Author: Paul R. Brian & Renée Shen
If you have a guy in your life who you’re interested in, his attention becomes your most valuable commodity.
You want those texts, dates and signs that he’s into you to keep rolling your way.
They not only make you happy, they also reassure you that the emotions you’re feeling are shared by the object of your affection.
So what happens when he shuts off and ignores you?
Is this just an obvious sign that he’s no longer into you?
The answer is maybe, maybe not.
Let me explain.
Why is he ignoring me?
I can almost hear the pain in this question from behind my computer screen.
And I know this pain as a man who’s had women I was interested in ignore me.
If a guy is ignoring you, the first thing you need to do is make sure that you’re not overreacting.
I know this sounds like gaslighting, but it’s absolutely crucial.
Here’s what I mean…
When we like someone it’s easy to become hyper-attentive to what they’re doing, saying and posting.
When their attention towards us lapses, we may panic.
Make sure you don’t overreact right away and assume a guy is ignoring you when he’s actually just:
A lot depends on where things are at with this guy, so I don’t want to judge your specific situation.
What I will say is that many times if you’re wondering: “why is he ignoring me?”, you may have pushed too far, too fast.
This may not be your fault. Especially if your feelings are strong, it’s natural you may have hoped that things become serious soon after beginning dating.
However men are constantly in tension between their desire for independence and their instinct to commit.
(Yes, I said instinct. Men actually secretly love to commit.)
But if they feel a woman push too hard or try to make the future set in stone, they will tend to sharply pull back like a fish who knows it’s been hooked.
Him ignoring you does not necessarily mean he’s no longer into you.
It could just mean he needs a breather to recenter himself and find his bearings again before proceeding into closer intimacy with you.
Would you like to know how to bring him closer to you emotionally? If you know the right emotional hot buttons, you can easily inspire him to commit to you (and only you), making things easier for yourself in the future.
If that’s what you want, then I have something for you:
I won’t patronize readers in this article or just write what’s easy to hear.
Awful as it is to say, there is definitely a chance he’s met someone else and that’s why he’s giving you the cold shoulder.
If you’re interested in a guy this can be right up there with your worst nightmares coming true, and I wish it wasn’t so common.
It happens a lot, sadly.
So, you ask: why is he ignoring me?
Well, in this world of hyperspeed apps and ultra-short attention spans it’s like being stuck in a world of RADD (Romantic Attention Deficit Disorder).
…Except sadly it’s not so rad. It actually sucks.
And sometimes it means you come up short and he’s already bounced to someone new.
My advice? Try to see it one of three ways:
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Unfortunately, not all men are direct and masculine in their nature.
For various reasons, there are a growing number of men who communicate indirectly and in a cowardly way.
If you want to know why he’s ignoring you, then you should think about this situation in both a worst-case and best-case scenario way.
Let’s consider the worst-case scenario:
This is that he wants to break up with you but is too cowardly to do so.
This is one of the most hurtful things somebody can do in dating and we all know it.
Telling someone you no longer want to see them or need to be alone is one thing.
Ghosting them and being a major asshole in order to slow fade on them is another thing entirely.
Like I said, this is a worst-case scenario. It may not be the case for you. But if it is the case, you have absolutely every right to feel enraged and done with him.
If you’d like to do something with the anger, there’s one thing you can say to him to both ‘test’ to see how far he’s willing to come towards you (and make it up to you).
And saying this one thing always makes you high value: Click here to learn the ONE thing you can say to ANY man that will capture his attention, trigger his curiosity and make him hang onto every word you say!
Well, it’s never good to only deliver bad news, so here’s some good news to go along with that.
When it comes to considering the best-case scenario, here it is:
The best case scenario for the question: “why is he ignoring me”, is that he likes you so much he is trying to pump the brakes a bit on his responsiveness to you.
If you are into him, then this is an excellent possibility.
Basically those unanswered messages and radio silence might not be that at all.
They might be him biting his lip and refraining from answering right now because he is so over the moon for you that he doesn’t want to play all his cards at once.
OK, so if this is what’s going on why doesn’t he just keep it low-key but at least write back or ask you out for an easygoing drink?
Well - and this is what I’m saying - he may have such strong feelings for you that he doesn’t trust himself to take it easy if he writes back too quickly or sees you right now.
Like I said, this is a best-case scenario, for sure.
As I touched on earlier, one of the reasons that a guy may fall out of touch with you is because he’s going through an unrelated crisis.
The thing that makes this complicated and prone to gaslighting is that “crisis” is a very flexible word.
What kind of crisis?
How long does it last?
Who defines it as a crisis versus a general challenge of some kind?
What about this crisis is preventing him from contacting you or making him choose not to do so?
These are all questions you must consider carefully before justifying his absence.
Not all crises are created equal, and he may indeed be using this to gaslight you or avoid you.
“Sorry I didn’t get in touch, I was going through a hard time.”
If you get a text like this, think carefully.
Absolutely you should give him the benefit of the doubt, but if you find reasons to doubt that it’s true or that that’s the real reason he ignored you, it’s crucial that you stand up for yourself and cut him off, or at least confront him.
The silent treatment is a thing that many guys and girls will use when they’re pissed off at a partner but don’t want open conflict.
It’s passive-aggressive, it’s cowardly, but it’s all too common.
It’s basically that he disagrees with you strongly or has been hurt by you, but instead of opening up about it he just shuts down.
Maybe something you said or did really upset this guy or made him suddenly think you are definitely not the one for him, but he pretended all was hunky dory.
Now he’s pushed you off his radar and would rather just forget you ever existed.
As relationship expert Corrina Horne puts it:
“People handle their disagreements with others in very different ways. Some people are quite vocal in their reasons, while others will clam up and withdraw from the situation.
The silent treatment is a form of punishment in many couple's relationships and could be the cause of the sudden ice wall you just encountered in your developing interests.”
Harsh, but sometimes true.
If a guy didn’t like you much to start with, then he might be ignoring you as the easiest way to hope you get the message.
You were a fling, a one-nighter, a nobody to him.
He wants to selfishly move on and treat you like a discardable object who can be thrown in the past where he feels you belong.
If this is the case, then you were definitely put in what dating coach Renée Wade calls the “one of many” basket.
Ie: you’re considered to be one of many women, not the “one and only” who easily inspired him to fall in love with you and make you his one and only forever.
Never let someone treat you like this.
You’re worth so much more.
Don’t forget that.
If you want to ensure you’ll always be placed in men’s “one and only” basket in the future, check out this video from Renée on how to do exactly that.
One of the dirtier subcultures of the world wide web are pickup artists (PUAs).
These slimy creatures run a lot of forums, courses and “exclusive” clubs for men looking to get laid or land a girlfriend.
The problem with PUAs, by and large, is that they’re childish losers.
They often suggest playing silly games with women’s minds or screwing with their expectations and emotions in order to get them to fall in love.
While this may work for insecure women or for a roll in the hay now and then, it leads to high-value women reacting in disgust and confusion.
If the guy you are seeing is having his head filled with this kind of sh*t then it could well be the issue.
He’s ignoring you to see if it piques your interest or makes you even more into him.
I hope for your sake that it does not.
OK, sometimes a guy isn’t getting back to you because he is sincerely confused about his feelings for you.
He may feel some attraction but also have considerable doubt about whether your values or life paths can align.
Or he may feel really connected to you in terms of your paths in life but be feeling a lack of some physical chemistry and romance.
Love is always far from perfect, and he could be struggling with his own expectations about relationships or dating.
Furthermore, he could be talking to friends and family or even a dating coach about what to do next.
Feeling unsure about how you feel for someone is hard, and if he’s going through that it can definitely lead to long radio silence as he considers his next move.
Your job, if this is the case, is to double down on your life and focus on your next steps instead of waiting for him.
What does this really mean?
It means that something may have happened in your relationship with him that caused him to realize that his emotional presence was required.
(And emotional presence is always required if you’re going to have an actual long term, committed relationship with someone!)
So it’s not your fault. He’s just emotionally unavailable. And emotionally unavailable people find it hard to:
I also cannot end this particular point without informing you that emotionally unavailable people usually have an anxious or avoidant attachment style (or even a combination of both attachment styles).
If you are naturally an anxious person, or have an anxious attachment style yourself, then this is going to be extra hard for you.
Specifically, a guy being emotionally unavailable is just going to push all your fear buttons and cause you to spend excessive time overthinking, stressing and worrying.
If you’re securely attached however, then an emotionally unavailable guy may still be a problem, but you just won’t get as anxious and stressed.
In fact, if you’re securely attached you may actually be more successful at getting such a guy to open up, because you’re less burdened by your own fears.
Regardless, he may not be worth you trying to “open him up”.
Remember that if a guy is emotionally unavailable, he is either:
I strongly recommend you find out your own core attachment style, as this will give you answers on why you feel the way you do when a guy ignores you.
(Why is this important? It is because your core attachment style largely dictates and influences what happens in your relationship. Thus it’s imperative you understand your core attachment style!)
Moving on from the last point, another one of the possible answers to why is he ignoring me, is that he thinks you’re too good for him.
Insecure guys can get really tied up in overthinking and worrying about every little interaction they have with a girl they like.
If he’s already got low self-esteem, then feeling he may not be good enough for you is going to be eating him up inside.
While low self esteem can cause some guys to reach out desperately for approval and validation, it can cause others to shrink back into themselves and avoid any interaction.
(He could also have an avoidant attachment style!)
He also may be worried that you’re only going to let him down or reject him.
So he’s essentially sabotaging your relationship before it can get too serious, out of fear that he may be found lacking.
Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy!
On the flip side, he may believe he’s too good for you.
Why is he ignoring me?
This is among the worst and most disturbing reasons: a guy who feels he’s superior to you and therefore ghosts you is a real downer for your own sense of wellbeing.
The only advantage of this is that if this is what he’s doing then you can absolutely cross him off your list of potential mates.
Any guy without the humility and realism to understand that everyone has faults is going to be an insanely terrible partner.
You just dodged a nasty, whizzing bullet.
The decision about what to do next can be hard.
Once you determine why he is ignoring you, you may ponder what to do next.
Should you keep pressing for him to respond, block him or break up with him?
What if you try to break up with him and he still doesn’t answer?
The fact is this:
If a guy is ignoring you and possibly even physically avoiding you there is nothing you can do to force him to respond.
You need to look after yourself. And if this has gone on too long that means drawing a line and saying: enough is enough.
Paul R. Brian
Paul Rowan Brian is a freelance journalist, author and writer from Canada. He's written for Ideapod, Hack Spirit and Love Connection and is focused on culture, relationships and self-development. You can follow him on Twitter @paulrbrian.
Author & Editor For National Council for Research on Women. Founder of the popular women's dating & relationship advice website, The Feminine Woman.
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