13 Thoughts What He Thinks When You Don’t Text Him Back

Last Updated on January 10, 2022 by Alexander Burgemeester

Have you ever wondered what he thinks when you don’t text him back?

It’s a tantalizing mystery. Imagine there’s this guy who’s important to you in some way: Maybe he’s a good friend, or an interested admirer, or a secret lover—or maybe even your boyfriend or husband.

Now, suppose he texted you—and then you didn’t reply to him for some time, whether it was deliberate or outside of your control.

What goes through his mind? It’s a mystery, right?

Well, as it turns out, chances are he’s in the same boat as you. He’s also wondering why you’re not replying to him.

And here’s the great thing about it: You can tell how he really feels about you—and his level of maturity and experience—by paying close attention to his reaction.

This article will cover the 13 different things a man can think when you don’t text him back—and, more importantly, what they reveal to you about him.

The 13 Things He Thinks When You Don’t Text Him Back

The 13 Things He Thinks When You Don’t Text Him Back

Among these 13 different thoughts, two of them show he’s mature, level-headed, and relationship-ready. Unfortunately, the other 11 will tell you he’s immature and probably not ready for a serious relationship.

Let’s start with the good:

Thought #1: “She’ll Reply Eventually. No Big Deal.”

This is the first good thing a man can think when you don’t reply to him for a long time. To a man who thinks this way, your silence isn’t a big deal because he’s not needy. He’s mature enough to not depend on you for his happiness.

It could also mean he’s not all that romantically interested in you, and only sees you as a friend. That’s why it doesn’t bother him when you don’t reply.

You’ll know this is what he’s thinking when he doesn’t send a second text. It’s like he’s going about his own life while patiently waiting for your reply.

In this situation, it’s up to you what to do next. What are your options? That’s what you’ll learn in the second part of this article, so keep reading.

Thought #2: He Thinks You’re Busy

This is the second good thought that can occur to him when he doesn’t receive a reply. As with Thought #1, it’s not a big deal for him. He’s mature enough to know he’s not the center of your universe, and that you have your own busy life to attend to.

So, he doesn’t reply to you. Or if he does, it’s a tactful message that goes along the lines of: “Hey, you must be busy. No worries. Talk soon.”

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When he gives you a no-pressure reply like that, you can assume one of these two possibilities:

  • Either he’s not or no longer interested in you in a romantic or sexual way;
  • Or he is, but he’s not needy—he’s got other options.

Thought #3: “Should I Send Her Another Text?”

Thoughts #3 through #13 are the 11 bad things men can think when you don’t reply to their messages. It starts with this nagging thought: “Should I send her another text, or should I wait for her to reply?”

When a man spends more than a few minutes wondering whether he should send you another text or not, it’s a sign he’s the needy type. It’s almost as though he needs to get a reply from you before he can move on with his life.

Whether you’d want any kind of relationship with such a man is up to you!

Thought #4: “Is She Texting Another Guy?”

The second bad thought that can go through a man’s mind when you don’t text him back: “There must be another guy in her life, and she’s texting him now. That’s the only reason she’s not replying to me.”

If you get any indication he’s thinking this way, that tells you he’s terribly jealous, possessive, and insecure. That’s bad news if you’re in a relationship with him, but it’s much worse when you’re not. After all, if you’re not dating, why in the world would he be possessive, right?

So if he ever texts you something like: “You’re texting another guy, aren’t you,” you may want to consider your exit strategy and don’t bother texting him back like most women would do.

Thought #5: “Is She Not Interested?”

Next, he might worry that you have no interest in him. If he sends you a message saying: “You haven’t replied in two hours. I guess you’re not interested,” that tells you he wished you were. He may have really wanted to pursue some form of relationship with you.

If you led him on or got his hopes up in any way, then he has reason to be disappointed. And that’s something to think about.

If you didn’t, then take it as a sign that he’s too needy or immature to handle a serious relationship.

Thought #6: He’ll get worried thinking something happened to you

The fourth possible bad thought to occur to a man you don’t reply to is this: “Did something terrible happen to her? Did she get in a car accident? Did she get mugged and she lost her phone? What’s going on?”

You’ll know that’s what he’s thinking when he texts you something like: “I texted an hour ago! Are you all right? Tell me if you’re in trouble!”

A panicky response like this tells you he’s paranoid. It may come off as thoughtful, but it’s also a sign that he might be too skittish for you. He may be fun as a friend or date, but a boyfriend? Maybe not.

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Thought #7: “Why Can’t I Unsend My Last Message?”

If he texts you something sweet, naughty, or suggestive—and then, when he doesn’t receive your reply quickly enough, he sends a second text that says:

“I wish I could unsend that.”

…or:

“Sorry, I was drunk when I texted that.”

…or even:

“Ignore that, my phone was hacked.”

…then that tells you he’s disowning his first message (the one you didn’t reply to). He’s assuming you got offended or turned off by it, and now he’s weaseling out of taking responsibility.

Thought #8: “Maybe My Texting Style is Boring or Weak.”

The sixth bad thing he can think of is that his “texting game” is boring or weak. It’s like he was a pickup artist testing out a routine on you.

If he texts you something like: “Sorry. My texting game needs some work,” that tells you his previous text(s) were insincere. They were all part of a routine or “game.”

And here’s a bit of trivia: By admitting to you he was using a routine, he committed one of the cardinal sins among pickup artists. Not only is he insincere, but he’s also inexperienced.

As sleazy as it may sound, he deserves some kudos for consciously learning to get better with women. It’s just that he’s not far enough along the learning curve to be ready for a serious relationship.

Thought #9: He Thinks He Did or Said Something Wrong

Next, he might be worried he just ruined his chances with you. As with Thought #5, he may have genuinely wished you were interested in him as well.

If, after some time of not replying to him, he sends texts that go along the lines of:

  • “I’m sorry for saying that”
  • “I didn’t mean to offend you”
  • “That wasn’t meant to be insulting by the way”

…where you could almost hear his panicked voice in his text message, then it means he’s worried he blew it. If it’s just a misunderstanding, you might want to make him relax by sending a reply.

Thought #10: “I Don’t Know What’s Going On Anymore.”

The eighth bad thing that can happen is that he won’t understand what’s going on and just gives up on the text conversation—and quite possibly your relationship, as well.

This is the case when, after he doesn’t receive a reply from you, he sends a second text that goes:

“Forget what I said, bye.”

…or:

“Never mind, have a good life.”

…or any similar “goodbye” text, it tells you he’s the touchy type. He’s much too concerned about your validation to be strong and independent. And so if you’re not in a relationship with him, consider yourself lucky.

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Thought #11: “Maybe I Hurt Her Feelings Somehow.”

Next, he may be worried he hurt your feelings. Perhaps his original text was a sassy remark, a lewd joke, or touched on dark humor. And when you took too long to reply, he arrives at that assumption.

He might say something like:

  • “Sorry, that was rude.”
  • “Okay, that was inappropriate, sorry.”
  • “Sorry if that was offensive, I’m pretty tactless sometimes.”

If he assumes he hurt you and apologizes just in case, that tells you he’s a sensitive guy—but he’s also a validation-seeker. 

Thought #12: “What’s Taking So Long?”

If he sends something like: “What’s taking you so long to reply?” or “Taking 10 seconds to reply won’t kill you,” that tells you he’s the impatient type.

In a relationship, he’ll want you to make him your #1 priority. So if you’re not willing to drop what you’re doing to accommodate him—whether now or ever—it may be best to cut ties with him.

Thought #13: He Thinks You’re Ignoring Him

The last possible thought he could have is this: “Is she ignoring me to spite me? Does she play games with me?” It’s the ultimate level of paranoia, where he assumes the worst possibility among many.

Again—it’s probably best to give him a wide berth, dating-wise.

Those are the 13 possible things he can think when you don’t text him back. Now let’s talk about the different ways you can respond to him.

Is It OK to Not Text Him Back?

Is It OK to Not Text Him Back

Now, with so many possible bad things he can think of if you don’t text him back, it begs the question. Is it okay to not text him back? Or are you asking for trouble by feeding into his issues and insecurities?

First off, let me say that just because 11 of the 13 possible thoughts are bad, it doesn’t mean most guys are problematic. After all, there’s no way of knowing what a guy is thinking until they send their second message.

That said, you are well within your rights to not text him back. If something about his first text message (or even your interactions before that) makes you feel uncomfortable or at risk, don’t reply. It’s a good way to test him and learn what he’s really all about.

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Not texting him back is an especially valid tactic to use when he has a girlfriend. If he’s already taken, and yet he gets miffed when you don’t reply to him right away—why? He has a woman in his life—why does he need your validation? Very suspicious, right?

(Funnily enough, this is a common enough occurrence that I wrote an article about it. To read why men with girlfriends still text and flirt with other women, click here.)

Long story short: When in doubt, don’t reply. It’s a good healthy boundary to have against potentially toxic men, and there are quite a number of them out there.

If I Ignore Him, Will He Text Me Again?

If I Ignore Him, Will He Text Me Again?

The answer? It’s 50-50. There’s a chance he will double text (and this second text will reveal more about his true nature), and there’s a chance he won’t.

Even if he doesn’t send a second text message, it’s still a clue into his personality. You can tell he’s not needy or spiteful. This is especially the case when his second text has an understanding, “no worries” tone to it.

Meanwhile, if his second text has a more panicked or toxic tone, it’s a sign he’s immature. As such, he’s not ready for a serious relationship. Bad news for you if that’s what you wanted with him.

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Stop Texting him and see what happens

That’s the reason ignoring a man’s text can be part of your dating strategy. If your plan is to weed out the “little boys” and only date the real men out there, purposely not replying to one of his text messages can help you do that.

Now, here’s a bit of trivia: Ignoring works on men in real life, too. If you’d like to hone your ability of ignoring men to make them feel more attracted to you, read my article on the topic next.

Does Ignoring a Man Get His Attention or Make Him Like You More?

Does Ignoring a Man Get His Attention or Make Him Like You More?

There are two questions in that one, so let’s answer the first: Does ignoring a man get his attention?

As this article has amply shown, the answer is “Yes.” Not receiving a reply will definitely make him pause and think one of the 13 thoughts. Afterward, there’s a good chance he’ll send a second text, which will reveal his true nature to you.

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Now for the second question: Will it make him like you more?

The answer: It depends.

If you’re only friends, acquaintances, or co-workers with him, then ignoring him will probably not make him like you more. In fact, in certain contexts (like the workplace), ignoring him can mean trouble for you. (Especially if he’s your boss.)

What if he’s an admirer, or he’s a friend you want to turn into a fling? Then yes, ignoring him can make him like you more. It puts him in “chase mode,” wondering what you’re up to and how you feel about him.

While he’s in chase mode, he feels more and more attracted to you. He’ll grow more attentive instead of taking you for granted. It’s a delicate balance, though, and while you want him to keep chasing you, you don’t want to lead him on for so long that he gives up and loses interest.

And lastly: If you’re in a relationship with him, then no—ignoring him won’t make him like you more. Quite the opposite, in fact.

So it’s quite tricky. Ignoring a man can be effective, but you’ll need to know when and in what situations to do it.

Speaking of tricky: It pays to take note of how he treats you. Sometimes a man might say he’s not interested in you, but his actions say otherwise. If you’ve ever gotten mixed signals from a man before, this article will help you make sense of him from now on.

He Texted Again. What Now?

He Texted Again. What Now?

When he does send a second text or double text, read it carefully to feel its tone. Is it understanding, patient, and mature? If so, then it’s a mark of maturity and level-headedness. If you like him too, it’ll be smart to reply to him, chat with him, and even set up the next date with him.

You can simply text back: “Hey, I’m sorry I didn’t reply right away. I got a little busy.” If the guy is mature enough, he’ll play along and chat with you. He won’t take it personally.

Reading Suggestion: When a guy texts you every day, what does that mean?

(NOTE: What if he called instead of texting? You might want to read “What does it mean when he calls me instead of texting” to see what it means.)

Meanwhile, if his second text is panicky, toxic, or otherwise negative, it may be better to not reply to him. Doing so is just asking for more trouble and stress. If you prefer, you can start texting him like you would a friend, removing any hint of romance or sexuality from your conversations.

What if you want him to stop texting you? Here’s my guide on doing just that.

He Keeps Texting. What Should I Do?

Now, here’s a big problem. No matter how much you ignore him, it’s just one of those guys who won’t stop texting. The unwanted attention may have even spilled onto social media too, and it’s stressing you out.

(Quick Note: If he’s an ex, here are the signs he’s trying to get your attention on social media.)

What should you do now? Again, that depends on what you want. If you like him and you want to give him one more chance, might want to reply to him. Get into a chat and see where it goes.

Meanwhile, if you don’t like him and want the stress to end, you have the option to tell him: “I know how you feel, but I’ve made up my mind. Please stop texting me,” and hope he’s mature enough to get the message. Telling a guy to stop texting you is what many women should do and are not doing enough.

If he’s not, then you also have the option to block his number on your phone. And while you’re at it, block him on social media, too. If he’s the narcissistic type, nothing will bother him more.

Now, to wrap this article up, let’s flip the script…

When Should You Stop Texting a Guy?

What about you? When should you stop texting a man?

That depends on what kind of relationship you’re in, or more precisely, what stage in the relationship:

If you’re just friends and would like to stay that way, there’s no reason to stop texting with him. If for any reason you want to break your friendship or let it fade away, you’re well within your rights to stop texting him. He might find it rude, however, and you might end up burning bridges.

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Meanwhile, if you want him to like you more (e.g. you see him as a potential boyfriend), then check who texts the other more. Do you text him more than he texts you?

If so, you may want to dial back until he starts texting you slightly more than you text him. This is to put him in “chase mode,” where he’ll gradually and subconsciously feel more and more attracted to you.

What’s more, it helps immensely when you know how to “turn him on” through text. This was a topic of interest for me recently, and I wrote a list of 99 funny and flirty text messages to make him obsess over you. If you want to pull his heartstrings with your text messages, be sure to give it a read.

I hope you found this little foray into the male mind enlightening. Next time you ignore his text, you’ll know what his second text will mean—and from there, you can make better decisions about the relationship you want to have with him. Good luck!

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Alexander Burgemeester

Alexander Burgemeester has a Master in Neuropsychology. He studied at the University of Amsterdam and has a bachelor's in Clinical Psychology. Want to know more?

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