What to Do When Someone You’re Dating Doesn’t Text Back

woman with phone

How long are you going to wait for that text? | roshinio/iStock / Getty Images Plus

You meet someone new and go on a great date. Afterward, you decide to send a text message to say how much fun you had. Unfortunately, you don’t hear back. All kinds of thought are running through your head: Does this person like me? Did my text go through? You ask your friends for relationship advice, but you’re still confused. What should you do when you don’t get a text back?

The Cheat Sheet reached out to April Masini, a relationship expert and founder of relationship advice forum Ask April, for answers. Here’s what she had to say.

The Cheat Sheet: How should you respond when someone you recently started dating doesn’t reply to your text?

April Masini: If you had one date and your partner doesn’t respond to your text, and doesn’t initiate any on his or her own, then they’re just not into you. Accept the rejection and be grateful that you have a sign. You don’t have to waste your energy on someone who’s not in it with you. Move on.

However, if you’ve had a couple of dates already, and if you’ve slept with them, and they don’t respond to your text, assume they didn’t see it. Some people get lots of texts and it’s easy for one to be missed or to accidentally be marked as “read.” So, wait a day or two and try them again. If there’s still nothing, check yourself. They may be doing their best to move on and not have the tools for proper closure—or if you still think it’s an oversight or that they’re sick or out of town, get offline and pick up the phone to give them a call. If you still get nothing, move on. It wasn’t a match.

CS: What are some things you should never do while waiting for a text?

AM: Don’t watch water boil, and don’t keep checking your phone for a response. If you obsess about a text, you’re going transfer that anxious energy to other parts of your life. So, keep busy and keep that text that hasn’t come in yet, in perspective. Try not to bank too much on a response. Keep perspective and try to focus on the flow of life—not on controlling it.

Don’t call all your friends and ask what you should do. I get it. You’re anxious. You want that person to respond. But you’re going to become a drag to your friends. So, use that energy to do something productive. Go to the gym, take a walk, go shopping, cook something—put your energy into another activity. Don’t dwell and dial. It’s going to turn you into ‘the boy who cried wolf’ for when you really do need advice!

CS: How can you keep yourself from becoming obsessed over the response time and watching your phone like a hawk?

AM: This is a matter of discipline. You have to find your balance. If you can discipline yourself not to check your phone obsessively, and have business as usual, great. But if you can’t, distract yourself with other means. A movie, a lunch date, making travel plans—whatever keeps your mind occupied so that you achieve your goal—of not being obsessed.

CS: At what point should you move on and forget about this person?

AM: If you’re dating someone who normally doesn’t respond, then this is just a quirk. But if not, this person is not responding to send you a message that they’re not interested, and not available for you. The second time they don’t respond to your texts is when you should move on.

I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt at first, because life happens. Who hasn’t missed a text that got lost in the shuffle of the day? I have. But if someone tries you a second time, and you still don’t respond, this isn’t someone who wants to date you or values your time. If he or she is an emergency room surgery, or has a parent in need of constant help, or is on a heli-skiing trip where there is no reception, that’s different. But after two episodes of non-response, take the hint and use your important energy elsewhere.

April Masini is a health and fitness advocate, TV and film producer, author of four books, and has the No.1 relationship advice forum. Masini is also a blue-chip corporate spokesperson and preferred go-to source for the world’s most prominent news outlets.

Read more: Signs Your Partner is Cheating on You

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