to reach out and say you're wondering what happened. Give it a *shot* before you just cut your losses. Maybe he did ghost you, and maybe not. The only way to find out is to do the adult thing and reach out and just ask the question.
posted by stoneweaver at 10:27 AM on March 23, 2016 [12 favorites]

You know we all eat ourselves up over texts when a phonecall could solve all questions and dilemmas in an instant. Leave him a voicemail if he doesn't pick up. Don't blame, don't make assumptions, just ask how he's doing and would he like to meet up. Don't even offer a specific place and time yet. You don't want to work too hard on organizing something just yet.

And if he is ghosting you and doesn't return this call, don't take it personally. Whatever it is, it's not you. It's obviously not you because he was still into you even the day after you had sex - normally the critical day when things can break down.

It could be that an ex came back into his life or he met someone or his lifelong fear of abandonment suddenly got a hold of him and he can't break free. Any number of things unrelated to you. It's vital you remember that it's not you.
posted by Dragonness at 10:39 AM on March 23, 2016 [2 favorites]

He was telling you about something at work, you texted back, and then nothing. It could be that your text didn't go through and he felt like you were not interested in hearing about his work. You really should call him. The longer you wait, the weirder it will be.
posted by myselfasme at 10:41 AM on March 23, 2016 [6 favorites]

No need to attribute motives here. You haven't contacted him in a week either. Are you ghosting him?

If you like the guy, give it one more follow-up contact. Text if that's all you can muster, but a phone call would be your best option.
posted by 26.2 at 10:43 AM on March 23, 2016 [13 favorites]

My boyfriend's phone just magically stopped receiving texts a few days ago. I would get the ones he sent me, but he'd never get my responses. TMobile had to "reset the server" (ok....) and then all his texts came flooding in. Send him one more, mention that you haven't heard from him, and then let it go.
posted by jabes at 10:44 AM on March 23, 2016 [2 favorites]

I would have reached out the next day, maybe via a different medium. Now that it's been a week, with no effort to contact one another, this is sort of a 50/50 fault situation.
posted by destructive cactus at 10:47 AM on March 23, 2016 [4 favorites]

I'm a bit confused. He didn't text you, but neither did you text him. A week of silence does sound strange, but honestly it sounds strange on both of your parts. I hope you two can work through it.
posted by kanewai at 11:14 AM on March 23, 2016 [3 favorites]

Ghosting is fucking childish, which might explain the growing popularity.

To quote Sean Connery in The Hunt for Red October, "One ping only."
posted by trinity8-director at 11:22 AM on March 23, 2016 [5 favorites]

Is there really that much difference between social media or an app? Someone is active on Thing = Not Dead in a Ditch.

Apps don't just magically eat correspondence, do they? And gosh if you're sleeping together, one would hope more than just an app keeps two people in communication. I believe the OP that their last communication was received.

Personally, I would not want to date someone who did not reach out under these circumstances. His finger isn't broken. Let's say the app DID magically eat the OP's response? That's enough to put him off??

Nah. Either way he's not an adult. The OP can reach out, but it's just humiliating and for whatever reason the connection between these two has broken.

I have a hard time believing him not receiving a final response to an all day text convo over an app was enough to cause this guy to start "freaking out." He went silent. Who knows why.

Ghosting is a little more common than "the app ate my text message." It's easier here to go with what's obvious.
posted by jbenben at 11:25 AM on March 23, 2016 [4 favorites]

I will note that just this morning, I texted a (platonic) friend of mine and he didn't get the text even though it was visible on my screen. We were having a casual conversation, he answered the question in a normal way when I re-sent it, and there's no reason he would say he didn't get it if he really did. This has happened to me a few times, including with my mother, especially when the texts are cross-platform.

I'm not saying that's what definitely happened, but agree that he might be sitting there freaking out too, saying, "Why hasn't she spoken to me all week???" It would be pretty weird for him to ghost 12 hours after he had an affable conversation with you; nothing magical happened in the 12 hours to make him not like you anymore. Give him a call; if he doesn't answer that, then you have your answer, but I think under the circumstances you've presented here, the "Move on and block immediately" advice is pretty trigger-happy.
posted by holborne at 11:26 AM on March 23, 2016 [12 favorites]

And I don't agree that there's anything "humiliating" about calling to find out what's up. It would be humiliating to call repeatedly and beg him to take you back, but there's nothing humiliating about making one phone call to get clarification. That's assuming that you're not operating under some bizarre set of strictures like "The Rules" or what have you. If you're operating under normal adult rules, call him.
posted by holborne at 11:29 AM on March 23, 2016 [23 favorites]

Another possibility is that he did reply and you didn't get the message somehow and he's the one wondering why you've been silent all week.
posted by Dragonness at 11:30 AM on March 23, 2016 [12 favorites]

Ghosting, sadly, has become more and more common, even ex-bf of many years decided to disappear one day. Sorry you're going through this, it seems he's either afraid of a relationship or has major FOMO, or whatever it is, I don't think he will "turn around". :/
posted by dragonbaby07 at 11:31 AM on March 23, 2016

Just call him and be like "Hey, how's it going with you? What's up?" and see what he says.

I do think you have a right to say "hey, you're an asshole, you know that?" if it turns out that he ghosted on you after basically disarming you emotionally, but I would just say that and then block/move on. The hard part is that having someone do this to you fucks up your confidence and sense of security, and I totally understand why the lack of red flags makes you feel very unsettled. You can, however, now tell new romantic prospects that someone did that to you once and you thought it was one of the shittiest things ever, which could help to put potential jerks on notice to not try shit.
posted by clockzero at 11:37 AM on March 23, 2016 [3 favorites]

Personally, I would not want to date someone who did not reach out under these circumstances. His finger isn't broken. Let's say the app DID magically eat the OP's response? That's enough to put him off??

But you are advocating that she do the exact same thing?
posted by 256 at 11:54 AM on March 23, 2016 [14 favorites]

Apps don't just magically eat correspondence, do they?

have you BEEN on Skype this past week?
posted by destructive cactus at 12:01 PM on March 23, 2016 [7 favorites]

In most of these "ghosting" questions I recommend cutting losses, but this is weird enough that I think asking him out to an event ONCE is worth it. Do NOT ask whiny things like "Are we through?" or "Why aren't you responding?" Just be cool, and say, "Hey so and so, I am planning on going to x event on y day at z time. Are you in?"

If no response, move on, and move on knowing you seemed like a cool customer.
posted by quincunx at 12:08 PM on March 23, 2016 [9 favorites]

Okay, I'm feeling really old-fashioned right about now, but: call him. stoneweaver has it—texting breaks down. Call him.
posted by The Minotaur at 12:17 PM on March 23, 2016 [6 favorites]

Nthing that you should send him exactly one more message asking to do something specific and then considering him a ghost if he does not respond to it. Messages can absolutely look read and not actually be read and/or disappear into the ether.

Please do not think that sending the last message in a conversation means that you cannot send the first message in a new conversation with the same person. This is especially true when there is more than one day between messages. Most people don't keep score in such a detailed manner. If it was you ending and starting every conversation, you'd have a pattern, but this is just two in a row. Not yet a pattern.
posted by soelo at 12:39 PM on March 23, 2016 [2 favorites]

[This is a followup from the asker.]
I am torn between reaching out and letting it go; my hesitation to reach out is not necessarily about pride but it would technically be a double text, because I responded last and it feels to me like he is lacking interest. There was no "good night" or "good morning" on his end to acknowledge me and it's been silence ever since. My last text was not a question, but it was not concluding the conversation either, we were talking about his job and there was plenty he could say. Also, he is not having any work trouble either to warrant a possible disappearance.

I'm also utterly confused about what to do if he does reach out. Should I address this, ask him why, tell him it annoyed me? Or should I just answer like nothing happened? I just want to give up dating, I feel like a naive Pollyanna who ends up messing it up even when I think I'm doing everything right and this time will be different. I cannot for the life of me tell what his intentions are now, I thought he was a trustworthy, reliable person who cared about me, but this is throwing me off and I feel like I can't make the right judgement.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:44 PM on March 23, 2016

The problem is that it's been a week now. Even if it were some innocent thing/glitch last week, there might be a lot tied up in this possible non-event now. You've had a lot of thoughts and emotions based upon the utter absence of information/communication, so even if it was an honest mistake somewhere, the damage might already be done.

If it had been a week and you'd have tried contacting him multiple ways after the possible non-event, then everybody here would be right in saying, "wow, what a clod" and reassuring you and telling you to move on.

Consider the situation where you do reach out and tell him you're upset because he didn't respond to you, and he says that he didn't get that text and thought you were ignoring him/bored that he was talking about work/whatever. Now, maybe you're both mad at each other for going 'no communication' for an entire week. It's a molehill that resembles a mountain to you both, all because neither of you just said, "hey, what's up?"
posted by destructive cactus at 1:01 PM on March 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

You say "double text" like it's the end of the world. There's really no alternating text rule.

A week without communication is shitty behaviour in a relationship, but this is something that you are currently both guilty of. The fact that you were the last one to send a text is almost irrelevant.

Make it better by reaching out. Apologize for the radio silence and hope he does the same. You don't need to address it beyond that. Instead, just don't let it happen again by freeing yourself to double text.
posted by 256 at 1:01 PM on March 23, 2016 [40 favorites]

Oh my god, after nearly three months you're still following the "no double texts" thing? It's not even a real thing! It's a stupid "rule" that some magazine writer on a deadline made up! There's no actual rule saying you can't send someone two texts in a row! I swear to Christ, I hate the modern world sometimes.

But you know, if you're slavishly adhering to the "no double texts" thing, then don't double text. Call instead. Problem solved.
posted by holborne at 1:04 PM on March 23, 2016 [48 favorites]

I believe the OP that their last communication was received.

I also believe the OP that their last communication was received! I also frequently read a text when I'm not in a position to respond right away, and sometimes I get distracted or even forget, and then am reminded by the person texting me again because they're not weirdly overthinking everything I do.

If I read someone's text, didn't respond immediately, and then didn't hear from them for a week, I'd be thinking "wow, that's weird that they ghosted. Is it because I didn't write back right away? Well, if they're so uninterested in talking to me that they didn't reach out even once more, I guess it wasn't to be."
posted by babelfish at 1:09 PM on March 23, 2016 [12 favorites]

Whatever you decide, I just want to point out that there is a lot of pressure on women to be the "cool girlfriend". You're not supposed to show that you have needs and that you are hurt and that you have confused feelings. And you must never ever, no not at all, burden a man with having to talk about those feelings. Because that makes you "needy" and "high maintenance". The horror!

So I guess I'm an internet stranger giving you permission to not be "cool" about this, and to express clearly how you feel and what you want. Don't twist yourself into a pretzel now. Whatever is going on is already going on. If he's ghosting you, nothing you can say will make it worse, or better. Be good to yourself.
posted by Omnomnom at 1:12 PM on March 23, 2016 [20 favorites]

It can be literally anything that caused this, so there's no need at all to assume that he is behaving hurtful on purpose, even if it looks like it from a distance. One kindly phrased message will provide more clarity. Why not just send it?
posted by Namlit at 1:18 PM on March 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

The real question here is, how close to someone do you have to be before you can stop alternating messages. I skip responding to texts all the time. I blow off my close friends with no warning. I often don't listen to voicemails from my husband. I'm not at all worried that he didn't text you back the next day.

I'm a bit worried that he found no inspiration to contact you in the last week. I'm also a bit worried that you found no inspiration to contact him. I definitely advocate getting in touch. "Hey, busy week? Haven't heard from you in a while." The thing is, you're not a doormat. Getting in touch doesn't imply that you desparately need him and are going to forgive everything and start right back up as if the ghosting never happened. If he comes back with a vague non-explanation and doesn't fix anything, then it's time to end things.
posted by aimedwander at 1:19 PM on March 23, 2016 [12 favorites]

OMG, these answers! Sometimes a text simply doesn't go through. He probably thinks you're the one who stopped texting. Reach out to him.

Be a grownup. Say "Hey, what's up? I haven't heard from you in days, is everything ok?" It's that simple.
posted by MexicanYenta at 1:37 PM on March 23, 2016 [26 favorites]

Apps don't just magically eat correspondence, do they?

Oh god do they ever...

Anyway, just ask him what's up. That's being an adult. Adults use words. Call him. Don't text.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 1:40 PM on March 23, 2016 [4 favorites]

The week you've already spent agonizing over this is a sunk cost, which is unfortunate. On the other hand, you have absolutely nothing to lose by texting him again. If I were you I'd apologize for your silence and lack of communication, if only to make yourself feel better for acknowledging your part in this communication breakdown and taking the high road here.

I find in situations like this it helps to remember that each person is 100% responsible for their own behavior in every relationship, no matter how small or fleeting the encounter. In taking responsibility, you are doing yourself a big kindness by helping quell your wondering and drawing a line under the agonizing inaction — a line from which you can measurably start walking away from as you put this behind you. Good luck and peace.
posted by iamkimiam at 1:47 PM on March 23, 2016 [4 favorites]

I recently was in a similar situation (with a friend, rather than a date) where I was baffled by a lack of response for several days. I called him and discovered that there was a technological reason behind it. It's not necessarily ghosting.
posted by ocherdraco at 2:00 PM on March 23, 2016 [4 favorites]

you have "ghosted" him as much as he has you. reach out (preferably by phone call or some other non-internet/text based scenario), get an actual answer, and move forward.

Apps don't just magically eat correspondence, do they?
yes. all the time. constantly.
posted by nadawi at 2:14 PM on March 23, 2016 [9 favorites]

There's also the fact that not every message needs a comment or reply. Sometimes the topic is just over, and a new one doesn't immediately spring to mind. There are plenty of people who don't use text as an endless conversation.

Text isn't as different than other communications styles as people sometimes assume. You probably don't have the same email reply string going for the duration of your friendships. New communications start and stop.

Imposing a rule that you can only communicate when someone else responds is self-defeating.
posted by 26.2 at 2:34 PM on March 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

If and when you actually get into a serious, long term relationship, the communication challenges that you're going to face are going to be 1389021380928139892321 harder than this. and i don't mean communication as in 'language-ing', i mean communication as in negotiating with the other person, and with yourself simultaneously.

this is like communication 101. just do it.
posted by kinoeye at 2:37 PM on March 23, 2016

posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 2:41 PM on March 23, 2016 [5 favorites]

You literally have nothing to lose in contacting him in a way that is not prone to tech error (i.e., calling him and leaving a message if he doesn't pick up.)

You DO have two separate things you might gain by contacting him:

1. If he's a dick, that will become glaringly apparent and you will never again wonder whether you were or were not being ghosted.
2. If he's not a dick and a tech error was to account for this (actually, make that a tech error and both of you being weird about reaching out after a prolonged silence due to too much concern for how it might "make you appear" ) you can reconnect and work together on establishing a deeper layer of trust.

Contact him. You're not in middle school, and nobody's going to snicker at you if it turns out that you liked him more than he liked you. You're already making yourself miserable over this, so worst case scenario, your misery will be somewhat lessened because at least you won't be wondering anymore.
posted by artemisia at 2:45 PM on March 23, 2016 [2 favorites]

Everyone is saying "don't text" but you have my permission to text if you think it's a better idea, if someone I was dating casually made me talk to them on the phone I would dislike it ENORMOUSLY.
posted by babelfish at 2:48 PM on March 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

I hate talking on the phone as much as anybody, but if he's having a problem with texts and she sends another text, that's not necessarily conclusive the way a phone call is. It can be a quick call.
posted by tiger tiger at 2:51 PM on March 23, 2016 [2 favorites]

Yur follow-up sounds like you're asking for the correct play from The Rules. You are also balancing an entire relationship on the head of a very tiny "well I texted last so now it is his turn" pin, which is a stupid rule.

Instead of worrying about what you're supposed to do (and there is no answer to that question), do what works best for you. You want to know what's going on? Call him and say "Hey what's going on? Haven't heard from you in a week!" And don't do it with attitude or other "you should be able to read how I'm feeling from my tone of voice" bullshit. Ask him what's going on and use your actual words to convey how you actually feel.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:55 PM on March 23, 2016 [5 favorites]

This is not hard. You have BOTH given each other the silent treatment FOR A WEEK. If you are interested in dating him, TEXT HIM!
posted by Betelgeuse at 3:27 PM on March 23, 2016

The idea that there are men out there that can share bodily fluids with you but can't handle an actual phone conversation blows my mind. Call the guy up and talk to him, like a grown up, (not a confrontational way, just to find out if he's alive, or whatever). If he can sleep with you but can't string a few words together, he's not mature enough to be having sex in the first place and that's really good to know.
posted by Jubey at 3:51 PM on March 23, 2016 [9 favorites]

I have a friend of mine who will not follow-up again if he was the last person to initiate contact. So, communication is kind of a commodity to be exchanged back and forth, and imply obligation. For me, natural life rhythms can cause the "obligation to respond" criteria to reset, which sometimes causes hurt feelings for the first kind of person. Perhaps you are both the first kind of person, and perhaps he didn't get your last text. If that is the case, do you both just never talk to each other ever again?

It's possible he's totally flaking out (and that's my gut suspicion), but you can probably discern what's going on by following up with him. It's not the socially weaker or desperate position. Right now, all you know is neither of you have reached out for a week.
posted by SpacemanStix at 4:12 PM on March 23, 2016

Based on your follow up, this seems to be more about your pride than about this guy. Because if you really liked him then you wouldn't be so bothered by the idea of 'double texting' that you'd let the relationship die over it instead of taking ten seconds to attempt to salvage it.

That's fine, but if there is a guy you really like in the future I would recommend doing as all the folks here say and recontacting him yourself. I've known plenty of guys who thought nothing of going a week without sending a message or other communication, but it would be important to communicate in your follow up that if you're going to be in an exclusive relationship with someone, you expect to be in touch with them on a daily basis or to have an advance notice if at all possible about any potential radio silence. I personally couldn't handle being in a relationship where a few days would pass by with no communication on the other person's end, but I'm a fairly high intensity person to be in a relationship with and I've always made that clear to the people I've been with.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 4:43 PM on March 23, 2016 [2 favorites]

No one here can tell you. The radio silence is indeed incongruent with your interaction leading up to it happening, so it would be very difficult for anyone to sit here and say, "Oh, he's just not that into you." The fact that you haven't made any follow-up attempt makes me think this could be a misunderstanding. Maybe he never got your last message? Call him. "Hey, I haven't talked to you in a while and thought you might like to get together."

edit: Ooops, just saw this. I am torn between reaching out and letting it go; my hesitation to reach out is not necessarily about pride but it would technically be a double text, because I responded last and it feels to me like he is lacking interest.

So rather than engage in a (gasp!) double text, you would rather post questions on AskMetaFilter and ask strangers to decode what this guy is doing? Good lord. Just reach out to him. If he ignores you again, move on. If he responds, you can say, "So where have you been the last week? I never heard back from you." Just get your answers so you can move on.
posted by AppleTurnover at 5:22 PM on March 23, 2016 [3 favorites]

Text him once. See if he responds. If he does not, he's probably ghosted. Unfortunately, guys can ghost at any time and that happens frequently.

As for me: if you are exclusively dating, I'm surprised that you'd go a week with no communication at that point. So yeah, sounds fishy.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:17 PM on March 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

I vote to ignore him. His behavior is making us all lose interest in him as a potential boyfriend for you.

Onto the next one.
posted by discopolo at 6:33 PM on March 23, 2016 [3 favorites]

When I first read your question, I thought, you probably should text him just once more to see what's up. Upon reading your follow up, I definitely think you should still give him a text.

I don't know your texting habits but if you're worried about being a double texter, I'm assuming you follow all the other arbitrary rules that don't consider how weird texting is. For example, consider other things like does he text you first more often? Maybe he feels like he's holding the conversation up and he's tired of doing that? Maybe he felt like you didn't want to talk anymore based on your last response? Texting is hard, and you should give people the benefit of the doubt when it comes to texting.

Also, re: your follow-up, if you like someone, you should never be afraid of showing interest. If you like someone and you want to know for sure if they like you the same, SHOW interest! Be a double texter or maybe intiate once in a while out of the blue. Whether it is reciprocated or not will tell you if you should continue the relationship.
posted by cyml at 7:04 PM on March 23, 2016

If this relationship is meant to be, i.e. if he's stoked on you then nothing you do will change that. Be who you are and if he's not comfortable with you owning your feelings, then he's not the person for you. That's what I've learned in my forties and I hope that it helps any one else.
posted by bendy at 7:16 PM on March 23, 2016

You're obviously being ghosted, though nobody here is going to be able to tell you why.

After a week (!) there's no way this falls into the category of "just been busy". And you know he's still actively using the app, so he hadn't had an accident.

If he's the sort of person who would ghost after this long, he's also the sort of person who won't provide any meaningful answers about what's happened to make him change his feelings for you. You're unlikely to get closure by contacting him.

I had something similar to this happen to me. I'd been seeing the guy for about three months, and he seemed to be very into me (more into me than I was him). Suddenly he stopped initiating contact. He would respond to my contacts, but never initiate. This was a big change from how he'd been before, since he was a big Facebook user and contacted me on there just about every day. I finally called it for him since he was too lame to. He never did give me a non-bullshit reason for what was going on. He referred to things like it being winter and wanting to hibernate, and not wanting to go out and spend money because he needed to make car repairs. Meanwhile, he was still very active on Facebook...just not with me.

My guy was a turd for wasting my time and lying by omission like that, and your guys a turd too. You're better off knowing that now than further down the road.
posted by mysterious_stranger at 9:03 PM on March 23, 2016 [4 favorites]

It's quite possible this guy who seemed to be into you turned out to be the kind of jerk who just ghosted. It's a common enough scenario to be plausible.

But it's also possible that he didn't just receive your last text, but that he replied to it, and his message to YOU got lost instead of your message to him getting lost.

So if the latter scenario is true, why didn't he text again after he failed to get a reply from you? He might have his own insecurities and rules (like not texting twice in a row). Maybe, just to make things worse for him, whatever his reply was may have contained something intimate or a joke or something that he looked at afterwards and thought may have offended you. When he didn't get your usual quick reply and the days passed, he may have thought that he really screwed things up.

So instead of letting all this uncertainly have all this power over you, call him ONCE. Talk to him or leave a brief message. If he never replies, or if he gets back to you with some bullshit, congratulations! You have confirmed that he's a jerk. Get mad, get sad, punch things, eat things, vent to your friends, then go on with your life knowing that you took the initiative.

But if it does turn out that there was a genuine misunderstanding or tech issue, and if you still genuinely like him (you really sound as if you were not enthused at the beginning of things), start up again and see where things go.
posted by rosebuddy at 10:43 PM on March 23, 2016 [2 favorites]

The people who are saying "maybe the text didn't go through!" Are clearly not single women in the 20s and 30s. The vanishing act is a very common way of ending a short term relationship. And yes, it's shitty and it sucks. When it's happened to me I've sent a message like "hey, haven't heard from you in a while. Everything OK?". I already know the answer, but I do get some satisfaction out of making the guy actually break up with me- it feels better to have him do at least some of the emotional labor of ending a relationship. So if hearing him tell you it's over will make it easier for you, then go for it.
As an aside, in general I try to avoid frequent texting in a relationship, especially at the start. It can lead to a false sense of intimacy. Not because of "rules" or anything, just that I'd rather get to know someone in person plus I don't like texting while at work.
So in closing, it's over, it sucks, and deal with it how you think is best for you. Don't get too dismayed, there are a lot of jerks out there but there are also plenty of guys who are genuine and caring.
posted by emd3737 at 11:42 PM on March 23, 2016 [9 favorites]

In these situations, I go with Occam's razor (which says the simplest explanation is often the correct one.) In short, he's probably ghosted on you. I would still phone him though and make him squirm and actually end it. The man slept with for goodness sake. You deserve at least that much. SQUIRM!
posted by Jubey at 1:12 AM on March 24, 2016 [3 favorites]

Omg. You have been ghosting him just as much as he is you.

Text him. If he doesn't reply, call him. Texts stop working some times and he may not even know. He might have been sending you texts that haven't gone through and he thought they did and thinks you're ghosting him.

Be an adult. Text. No answer, call. If he doesn't call back after you leave a voicemail, then let it go.

Honestly, if I'd been exclusively dating someone and I didn't hear from them for a day and we normally texted daily, I would've called that night.

If I didn't hear from him, I would go to his house after work when I know he's home just to stop by and see what's up. That's not desperate or weird. It's normal. If he refuses to see you or whatever, then let it go.

Oh and if you call and it goes straight to voicemail, something is up with his phone, so you should just go see him.

Please let us know what happens tomorrow! I hope it was all a misunderstanding!
posted by Georgia Is All Out Of Smokes at 2:20 AM on March 24, 2016 [3 favorites]

it feels to me like he is lacking interest.

Based on your silence, he could be saying the same thing at this moment in his own thread on X media.

You're projecting. You're afraid to phone and you're justifying it by saying "he is lacking interest," baselessly. You and he are doing exactly the same thing -- not texting.

Phone him.
posted by JimN2TAW at 6:04 AM on March 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

This whole 'double texting' thing? No one outside of 6th grade should be using that 'rule'. Really. It gave you a week of drama that is totally unnecessary. He either bailed or he didn't, but you aren't going to know until you check. Go for it!
posted by Vaike at 7:55 AM on March 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

The people who are saying "maybe the text didn't go through!" Are clearly not single women in the 20s and 30s. The vanishing act is a very common way of ending a short term relationship.

Yeah, we know about ghosting. People of all ages do that. (Please stop with the ageism and stop assuming that anyone over thirty is completely out of touch. Anyone who reads metafilter knows about ghosting. Anyone who has ever used a dating site knows about ghosting.) We also know that technology isn't perfect. In fact, this past Monday I sent my best friend a text asking about something I knew was important to her, and she never replied. When I asked her in person that night, she said "Really? I never got that one!"

The mature thing to do is to give him the benefit of the doubt.
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:41 AM on March 24, 2016 [13 favorites]

While it could be ghosting it could be other things. It could be he's thinking "This person only sends texts in response to my texts. If they were actually interested in me they wouldn't wait until i respond to say something so I guess I'll make a rule that if they don't start a conversation without my prompting they're not actually into me."

That makes about as much sense as your 'no double texting' rule, imo. Which is to say I get the impulse, but it's still a bad rule to be absolutist about.
posted by Green With You at 11:00 AM on March 24, 2016 [3 favorites]

Jeez, what MexicanYenta said. I've had people ghost me, and recently. It's not like I'm too dumb to understand what might be going on here. But this fact pattern doesn't suggest ghosting; the guy was texting the OP affectionately less than 24 hours before the communication stopped, and at his own instigation. That suggests miscommunication, not the guy merely being a jerk or a cockroach or a turd or what have you.

And seriously, it's really pretty sad if this relationship ends for no absolutely reason over some fake "no double texting" standard straight out of The Rules (or worse yet, some fake standard that a woman should never be the first to initiate communication, which I suspect is also part of what's going on here). That's not how adults relate to one another, or not how they should.
posted by holborne at 11:54 AM on March 24, 2016 [3 favorites]

The one thing worse than being ghosted is not knowing whether you are being ghosted or not.
posted by intensitymultiply at 9:19 PM on March 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

My mother texted my phone six times over two weeks before finally just calling me and asking where the hell I had been.

I didn't get any of her texts.

However, when I group texted both of my parents together, she got them.

Then a few weeks ago, we tried again, and suddenly, after 8 months of no texts going through, it magically works again.

The interwebz could have eaten it. Text him.
posted by guster4lovers at 6:04 PM on March 25, 2016

Considering how much of a split you've gotten here, please come back with an update!
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 3:03 AM on March 26, 2016 [3 favorites]

From the OP:
First of all, I would like to thank all of you for your help and support. After reading your answers and much thinking, it kind of clicked to me that I was ghosting him just as much as I was worried he was ghosting me while I was expecting him to be more confident and secure just because he is a man. So I decided to reach out to him and I texted asking how has his week been and apologizing for not having reached out sooner.

He answered almost immediately saying he understands, he was busy as well and that he wants to see me, so I agreed to meet up. We discussed the mutual silence, it was awkward and from my understanding he was just as confused as I was and we shared the same insecurity. At the end of our date night he asked me again if I would like to officially be in a committed relationship with him and I said yes.

So these past few days have been a roller-coaster of feelings for me. One one hand I am very excited and looking forward to entering this with him but also a little panicky about my ineptitude when it comes to communication and relationships. My insecurity and tendency to run from pain almost caused me to throw all this away before it began, and I'm worried about it returning when another issue will inevitably arise.

I'm very grateful to all of you for the support and advise you gave me, it helped me tremendously to untangle my thoughts and separate my visceral reaction from reality.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 11:46 AM on March 27, 2016 [19 favorites]

I would say that your ability to discuss this the way you did trumps all the insecurity and hang ups you may have. Everyone has potentially damaging habits and thought patterns. It's whether you can talk about and resolve them that makes the difference between a happy and unhappy relationship.
Go both of you! That was first class communication!

(Also, consider therapy for your insecurity. It will make your life better, faster.)
posted by Omnomnom at 11:57 AM on March 27, 2016 [2 favorites]

I came to ask you to call him (rather that text) but I see the mystery's already been solved.

Well, you can always bookmark this page for future reference.
posted by Kwadeng at 2:23 PM on March 27, 2016

I'm happy this had a happy ending!
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:05 PM on March 27, 2016

On one hand I am very excited and looking forward to entering this with him but also a little panicky about my ineptitude when it comes to communication and relationships.

Don't panic! You communicated after a week; many people take much longer. And now, next time you're working yourself into a lather worrying about what he thinks of you or your relationship, you have something concrete to look back on and think "maybe I should just ask, that seems to work better." In so many ways, you're ahead of the game!
posted by babelfish at 9:37 PM on March 27, 2016 [2 favorites]

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