Regardless of the type of relationship, we all get a little antsy when someone doesn’t respond to a text message. Human beings are inherently self-doubting and self-conscious to some degree or another when it comes to social matters. Sure, we’re not self-doubting and self-conscious with ALL of our social interactions, but when it comes to people we are still getting to know and we want them to like us, the stress is on.

Waiting for someone to text back can be painfully nerve wracking in and of itself, let alone when you have just sent a text message to the new guy you’ve been pining after and he doesn’t immediately send a reassuring response. Those seconds, minutes, hours, and so on can feel like an eternity. This may not be an issue once you've been dating and are in a stable commitment, but until that point, there's a lot of uncertainty about what's going on when he doesn't respond in a timely manner. Here are a few ways to tell:

Give Him Some Time

If you haven’t known the guy you’re texting very long and you don’t know his schedule, give him at least a day before you start to freak out. You don’t know what his life is like. He could be working and super busy and hasn’t even checked his phone to see that you’ve texted him. Don’t be the needy girl who needs a response instantly to feel validated. You are important, but if it’s a new connection, he hasn’t had the time to prioritize you yet. Take a breath and give him a little time. Having said that, if it’s been over 8 hours or so and his reply doesn’t include an apology for taking so long to reply, he may not be as into you as you hoped.

If you’ve been with this man for a while and you know there is no reason he shouldn’t have his phone and be able to respond to you in a timely manner (by “timely manner” I mean within 3-5 hours), then his lack of a response could be a red flag (especially if this is a new behavior and/or you’ve communicated a dislike of this type of behavior). It doesn’t always mean he is cheating, but it is at the very least a sign that he may not be as interested in you as he used to be. If you are in a long term committed relationship and you have communicated a dislike in his inability to keep in touch with you and he ignores it, than at the very least, it is disrespectful and should be dealt with.

When He Eventually Texts Back- But Ignores What Your Message Said

This one is pretty straight forward, regardless of how long the relationship has been going on. If he doesn’t text you back for long periods of time and then ignores what your message said, this can mean a couple things.

For example, if he ignores what you said and starts a different conversation about something else completely, he might not care what you think and only want to talk about what matters to him. In this instance you are merely someone he can talk to when he’s bored or seeking validation of some kind. Or if he ignores what you said and requests to see you out of the blue, you might just be a booty call (especially if it’s late in the evening and he pulls this type of stunt). Lastly, he might be ignoring what your message said because he has something to hide. If you asked him a point-blank question and he changes the subject, he most likely doesn't want to answer the question because you won't like the true answer.

When he Frequently Responds with a Single Word

Again, this one is pretty universal. If he is constantly responding with single word responses (“okay”, “yeah”, “cool”, etc.) or a single emoji, then he might be bored by you. I know this is a harsh reality, but come on. It’s the key pad decade nowc, ladies. This type of laziness is a pretty obvious indicator that he’s not interested or quickly losing interest in you. This type of response is okay occasionally, of course. You don’t need a long winded response if your message was a mere yes or no question. But a plethora of single-word responses generally means that he is only responding at all to spare your feelings.

In this new age of communicating electronically, trying to gage if someone is interested in you or not is even more complicated than it once was. But as with all new forms of communication, we eventually adapt and are able to deduce what's really going on, even with only a few text phrases. With a little text message savvy, you are sure to be better at reading the signs.

Have additional suggestions on what it means when he doesn’t text you back? If so, be sure to add your thoughts in the comments below!