What to Do When Your Boyfriend Ignores You

Uh-oh! He is not answering his phone, he is not responding to his texts… he has gone completely off the radar. What do you do when the love of your life stops talking to you?

Help! My Boyfriend is Ignoring Me!

The first step you need to take is to determine why your man is no longer responding to you – your text messages, your emails, your phone calls, etc. Start by evaluating the nature of his dismissal. Is he taking longer to respond when you text him? Is he merely not responding at all? Do you call him repeatedly and he won’t answer the phone? If it has only been a few hours, do not get stressed out – it is probably nothing. He might just be busy. He could even just be in the shower! But if it has been over a day and your boyfriend is still behaving as though you do not even exist, it might be time to take some action. Barring some sort of emergency, your man might be ignoring you on purpose. This will be clear if you are seeing other signs that he has not flown completely off the radar – like if he is still posting on Facebook or you know he is spending time with his friends. If he has the time to “like” a status update but can’t answer your calls or respond to your texts, something is amiss. What could possibly be wrong? Why is he ignoring you? There could be thousands of reasons as to why he is ignoring you, but our post will cover the most common ones. In most cases, he is ignoring you for one of the reasons that we will detail below.

Understand Why You are Being Ignored

1) Something Serious is Going On in His Life

Remember… your man’s whole life does not revolve around you and it should not have to. And remember, if your world revolves around him, you need to cool it and lower your expectations. People in relationships should still have their own lives! If your boyfriend has been ignoring you, there is a chance that he is preoccupied with something else in his life other than you. He might be too preoccupied in a major event or change in his life. Now, in an ideal relationship, he will tell you that something is going on. However, if you have been very demanding of your man’s time, you should know that he is less likely to keep in touch with you when life gets crazy. If calls from you are rare, he is more likely to respond to your messages in these kinds of circumstances. On the flip side, if you like to spend hours talking on the phone, and perhaps even more time with him in person, he probably realizes (maybe even subconsciously) that spending time talking to you is a major time commitment. If he feels crunched for time, he might put off contacting you so that he can get through whatever he is dealing with first. This is not a great excuse, but you can understand it to a certain extent. If you have a partner who is needy and demands constant attention – and you are in the middle of a major work project – you are probably going to ignore a few calls by him too.

2) He is Angry

If you have ever been angry at someone but not exactly sure how to express your feelings, you may have just ghosted them for a while. This could be the situation your boyfriend is experiencing. If you have had a recent fight and your man is ignoring your calls, you can probably assume that the rejection has to do with your fight. He might not want to leap into the negative conservation, or he might not be ready to think about the problems you are having. When you talk, it reminds him of the negativity and brings up the elephant in the room. He can’t speak to you without feeling the pressure of everything that is left unsaid and he certainly does not want to talk about the fight. To get your man to stop ignoring you, call to mind your last conversation. Were you rude? Unfair? Did you force him to talk about something he was not ready to deal with? Communication is of vital importance in a relationship and arguments are part of that element of communication. That being said, you also can’t get too personal in a fight, particularly if your man is not ready to deal with something. If he is ignoring you, he is likely still reading your text messages, so just send him a brief message explaining that you really want to understand where he is coming from. Ask him to tell you how he feels in a non-accusatory way. You do not have to act submissive at all and do not need to come at him with needy apologies. You just have to tell him how badly you want to understand the situation. The same rule applies if you did not have a fight, but he just seems to be ignoring you and you can’t figure out the source. Get a hold of him and explain that you want to understand what is going on. If he continues to ignore you after you have explained yourself, he might just need time to cool down. He might be mad at you for another reason that you are unaware of, but he expects you to know what that is. Some people are simply like this, with every little thing offending them. They won’t ever tell you about it, however, it will instead turn into a huge guessing game as they keep going back and forth trying to figure out why they are getting the silent treatment. Just forget about him and ignore him right back.

3) He is Suffocating

Not literally, of course, but this is another common reason why he might be ignoring you. It is not a great reason, again, since he should be upfront and just tell you that he needs some space. However, many people are too afraid to speak their minds to do this. Your boyfriend could feel smothered for any number of reasons. Some of these reasons may not even be your fault – he could just be the type of person who appreciates a lot of alone time. If you have been hanging out too much, he might not want to hurt your feelings by telling you no. Instead, he has chosen to ignore you.

4) He is Sick of People

This one is somewhat related to the last point. What is important to remember is that some people are naturally introverted and need to unplug from their social lives – which, of course, include you. He might be ignoring you on purpose, but it could be because he is ignoring everyone else, too. That might seem cruel, but it is a reality of life that some people need more quiet and alone time than others. If he is considerate of your feelings, he should tell you this ahead of time, but keep in mind that some people will complain and whine when confronted with this information. Is there anything you can do if your boyfriend is giving you the (unintentional, but necessary) silent treatment? Nope. All you can do is wait it out. If you can’t deal with that, it is up to you and you should just tell him that you are not interested in a relationship like that. And then you should move on.

5) He is Having an Affair

If your boyfriend is ignoring you, it is easy to get paranoid and leap to the conclusion that he is cheating on you. But before you assume that he is being unfaithful, consider a number of other suspicious behaviors that usually appear, along with this one. If he has been ignoring you and hanging out with many other random women, you should, indeed, consider the possibility of him cheating. You do not need to completely lose it on him, but you should take some steps to determine why and if he has been spending his time with other women instead of spending time with you.

6) You Are a Downer

If conversations with you usually bring him down, he is going to be far less likely to spend his time with you. Consider how your interactions usually go. Do you spend most of your time complaining or acting negatively? Most people who do this are in denial about it, so examine your behavior closely. You can start by looking through your most recent text threads. What do you two talk about? Do you mostly complain about the things that happened during the day? Do you gossip or otherwise introduce drama to his life? Are nice comments few and far in between? Even if your boyfriend is also a negative person like you, it can be incredibly draining to talk to someone who acts like this. If you are a negative person, change your mental habits so that they are more positive. This will help both of you.
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7) He Despises Telephone Conversations

Some people do not like talking on the phone and as a result, will ignore all phone calls. It probably is not anything personal – he might not even have glanced at his phone to know that it was you who was calling. Many people – perhaps you included – have a hard time understanding how people could dislike being on their phones, but your boyfriend might be part of this group of people. If you think this is the problem, consider texting him and then just wait for him to get back to you. You might also want to approach him in person. Perhaps he never noticed that you called, or maybe he hates chatting on the phone so much that even you are not worth the hassle.

8) You Are Needy

If you are constantly placing demands on your boyfriend or on his time, he might be sick of answering his phone because he does not want to be at your service again. If you consistently ask your boyfriend for tons of favors or ask him to do something for you every single time you call, you might be asking too much of him. He might be ignoring you simply because he does not want – or does not have the time – to help you with all of your random demands. There are many men who enjoy doing the women in their lives lots of favors, but not everyone is like that. Some guys really hate this. If he does not ask you for favors back, there is a good chance that you are asking too much of him.

9) He Wants to Part Ways

This is a sad reality and many people are too cowardly to admit the truth, so they will ghost you by failing to return your calls instead. This is the least common reason for why a man might ignore you, so do not jump to this conclusion without any other evidence. But it happens. If your boyfriend is ignoring you and you can’t figure out any other reasons, he might be ready to leave you but can’t face the idea of having a long conversation about it. He could be trying to figure out a way to tell you and is ignoring you in the meantime, or he might deliberately be neglecting you in the hope that you will just disappear. The likelihood of this happening depends on someone’s maturity level and how much they respect the relationship. To figure out whether this is happening to you, think back on the relationship. Has he ever failed to communicate, avoiding talking about something simply because he thought it might hurt your feelings? Did he ever give a friend the cold shoulder because he did not want to discuss something? These are all signs that your man has difficulty expressing what he wants. If he is ignoring you because he does not have the courage to tell you he is done with the relationship, you might be better off as a single person. A relationship with poor communication simply is not worth the struggle and you are probably better off with someone who would respect you enough to tell you in person if he wants to break it off.

Tips to Get Him to Stop Ignoring You

Although there are plenty of legitimate reasons for why he might be ignoring you, most of these have nothing to do with you. Here are some potential reasons to consider:
  • He is busy. If you talk daily and then all of a sudden the conversation turns off, remember that he could have other things to do. Even if you urgently want to chat, keep in mind that he might want to shut down communications until his job is done.
  • He is sick. If he is dealing with a head cold, a stomachache, or even some muscle pain, he might not want to talk with you. He might be afraid to admit to you that he is under the weather or he might not want to stress you out by sharing the details of his agony.
  • He is exhausted. We have all been there. He might want a bit of space to catch up on some sleep and might be withdrawing to recharge his batteries.
  • He is going through some family problems. He might have trouble talking to you about his angry, demoralizing, or possessive family. It might be challenging for him to go into details about it with anyone. He might rather you not get involved and want to solve the problem on his own.
  • He is struggling at work. Whether he is facing an impending deadline or his boss is on his case, he might be worried about the future of his job. He might be trying to pick up the pieces of his career and you are acting as a distraction by bombarding him.
So what do you do?

1) Start by giving it a rest

Leave him alone for a while. If you think that you have been contacting him a bit too much lately, consider pulling back to give him some space. You do not have to withdraw all affection or completely ignore him, but you need to pace yourself. Take it easy.
  • Try not to text or call for a full day. Do your best to stick to this. If, after a day, he still has not contacted you, then send him a message to find out what he expects in the relationship. You need to start a conversation about this because if he can’t give you something you expect, you may need to look elsewhere.
  • Do not try to communicate about pointless things. He does not care about what you had for breakfast or about the fact that two people he does not know got into a fight. You might think these things are important, but chances are, he does not share the same opinion. Communicate about matters of substance and he will be more likely to contact you back.

2) Do not give in to the mind games

Do not let the lack of contact get to you! He could be ignoring you for any number of reasons. Getting emotional about it won’t help and it could actually be the goal of certain chauvinistic men. Instead, force yourself to act in the opposite manner – be happy and smile a lot. Your day should not be impacted by him ignoring you. The happier you are, the more other people will want to feed off the happiness – and that includes him. Your energy is infectious!

3) Be direct

Go ahead and ask him whether he ignoring you for a certain reason and you do not need to be accusatory about this. It can help you determine whether you are bothering him or if you accidentally said something to offend him. You need to know whether you hurt him for any particular reason so that you do not accidentally do it again.
  • If he tells you that more space is what he needs, then you should definitely back off and evaluate whether you can live with that truth. If you need constant contact and a complete partnership, this relationship might not be the one for you.

4) Reach out to him in a way that he understands and appreciates

With so many reasons as to why he might be ignoring you, you need to remember that there is a possibility that he does not think the things you say are significant. He might see the conversations he has had with you as idle chatter and he won’t be interested or feel obligated to pursue the conversation.
  • Instead, try to talk to him on his level. He might be more interested in these other topics. At the very least, try to leave the girl talk for… you know… the girls!
  • Try to talk to him about his passions. Perhaps he loves chemistry or maybe he likes sports. Figure out what he likes and what he is interested in, then talk to him about these things instead of only what interests you.
  • Ask him questions. This will help you figure out what his passions are, but it will also help you get to know him on a deeper level. Ask him what he likes and why he likes him. Have him explain his favorite hobby or something about his past. Once you get him talking about the things he loves, you won’t be able to get him to stop!
  • Try not to cut in. Whenever possible, do not interrupt him when he is excited. Let him talk and do not interfere when he finally builds momentum.
  • Discover more: 150+ Questions to Ask a Guy That’ll Bring You Closer Together
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5) Try to schedule a date

If you tell him that you want to go out to do something, he will hopefully take the hint that you want him to schedule it. If he does not pick up on this hint, you might have to plan it yourself. This can be a risk, but it is a small one if the date goes well.
  • Try to plan something he enjoys. Even though you might enjoy shopping all day, he probably won’t think that is a great date. Go to an amusement park, a concert, or even the movies – whatever he fancies.
  • Dress up. Wear a smile and wear your hair the way he likes it. All your man might need is a brief reminder that his girlfriend is the hottest girl around.
  • Focus on the positive. Now is not the time to dredge up the fact that he has been ignoring you. Instead, enjoy the date! Be optimistic and kind. Be playful. Give him the opportunity to turn things around and have some fun yourself.
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  • If it does not go well, let him know that you had hoped the date would give the two of you the opportunity to reconnect. Tell him you are worried that you are not communicating the way you used to. If he does not seem to care or be bothered by this, then it is high time to kick him to the curb.

6) Demand the respect that you deserve

Some men think that they can get away with ignoring you. If he is one of these people and you let him get away with it, you are not commanding respect. You need to tell him that you will not stand for this and that he has no other option than to turn things around.
  • Start by telling him exactly how you feel. Explain that you need better communication. Tell him you will try to communicate more effectively, too. Remind him that if it does not get better, that might be the end of things for the two of you.
  • If he respects and loves you, he will change, and he will do it quickly. If he does not, well, why would you want to be with him anyway?

7) Give him a taste of his old medicine

Try giving him a cold shoulder. Spend time with your friends – namely, your guy friends. He needs to know that you, too, have a life and that he is just lucky you are including him in that life.
  • In most cases, your boyfriend will come running back. He will quit ignoring you and will get territorial.
  • If he does not come back, ask yourself whether you want the relationship to continue. Remember that full effort from another person is probably going to be better than the fifty percent (or less!) that you are getting from him.

If he is cheating, he is done

If you think he might be cheating on you, you need to end the relationship – and fast! Now, do not jump to this conclusion just because you have a feeling. Make sure something is actually wrong. But if it is wrong and he is cheating on you with someone else, you need to start looking for a new boyfriend, because things definitely are not going to work out. Even if he apologizes and comes running back to you, remember, if he had respected you more, he would not have cheated in the first place!

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