No need to freak out.
Texting with your crush is the best, isn't it? Who doesn't crave that little thrill you get from seeing a message from them pop up on your screen, knowing they are thinking of you and wanting to connect? So, it's no surprise that when the rate of those messages suddenly slows, it's really easy to go from perfectly chill to full blown paranoid faster than you can type BRB. When a guy stops texting you every day or when a girl is slower to respond than usual, it can mean everything, but it could just as easily mean absolutely nothing. And that’s what makes it all so confusing.
No one could blame you for thinking that — if they're texting you less often — it must mean they have lost interest. But the good thing is that's not necessarily true. The fact is, texting itself is an unreliable barometer of interest in a relationship. So, don't assume that because they went from texting you 75 times a day to, say, five, that it's time to go to relationship DEFCON 1. There are totally normal, no-reason-to-freak-out reasons why you're hearing from them less — and really only one to worry about.
How can you tell the difference when the sudden silence is loaded and when it's safe not to sweat it? Turns out, the subtext of texting behavior is pretty easy to interpret if you know what to look for.
They’re Texting Less Often Because You’ve Settled Into A Routine
Let's be honest, shall we? Maintaining the sheer volume and furious pace of texting in a new romance is just not sustainable long-term. “In the infatuation stage, it's normal to 'not get enough of each other.' Once that fades, couples get into a more realistic routine. You're not as obsessed with knowing everything about each other,” Anita Chlipala, licensed marriage and family therapist and author of First Comes Us: The Busy Couple's Guide to Lasting Love, tells Elite Daily.
While this early phase can be really exciting, it's OK and normal for things to slow down over time as you get into a natural routine. As Brenda Della Casa, a relationship coach and author of Cinderella Was a Liar, tells Elite Daily, “It’s important to look at the overall patterns. Texting less often during work hours is different than not texting at all during a 24-hour period. If someone goes from hourly texting to daily texting, that’s one thing. Hourly texting to ghosting you 48 hours is very different.”
So, what does it mean a guy or a girl slows down texting you? If texting has slowed over time, then ask yourself if you are still communicating well in other ways. Are they showing you attention IRL? If so, then the slowdown in their texting is nothing more than the usual ebb and flow inherent in all areas of a comfortable and secure relationship.
They’re Texting Less Often Because Their Life Got Busier
Before you stir yourself up, take a beat. Ask yourself, did they recently mention a big project coming up at work? Did they get a new job? Is it finals week? Do they have family in town? Considering how your boo is behaving in other areas of the relationship can help clarify things, as Diana Dorell, intuitive dating coach and author of The Dating Mirror: Trust Again, Love Again, tells Elite Daily. “Do they act differently when you see them? Have they stopped making time to see you and spend time with you? If not, then it could be that they are making an effort to be on their phone less so they can focus on their work during the day,” she says.
As much as those texts getting left on read with no response can ache, it’s worth noting that some people aren’t allowed to have their phones at work, or tend to put them away during the day. But if someone is still is not responding at the end of the day or even early the next day, take a beat before moving forward.
“Sometimes, people look at their text messages on their Apple Watches and think, I’ll respond to this later, and then completely forget to respond,” says Maria Avgitidis, CEO of matchmaking service Agape Match and host of the dating podcast Ask a Matchmaker, and this is a perfectly valid explanation. However, if it continues, Avgitidis says it’s a sign of something else: “You’re not a priority — so one of those things I think is — if they’re not responding to your text message in the evening after work ... You’re on the back burner.”
As important as you may be to that person you’re texting, there will be a time when life gets in the way of texting. These are all totally reasonable reasons why they can't reply as quickly or as eloquently as they have in the past. "Ideally your partner will let you know that they are busy and it has nothing to do with you,” adds Chlipala. “But this level of transparency doesn't always happen.” So, when in doubt, open the lines of communication yourself and talk to them about what’s going on.
They’re Texting Less Often Because There’s An Issue In The Relationship
We can’t talk about changes in texting behavior without touching on the reason we all dread: They're pulling away. If he is distant but still texts, or if she’s still responsive but intermittently, then yes, it is possible the lack of texting is an indication that they've lost some of that lovin’ feeling. Perhaps things were getting too serious and they are trying to cool things down, says Della Casa. “It’s not uncommon for people to slow things down in the middle of a courtship if they feel things are moving too fast or they want to be sure they are ready to take a relationship to the next level,” she explains.
When you think your relationship might be ending it’s easy to spiral, but take a deep breath. Sure, it’s a possibility, don’t leap to that conclusion right away, advises Chlipala. “If you find that they are consistent in other areas, such as planning dates and including you in their life, you probably don't have anything to worry about,” she says. “So if they pulled the 180 without an explanation, definitely bring it up gently. Mention that you have noticed a decrease in communication and you're wondering if something is going on that you're not aware of. If they say that everything is fine, this is the time to speak up for what you want.”
However, if the slowed texting is part of a larger trend, then there may be a cause for concern, warns Della Casa. “If they’re canceling dates and texting less, they’re likely pulling away or exploring their options,” she says. But again, the only real way to know what’s happening is to talk to them about it. “The best thing you can do to get information is to ask for it. Clear and transparent communication is required for any healthy relationship to grow so simply ask how they are feeling and say that you’ve noticed a few changes in patterns and whether that means they are more comfortable or having some questions about the relationship. Wondering where you stand is not something to be ashamed of,” Della Casa stresses.
While the possibility that slowdowns in texting behavior can be a sign of a relationship in decline, the real takeaway here is that there are more reasons that it isn’t a negative sign than there are reasons to be concerned. The key, as the experts say, is that if you're concerned go straight to the source and talk to them about how you are feeling. Sometimes, the best solution is the simplest one.
Anita Chlipala, licensed marriage and family therapist and author of First Comes Us: The Busy Couple's Guide to Lasting Love
Editor's Note: This story has been updated by Elite Daily Staff.
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