You’ve had a few dates with someone, and you are interested – very interested. In between those dates, you have been talking on the phone and texting each other. Now all of a sudden, you get no response from a text for a full day. So, you call and get their voicemail. You leave a message – something like “Are you okay? Haven’t heard from you today.” Then, you get on their social media pages only to find that they have been active all day. What’s the point? And what to do? Let’s try to understand here why they don’t respond.
Let’s be clear. No response = silence. Whether it is someone not responding to you talking when you are with them, or someone failing to answer your messages or return a phone call, no response says something. Being silent is a response of some kind.
The crux of the matter is this: Why is there no response, what is the message being sent, and how do you deal with it? And this is especially true if the rejection comes from someone you care about.
And while this is the most important “no response” issue for you right now, there are some broader perspectives on this whole getting no response thing.
Let’s leave the whole relationship thing for a minute and speak about when you or others might want to respond with quietness rather than verbal or printed words.
So, yes, there are times when not responding is the best strategy. But let’s take a look at other reasons for people (especially someone you are dating) not to respond.
There are many they happen not to respond to your message or talking – legitimate and not so much. If you eventually get a response, consider that response in light of the person providing it. Here are some of the most common.
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If your “squeeze” has a very demanding career and often works long hours, this could be genuine. If you finally get a response along with apologies and a date proposal, then you may be inclined to believe them.
Nevertheless, there is a lot of “breadcrumbing” going on in the digital world. When you get this reason often, it may be that your dating partner has another more important romantic partner and is using you as “backup.” Consider this a strong possibility, if there are long pauses between contacts.
Bread-crumbing is one of the most hurtful things to experience in a relationship. Read this to learn how to avoid being Breadcrumbed.
— The Psychotherapist (@dedoyinajayi) May 18, 2022
If your dating is online, and you have only chatted thus far, you may want to accept this reason as plausible, especially if your date has already told you that they have a highly demanding job. On the other hand, you don’t really know how many “matches” your date has and may be communicating with.
Best advice? Accept the excuse for now.
And while the work reason can be valid, remember this fact: we always find time for the things we really want to do. Overall, “too much work” can be a bit flimsy (unless you are currently working for Twitter).
This is really common. It takes courage to tell a dating partner that you don’t want to date them anymore. And lots of people cannot bring themselves to “shoot” someone else down by being blunt and saying they’re done. And so, you spend time messaging and get nothing back, even after expressing that you have feelings for them.
This silent person believes your dating relationship is over. They just don’t tell you outright.
There are plenty of reasons for this type of answer failure:
This is totally up to you. But before you choose what you think is your best response, take a look at these suggestions.
You might want to assume that the other party is not responding on purpose and that it is because they are no longer interested, are just breadcrumbing you, or don’t have the guts to directly tell you that it is over. If you get into this mindset upfront and start thinking about the prospect of moving on, the blow to you (or your ego) won’t be quite as bad. Most long-term romantic relationships don’t end this way, so chances are you are not in too deep yet. While it will be painful, it will also be easier to recuperate.
Remember, you don’t want to seem desperate. And, if you do follow up too soon, you might be putting this person on notice that you are. So, think about how long you should wait before you send another message or voicemail.
On the other hand, there might be a real reason for the silence, and one more communication might just spark a new conversation that includes the reason.
Whatever you decide to do regarding this follow-up, if they still remain silent after that, it really is time to move on. Get your head and your heart in gear.
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One way you might get the other person’s attention is to start a new conversation with that contact. Instead of asking why you haven’t heard from them or expressing your displeasure (that might start a real argument), try to spark a conversation on a new topic. Here’s a quick example:
You happen to know your current flame has a passion for Chinese food. So, you send a message saying, “Hey. I just found out that there is a new Chinese buffet opening up next week. A friend and I are going to try it out. I’ll let you know what I think.” This has actually sent a couple of messages:
This can be especially true if you are dating online and in different time zones or, if you have already been dating physically, that you are just contacting at bad times for them. There is nothing bad about asking a question like, “When is a convenient time for you to chat?”. If you still get no answer, consider the lack of response means they just aren’t interested. In this case, the term “no response is a response” holds true.
This will hurt, especially if you have pinned some big hopes on the relationship (even if it is in the early stages). Continuing to reach out to this individual and start a new conversation just makes you look desperate or, worse, can put you in the category of stalking. In most cases, they will just block you. That “no response is a response” has just moved to a new level.
“It can be painful, but think of how much more painful it will be if you spend even more time on them only to find out that what you suspected was true.”ʼ
Crystal Jackson, therapist
No response is a response. Let’s be clear about that. And it can be a pretty loud response if someone you are dating is not answering your usual means of contact. So, let’s summarize the major points you need to think about.
If this happens early in a relationship, consider that your dating partner has legitimate reasons for not answering you. You don’t know enough about their schedules, the other demands on their time, the difficulty they may have with expressing themselves, etc. Feel free to take the initiative and ask them.
If you send a second message (or even a third) and still get no answer – even if you change the topic to something totally “non-threatening” – then no response is a response. It says, “Please go away,” or “I am really just breadcrumbing you for my own selfish reasons.”
If you send a text message and simply say, “I want to talk,” the no response is a response that says, “I don’t want to.” Consider this a pretty powerful response that encourages you to make that the last message you send.
If they do respond at some future time, check if response is genuine and not just because they are in between date partners right now. You should feel comfortable having new conversation. If not, at least hold off responding, so you don’t seem to be desperately waiting for them. Ignoring them the way they ignored you is not all bad.
If your “interest” is not responding after a second message, deal with it honestly. Make your response a powerful message. Speak to yourself honestly, ask for and actually hear the advice of friends – most are likely to tell you that no response is a response. Rely on their support to keep you from seeking any more communication or answers from this individual.
The very best thing is to move on, so do it. At least for now.
If they eventually want to start talking again, watch how you respond: don’t do it immediately and watch your words. Be a bit aloof and certainly not so eager to hook up again. Make a statement that you are really busy but will get back to them when you can.
And then wait, no matter how tough that may be. Let them get no response from you and watch how they react. Most likely, they will show their true colors by continuing to pursue you or by going “radio silent” again.
When you get no response over and over again, you may be hurt and miss talking to them, especially if the dating has been going on for a while. But you need to take responsibility over your feelings.
Above all, don’t become a “stalker” of their social media posts and conversation with others. When you see things you don’t like, you may be tempted to send angry messages. Stop yourself there; you won’t get them back this way. But be angry if you were patient for too long – revealing your true emotions may help you feel relieved.
When their silence becomes constant and you get accustomed to it, move on with your life. Remember: we can’t make people want relationships with us. And all of the messages in the world are not going to change that. Communication in relationships is really important – but not when it is only one-sided.
Don’t take this failure mean that there is something wrong with you. You had a dating life before they came along; when you try online dating on Hily, you’ll see how many people will run to respond to you with something positive and pleasant. Just try one more time – and prove yourself wrong.
With time and new love adventures, you’ll see that you just have put too many eggs in this one basket and were hanging onto any response you can get. Stop it. There is nothing wrong with you; you just made a wrong choice once. That’s the experience you can you to make a strong statement to yourself that others will keep finding attractive about you in the future.
You have done all that you should, but not gone overboard, and still, the response that you want doesn’t come. Are you going to shrivel up and keep waiting for that response? Of course not. There’s a huge dating world out there.