If you have dipped your feet in the dating pool a few times, you’ve probably been on the receiving end of this irritating thing guys do where they don’t answer your call or return it. The limbo that leaves you in is terrible. The guessing game messes with you.
I have anxiety, and it’s not the cute “oh is he going leave me” type. When a man who usually doesn’t ignore my call stops answering, my brain skips several steps and jumps right to think the worst.
Of all the 1001 things that could have happened, I pick the most dangerous of them to fear. Like his car running off a cliff somewhere or he had a heart attack and couldn’t get help on time.
And even on those lucky days when my mental state is more stable, the stuff that goes through my mind when my man doesn’t answer isn’t pretty.
Anyway, if the same thing happens often enough, you tend to develop a way of coping. So, in this article, I’m going to share with you some of the things you can do when you find yourself in a situation such as this.
I know sending a text is a bit obvious, but hear me out. You probably prefer to call because you get to hear the tone in his voice that way, or you are too busy to type, so you just call instead. These are all valid reasons, but he could have his own also.
Some people prefer reading text messages to talking, I have friends who are like that. One of them says phone calls make her anxious, and another says they disturb his creative flow. Different strokes for different strokes, I guess. If my friends don’t sound like your man, how about he could be in a meeting? Or driving? Or in the middle of an emergency? Or anything else, really.
He obviously didn’t handle things well, even if his reasons are valid. Save for an emergency, he could have told you beforehand if he doesn’t like to call or about to enter a meeting or whatever else. Just to cover all grounds, text him, if it delivers, and he reads it and still doesn’t reply, then you at least know he’s not dead.
Banter aside, something bad could have really happened to him; maybe not dangerous, but what if he got mugged and they took his phone? Or, he isn’t feeling well? Point is, it pays to be sure before drawing our own conclusions. If you happen to be in the same city as him, and his house isn’t too far away, pay him a visit.
This is a win-win situation whichever way you look at it. You get to dress to impress and also put your mind at rest (whatever you find). If he’s fine and has been ignoring you on purpose, then you are sure he’s just being an ass. But if it happens to be otherwise and something did happen, he’d appreciate you for checking on him, and your conscience would let you rest too.
On the flip side, if you are not in the same city, try calling an emergency contact of his – I always ask for those if I’m getting serious with someone. Maybe his family, a friend, or a neighbor. If you two aren’t there yet, then all you can do now is wait.
As you wait, find something else to do to stay sane. I understand time tends to move differently when you are expecting. It passes quickly when things are good, or you are running late, then moves at snail speed when you need it to go fast. If you have a lot of time on your hands and find yourself checking your phone often, that’s your cue to get busy.
If you have friends and they are free too, go hang out with them. Go get your hair and nails done, anything. If you stay in and wallow in your frustration, the temptation to call him again or send a bitter text may set in. That skincare routine you’ve always pushed to the back of your schedule, bring it forward today.
Call an old friend, bury yourself in work, make new plans that don’t revolve around him. What matters is that whatever you choose to do, takes him off your mind while you’re doing it or else it wouldn’t count as a distraction. Remember, the plan is to stay busy enough that thoughts of him get pushed to the back of your mind.
The 48-hour rule is unique to each situation but still applies generally. Since I don’t know the dynamics of your relationship with this guy, all I can do is paint scenarios and advise. If you are in a committed relationship with this person, and he suddenly stops picking up, you probably did something.
If you did, it makes sense that he wants to maintain his distance so he can work through his hurt without yelling at you or saying things he’d regret. In a case like this, the 48-hour rule is a communication technique, he’s just trying to wait until he’s in the right headspace to have a productive conversation. So, let him be for 48 hours.
If you two have only just begun dating, however, and he doesn’t call, text, or answer yours for 48 hours straight, he’s most likely trying to tell you he’s not interested in going further with you. Finally, if what you two have is a crush, he could be making you wait for 2 to 3 days before talking to you, so he doesn’t come off as too eager. Save for that first instance, any guy who still follows this rule is considered rude and petty.
If he wasn’t with his phone when you were calling, he’d see them later and call you back if he wants to talk. Calling him again won’t do anything but irritate him at this point, especially if he has been ignoring you on purpose. This is not the time to let your emotions drive your action, so you don’t come off as desperate.
Nothing drives a guy away faster than a needy babe, so you need to be extra careful if the romance is still budding. If you feel like you can’t stop thinking about him, you can refer to the distraction technique above. If your need to keep calling is driven by a nagging thought that something bad has happened to him, leave a message that conveys that.
Let the message be along the line of “Hey, I’m worried about you, let me know you’re safe.” A text like this warrants a response, and a reasonable individual would reply as soon as possible. But if you see him going about his life as usual, for example, posting stuff on social media, don’t even bother with that text.
Since we are on the social media subject, it is worth mentioning that you should not yield to that voice in your head telling you to drop a subpost for him. Be it Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or any other social platform you two follow each other on. Don’t post a picture and caption it in a way that he knows you’re stressing about him.
This point is even more valid if you’re the type who posts your relationship on your online status. Others are watching, and there is no need for them to know there is trouble in paradise yet, especially since there’s still a possibility it might be a non-issue. If the cat has suddenly got his tongue, let him know two can play the game.
Like Cher said, “Men are a luxury, not a necessity.” Sometimes, these boys need to be reminded that we don’t need them to live. Are they nice to have around? Sure. But not at the expense of your self-worth. If you have to fight for his attention all the time, maybe he isn’t worth keeping around.
Let’s imagine how that conversation would go. “I think my boyfriend is ignoring me,” when they ask why? you go “he is not answering my calls.” If you feel comfortable with his friends enough to tell them about your relationship troubles, what makes you think he hasn’t told them already?
Even if they are basically your mutual friends at this point, so long as they were friends with your boyfriend first, their allegiance still lies with him. You may be telling them to get a grip on what he’s thinking or so they can advise you on what to do, but it usually doesn’t end there. They are more likely to go back to tell their friend what you said than not.
This doesn’t make them terrible humans, it’s just what friends do. I’d expect mine to tell me if my man ever complained to them about me too. So, if you must vent to your mutuals, be prepared for the drama that might cause. I wouldn’t do it, but if you don’t mind, by all means, go ahead.
What to do when he ignores you? The simple answer to keep living your life like he doesn’t matter. That’s the best thing you can do for yourself. Primarily because it works on boys like that. Most people who dish out toxic habits like this cannot stand being ignored. They practically thrive on attention.
Secondly, if it turns out that he doesn’t plan to return, then your losses will be limited to the investment you made when he was around. Putting your life on hold for a guy like that makes the wait worse, and you may resent him for more than the heartbreak he caused you. At the end of the day, we are responsible for our own actions, and you may end up blaming yourself later for the time you spent pining over him.
I have this friend who got ghosted by a guy after about six months of exclusive dating. He was the sweetest boyfriend until he cut all forms of contact out of the blue. She went to his place, but the man had moved. Three months later, she saw his wedding pictures online. Moral of the story, boys who ghost don’t deserve to be pined over.
This would be a good time to delete all the “deletables.” His number, your call and text history, maybe his pictures. Personally, I like to keep these receipts just for the sake of it, but I’ve heard it makes letting go smoother for some people, so it’s at least worth considering. Memories may be hard to erase, but you don’t need the physical evidence to remind you of what could have been.
You are a whole catch, don’t let somebody’s lukewarm behavior mess with your glow. Sometimes I wish men can just decide. Like do you want me or not? None of this hot and cold bull crap some of them do. If cold is what you want, then be straight about it from the onset. Don’t start off sizzling hot and wind up pulling out a temperature so cold my mom’s deep freezer feels like burning coal in comparison.
Sorry I tend to go off a little bit when... Where was I? Oh right. If you guys hadn’t defined what you had going on, but you were already considering building with him based on your feelings alone, delete that thought too.
This is where it ultimately leads to; the point of no return. It’s possible to prepare for the worst by telling yourself this man will probably not come back while hoping against hope that he does. Keeping it safe but lowkey telling yourself that if he promises to change, you will take him back. Girl, you don’t need that kind of inconsistency in your life.
If he’s doing it now, he’s probably done it before and will most likely do it again. One thing I’m thankful for is how we ladies tend to know when there is nothing left there. It doesn’t stop us from trying to make it work – if he’s dug deep into you, that is – but we know.
If you had a chance to give it your all before he left, lucky him. If you didn’t, it’s his loss. Accept this reality and move on. Anyone who doesn’t respect you enough to answer you doesn’t deserve you anyway. You have loved, and lost, mourn that loss, take time to heal, then adjust your crown and move to the next deserving man in the queue.
If he doesn’t answer, try texting or go to him if you live within the same city. He may have been stuck in a situation that is truly out of his hands. If physically reaching out is not an option and there is no one else close to him you can call, then all you can really do is wait.
It may mean they are occupied with something else and are unable to get to the phone. If that is the case, they will call you back when they can. However, if you don’t get any response whatsoever after a while, you are most likely getting ghosted.
If you notice they are active on social media but aren’t returning your call, they are probably ignoring you. You can tell by the response you get when you call. If you get their voicemail every time you dial their line, but it goes through with another number, sorry to break to you, but that person is intentionally snubbing you.
Glow up and let him know it without actively trying to contact him. I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume you follow each other on at least one social media platform. Post bomb pictures of you or whatever else attracts him to you – like work. If he doesn’t reach after this, then he was probably never into you in the first place.
Give him space. Don’t call, don’t text, don’t mention him on social media. Pretend he doesn’t exist; guys can’t stand that. After the dust of whatever happened has settled, your absence will make him realize your value. And if you are the type that brought more to the table than you took, he will most certainly miss you a lot.
It’s not a good look when someone you like – and you thought liked you too – suddenly stops answering the phone. It’s quite common in this generation, I have been there, and I figured sharing the tips above might help somebody out there too. Please drop a comment and share the article if you found it enjoyable.