Thought Catalog

Why You Shouldn't Text That Jerk Who Hasn't Called You Back

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I know you’re frustrated.  I know you’re angry.  I know he or she (but for the purposes of this article, he) said he’d be in touch after you met/ went out/ made out, and now it’s been three + days and nothing. But here is why you should not text/ call/ e-mail with a “Hey, so, everything okay?” or, “Just saying hi :),” or even the completely valid, “Way to drop off the face of the earth, jerk!”

He doesn’t care.

People who want to talk to you find a way, even if it’s via lame means like a direct message tweet. I know it’s harsh to say, and hard to hear, but if he isn’t following up it’s because he doesn’t want to follow up. He said he’d call. He hasn’t called. Barring personal tragedy, he doesn’t want to call.

But before you go hail the “He’s just not that into you” mantra, remember something even more important: sometimes he’s just not that capable of being into anything.  Sure, maybe that’s a line created to make you feel better about yourself, but it’s also true that some guys aren’t texting anyone back. So it’s less, “He doesn’t care about you,” and more, “He doesn’t care about anything.”

If he does care, he should have been in touch.

Sometimes you run into the guy who didn’t ever call back and he says, “Crap, I really meant to call you but ___________.” Or, better yet, you’ll hear through the grapevine from a friend of that guy’s friend that he does like you, and does want to hang out again, he just isn’t big on texting/ calling.

Poppycock! This is 2012, the year of no lame excuses.  Unless this guy intends to right his wrongs by committing zero further communication crimes, forget him.

This doesn’t mean you become a lady in waiting any time digits are exchanged. In cases of, “Let’s exchange numbers… I’d love to see you again,” the rules are far less strict.  The zero tolerance policy applies to people who say, “I’ll call you this week,” and then fall off the face of the earth.

If he does care, and didn’t know he should have been in touch, you don’t want to be the one to teach him.

“Oh, I just figured I’d call you if I had something fun to do or was in your neighborhood…” See above re: the year 2012.  Also, there are not enough hours in the day for you to waste but 60 seconds teaching some supposed adult how to be an actual adult.

Trust me, you don’t want to be involved in a text back-and-forth that goes something like this:

Him: hey what’s up?

You: Oh, wow, hey, I didn’t think I’d hear from you

Him: what do you mean?

You: Well it’s been two weeks…

Him: Yeah?

You: I just thought I’d hear from you sooner, that’s all.

Him: Oh, sorry.

Where, exactly, do you go from there? Because if it’s, “In the future could you please respond to me in a more timely manner,” you’d be totally justified, but probably not someone this guy’s going to keep around.  Best to let him fall on his own sword versus stabbing him repeatedly with it to no avail.

If he says he does care but then proves equally flakey in subsequent communication, he doesn’t know how to care.

I’ll admit this circumstance is unfortunate because some otherwise perfect men simply can’t get it together in the communication department.  Unfortunately, this means they never will, and are therefore not as close to perfect as their visage might suggest.

Think of it this way: if he doesn’t have the you-know-what’s to even make a second point of contact, how is he going to handle all the legitimately complicated parts of being in a relationship? I know you’re thinking, “It’s just a text message,” or, “Everyone communicates at different speeds.”  But these first few texts/ calls/ e-mails of a budding relationship are wildly important. If you’re not going to be on your best, kindest behavior in the “courting phase,” what does that say about your plans for five or six months in?

He’s not worth your energy.

So it’s been a week since he left you at your doorstep with an, “I’ll call you tomorrow,” and all you want to do is give that jerk a piece of your mind. Feel free to let loose on his rude self if it makes you feel better, but know that all he’s doing with that text/ voicemail /e-mail is rolling his eyes, and calling you crazy. Save your texting thumbs for future flirting for some far more worthy individual.

Or, better yet, tell the next person you drop your digits on that you only respond to phone calls.  That’ll weed out the men from the boys. TC mark

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    • boherubi

      this topic…. SO OLD

      • NoSexCity

        … but still incredibly relevant.

        • boherubi

          SO annoying; SO ‘this is just how our society is’; SO “men are jerks” and women are still needy; So old. Give me some thing new, tell me something I dont know already. please. i am dying of some thing new. be it drama, or anything obtuse, but dont write another article on the same damn thing when all that hollywood crap has already rottened this into a lame picture. or many infact. 

        • NoSexCity

          You need to watch the “Everything Is A Remix” series on Vimeo and take a Xanax, babe.

    • Pinion

      TC, what is this waiting room women’s mag trash? C’mon guys.

      • NoSexCity

        There’s plenty of men’s mag style garbage on here, too. Get over it.

        • Pinion

          Yeah but I read this shit when I was backstroking in amniotic fluid. 

        • NoSexCity

          You’ve been waiting at least three days to use that line, huh?

    • Hannah M Kirby

      This is great!  Definitely appreciate your writing and truth telling.


    • Kevin Pritchard

      I wish cell phones were never invented. 

    • Anonymous

      So what you’re saying is…he’s just not that into you. revolutionary! boom. thanks for dropping that BRAND NEW knowledge bomb on us.

      • Anonymous

        Don’t listen to her; she’s pregnant.

        • Anonymous

          touché, salesman. you tell the truth.

          but that did come out sounding mean and it wasn’t supposed to. don’t listen to me. my uterus is totes stealing blood flow from my brain.

        • Kate2164

          how did you think that WASN’T going to come out mean?  seriously?  using exclamation points and ALL CAPS? 

        • Anonymous

          calm down, kitty cat. just makin’ jokes. we’re all friends here. jessie did a fine job dispensing with the wisdom, which i sincerely hope you all abide by.

      • Shawn

        If you read more into the article, you’d see that she moves on from there… e.g. some guys ARE into you, it’s just that they lack the tools to be in a successful relationship. She goes on further to say that if they lack these tools, you shouldn’t waste your time trying to teach them.

    • a girl

      or, the abridged version:
      if he doesn’t call/text within “a few days,” he doesn’t care. period, end of story. sry grlz.

    • lou

      I was under the impression that 2012 was the year of strife…

    • Shawn

      YES! Learned all of this the hard way. Had someone who was crazy into me, and it was quite obvious they were… but just didn’t know how to follow-up. 

      Long story short, lack of social skills probably suggests lack of healthy relationship skills. PASS.

    • Viktoriya Gaponski

      Then you only speak when spoken to.

      • Michael Koh


        • N. Warren

          hahaha Michael Koh you are awesome

    • Jeff

      The only guys getting offended are the ones that live by this lifestyle.

    • Cate de Leon


    • Szzx

      Story of my life. Thank you for making feel better.

    • Sandra

      “If you’re not going to be on your best, kindest behavior in the
      “courting phase,” what does that say about your plans for five or six
      months in?”

      YEESSSSS, that! My current boyfriend (whom I’ve been with for almost 3 years) texted and asked me to meet him the very next day after we met! Granted, that might seem like moving too fast for some people, but for me it was a good move and it let me know that he was interested and that he was excited enough to not wait to see more of me.

      This article = me gusta.

    • Ashton Kennedy

      I’m dealing with this right now. Thank you TC.

      • JessSaysHi

        same thanks for the reminder that its not me, its the sloth within.

    • Diego

      I don’t call girls. Ever. 
      In fairness, I also don’t call my friends.Really, the only person I ever call (in a non-job capacity) is my mother.This is bad right? Chew me out.

      • kerri

        I am a girl and I don’t call anyone. except my parents.

        So I don’t think It’s all that bad.

      • Monkeysdrinkingcoffee

        its only bad if you plan of finding, and keeping, a girlfriend. girls are yappers and need to know you care.. even if that means calling, put the phone on speaker, and wondering away every so often. … realistically.. who ever does the initial asking for the phone number, needs to make the first few calls or texts to make plans. 

    • guest

      Or, he follows you around on all your internet sites but acts like email and the phone was never invented.

      Great article.  I needed the reminder. 

    • ....Duh

      Why would a woman pursue a man? Then she would become one.

      • Janelle Albukhari

        what kind of outdated notion is that?

    • April

      Maybe he’s waiting for you to text, and thinking the same thing. 

      • Guest

        Yepp.. happened to me.  I was wondering if he wasn’t interested, but turns out, he thought I wasn’t interested because I didn’t text him.  It doesn’t always have to be the guy to initiate contact first.

    • Anonymous

      I like this post, but I think I love the comments even more.

    • thisdude

      I def do text girls back that I like, right away. But let’s not overlook the fact that girls should def text guys  too! Sometimes guys aren’t sure what to say, or we think we need something awesome to invite you to or whatever stupidness… so both sexes if you like each other get in touch damn it!

      • N. Warren

        Haha “both sexes if you like each other get in touch” – very simple and sane! :)

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