In these crazy times when a relationship can begin just by swiping right instead of left, and can end with the press of the send button, I’ve noticed an alarming trend: men don’t seem to text back the way they used to. It’s the new version of “why hasn’t he called?” Since it’s no longer 1954 and no one is sitting by the phone anymore, texting and messaging of some kind is the way to go, for better or for worse.
So I asked some men, why don’t men text back? Their responses were honest, funny, heartbreaking, reassuring, and also totally un-reassuring. Here’s what they said.
“I haven’t responded to a woman’s text because I don’t feel like talking. Sometimes I know that if I respond then there will be a million follow up texts and I don’t want to deal with that shit. If I know it’s a simple one and done text, then more than likely I will respond, but if I know it will lead to a novel of bullshit, then fuck it…ain’t worth my time. BUT!! Women do the same shit. They don’t respond all the time and it’s equally as frustrating.” – Bradley, 25.
“Men don’t text back when they are afraid to say what they really feel. Nobody wants to hurt anybody, so we take the coward’s way out, which, in turn, ends up hurting the other person. It’s better to ignore than to actually say, ‘Hey, I’m just not that into you.’” – Matt, 27.
“Three related reasons: One: People are naturally averse to giving bad news. Two: Replying means that you’re acknowledging the recipient, which forces you to think about her, which might make you feel bad. Three: It’s a reminder of the time you wasted on the date, interview, meeting, or whatever. It’s an awful tendency that even good people fall into, and it applies to just about everything. I imagine that women do it as much as men do, too.” – Jay, 39.
“We are too busy playing video games and we don’t look at our phone for hours, and by the time we do it’s too late, so we go to sleep and always say we will tomorrow, and totally completely forget.” – Aryan, 25.
“[Men don’t text back] because men freight their texts with far less emotional weight than women. Women parse everything for subtle shadings of meaning and intent. Men are mainly looking for food and/or sex.” – Jesse, 29.
“I definitely don’t agree with you. In fact, I would say that my experience has been the complete opposite. I find that a lot of women are the ones who fail to maintain communication. My guess is maybe LA dating and Austin dating are very different which is what makes you think that’s what is happening.” – Joah, 31.
“[I don’t text back] because she texts WAY too much, and it gets a little annoying to have to ‘report in’ all the time.” – Heath, 45.
“[Men don’t text back] because too many things can be misunderstood in texting. Think about it. Dudes don’t text all day like women do. We don’t have practice in conveying ourselves as well as you do. So we take careful precaution to respond. Texting should be simply for nice hellos and plan making. Keep the flirting face to face until you’ve been together for a while. Also, if you want to text all the time, you really distance yourself to nonverbal communication and show lack of involvement and commitment.” – Clarke, 25.