in

19 reasons why he won’t text you first (and what you can do about it)

Do you feel like it’s always you sending the first text?

It’s incredibly frustrating when this happens.

The last thing you want is to come across as too needy or desperate, but it really hurts that you’re the only one who seems to make any effort to get in touch. 

You wonder what would happen if you just didn’t contact him.

Would he ever make the first move? Or would he just end up fading you out completely?

It feels like every single week you tell yourself that you’re going to just stop texting and let him make the first move.

But every single time, you end up cracking after a couple of days. 

And all the while, the same few thoughts keep on running through your mind.

Does he just text me back to be polite? Is he seeing someone else? Am I just here for convenience? Or is he actually just really bad at texting, or really busy at work?

It’s incredibly hard to work out what is going on – not to mention upsetting.

In this article, we’re going to talk through all the reasons why he might not want to text you first, and then help you figure out what you should do about it. 

1. He likes you…but you’re not the only one

If your guy never seems to text you first, but when you do see him, he always seems into you, then it could be that you’re one of a few girls he’s seeing...or at least interested in.

This means that he’s not going to prioritise you if you’re the one texting him first every time. 

If that sounds counterintuitive, think of it like this: the girl who texts first is the one who he knows he isn’t going to lose.

The girl who he doesn’t hear from for a week? She’s the one he’s going to put effort into texting, because she’s the one who he’s in danger of losing. 

2. He really is just crazy busy

Sometimes, the simplest explanation is the right one.

When you’ve been tying yourself up in knots trying to figure out if he really likes you, or if his lack of texting is just because he’s not interested, you’ve probably told yourself a thousand times that ‘he’s just busy’. 

Maybe he really is?

If you know he has a full-on job, then he probably doesn’t have time to text during the day.

And when he gets home, he just wants to switch off…and not spend time on his phone. 

If this is the case with your guy, then it’s cool that it’s nothing you’ve done that’s the problem, and he almost certainly really does like you (after all, if he’s that busy, and he still finds time to reply, that’s a good thing). 

But you need to ask one serious question: if he hasn’t got time to reply to a text, has he really got time for a relationship?

If you’re at the point where you’re pretty sure that lack of time is the reason he doesn’t text, then you need to have this conversation with him.

3. He’s just not a texter

Some men just don’t like texting much. It’s a total cliche, but guys really aren’t as communicative as girls are a lot of the time.

And while you might love spending time gossiping on text with your girlfriends, there’s a good chance that he simply doesn’t feel the same. 

Maybe he feels that texting is just a functional thing.

For some guys, you only text when you have something to plan…the real conversation happens in person.

If you find that your guy will sometimes text first if it’s to confirm plans, then it could be that he’s just not a text chatter. 

It might also be that he’s a bit of an introvert.

If you know him, you’ll know if that’s the case.

Maybe he feels overwhelmed by having to chat to people all the time, and just needs his downtime more than most.

Only you know if that’s something you’re cool with in a relationship or not.

4. He’s not sure of his feelings and doesn’t want to lead you on

If you find that he’s happy to chat when you do get into a conversation, but he’s never the instigator, this could be why.

He does like you, but he’s not sure of how much.

And he knows that if he’s the one texting first, you’ll probably think that he’s more into you than he actually is. 

This really isn’t about you.

If he’s doing this, he probably genuinely doesn’t know what he wants.

But that doesn’t mean that you have to hang around waiting to see if he’ll make up his mind.

For these guys, it is probably worth testing him by stopping texting. Either he’ll miss you and start texting, or he’ll move on – but you’ll know. 

5. He’s deliberately stringing you along…and enjoying it

This one is hard to hear.

There are guys out there who will get off on the thought that you might be hanging on waiting to hear from him, and won’t ever text first, because he knows that eventually, you will.

And he loves that. 

Guys like this are on a power trip. He knows exactly what he’s doing, and exactly what’s going on in your head. If you think your guy is one of these, cut him loose. He doesn’t deserve any more of your headspace.

6. He doesn’t want to seem too keen

You know how you feel after a great first date?

When all you want to do is text the guy and tell him how much fun you had, but you’re sitting on your hands to stop yourself so you don’t come across too keen?

Your guy could be doing that right now. 

Sometimes, even after you’ve been dating a while, guys like to play it casual.

Perhaps he’s worried that, if he starts texting first, you’ll lose interest in him.

It’s not just girls that do this stuff…guys do too. And if he’s doing it, he probably really does like you.

He’s just struggling to get out of his own head.

7. He’s really shy (even if he doesn’t always come across that way)

A lot of guys are super-confident all the time – or at least, they do everything they can to look that way.

But it’s not always true.

Sometimes, even confident-seeming guys are really shy underneath. And if he likes you, then that shyness will be more and more obvious. 

It’s much easier for a shy person to reply to messages that someone else has sent, than to be the one who starts off the conversations.

This might seem unfair, and it kind of is – after all, you’re not feeling great about being the instigator every time, either.

But if you think that your guy might just be shy, see if you can talk to him about it. If he knows how you’re feeling, he might just up his game.

8. He likes you, but he’s just not that serious

You’ve probably been on dates with guys who you liked spending time with, but weren’t really into a relationship with.

And if your guy is never the one to text first, it could be that this is where he’s at with you. 

That stings, right?

But it’s not a reflection on your worth.

It could just be that he’s not into a relationship with anyone right now, or it could be that he’s just not sure if you’re right for him.

But because he does have some feelings for you, he’s not ready to just cut you off yet. 

9. He’s being polite

This is really hard to take, but sometimes, a guy will just be texting back because he’s being polite. He’s not that interested in you, but he doesn’t have the guts to say so.

When you text, he feels like it would be rude to ignore you, so he texts back. 

Of course, that’s the last thing you want. If he’s not into it, you want him to tell you (or at least not keep texting you), so that you know for sure. 

10. He has recently broken up with someone he loved

What is your man’s dating history like? If he has recently finished a long-term relationship, then he may be heartbroken and wants to take a break from dating for a while.

It doesn’t mean he doesn’t like you. It just means he’s not ready for a relationship.

There’s not much you can do in this situation. Your only option is to wait it out and give the guy some space.

Eventually he’ll get over his heartbreak and be ready to date again.

11. He doesn’t think you like him

Go back to the conversation you had with him. How did it go?

Did you really signal your intent? Or were you pretty ambiguous?

If you’re the type of girl who expects the man to make the move and romance the shit out of you, then you may have unknowingly acted a little cold with him.

And even though he grabbed your number, perhaps he doesn;t see the point in texting you because it will lead to another rejection.

Guy’s hate rejection.

If you didn’t get his number then there’s not much you can do except act more interested in him next time.

12. Perhaps he’s just fearful

Some guys have many unwarranted fears when it comes to dating women.

They might be scared of getting locked into a relationship with a girl, or they simply don’t trust women to treat them nicely.

A terrible experience with an ice-cold bitch can plague a man’s mind for a long period of time.

We can all agree that some women can be nasty at the best times (it’s the same with men!).

He may also fear not being good enough for you. If he has low self-esteem, then he may feel that you’re too good for him and he’s not worthy of a relationship with you.

It could be any kind of fear that comes with dating women.

If he is fearful, then he is less likely to take action and message you first.

13. He may not be into you

As much as you probably don’t want to admit it, he may not be attracted to you.

Perhaps he asked for your number just to be polite and make you feel good in the moment.

This obviously isn’t easy to admit.

But ask yourself:

How did he act when he was talking with you?

Usually, his body language can tell you a lot about his feelings for you.

If he leaned forward, got close to you, and casually touched you, then he definitely had feelings for you.

But if he was a little stand-offish and acted distant while talking to you, then the signs may, unfortunately, point to him not being interested in you.

Keep in mind that this may have nothing to do with you. He might be heartbroken, not ready for a relationship, or too fearful of getting hurt to run the risk of dating a female.

14. He doesn’t know what to text you

Some guys aren’t very experienced when it comes to romantic relationships.

If he has never texted a girl that he was attracted to then he’ll have no idea what to say.

He wants to text you something witty, funny, romantic and everything in between!

After all, he wants to make a great impression.

So just give him more time. He’ll eventually come up with something to text you.

If you really want to make his day, then react positively to his first text and it will totally make his day.

15. He has commitment issues

Ah, you probably didn’t want to hear this, but commitment issues are common for a lot of guys.

Many guys believe that if they get involved in a relationship, then they’ll automatically lose all of their freedom.

Maybe they are young and they want to test out the waters before they decide to settle down.

Perhaps they find the “courting” stage thrilling but see the “stable relationship phase” as boring.

So when it moves beyond the initial attraction stage, they start to act distant.

Some men don’t have serious long-term relationships until they’re well into their 30s. It’s actually more common than you might think.

So what does this mean for you?

It means that you may have to text him first.

But don’t worry. Once you organize a date and he spends more time with you, he’ll understand that his freedom actually isn’t being compromised.

But it’s up to you to make him realize that.

One counter-intuitive way to do this is to make him feel like a hero.

As someone you genuinely trust and admire.

When a man feels like a hero, not only does it feel like he has the freedom to do whatever he wants to do, but it triggers something deep inside him.

There’s actually a fascinating new concept in relationship psychology that’s getting a lot of buzz at the moment.

It goes to the heart of the riddle about why men fall in love — and who they fall in love with.

The theory claims that men want to be your hero. That they want to step up to the plate for the woman in their lives and provide and protect her.

This is deeply rooted in male biology.

People are calling it the hero instinct. I wrote a detailed primer about the concept which you can read here.

The kicker is that a man won’t fall in love with you when he doesn’t feel like your hero.

He wants to see himself as a protector. As someone you genuinely want and need to have around. Not as an accessory, ‘best friend’, or ‘partner in crime’.

I know this might sound a bit silly. In this day and age, women don’t need someone to rescue them. They don’t need a ‘hero’ in their lives.

And I couldn’t agree more.

But here’s the ironic truth. Men do still need to be a hero. Because it’s built into our DNA to seek out relationships that allow us to feel like a protector.

If you would like to learn more about the hero instinct, check out this free online video by the relationship psychologist who coined the term. He provides a fascinating insight into this new concept.

Here’s a link to the excellent video again.

16. He’s confident you will text him first

If he’s a confident guy and he’s sure that you’re into him, then he might be convinced that you’ll text him first.

Let’s be honest. Nobody wants to text first. Guys just do it because they know they have to.

But if he’s convinced that you’re into him more than he’s into you, then he’ll wait for you to text him first.

17. He’s trying to play hard to get

This is a really common reason guys won’t text you first. They don’t want to appear needy or clingy and they think the best way to do that is to get you to text first.

In their head, they think that this gives them an advantage in the battle of who likes who more.

It’s not a bad way to increase his attraction. He at least gives off the vibe that is confident and has other options.

But in my opinion, guys should be the ones who text first, so perhaps this man needs to grow some balls first before you decide to date him.

18. He doesn’t want to be annoying

This is another reason guys may not want to text first.

Perhaps he’s a typical “nice guy” that doesn’t want to be pushy or rude.

Or he thinks that you’re that into him so he is respecting your time.

Because he doesn’t want to be annoying, he’ll simply wait for you to text him first.

Should you always wait for him to text you first?

We’ve talked about the reasons why he might not be the one texting you first, but does that mean that you should never be the one to initiate? 

Not necessarily.

There are times when it makes sense for you to be the one who texts first, and there are other times when it’s far better for you to wait and let him do the running.

So how do you know when it’s the right time for you to text first, and when it’s time to sit back and make him step up?

1. If you’re drunk, never text first

You know when people joke that they need a breathalyser on their phone? There’s a reason for that.

Drunk texting is one of the biggest ways that you’re likely to end up texting him something you regret. 

And that morning after feeling where you can’t remember what you said or did, and you’re scared to look at your phone in case you find something you don’t want to find? That’s no fun at all. 

If it really is a good idea to text, then it’ll wait a few hours until you’re sober. Nothing’s ever that urgent that you can’t wait at least until the morning.

2. If the conversation isn’t flowing, don’t text first

If you’ve been finding that he keeps on sending you one-word answers, or he takes a long time to respond to your texts, it’s definitely time to back off.

He’s either doing this because he’s just not that interested, in which case you need to know so you can act accordingly.

Or he’s just got too much going on right now to have time for you – which is also something you need to know. 

In either case, you texting first is probably annoying him, and he’s just replying because he feels like he needs to be polite. You texting isn’t going to encourage him to want to spend time with you. 

3. If you want to ask him whether he’s into you, don’t text first. 

Or, if you’re angry with him for not texting you more and you want to tell him so. 

Doing this isn’t going to turn him on. It’ll make him turn away. 

Even if he is into you, and just hasn’t been very good at texting, being confronted by an angry or upset text from someone he feels he doesn’t even know well yet is going to make him run. 

4. If it hasn’t all been totally one-sided, then you can text first

Sometimes, it feels like it’s all you doing the texting, but actually, he’s not been as bad as you’re telling yourself. 

Look through your message history. Are there at least some occasions where he makes the first move? Even if there aren’t, does he usually reply quickly and enthusiastically when you text?

If you’re having real, genuine, interesting conversations, then it might be that he really is just shy, or super busy.

Or he’s just got into a pattern of letting you text first because that’s what’s always happened. 

If you think this is the case, text first, but do it to arrange a date. Meet him in person and see if things progress. If he’s not up for the meeting, then you have your answer. 

Do guys like it when girls text them first?

We’ve spoken a lot in this article about reasons that you shouldn’t text him first. But what about the reasons why you should? 

The fact is, if a guy genuinely likes you, he might be thrilled that you’re texting first.

It’s not necessarily wrong to do it – you just need to be aware of what his behavior might mean so you can judge whether it’s the right time to text or not. 

Texting first can even be a way of weeding out the guys you really don’t want to date. 

In the first part of the article, we talked about the different types of guys and why they might not be texting you first.

Some of them don’t text because they’re deliberately stringing you along. Some of them aren’t that into you. And some of them are comparing you to three other girls. 

The truth: you don’t want to date any of these guys.

The guys you want to date are the ones who know they want you and are secure enough in their masculinity to be turned on (not turned off) by a girl knowing what she wants.

Sometimes, these guys might just not be texting first because they’re enjoying you making the first move – they respect female power and they assume that you’re loving what you’re doing. 

The key with these guys is not to get sucked into endless texting. It’s fine to text first but, again, make it a means to an end.

Text to arrange a meetup and then see where things go in person.

In other words, text like a guy. Take the stress out and forget about texting just as a means to catch up with them. If you want to date him, go straight for what you want. 

What if you misjudged it and he says no? Then you know it’s time to move on – and there are plenty of people you can move on to.

How to get him to text you first

However strong and powerful you’re feeling, there are times when you really just want him to text you first. While you can be the one to do it, it’s just nice not to have to be. 

That’s totally cool. And there are things you can do to encourage your guy to make the first move. But it is important that you remember this: some guys just aren’t going to do that, no matter what tactics you try. But if you want to try, here are some of the things you can do. 

1. Don’t reply to him straight away. 

If you’ve got into the habit of texting first every time, you might also be texting back instantly whenever he replies.

That’s never a great idea and will just make him think that you’re constantly available.

He’s not going to value you if he thinks that. Take your time texting back and see what happens – you might even get a follow up from him before you do. 

2. Make your texts fun

If he enjoys hearing from you, and you have interesting and valuable conversations, then he’s going to be much more likely to text you first.

If you’re always anxious about whether he’ll text back, this will often show in the way you write.

Try and relax as much as you can and be your fun, interesting, flirty self when you message. 

3. Give him a reason to want to text you

What’s in it for him? He needs to know that there’s a reason for texting, and that reason is that he wants a date and he wants at least a possibility of sex.

Assuming that’s what you want to, give your text conversations a purpose.

Drop hints about meeting up again. Tell him how much fun you had last time. Don’t be afraid to flirt…but keep it on your terms. If he is getting crumbs from you, he’ll want to follow the trail. 

What to do if your guy won’t text you first

If a guy won’t text you first, it’s really hard to know what to do.

You feel like you’re just trying to mindread him all the time, and it’s making you feel anxious and upset.

Every time you tell yourself that you’re going to stop being the one doing all the running, you break and end up texting him. 

There are lots of reasons why he might not be texting you first.

Some of them are conscious choices on his part, and others are simply behavior patterns that he’s got into and don’t mean that he doesn’t like you. 

Some guys won’t text first because there’s something that’s making them unsure of their feelings for you.

It could be that he’s seeing other girls and wants to know how things will pan out with them before he comes across as too keen on you.

Or his feelings aren’t as strong as yours, and he doesn’t want to lead you down. These things aren’t great to hear, but it’s important that you know. 

Sometimes, the simple explanations for his lack of texting really are the right ones.

It can often be that he’s genuinely crazy busy, or he hates texting, or he’s an introvert who just needs some downtime.

If he’s cool with you when you see him, and shows you affection, then it might be one of these things that’s to blame for his lack of ability to text you first.

To see if a guy will text you first, step back.

Don’t text him for a while, and when you do, fill your texts with fun and flirtation.

If he’s been finding texting a chore, the surefire way to turn that around is to make texting more enjoyable for him…and for you.

Like us on Facebook to receive useful articles in your feed.

Hack Spirit just launched a YouTube channel… And it’s awesome!

We’re sharing practical relationship advice in the form of videos. The early feedback has been incredible, but our channel is still so small…

We would love to get your help by subscribing to the channel below. It just takes a quick click of the button and means so much to us.

If you subscribe, you’ll start to see our videos in your YouTube feed. We promise to entertain and inform you with relationship advice and other practical self-improvement advice.

Subscribe below!

And check out our latest video: 8 traits of a cold person and 3 effective ways to deal with them

Written by Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

Is he losing interest? 22 signs and what to do about it

“My ex boyfriend and I are talking again.” – 9 questions you need to ask yourself