Texting

The 3-Step Game Plan For When Your Crush Ignores Your Text

Crying not included.

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To be blunt, when someone doesn’t reply to your text, it sucks. And when you have feelings for that someone, it sucks a lot more. I don't know about you, but the first thought I have whenever my crush doesn't reply to my text is, "Ugh, they hate me now. It was nice while it lasted." Rational, I know. But if you don't have a mini freakout after they ignore your text, do you even like them? I’m kidding — mostly.

The truth is that it’s completely normal to second-guess yourself after sending a text that goes unanswered. Nicole Richardson, licensed marriage and family therapist, previously told Elite Daily, “When we feel ignored, it is easy for us to allow our anxiety and our imaginations to run wild and invent all the things that could be going wrong.”

“Brené Brown calls this 'story-telling.' In the absence of information, we often make assumptions and more often than not, those assumptions are hurtful and negative,” Richardson added. So, before jumping to the worst-case scenario, it’s a good idea to take a beat — though that’s easier said than done. “When our partner does not respond to us, it is easy for us to succumb to anxiety and hurt and start to story-tell. This storytelling often does more harm both to us as well as to our relationship,” she explained.

So how can you stop this cycle before it starts? There is no one-size-fits-all way to curb overthinking. But, before letting your texting anxiety get the best of you or blocking their number, try these three steps.

Give Them Time To Reply To Your Text

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Before labeling your crush as a ghost, try giving them the benefit of a doubt at least for a few hours. If your initial message to them wasn’t an urgent one, it’s important to give them some time to reply. There are plenty of reasons they might not get back to you right away — they could be busy at work, not in the mental space to chat, or dealing with bad cell service. They also just might not be glued to their phone.

Meredith Prescott, LCSW, tells Elite Daily, “I think giving someone adequate time to respond is fair (within a day or so). We live in a world where we’re used to people responding at the drop of the hat with modern technology. Not everyone is like that.”

Some level of texting anxiety may be inevitable, but it doesn’t need to define you — or your relationship. So give your crush some time to live a life beyond their phone and think of a thoughtful reply. Patience is key here.

Consider Sending Your Crush A Follow-Up Text

If you have given them the time to respond (at least 24 hours) and still hear nothing, sending a follow-up text can help clarify things. When it comes to deciding what to say when someone ignores your text (or if you should say anything at all), the context matters. For example, if they ignored a direct question, Prescott recommends leaving the situation be. “Chasing someone down to get a response is unattractive,” she explains.

However, if the conversation reached a more natural stopping point, following up can be a good way to assess their interest and show yours. “If you’re having a conversation and it dies down, it’s totally fine to ask an open-ended question to follow up,” Prescott explains. “However, if the other person doesn’t do that in return, then it’s best if you invest in other opportunities and people.”

According to Prescott, it’s crucial to pay attention to your texting dynamic overall without focusing too much on a single exchange. So before hitting send on that follow-up, some important questions to consider: Are you always restarting the conversation? Does your crush reciprocate with questions? Do they show interest in other ways?

Even if your crush is not fully ghosting you, if they ignore your texts on a semi-regular basis, “it could be a sign that this person is either not interested or self-centered.” In either case, you’re better off without them.

Let It Go
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Sorry to break it to you, but if they ignore your follow-up text, it’s time to let this crush go. At this point, you’ve given them ample time and opportunity to talk to you, so take their silence for what it is: a sign that they aren’t interested. “If they want to go out with you, they’ll reach out. It’s that simple,” Prescott explains. You deserve someone who wants to talk to you and shouldn’t settle for any less.

The positive side of this sitch is that their texting behavior (or lack thereof) should make it easier for you to get over them. Dr. Gary Brown, Los Angeles-based licensed psychotherapist, previously told Elite Daily that creating a cons list of this person can simplify the process of moving on. "Remember specific examples of things they said or did, or didn’t say or didn’t do as a reminder," he explained. Not texting you back can be number one on that list.

It’s always going to sting a little when someone doesn’t reply to your text right away, but it isn’t always an intentional offense. And although it can be tricky to distinguish between what’s personal and what’s not, paying attention to how your crush treats you overall can help you find some clarity. At the end of the day, if they’re interested, they’ll text. If not, someone else will.

Experts:

Nicole Richardson, licensed marriage and family therapist

Meredith Prescott, LCSW, tells Elite Daily

Dr. Gary Brown, Los Angeles-based licensed psychotherapist