Texting with a new person—a crush or someone you just started a relationship with—can be incredibly fun. That makes it all the weirder when those awesome first exchanges start to peter out. If you’re on the receiving end of this behavior, you may wonder, “Why do guys text less after a while? What is going on with him?”
And while every person is different, there are some common reasons.
Why do guys text less after a while?
First, it’s important to remember that texting less is not an explicitly gendered phenomenon.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say that there is an inherent difference based on gender,” said Marisa T. Cohen, a New York-based relationship researcher. “Individual differences are likely to be greater than within any group along the gender spectrum.”
The difference between the most text-talkative guy and the least text-talkative one is likely to be far greater than the difference between the average guy and gal.
“Texting behaviors are more likely to change as a result of a person’s internal experience—how they are viewing the relationship or personal factors, external circumstances and/or the interplay between both,” Cohen said.
In order to get a better picture of what that might look like, here are 14 reasons—both internal and external—you might be getting fewer texts from your special someone these days.
1. They’re not trying to impress you anymore
One reason your phone may not be dinging as often?
“They have gotten more comfortable in the relationship and may not feel the need to check in as much via text,” Cohen said.
This person may be totally happy with you and as enamored with you as you are with them, but they just don’t see constant texting as a hallmark of more developed relationships.
2. They prefer in-person conversation to texting
Another reason you might find yourself saying, “Hmm, he’s not texting me as much as he used to,” that could have nothing to do with their feelings for you? Your crush might “prefer to talk in person,” said Cohen, or “engage in conversation in another way, such as over the phone or via email.”
They may have been putting in effort to text you early in the relationship, but if they’re not so much a texting person overall, now they may be slowly returning to their baseline.
3. Their life legitimately got busier
It’s also important to remember that sometimes the day-to-day realities of people’s lives can change quickly.
“Their job may have become busier,” Cohen said, “or they have more demands placed on them so they aren’t monitoring their phone as much.”
Unfortunately, schoolwork ramping up, family crises and so forth can suck up a lot of time and energy for someone who was free to chat not long ago.
4. Their life has been more exciting
On the other hand, if they’re texting less, their schedule might be more packed—but in a positive way. They might be texting you less because they’re jumping head-first into a new hobby, catching up with an old friend, doing some travelling or something else.
In the thrill of these fun, new experiences, you might not be the top priority, even if you’re important to them.
5. They need a little bit of ‘me time’
They may be busier in a way that looks, from the outside, like they’re much less busy but is no less valid than the aforementioned examples.
Some people, particularly introverts, need more time alone, even if that’s just for staying in and reading a book, watching a movie, playing a video game or going for long solo walks.
They may be excited to text you but feel worn out after too much interaction and need some time to recharge.
6. They’re doing a digital detox
They might be trying to specifically rearrange their relationship to digital technology.
Even if they don’t think in-person talks are inherently superior to texting, Cohen said they may have “decided to step back from their phone (and/or screen time in general) so they are not texting as much as a whole.”.
It’s worth noting, however, that this is the sort of thing someone you’re close to would usually warn you about ahead of time.
7. They’re going through a tough mental health period
One thing that makes many people retreat from communication or contact with others is if their mental health is suffering.
Something may be going on—stress, anxiety, etc. In these cases, Cohen suggests that you might want to check in to make sure your partner is OK.
It’s easy to feel like someone texting less is a reflection on us or how they feel about us, but they may be in a difficult state from an emotional or psychological perspective and possibly need outside help getting to a better place.
The above examples are ones where your crush’s feelings toward you haven’t changed. In each of these examples, they may be texting less despite still feeling attracted to you and invested in developing your connection together.
However, the next seven will explore situations where the person’s changed texting habits are related to changed feelings.
8. They’ve lost interest a little bit
As Cohen noted, if your crush is texting less often, it could be that the nature of the relationship has changed and the person may be pulling back. They may not be able to pinpoint why, but they simply don’t feel drawn to you as much.
That doesn’t necessarily spell doom for the relationship, but it’s a sign that you might want to address what’s going on and see if the two of you can figure out how to rekindle the spark.
9. They’re feeling overwhelmed by you
They might be attracted or interested just as much but simply overwhelmed by some aspect of your interactions—how often you want to text, for instance, or how intimate you want to be, whether in physical or emotional terms—and that’s causing them to withdraw a little.
10. They’re having second thoughts
It’s possible that, as they’ve learned more about you, whether through texts or other interactions, they’ve come to see you in a different light than they originally had and find themselves less attracted to or interested in you as a result.
Perhaps what they saw as a shared interest turns out to be a deep passion for them and a passing hobby for you. Maybe they learned about your political leanings and that has them second-guessing your compatibility.
11. They enjoyed the chase more than the catch
Some people, unfortunately, are great at playing the flirting game and convincing people to fall for them but are ultimately loath to settle down and quick to stop texting as much.
They enjoy the build-up more than the actual thing, and now that they perceive they’ve “caught” you by getting you genuinely interested, their interest starts to wane.
12. There’s someone else in their life
Whether or not they’re someone who’s comfortable settling down with one person, the reason they’re not texting you as frenetically as before may be that they’re doing just that with someone new—and don’t have time to respond to your texts.
13. Your relationship has hit a plateau
Relationships can stop being as exciting for a host of reasons. It could be that the honeymoon period has ended as a natural outcome of being together for a while, or material circumstances could have changed in some way to make the relationship less pleasant.
Regardless, if this is the case, your partner could be sensing that drop-off in enjoyment and responding to it by texting with less enthusiasm.
14. They’re preparing to end things
Finally, it’s possible the reason they’ve stopped texting as much is because they’re uninterested in continuing to be romantically involved with you and are slowly getting ready to move on from whatever you have between you.
This is by no means the most likely reason, and any of the aforementioned reasons could be what’s actually happening (or reasons not listed here), but an imminent breakup or ghosting is a possibility, sadly.
What to do if he stopped texting as much
Without asking the other person—or asking everyone your crush knows “why isn’t he texting me?”—you’ll have a hard time knowing for sure what’s going on, and in some cases, the reason for the change will be completely out of your control. But if you do want to address the shift in your texting dynamic, step one is to address it rather than playing it cool.
Bring up the fact that they’re not texting as much
Addressing it head-on is often the best solution, but you’re more likely to improve your odds of success if you keep the following in mind.
Ask what’s going on
“If a person is concerned about a difference in texting behavior, it is best to engage their partner in a conversation about it,” Cohen said.
Trying to figure out which of the above reasons is to blame for their relative texting silence could lead to you misdiagnosing the issue and responding in a way that won’t help or could even worsen the situation.
Highlight their change in behavior
An important thing to remember is that you’re discussing that their texting isn’t the same as it used to be.
“Don’t try and hold anyone to your own personal texting standards as we are all different,” said Cohen, “or what we perceive as the ‘ideal.’”
Rather, Cohen said, “Base any observations about change in behavior on the specific person and a change from what has been their norm, e.g. a person goes from texting throughout the day to texting you back a day or two later.”
Don’t be aggressive
Avoid blame, Cohen said.
In part this is because of the manifold reasons the person might be texting less. If it’s not an indication of changed feelings on their part, attacking them about it could start to change how they feel about you in a hurry.
Use “I” statements
A good way to help steer your conversation away from aggression is to use “I” statements.
By starting your key sentences with “I” and focusing on your own feelings, Cohen said, “You are not accusing your partner or making any assumptions. Simply point out the behavior and note how it is making you feel after checking in to get a sense of why their texting behavior has changed.”
Depending on how the conversation goes and the reason for their reduced texting, the other person may start texting you back more. But if they don’t, or do briefly before slipping back to relative silence, here are three more options:
Find other ways to communicate
If the main reason for the lull was specifically around your crush or partner’s relationship to texting or digital communication, there might be ways around this. Phone calls, emails, voice messages, video chats and in-person hangouts could all provide the feeling of being in touch you need without forcing the other people to engage in texting if it doesn’t feel comfortable for them.
Give them some space
If they’re in a place where you mean a lot to them and they want to continue being in your life/relationship over the longer term, but right now they can’t text a lot, you could experiment with simply cutting back on the texting for a little while in the hopes that it will rebound down the road.
Finally, if they’re uninterested in talking that much with you, perhaps it’s best for you to acknowledge you’re not going to go back to that prior level of texting. While that may feel frustrating, the sooner you come to terms with it, the sooner you can start getting over it and potentially find someone new to text who won’t back off on you after a while.