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Reasons why your partner is always online but won’t text you

It’s both perplexing and frustrating to see your messages disregarded as the guy you’re seeing double-taps Instagram pictures or has the green dot next to his name on Facebook Messenger. While some reasons for his silence could be completely unintentional, others could imply that his silence is deliberate. Even when he’s online, here are several possible reasons why he’s not replying to your messages. Sorry, but some of these are probably not for you.

ALSO READ:5 top signs of fake love in a relationship

HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU. We need to get this out of the way right now. If he’s online but not responding to your messages, it could very well be that he’s just not as into you as you are into him. He doesn’t really want to have some long, awkward conversation about it, so by ignoring you and just getting on with his day, he figures you’ll take the hint. Why aren’t you?

HE’S TALKING TO OTHER WOMEN RIGHT NOW AND YOU’RE NOT A PRIORITY. If you’ve only just started “talking” or even casually dating, it stands to reason that you’re not the only one in his life right now. Just because he’s online doesn’t mean it’s to respond to your messages. He could very well be talking to one or more of the other women that he’s seeing simultaneously.

HE’S BUSY AND DOESN’T HAVE TIME TO TALK. Yes, we’re all glued to our phones 24/7, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have lives to live. If he’s in a work meeting, taking care of a parent or child, taking a class, etc. then he’s not going to be texting you every five seconds. Try to chill out a bit and give him some time to get back to you.

HE’S A GAME PLAYER AND WANTS AN EGO STROKE. Guys are notorious for playing hot and cold, especially early in a relationship when he’s not 100% sure how he feels about you just yet. He could be online but not responding to your messages purposely. He thinks that the longer he ignores you, the more desperate you’ll get and you’ll just keep chasing after him. Nothing makes a guy (or girl!) feel better than feeling wanted, but don’t even give him the pleasure of an ego stroke. He’s just not worth it.

HE’S ARROGANT AND ASSUMES YOU’LL WAIT FOR HIM. It’s not like he has so many more important things going on, he just doesn’t feel like messaging you back right now so he’s not. If you’ve been really clear about how into him you are and he’s not feeling as strongly, he might assume that you’ll just be there waiting for him when he’s bored or can actually be bothered to get back to you.

YOU SAID SOMETHING THAT ANNOYED HIM.If he comes online without responding to your messages, think about the last text you sent. Did you say something rude or in some way offensive? Did you overreact to something he said or try to call him out on a behavior you didn’t like? It’s very possible that he’s not responding to you because he’s annoyed at you at the moment and either wants time to cool off or is trying to punish you for any alleged wrongdoing. Immature but it happens.

HE’S ALREADY TALKED TO YOU TODAY.It seems weird to say that a guy who likes you wouldn’t want to talk to you 24/7, but men’s brains work in mysterious ways. He might fail to respond to your messages if you’ve already exchanged a few texts today and that’s enough for him. Especially when you’re only casually starting to see each other, he probably won’t want to be attached at the hip (or at the smartphone) and is putting some boundaries in place.

HE’S OUT WITH THE GUYS.No matter how much a man likes you, he’s not going to want to sacrifice time with his bros to be huddled up in a corner chit-chatting with you via text. He could be posting photos of guys’ night on his Instagram page or looking up the address of this bar that him and his friends want to hit up and isn’t actually around to talk. Don’t assume you know what he’s up to just because that green little active button has appeared beside his name.

HE’S JUST CHILLING AND ISN’T REALLY IN THE MOOD TO SOCIALIZE.When you have a million things on your plate, sometimes the last thing you want to do is answer the constant pinging that comes from your inbox. Even if the guy you’re seeing is really into you, he might just need some time to mindlessly scroll through memes and not worry about answering anyone (including you) for a couple of hours. Different people have different capacities for how much digital communication they can handle in a day, and he might be at his limit by the time you message him.

HE’S TRYING TO MAKE YOU WANT HIM MORE. Yes, sometimes not responding to your messages is a strategy, though the end result may not be what the guy intended. He may be following the mentality of absence (or, you know, lack of response) making the heart grow fonder, unaware that it’s probably just making you irritated and anxious. This doesn’t mean his behavior is acceptable, though. If he’s leaving you on read for a day at a time, that goes beyond “taking a while to respond” and enters into “being super rude” territory.


Have you ever been so smitten with someone that you didn’t want to flip out and send them something embarrassing that would permanently scare them away? 
You’re certainly not alone. 
Read over your most recent messages to him and see if they’re primarily lighthearted or if they pose complicated topic or start potentially lengthy conversation. 
If you’ve sent lengthy message, he may simply require some time to consider how to respond.

HE’S JUST SCROLLING AROUND SOCIAL MEDIA AND DOESN’T FEEL LIKE TALKING.  He’s not wasting his time on social media just because he’s “active” on Messenger. Many people are obliged to use Facebook and even Instagram for work purposes, so he might have just gone online to talk business with a possible client or post anything for his employer. Perhaps he’s simply having a talk with other friends or family members. In any case, there’s no reason to be concerned (yet) because he’s taking his time to respond.

YOUR LAST MESSAGE DIDN’T WARRANT A RESPONSE. Because a conversation can’t be carried by one person alone, if he doesn’t answer to your messages, that’s the end of it. If your final text to him was anything along the lines of “OK” or “That’s cool,” he might have misinterpreted it as you no longer want to communicate. Make it clear in your messages that you want to continue the conversation—ask questions, respond thoughtfully, and change the subject if you feel the conversation is going nowhere. You can’t be upset if he gives up otherwise.

HE ACTUALLY MISSED YOUR MESSAGES. When a guy doesn’t respond, we all try to justify it by saying “maybe his phone is damaged,” but technology isn’t perfect. Apps fail to send notifications, messages are buried beneath other messages, and poor service might prevent messages from arriving or being sent. If this appears to be a one-time occurrence rather than a pattern, wait a little and see if he approaches you. He may discover that all he needs to do now is update his app.

Reasons why your partner is always online but won't text you
Reasons why your partner is always online but won’t text you

HE DOESN’T WANTS TO SEEM NEEDY. He may not want to appear desperate, just as you don’t want to appear desperate by staring at your phone waiting for his texts. We’ve all heard horror stories about guys who go all out and send ten messages in a row to a girl they like, and the man you’re seeing might not want to be “that person.” It’s difficult to strike the right balance between clingy and uninterested, and he might be nervous about appearing as if he has nothing better to do than gaze at his screen waiting for your next message.

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