Not sure what to text when a girl doesn’t reply? There are myriad reasons that she might not be getting back to you, but it certainly doesn’t mean that it’s time to throw in the towel just yet.
If you’re dealing with a potential match who is slow to respond, don’t write it off or assume you’re being ghosted just yet. Instead, read on for expert advice on how to handle it when a girl sees your message but doesn’t reply. From taking a comedic approach to being more frank, this is how you can try to handle the double text with dignity (and respect!).
What to text when she doesn’t text back
So you’re dealing with the dreaded read receipt. There’s really no way around it: Not receiving a response when you’re really trying to put your best foot forward and foster the relationship sucks, but it’s not necessarily a reason to give up. Here is a list of options that are less likely to make you look needy or annoying, according to experts.
Something funny and cute
It can be difficult to follow up an unanswered text without sounding needy or feeling slightly embarrassed, but Nancy Silberman Zwiebach, a couples psychotherapist and motivational speaker in Paramus, NJ, believes that casual and cute messages go a long way—if she’s still interested. Something like “Here I am again - hangin’ on. Let me know if I should cut the string…” or “Sometimes taking a second chance works well - whaddaya think?” may show that you’re trying to stay in touch without being needy.
Something that made you think of her
According to Jason Lee, a Las Vegas,NV-based dating coach at Healthy Framework, light-hearted and simple are the best. Lee suggests mentioning something random that’s happening in real-time, maybe something funny you just saw. For example, “OMG I just saw a bumper sticker that said XYZ. It made me think of you lol. How have you been?”
Attempt to catch up
Lee also suggests asking them something that ignores the fact they haven’t responded and pushing forward with catching up. “Hey stranger! Any interest in catching dinner later this week?”
Ask if something is wrong
“If you have established a relationship with the girl, wait a couple of days, and then just ask, ‘Is something wrong?’,” said Tina B. Tessina, a Los Angeles, CA-based psychotherapist and author of “Dr. Romance’s Guide to Finding Love Today.” “Give her a chance to settle down and think through what she wants to say.”
Cut to the chase
If you want to get straight to the point without wasting any more time, Zwiebach suggests sending another text, saying, “Guess you’re not interested. If you are or I’m not reading this right, get back. I’m in if you are.”
Send the wrong text
“Send a message that isn’t intended for her to prompt her to ask what you’re talking about, potentially making the conversation start again,” said April Maccario, dating expert and founder of AskApril from Watsonville, CA, who says this old-school tip still works for modern-dating situations.
Tell her you want to tell her something
According to Maccario, sending a text along the lines of, “Hey I have something to tell you,” may pique her curiosity and may create a better chance of receiving a reply.
Reasons why she hasn’t texted back
Most people’s lives get busy from time to time, and sometimes responding to a new acquaintance or potential match just doesn’t rank high on her list of priorities. That doesn’t necessarily mean she’s not interested in you, but it does mean that you should approach the situation with caution (and respect for her time). Keep in mind that she doesn’t owe you a response, but if you genuinely do feel like the two of you hit it off, here are some potential reasons why she hasn’t texted back just yet.
You’re messaging her too much
If you’ve been sending back-to-back messages or you’ve been getting one-word responses before she stopped responding entirely, there’s a good chance you’ve been overeager.
“Whatever you do, don’t bombard her with a whole series of texts,” said Tessina. “Let go of wanting to control her.”
You’ve crossed a line
According to Caroline Madden, licensed marriage and family therapist from Burbank, CA, guys may verge into intimate territory too quickly.
“Do not send intimate photos. And if you wouldn’t say it to a woman in person, do not say it on one of these dating apps,” she said.
You brought up her family life
If the woman you like has children and mentions them, a simple “I understand that dating a single mom you and your kid are a package deal” text should suffice. Then, try not to talk about the kid, because it may come off as creepy.
She’s not actually that interested
“Many people view chatting on these dating apps as something to do when they are bored,” Madden said. “They aren’t interested in dating, just seeing who they match with. It is a rush, like gambling.”
She may have deleted or forgotten to respond to your message
She may need a break from communicating, she may be busy, she may have deleted the text by accident or she may need some more time to think about whether or not she wishes to pursue the connection. Regardless of the reason, that’s why a follow-up text is a good idea.
“I know in this world, instant response and instant gratification have set a new standard, but it’s not always possible or what works,” said Zwiebach.
Tips for when a girl doesn’t reply
Keep in mind that if you don’t get a response even after your best attempt at humor and following up without seeming too needy, it might be time to let it go and move on. Again, she doesn’t owe you a response or an explanation as to why she stopped responding to you—and you certainly don’t want to come across as someone who gets upset or demands to know what’s up.
The following tips may help make it sting a little less and help you let go and move on.
Take into account how long it’s really been
“Rule number one here is to take a step back and make sure that it really has been a long enough time to warrant a second text,” said Lee. “And the answer to that question is situation dependent. If she was going to text you when she arrived to meet you and you hear nothing, you should follow up immediately out of safety concerns. However, if it’s just casual conversation and it’s been a few days, it might not be an issue.”
“Remember, people get busy. And, especially in the beginning parts of a dating relationship, no one really owes much to the other person,” Lee added.
Consider if the situation were reversed—you probably wouldn’t appreciate it if a new match was demanding too much of your time, especially if you hadn’t decided whether or not you liked her yet. The instant gratification found in online dating apps doesn’t always translate to people’s real lives, and it’s unreasonable to expect it to.
Don’t get accusatory or upset
If you do get the silent treatment, there are things to consider when reaching back out—but don’t ever get accusatory or upset that she didn’t respond. It never goes over well, and you may even flirt with legal trouble if your anger veers into harassment.
Let it go
“As long as you stay away from things that make you sound like her parents checking up on her, you should be good,” said Lee. “But if she still doesn’t respond, it might be time to consider focusing your effort on someone else.” It’s frustrating and difficult, but sometimes the best thing to do in a touchy dating situation is…nothing at all. Once you accept that there’s nothing you can do to change things, you can look forward to the future.
Don’t take it personally
“Do not personalize it,” said Madden. “She may have a lot of stuff going on that might be getting in her way that has nothing to do with you.”
Remember, she can’t reject “you” because she doesn’t know “you” yet—you’re just a guy she matched with on an app. Instead of wasting time and energy mulling over why you were rejected by a virtual stranger, devote your attention to finding women who do want to get to know you.