When Someone Ignores Your Text: What You Need To Do

It has happened, you have sent a text, and they are not responding. What do you do when someone ignores your text? Wait! Keep calm and try to stay off that emotional rollercoaster.

We have all been there, you send a text and now are waiting for a response, but it seems they are ignoring you. The internal dialog starts: “Why are they ignoring me?” “What did I do?” , “I know they have looked at their phone by now…” You may be enticed to text them again, or a third time. Don’t! There are many reasons that someone may be “ignoring” your text, the key is not to respond until you know how to react.

Insecurity can get the best of you quickly, especially when someone is ignoring your text. This insecurity is the ticket to your Emotional Rollercoaster ride. But you don’t have to get on that ride, there are many ways to handle yourself and this situation to avoid the emotional rollercoaster that is now beckoning you.

What To Do If They Ignore Your Text

Well, you have sent your text, it is important to you but the recipient is ignoring it, what do you do now?

  • Do your best to distract yourself: This may be the hardest thing to do, but it will help you in the long run. By distracting yourself you reduce the chance of immediately texting them a 2nd or 3rd time, as well you are less likely to spiral out of control thinking about why they are ignoring you. Distracting yourself is often difficult at first (especially when the subject is important to you), but the more you focus your attention on something else the easier it will be not to focus on the ignored text.
  • Put your phone down: We all do it. You check your phone multiple times when you are waiting for a response. You make excuses to dive into your phone. “I was just checking the time” “I thought I heard a message come through”. Being on your phone will not help you. You know what they say, “a watched pot never boils”. Guaranteed, time will move very slowly if you are focused on your phone, so put it down!
  • Do not stalk their online presence: Very important! Often, we have the ability to reach our people on a variety of social media platforms. Do not allow yourself to dive into stalking their online presence to see if they are active – because if they are online the chance is their phone is in hand, and then they would have no excuse for not responding. This includes but is not limited to tagging them in your post or posting on their page to see if they view or respond to it.
  • Give yourself a timeframe: Is a response needed immediately? Probably not, given that you texted. Wait. Wait a day. Wait until they respond. This is especially hard when the text is to someone you hope to be or are in a romantic relationship with – but it is just as important. Make yourself a promise with this set timeframe, no reaching out, no reading your text, no online stalking, and no seeking others to help you. Set a timeframe that works for you, but also works with your knowledge of this person.

Why they might be ignoring your text

Before we move on with what you can do, let’s talk quickly about why they might be ignoring your text.

Scenarios of people not responding in a timely manner.
  • They are Busy: Life happens. Maybe they were driving, cooking, eating, at work, in a movie, could be their phone died. The truth of the matter is they could only seem to be ignoring your text for any number of totally understandable reasons. Try to remember that everyone forgets things every day. They could have merely skimmed the text but weren’t able to respond right then or they didn’t even see the text in the first place – it doesn’t mean your text isn’t important to them, they are just busy.
  • Technical Difficulties: Technology does fail us on occasion. Messages don’t reach the other side or come through a few hours later, maybe they are out of cell range – these are all reasonable and unavoidable reasons for someone not responding to your text.
  • They don’t know how to respond: It could be that they just don’t know how to respond to you yet. That they need to think about it before texting you back. Give them the time they need to process and respond. Allowing the time and space for them to process will show them respect and help keep the balance in your relationship.
  • They are mad at you: If they are mad at you and they opt not to respond, respect that! Give them their space, when they are ready, they will respond. This one is especially hard for someone like me – even if someone is mad at me, all I want to do is clear the air, mend the relationship and move forward. But best practice is to allow them the time they need, at this point, it cannot be about your needs. If you push for a response, you run the risk of an explosion that may have negative implications on your relationship.
  • You may not be a priority to them: Hard as it could be to consider, the truth of the matter is you may not be a priority to them. This is especially hard when you have put them in your priorities. Trust your knowledge of that person and your relationship, you should know if you are a priority – if you are unsure, the answer is you probably aren’t.

What To do when they don’t respond

Alright, you have successfully distracted yourself and haven’t been hovering over your phone for the last day, but they are still ignoring your text, what now? Try one or more of these strategies:

  • Do your best to keep calm: Remember there still may be a good reason they haven’t responded. Keep calm. If you need to try participating in calming activities such as yoga, meditation, talking a walk, coloring/being creative, cooking or baking.
  • Just wait! Yes, here it is again. Wait, distract yourself, don’t give them the power to know they are getting to you by not responding.
  • Have patience: You won’t know why they ignored your text until they tell you what was going on. There is no reason to get yourself worked up when you don’t know why.
  • Spark up a conversation about anything else, with anyone else: Give your attention to someone who wants it. Check-in with that friend you haven’t heard from in a while. Pay a visit to family or catch that coffee with the coworker you keep promising. Whoever it is, focus your attention on them.

how to nudge them

Now, the time has come to send a text to that person again. You just can’t wait any longer. You gave them seemingly enough time. You distracted yourself and kept yourself busy away from your phone. But enough is enough! So now, what do you text a person who is still ignoring you?

  • Text a check-in: Without the emotion that has likely been building up, without accusations and the fault, without apologizing or taking the blame, send a quick check-in text to see if they had a thought about your previous message. It is important to keep the emotions out of this because you don’t know why they haven’t responded yet, remember to avoid responding before you know how to react.
  • Try not to formulate responses to responses you haven’t gotten yet: Once you send that check-in text if you are anything like me, you will immediately start formulating responses to various potential reasons for their ignoring your text. Don’t! Try to keep this conversation about the topic, rather than letting it shift into “Why are you ignoring me?” I can speak from experience; this is not the conversation you (as the one preoccupied about being ignored) want to have.
  • Maintain your power by avoiding being needy: When being ignored, you may want to pop in, swing by, or “accidentally” text/call to force the conversation – Don’t! You have started the conversation; you have reached out. The more energy you give this, the less power you have in the relationship – keep the balance and wait. Very rarely is needy an attractive quality, whether the relationship is a friend or romantic, dealing with a needy person can be very energy draining and often can lead to a breaking point in a relationship.
  • The more you push them to respond, the more likely they are to pull away from you: This is not to say you cannot push a little, but know who you are dealing with. Some people need to know that ignoring the conversation does not mean it is over. The key here is knowing what type of person you are dealing with. Regardless of what kind of person, pushing too hard will generally not end well.
  • Take the personal out of it: The fact that they are not responding to your text is most likely not a personal attack on you, but a result of something else going on. So let it go. But, if you cannot get out of your head about why they are ignoring you, then try to shift your thoughts to their perspective. What might be going on that would impede their ability to respond to your text? Did you actually expect them to respond right away? Whatever the question you ask yourself, remember the lack of response likely isn’t personal – and if it is, walk away!
  • Pick your battles: With a situation like this, there will be unanswered questions, be OK with that. Trust that they will tell you what they feel you need to know. You may not get to know why they ignored you, but don’t let that be the focus of the conversation once it gets going again.

Did you manage to keep your cool? Did you manage to wait to respond until you knew how to react? Was there more going on than you knew? If they do respond, consider that you don’t actually have to respond immediately. Try to use some of the same strategies to gather and organize your thoughts before responding.

Inspirational handwriting on being calm.

Consider responding with a request to talk in person. Either way, keep your focus on staying calm and on the conversation you wanted to have. And with any luck, you can finish that conversation you started. You may even get the benefit of knowing why they ignored you in the first place. But if not, don’t worry, let your focus be on your relationship, and let go of the rest.

But, if ignoring becomes a pattern of behavior with this person, then go ahead and ask what is going on or just walk away – you don’t have to let someone treat you that way. Try to always remember, the harder you push, the more likely they are to pull away.

When someone ignores your text, the most challenging path for us to take is likely the one we should be on. Patience, understanding, and calm are three keys to managing such a situation. If you find it too hard to wait it out, then try to find a way to keep the emotion out of the next text.

On Romantic Relationships:

Couples virtually communicating from a far.

What to do when he ignores your texts?

Waiting for something to come but it does not is so frustrating. How much more so when you are waiting for someone to reply to you, but it seems they are ignoring your texts. So what are you going to do? We all know how that feels! You have checked your phone several times, but your phone remains silent?

A lot of questions are going through your mind. And you do not want to jump to conclusions and ruin the supposedly good start of your wonderful friendship. It’s better to give him time to process things. Maybe he’s had a rough time, and some people struggle with differences and issues and process things in a different way than you do. Maybe he’s the type who needs time and quiet and does not want to talk to other people.

It’s always better to send him a reassuring text or email so he knows you are still there for him no matter what.

Should I text him back after he ignored me?

You may decide to let him go if he does not respond to your SMS messages. If you have formed feelings for him, letting go may seem challenging, especially if you have invested more time and effort into the connection. However, since he has already disregarded your message, you are skeptical that he would respond.

Don’t worry if you find yourself in this predicament; you’ve come to the perfect place. Here are some things to consider before considering whether or not to respond to that text.

Why is he ignoring me? This is a key question you should ask yourself before making any conclusions. You’ll be able to find out what’s wrong with this response once you gain a better understanding of it.

Many relationships have ended due to a lack of communication; if you have a spouse who isn’t overly addicted to his phone, you should be aware that he isn’t ignoring you on purpose.

Upset wife holding a photo of her husband.

If you’re in a relationship with someone and you know he’s interested in you, don’t be afraid to contact him again. Allowing pride to get the best of you is not a good thing. If you’re not dating this person, there’s a good chance he’s just a playboy who’s trying to figure out what he wants to do next. Men with a lot of options are likely to text more girls than they can count.

No or late responses, as well as a lack of timeliness, could indicate that he is no longer interested in you. He could also be terrified of commitment and is unable to express this to you. So, the best method to address this scenario is to first gain a better understanding of the individual. Also, be willing to accept any results you obtain from your research.


Whatever path you take, know that there is no truly right way to handle this situation. The best course of action is to navigate your way is to use a balance of your knowledge of the person you are trying to talk to, the relationship, and understand the lines that should not be crossed.

Still have questions about “What to do when someone ignores your text?”, please post a comment below! We all go through the emotional rollercoaster when someone ignores a text but hopefully, we try to keep a level head that allows us to get off that rollercoaster when that ride is over or avoid it altogether.

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About Hugh Vinson

Hi there! My name is Hugh, and I am the owner and founder of GentlemenCenter. From Texas, USA, and with 2 sons in recent years I have had the experience of raising 2 young men. I am here to share my experiences with you, and help you with any questions you may have!

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