Have you been texting a guy or hoping he’ll text you when suddenly the line of communication goes dry?
There’s a common piece of advice women get in this situation:
Stop texting the guy and he’ll eventually get curious or reinterested and contact you.
But is it actually true?
1) Playing hard to get?
There’s a lot of debate over playing hard to get. This advice not to text him is part of that debate.
The thing is:
Playing hard to get and being hard to get are two completely different subjects.
If you are just putting on a show, it will annoy a guy and likely cause a bad reaction.
But if you truly have other priorities in your life and don’t text first because you’re busy and passionate about other things it’s going to catch his attention and interest.
If a guy isn’t into you he’s not going to text, except possibly for sex.
But if he’s on the fence, hanging back and letting him text first can be a winning strategy.
“Guys sometimes make priorities in accordance with how hard to get you are.”
2) Here’s the thing about texting…
When you’re sending photos and words to someone you can’t see, you’re dealing with a significant challenge that our ancestors didn’t have to face.
Their challenge was waiting months for a letter of introduction or the horse carriage with their beau to arrive.
The new challenge is speed and unpredictability.
What I mean is that texting has accelerated everything. If we don’t have a date for Saturday night we start melting down…
If the cute person we bumped into at an event last week doesn’t text for two days then they’re clearly ghosting us.
And maybe they are.
But the thing about texting is that you really can’t be sure of someone’s reactions or what they’re thinking when they get your text.
People have many different styles of texting and there are all sorts of possible reasons for texting to be delayed.
Having said that, it’s normal these days to hope for a reply within a few hours or days.
3) The benefit of letting him text first
One of the biggest benefits of letting him text first (or not text at all) is that you can find out what he thinks of you.
When he stops hearing from you or notices that you don’t come at him with texts off the bat, he’s likely to take a stronger interest.
If there’s a spark of attraction on his part then he’s going to become even more attracted when you stop being so available.
If you always initiate your text conversations it becomes very easy for him.
His hunter gatherer instincts lie dormant.
When you don’t text first and let him take the lead his attraction begins ramping up.
4) Not texting first brings out his hero instinct
As I mentioned, one of the best reasons not to text first is that it triggers his hero instinct.
When he has to work for it, he gets much more turned on and invested.
What is it?
Let me explain.
There’s a new theory in the relationship world that’s causing quite a stir – it’s called the hero instinct.
Created by relationship expert James Bauer, this revolutionary concept finally explains how men think and feel in relationships.
This is something most women have never even heard of.
According to Bauer, men don’t actually need a lot to feel content in their relationships. And to most people’s surprise, it has nothing to do with sex.
You see, according to Bauer, men have three innate drivers. These are natural responses that they’re not even aware of. But when a woman comes along and triggers these drivers, it causes a powerful response.
The result is a man who loves harder, commits wholeheartedly, and truly dedicates himself to the relationship.
So how can you trigger your man’s inner hero?
Well, you certainly don’t need to act like a damsel in distress. There’s no need to play dress-up superheroes. It’s quite simple, actually.
All you have to do is give your man certain signals that make him feel needed in the relationship. These allow him to step to the plate and feel fulfilled in his role as your partner.
And these signals are revealed in this genuine, free video by James Bauer.
The truth is, once you understand how the hero instinct works and the little ways in which you can trigger it, there’s no telling what heights your relationship can reach.
So if you want to know how to do this and more, make sure to check out Bauer’s excellent advice. In his video, he reveals the exact texts and phrases you can use straight away to make your man feel like a hero.
5) It’s a two-way street
Your decision not to text him until he texts you depends a lot on what’s been going on between the two of you.
Texting isn’t supposed to be one-sided, and like everything else in life it has some standards.
As casual as people are these days, there is an art to texting.
When only one person is always initiating and sending texts, the balance of power gets badly skewed.
It’s important to regain some leverage and not let him have the whole run of the conservation.
“Basic texting etiquette dictates that both parties should be putting effort into starting conversations, and when you are the one putting all the effort in, issues are going to start to build up, because you’re essentially setting the tone for the entire relationship,” notes Alex Wong.
“You’re doing all of the work, and they’re sitting back, doing nothing.”
6) What you chase runs away
Texting him back and flirting is a good idea if you’re into him.
But always texting first or trying to chase him when he backs down is the death knell of a relationship or a potential relationship.
We all know how bad it feels to text somebody who’s not into it.
It’s like putting all your energy into something with no outcome or applying for 100 jobs and getting no response.
You feel powerless, useless and disappointed.
That’s why you need to focus less on texting or not and more on how you text and how much.
Men tend to prefer texting for concrete reasons not just chitchat.
Make your texts count and leave a lot up to his imagination. He’s going to get more excited and invested that way.
If he puts in the effort even when you tone things down it means he likes you.
If not, then he probably wasn’t very interested from the start.
7) Getting to the root of the problem
When a guy you like doesn’t text back it likely makes you feel like shit.
But what is that core feeling that’s making you crave his attention and validation?
Maybe you just felt a strong connection and want to know if he felt it too…
But what’s the urgency and desperation you have that you might not be good enough, hot enough or fun enough to get him to text you?
It’s tempting to focus on how to get him more into you…
But maybe you need to take a different approach to fixing your love life.
Maybe you need to work on the most important relationship you’ll ever have, before you can fix the others:
The one you have with yourself.
I learnt about this from the shaman Rudá Iandê. In his excellent, free video on cultivating healthy relationships, Rudá reveals where most of us go wrong in our relationships.
So why should you listen to Rudá’s life-changing advice?
Well, he uses techniques derived from ancient shamanic teachings, but he puts his own modern-day twist on them. He may be a shaman, but he’s made the same mistakes in love that you and I have.
And now he’s found the solution, he wants to share it with you.
So if you’re done with feeling less than worthy, if you’re tired of toxic relationships, and you want to cultivate real, genuine love, check out his simple yet effective advice.
8) Give him time to show his hand
When you don’t text you create a very valuable commodity: time.
This time gives him a space to show what he’s really after.
Think of it like a lie detector test.
If he’s playing a game of trying to seduce you and play it cold, this will expose him.
If he’s chatting with a lot of other girls and forgets your name or only vaguely remembers who you are, that’s also another warning sign.
When you don’t text, you put him in a position of not having it as easy as he hopes for.
He has to sit back, think about you and what he wants, and then make the decision to reach out or not.
He can no longer play a game of just sitting there and watching the texts roll in from his roster of hot babes.
If you don’t play the game, he can’t win.
9) Keep it focused
You shouldn’t be the one always initiating texts.
It’s also a good idea, generally, to wait for him to text unless you are dealing with a very shy or inexperienced guy.
That said, when you do respond to texts, keep it focused.
One thing that I know bothers me enormously when I’m texting with women I went out with is when they text about nothing.
I mean literally nothing. Copy-paste style stuff.
Her: Morning, what’s up?
Not much, you?
What are you doing?
Working. What are you having for lunch?
Pasta. What are you working on?
Self-development and dating.
Dear Lord! No more of it, please…
“Guys don’t like endlessly texting about nothing. So if all you have to say is “hi, how are you?” maybe just refrain for now.
There’s nothing worse than trying to keep a conversation going when neither one of you has anything to say.”
10) Look at his other behavior
Deciding whether or not to text a guy isn’t just about your personal feelings and ideas.
It’s about what he’s been up to in other regards.
Has he been text-ghosting you while living it up on his other social media networks and going out every night?
Or is he busy at work and genuinely hasn’t been online or responding to texts
This sounds like bullshit, but it’s true.
There are definitely times when people are genuinely very busy and can’t respond to texts, and it’s important to respect this.
So pay attention to what he’s up to elsewhere.
Is he snowed under or is he living it up but just ignoring you.
If it’s the latter then do not – under any circumstances – text him.
Keep your self-respect.
11) Let him be a man (digitally)
As part of bringing out his hero’s instinct like I mentioned, you want to let him take the lead.
My view is that it’s sometimes OK to send him a starting text if you’ve gone out or met online.
What you should not do is fall into a pattern of always texting first or feeding him whatever attention he wants at any time.
You should only text if there’s something you want to talk about and generally try to keep it short and sweet.
Let him take the lead and seduce you message by message.
This will excite him.
Maintain a fairly neutral attitude on your end.
“Men know it’s their job to take the lead. They know they have to text a woman who they are interested in, or she could start chatting it up with another man.”
12) Put the phone down for a minute
One of the worst things that can happen when you decide not to text a guy is that you keep checking your phone anyway.
Even though you’re not writing, you’re scanning your phone like crazy and obsessively checking when he was last online on Instagram, Whatsapp and other places.
It’s a really bad idea, because even if he does text there are three possible and likely outcomes:
- You jump at the phone and answer before thinking out of sheer joy, appearing desperate, immature and needy.
- You are so happy he messaged that you gush silly things and come off even worse than if you’d just texted him to start with.
- You start playing a game of intentionally ignoring his text to get back at him, creating a cycle of potential resentment instead of attraction.
13) Want a foolproof way to tell if he likes you?
One of the many benefits of letting him take the lead in texting is that it tells you whether he actually likes you at all.
Of course guys can copy paste all sorts of fake texts to multiple girls and string them along for sex or attention.
But if you are in actual conversations and specific interactions, he’s eventually (likely very soon) going to fade out if he’s not into you in some way.
This is why letting him text first is usually a good idea.
“He may realize how much he misses talking to you and take matters into his own hands and text you first.
“On the other hand, it could be that he’s not that interested in you and doesn’t even notice you’re not texting him at all.”
14) Be respectful, but don’t roll over for him
In texting, generally, you want to be respectful but not a doormat.
Don’t text him and he will text you is generally good advice.
The reason is that if you focus on only responding and not initiating, then he will go out of his way to win your attention and affection.
However, if you chase him and make it apparent that you’re already very into him, he will sense no challenge and often start rapidly losing interest.
“Don’t make yourself easily available for any guy to sweep you off of your feet. Notice how much more respected and valued you would be if the guy had to work hard to get you in the beginning.
“If you love and respect yourself and he cares about you, do not easily be ready to get back with him if you all are broken up because he may continue to do the things you two broke up for the first time.
“If you are meeting a guy, then take things slow and don’t be eager for a second date.”
15) Get your own goals in order
One of the biggest reasons that texting snares so many people up is that it’s quite instinctual.
What I mean is that texting back or texting someone has become so commonplace for most people, that it’s easy to forget about exactly why you’re texting.
Sure, maybe you have no specific goal for sending a “hey guy,” but I’m also talking about longer-term.
Are you looking for a bed buddy or a husband?
Are you hoping to meet your twin flame, a boyfriend or just a guy who’s as into UFOs as you are (not a sex reference…unless you want it to be.)
By putting down what you want in writing, you clarify your thoughts and ensure that you can better decide about texting in a broader framework.
“Write down what it is you want. And look, this doesn’t have to be a projection of the long term with the wedding bells and 2.5 kids,” writes Aryelle Siclait.
Just consider whether you’ll look back on this moment and feel regret.
And if you’re still not sure, give yourself 24 hours to think it over and revisit it.”
16) How does he think of you?
You can’t get inside someone’s head, but what you can do is start using tried and true tactics for influencing people’s opinion of you.
Not texting first is one of the biggest ones.
And by making this your second nature, you will become a more empowered and happier person.
For every guy you lose by doing this, you will gain two more who are actually worth your time.
By giving your fingers a break and focusing on something else, you will give him time to crystallize how he thinks of you.
Pay attention to what he sends you if he contacts you again.
Is it sexual, playful, neutral, bored, angry? That will say a lot.
As Zak observes at the Attraction Game:
“During that time when you stop texting him and he starts to think about you, the fact that you stopped chasing him will cast doubt over his opinion of you.
“If his opinion of you was that you’re desperate or dying to be with him and easy to get, the opposite thought or opinion will not take root in his mind.”
17) Never pressure him to respond
Pressuring a guy to respond is something that almost never works.
And when it does work, you’re only likely to frustrate and anger him anyway.
If you’re not getting an answer or a guy is leaving you on read, the worst thing you can do is start bombarding him with texts.
This gives you the appearance of being desperate, immature or both.
And that’s not a way to spark or maintain a man’s interest.
It’s a way for him to delete you from his contacts and do his best to forget he ever met you.
18) Don’t text him to fight
Texting can get pretty tense and lead to some standoffs.
If you’re angry at a guy who’s not texting back or being rude or disagreeable in some way, the worst thing you can do is text him when you’re angry.
Demanding a response from a guy who you’re upset at is only going to intensify whatever problem you’re having with him.
If the problem is that he’s giving you the cold shoulder, picking on him by text or sending sarcastic memes, GIFs or messages is only likely to lead to him blocking you or insulting you.
It’s an all-around bad idea.
“Picking a fight over text is the worst idea you’ve ever had. Think about it— context, tone, and what is and isn’t a joke are often lost in translation, so you could end up making everything worse.
“Not to mention he’s going to wonder about your judgment and your communication skills if you can’t talk to him in person about whatever issues you’re having,” writes Courtney Hardwick.
She’s right. From a guy’s perspective I can say that I’ve done this and it always turns out very badly.
The downsides of letting him text first
This article wouldn’t be fair if it didn’t play devil’s advocate as well.
Generally it is good advice to not text him first and to let him lead interactions.
Neediness has turned off many potential partners before they could even get started.
But there are some things to consider if you’re thinking about not texting him until he texts you.
These are the main three situations where you should text him first and not wait for him to text you.
1) If you’ve just had a big fight
If you’ve just had a big fight and you feel like he may never text you again, it can be a good time to reflect and eventually send an apology text.
Don’t do so right away, and don’t be a doormat, but do be respectable and send him your thoughts and feelings.
If there’s been a bad fight, sometimes being the first one to break the text ice can lead to smoothing things over.
In some cases it can even be the first step to avoiding a breakup.
So if you’ve just had a huge blowup do the right thing and send him a text…
2) If you cheated on him
If you cheated on your boyfriend and he hasn’t texted you since, this can be an exceptional case of when you can send him a message.
This has the risk of extending into a fight and text wall before he blocks you (if he hasn’t already).
But it can still be the right thing to do.
And sometimes it can give you a feeling that at least you’ve done your part if the relationship is over anyway.
3) If you’re dating seriously
If you’re just getting to know a guy and met him a time or two, it’s better to let him text you first.
But if you’re dating him seriously and he’s been ghosting you on communications, you have a right to ask him what’s up.
Try to do so in as neutral a way as possible.
If he’s your boyfriend and he’s stopped texting you, then there’s obviously a problem of some kind going on.
You’re better off sending a text and seeing what’s up.
Don’t worry about being needy by sending one text and contacting him first if you’re in a relationship with him.
Nonetheless, you’re generally better off letting him lead the texting dance.
When you hear this advice from dating outlets and wonder whether it’s good, rest assured that in most cases it’s good.
If there’s some real physical reason he can’t text you then sending him a text isn’t going to change that.
But in most other cases when he’s not texting you due to disinterest or being into other girls, texting will ruin whatever chance you do have.
Let’s get real…
Texting him or not isn’t always an easy decision. Generally you’re better off not texting if he’s not texting, but there are rare exceptions. Consider the following three crucial questions:
1) What is your goal?
Are you trying to have a fling with this guy and seduce him in the short term, or do you want to date him?
Decide what optimal outcome you want before making any decisions about texting or not texting him.
2) What is your relationship with him?
Did you just meet the man or have you dated him on and off for three months?
Did you hook up last night or only talk once at a friend’s party.
Your decision to text or not should consider the context of your relationship (or lack of relationship) with him.
3) Are you willing to lose him?
If you’re not willing to truly walk away, you aren’t ready not to text.
Not texting him until he texts you is a bold move. But it only works if you accept the chance – which is always there – that he really won’t ever text.
Trying to bluff by not texting him and then folding makes you look even weaker than just texting right away in the first place.
Be honest about whether you’re really willing to have him never contact you again.
With that said, let’s get into it…
To text or not to text, that is the question…
In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the prince debates whether life is worth living.
But in our modern times some of the biggest debates we can have are about whether a text is worth sending.
Should you really send it or just put your phone down and walk away?
It’s not an easy decision.
The above tips will help you decide but the first and most important piece of advice is this:
Do not obsess or overthink. Make your decision and then do it and let it be.
This is the golden rule.
Over-analysis and fretting will make any decision the wrong one.
Text – or don’t text – and then move on with your day. You can’t control his responses or lack of them.
You can decide to send a message or not based on your own gut feeling and what you want. And then move on until further communication does – or does not – arise.
It’s kind of a relief to think of it that way, isn’t it?
Can a relationship coach help you too?
If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.
I know this from personal experience…
A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.
If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.