4 things that happen when you ignore a guy (and why it works)

What happens when you’re seeing a guy, it’s all going great, and then he starts to fade out on you?

Most of us have been there and got that horrible sinking feeling when you realize it’s been three days since he called.

Maybe this sounds familiar.

You had an amazing first date, where you talked like old friends, were the last people to leave the bar, and had arranged a second date before you’d even got home.

More dates followed, along with some pretty mind-blowing sex.

But you never thought it was just about sex.

There were lots of loving messages and affectionate evenings curled up with a movie.

You really thought that this one might be going somewhere.

Then, things changed.

One morning, he didn’t message you like he always did.

Rather than making plans for the next weekend on Monday, it got to Thursday and you still didn’t know if you’d see him.

He started making excuses to leave your place after dinner and sex, rather than staying the night. 

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It’s awful.

Just when you thought you might just finally have found someone you could plan a future with, they go cold on you. Maybe he even ended up totally ghosting you. 

It hurts. It really hurts. But how do you respond to it? You have two options.

1. Try and talk to him. Ask him what’s going on and why it’s changed. 

2. Ignore him.

Your instinct is probably to take option 1).

When a guy goes cold on you, you just want to know why.

You want to understand what it is that you’ve done that’s caused such a promising relationship to go wrong, and you’re not ready to let him go yet.

But ignoring him might just be the way to get the result you really want.

In this article, we’re going to talk about why guys suddenly go cold, exactly what happens when you ignore him in response, and what happens if you don’t.

Why do guys go hot and cold?

The worst thing about a guy suddenly going cold on you is that you never know why it’s happening.

It’s hard not to blame yourself and to think you must have done something ‘wrong’. 

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There are many reasons why a guy who was previously hotter-than-hot has gone cold.

Most of the time, it’s nothing to do with you and everything to do with his own feelings, goals and (sometimes) his inadequacies.

1. He just wanted sex

When you first start seeing someone, it’s totally cool for it to be all about the sex.

You’re really into each other and desperate to rip each others’ clothes off any chance you get. 

But there comes a point when you want to go deeper than just sex.

If you’ve been seeing each other for a few months, you’re spending more time together and you’re feeling more ‘coupley’. It feels like a natural progression. 

This is the point where some guys go cold. Because they don’t really want that progression. They were happy with it just being sex, and once they sense that you want more, they’re on the run. 

This isn’t always deliberate or premeditated. They might have been happy enough just seeing where things went, but now it’s clear it’s moving into more serious territory, they cool it.

2. He has issues with getting emotionally intimate

We all know that some men aren’t great at the ‘feelings’ stuff.

This one is super-frustrating, because you’ve often had a glimpse of what this guy could be like as an affectionate, emotionally available partner, and then he pulls back from you. 

He was quite happy spending lots of time with you when you weren’t demanding anything of him emotionally.

But as soon as you want to talk about how you’re feeling, or get to know him on a deeper level, he’s no longer interested in hanging out. He’s running scared of the closeness that you need and want.

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Guys like this were often raised by an emotionally distant father, and have unconsciously absorbed the message that men don’t show their feelings.

When they feel themselves getting close to someone, they instinctively pull back from them, because they just can’t cope with their feelings getting any stronger.

3. He’s settling into a long-term relationship pattern

If a guy pulls back a little, but still seems to enjoy your company, then this could be the reason.

Say he still wants to stay over and loves his time with you, but just doesn’t message or call like he used to. Or maybe he just doesn’t seem that bothered about fancy restaurants and cocktail bars and seems happy to stay home wearing jogging pants.

This can be really frustrating, as you love the fun and  excitement of dating and you don’t want it to end.

You’re just not ready to accept that your relationship is now all about curling up together on the sofa!

That’s totally understandable, but remember that this isn’t necessarily a bad sign for your future. It could just be that he is settling into a relationship pattern rather than a dating pattern. 

While the early, hedonistic days of dating are fun, they’re not usually sustainable long-term. Perhaps he’s ready for the next stage.

Talk to him and see if you can make that happen while still keeping some of the fun (and if you want to tell him to ditch the jogging pants, no one would blame you).

4. There’s something going on in his life that you don’t know about

A lot of guys aren’t great at talking. Yes, it’s a stereotype, but it is often true. It’s not a deliberate choice, but something that can be ingrained in some guys from their childhoods. 

This means that If he’s pulling back, it could be that he’s got something going on that he hasn’t shared with you. It might be work stress, or something going on in his family, or even a health scare.

Don’t assume that a guy will always tell you if there’s something happening.

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In the early stages of dating, a lot of guys will feel like they shouldn’t burden you, or that they have to live up to some kind of masculine ideal where they never look weak.

Be gentle with him and see if you can get him to open up without pressure.

5. His feelings are changing

This is a tough one. If a guy is pulling back, it can simply be the explanation that you’re dreading: his feelings aren’t quite meeting you where you are.

This is gutting, especially if he’s given off clear signs of wanting more from you.

If he showered you with gifts, flowers and expensive dates, perhaps he got carried away. And now he’s starting to think about whether you’re really right for him.

It’s really hard to take, but it’s important to remember that if he doesn’t think it’s right, it’s probably not right.

Hold out for a relationship with someone who wants you, 100%.

6. There’s someone else

This is another heart-sinker. 

It might be that his head has been turned on a night out, and now he’s rethinking being with you. 

Sometimes, it might not be that he was looking for anyone else, but that an ex who he never quite got over somehow reappears in his life.

Maybe she came back to town after an absence, or popped up in his inbox. 

This hurts, but if you suspect it that there’s someone else, remember that you’ve almost certainly had a lucky escape.

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A guy who isn’t over his ex is never relationship material. Nor is a guy whose attention is so easily drawn elsewhere.

What usually happens when you ignore a guy?

Whenever a guy starts to blow cold, it’s very tempting to contact him more often or even to simply ask him outright what’s going on.

We’ll talk more later in the article about whether you should do this, but let’s first look at the other option: ignoring him.

The effects of ignoring a guy will vary depending on exactly what the reasons are for him going cold in the first place, how much he likes you and what his plans are with you.

It’s impossible to say that you’ll always get one particular outcome, because you don’t know what’s going on in his head. 

Here are some of the things that might happen if you ignore a guy.

1. He won’t care much and will just ignore you back

If your guy was blowing cold because he just wasn’t that interested in the first place, then there’s a good chance that ignoring him won’t really have much effect.

He might just be happy enough to let things fade out, even if he still had some interest in you. 

This is a good thing. If a guy’s feelings have changed, then you want him to fade out from your life. If you hadn’t ignored him, he would almost certainly have messed you around. 

If he was simply after sex and nothing more, the same applies.

If all he wanted was easy sex, he’s unlikely to come running when you ignore him, because he doesn’t want to put the work in.

Again, this is a good thing. While it may hurt to know that he doesn’t care enough to respond when you ignore him, it’s much better to know than to keep hoping that something might happen.

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2. He’ll contact you again, but it’ll be half-hearted

There is a risk when you ignore a guy that he’ll decide to contact you in response, but only because you’ve been ignoring him.

Some guys feel like their ego is being bruised when they’re ignored, and so they won’t be able to help themselves from responding by getting in touch.

Or perhaps he thought he was close to getting sex, and because he still wants to be in with a chance, he contacts you again. 

The problem with this is that his response is all about him.

You ignoring him will have ‘worked’ in the sense that it means that he’ll have messaged you, and maybe even wanted to meet up, but he won’t be any more into you than he was before. 

Look carefully for signs that his feelings for you aren’t really as genuine as you’d hoped.

If he’s flaky about actually meeting up, or he’s trying to rush you into sex before you’re ready, take those as red flags. 

3. He’ll be really upset but assume you’re not interested 

The biggest danger involved in ignoring a guy is that he just assumes you’re no longer interested in him.

He doesn’t say anything to you, but simply fades into the background because he thinks that’s what you wanted. 

This can happen when a guy was blowing cold because he was just very busy himself, or had something else going on in his life that was keeping him preoccupied.

While a lot of the time, when a guy tells you he’s ‘busy’, he really means he’s not interested, sometimes it really is true.

And if you then ignore him, he might just assume that you’ve lost interest. 

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If you think this might have happened, then you could try getting back in touch with him. While he might be hurt, he might be totally happy to talk again…and relieved that you want to.

4. His interest will be piqued and he’ll be in touch 

Ignoring a guy is a high-risk strategy, but sometimes, it really does work. That’s exactly why people do it. 

Guys are often happy enough to coast when they first meet someone.

Maybe they’re seeing other people, maybe they’re not sure if they want to settle into a relationship, maybe they’re thinking about moving away and can’t commit. 

But whatever the reason they weren’t committing to you in the first place, ignoring them really can make them get in touch with their own feelings.

If you didn’t make them work hard in the beginning, they just assumed you’d always be there if they decided they wanted you.

When you start to ignore them? Then they realise that they can’t take you for granted after all. 

These guys have been kidding themselves that they’re not really that interested in you.

And the only way to get them to move past that and to actually appreciate you, is to make him think that you might not be as interested as he thought you were. m

When you start to ignore a guy who’s in this kind of headspace, he’s straight away thinking ‘I’ve blown it’.

He tells himself that he should have done more to keep you, and he’s kicking himself for not doing it.

But, especially if he’s the determined or competitive type, he’s also going to be telling himself that he can salvage this situation. 

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What does that mean for you? You can expect the attention you’ve been wanting.

Maybe he’ll just ask you out on a date, or maybe there’ll even be a grand gesture – like a big surprise day out to whisk you off your feet.

Or it might just be that there’s a sudden uptick in his level of communication. Whatever it is, you’ll know it when you see it.

Why does ignoring a guy work?

When ignoring a guy works, it really works. But what is it about being ignored that makes guys come chasing after you, after weeks or even months of apparent indifference?

Here are three reasons why ignoring a guy works.

1. It makes him think you’re special

If you’re the one who’s always chasing him, then he isn’t going to think you’re worth chasing.

This may seem crazy to you, but it’s how a lot of guys think (even if it’s unconscious). 

This is particularly true if he’s a good-looking guy who’s used to getting a lot of female attention.

If he constantly has girls trying to hang out with him, then none of them really stand out to him.

But the girl who’s brave enough to be different, and not seem all that bothered about him?

That’s intriguing to a guy. It instantly makes him want to know more about you.

2. He realizes you’re not to be messed with

It might not seem like this is such a good thing, but it is. In any relationship, you want respect, right?

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When a guy sees that you’re someone who is willing and able to actually go out and demand respect for themselves, he won’t be able to help but give you that respect. 

A girl who is always the one on the back foot, who is always the one who is doing the chasing and texting, doesn’t naturally command respect in the way that the girl who is brave enough to ask for what she wants does. 

3. It brings out his old school hunter instinct

If you look like you might be pulling away, his natural instinct is to chase.

Guys know instinctively that a girl who is ignoring them might no longer be available to them, and so their instant reaction is to chase you before you go away for good.

Should I chase him?

If ignoring him doesn’t get you the reaction you want, is it ever worth chasing a guy? 

In a word: no.

Chasing a man never results in you getting what you want from him.

All that happens is that you get frustrated and they, most of the time, run further away from you than when you started the chase. 

It’s easy to see, though, why girls end up chasing a guy. Just as a guy feels like a hunter when he gets into ‘chase mode’, so do you.

You know what you want and you are 100% focused on getting it. You feel like you’ll do anything to get him to want you – and you know that if he could just see you for what you are, he would want you.

The big problem with this approach is that you’re putting responsibility for your happiness on his shoulders.

He doesn’t want that, and, let’s be honest, you don’t really want that either.

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If you pursue a chasing strategy, he’ll think you don’t really value yourself all that highly – because you’re doing things that make it seem as if all your value is tied up in him.

This doesn’t mean that you should never pursue a guy though. Ignoring a guy is actually a big part of an intelligent strategy for pursuing someone.

The key is for him not to realize how much you want him. Retain some mystery and make yourself intriguing enough for him to want to chase you down.

Take action to find out if he’s into you

If you’re not happy with the way your relationship is progressing, then ignoring the guy can be a great way to find out whether he’s really into you or not.

Rather than spending your time worrying that he isn’t interested in you any longer, you can take control of the situation by ignoring him and seeing what happens. 

There are several reasons why a guy might suddenly seem to be blowing hot and cold, and not all of them are bad.

Sometimes, a guy will seem to have gone cold simply because he’s got too much going on and he just can’t find the space to give you everything you need.

Or he might be settling down into a relationship, whereas you feel like you’re still in the thrilling dating phase. 

Alternatively, it could be something that you don’t want to hear: another girl, or a change of heart. 

Whatever the reason, ignoring a guy should give you the answers you need. His reaction will tell you everything about how he’s really feeling and what he wants from you.

The real reason why men pull away

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