You think things are going well and you have a good back-and-forth going with someone online or over text, just for them to suddenly not respond to you at all.
Or maybe you ask them a question, put yourself out there, and are vulnerable but then… crickets.
When you get no response, it might leave you feeling a little lost and confused. Perhaps even hurting.
But the truth is that no response is a response and there are a lot of things that it can mean.
Understanding that no response is a response can save you a lot of drama and guessing in your life. You will better be able to know the message that the other person is trying to send without them sending a message at all.
Let’s dive in deeper to find out what it might mean when someone doesn’t respond to you and whether not responding is a good tool for you to use as well…
What ‘No Response Is A Response’ Means?
While believing that no response is a response, it helps to know that it could mean various things. What it means when you get no response will depend on the person you are talking to, the relationship you have, and how long you have known each other.
Keep all of this in mind when trying to work out what it might mean when you are left on read.
However, and I say this gently… None of these reasons truly matter. This person, whoever they are, is incapable of communicating properly, and you are better off not micro-analyzing their reasoning for this.
If someone doesn’t want to talk to you or give you the time of day, it’s best to practice some self-love here and MOVE. ON.
But regardless, here are the various things it could mean when someone decides to remain silent and not give you any response in return. Because I know we as humans crave closure an want to understand why someone acts the way they do:
They Do Not Know What You Want
A very real reason that someone might not respond to you is if they do not know what you want from them. They might not pick up on any hints or clues you are putting out there and they do not know that you are expecting something from them.
It could also happen when you are sending mixed signals and instead of trying to work out what it might be that you want from them, they choose to go the easy route and stay silent instead of messaging back and working it out.
You might have sent a message that does not warrant a response in their eyes, either. It could be an emoji or meme that you think they would respond to but which they think doesn’t need a response.
Asking direct questions and leading a conversation in a clear way is the best way to get a response and when you do not do this, the other person might not be able to work out exactly what it is you want. This leaves some open questions about whether or not they need to reply to you or not.
Mixed signals can also be really confusing and they might just be tired of trying to work out what you want and what you mean, so they give up and stop replying.
They Aren’t Interested
This is most common when talking to someone online or on a dating site, or after your first date, when there isn’t that much of a relationship between the two of you. Not responding doesn’t come with too many complications as the relationship is still considered ‘superficial.’
As harsh as it might be, you would probably prefer for them to tell you outright that they aren’t interested. Them not responding to you is a clear enough message, and you should just leave it at that.
There is no point in messaging them and seeking out a response, as this just delays moving on even further. Silence can be a powerful message, so listen to it and take it as a sign that the other person just isn’t interested.
You should never have to beg or ask for a person’s attention. Silence speaks volumes!
Rejection is not easy to deal with, I truly get it, but it happens.
The way you deal with it determines how easy it will be for you to move on. Rejection is much easier to deal with the earlier it happens, so just accept it as part of the dating process and don’t put so much eight on it.
Think of it as ‘their loss.’ But truly. Don’t just say it and not believe it. Truly believe you’re amazing and they’re missing out.
It gets a lot more complicated when a certain person gets into the habit of ghosting you constantly and you let them back in after they have lost interest and ignored you for some time.
If there is someone in your life like this, you need to stay strong and not let them back in! Seriously. Ignore them the next time they try and sneak their way back in.
Even though they work their way back into your life time and time again, their silence still has a lot of meaning. It shows that they do not respect you as much as they should and you are not a priority in their life.
And I don’t know about you, but I’m not an option in anyone’s life.
They Don’t Know How To Respond
Some people are just not as gifted as others when it comes to social interactions and chatting with people online. This could mean that they do not know how to respond to certain messages and just decide to not respond at all.
That’s really no excuse but it happens all the time.
This is especially true when two people do not know each other very well yet and they have just started chatting online.
You will not know the nuances of each other’s humor or the subtle meaning behind messages and sometimes it might be easier for them to not even attempt to respond.
You might also have sent a message that they don’t understand or get and instead of responding in the wrong way, they choose to not do anything at all.
In this case, this lack of response can mean two things. It could show that they really just do not know how to respond, but are still interested, or that they do not know how to respond, and this has put them off taking the relationship or chat any further.
I’ll be the first to say, sending a text message isn’t that deep. It shouldn’t be that complicated to respond, even if to say ‘I don’t know what to say to that.” It’s much more considerate of the other person’s feelings than getting no response.
And at the end of the day, that’s what we all want. Someone who cares about our feelings and wellbeing.
They Feel Overwhelmed
It could be that you are moving a little too fast for them or they are feeling overwhelmed, and they could feel like they need space.
Instead of messaging you and telling you they need space or to slow down, which could start a whole conversation they do not want, they would back away and not respond.
This can happen at many different points, whether you have only just met online and have been chatting for a few days, or if you have been on a few dates and they back off, not knowing whether a relationship is something they want or not.
The decent thing to do would be to message you and let you know that they need some space, but not everyone will do the decent thing. So you will just have to take their silence as a message instead. Remember: No response is a response.
Maybe take a look back at how you have been speaking to them and consider whether or not you have been a bit overwhelming or if you have been taking things too far.
But try not to put so much weight on their reaction or on other person’s attention. Iit’s not worth trying to decipher their words (or lack of.)
They Are Giving You The Silent Treatment
This is more for couples who have been together for some time or for those who have been chatting for awhile now.
The silent treatment is a popular one between partners who are angry with one another and it could very well mean that no response from your partner is them actually giving you the silent treatment.
You may have said something that really hurt and frustrated them and instead of responding and possibly arguing more, they decide to leave the conversation and just take a step back.
If this happens, rather take a step back as well and do not bombard them with messages. This will only make it worse and possibly cause an even bigger issue.
Rather give them their space and let them cool off and approach you when they feel ready to do so.
It’s good to give people space in romantic relationships, especially if they are upset.
Forcing a conversation and sending multiple text messages could very well make the situation worse.
This probably isn’t the case if they have not responded for a long time, but there is a small chance that they could be busy, and just have not had the time to respond to you.
If it is really out of character for them to be silent and leave the conversation abruptly, then there might be other things that have distracted them or kept them away from replying.
Consider this before jumping to conclusions and anticipating the worst.
If they do not reply for days and weeks on end, then it is likely that they have just decided to not respond, but if it is only a few hours then give them a break and wait a little while before thinking that they have just decided to not respond.
Life is busy and sometimes we can just forget to respond to a message, which is completely forgivable!
They’ve Met Someone Else
You are not going to fully commit yourself to someone you have just met or who you have just started talking to online. This is pretty much accepted across the board.
However, this also means that the person you are talking to might be talking to other people too and if they meet someone they like a little better or who they find more interesting, they could just stop talking to you and move on.
This isn’t fair on you, obviously, but if you have not been talking for too long, then you really cannot expect too much from them. You’ll just have to cut your losses on this one and move on.
Is No Response A Rejection?
Nobody can really answer whether or not no response is a rejection, as each situation is different, and giving a definite answer doesn’t work.
However, most of the time, it is true that no response from someone who you have only just started talking to is a rejection.
Especially after a few days or weeks of no response, you should take it as such.
If someone decides not to respond to you as a form of rejection, then they really aren’t worth worrying over anyways. Seriously. Get them out of your mind.
You should take the hint and move on, not dwelling on the rejection. Don’t think or send hurtful things to them. Just move on gracefully.
It most likely has nothing to do with you but rather with them, and they have either decided to not pursue anything or they have found someone else to occupy their time with, so try not to be too hard on yourself because of it.
You’ll have to look at the context of the situation and the person who you are talking to and be honest with yourself when deciding whether or not it might be a rejection or whether they just forgot to reply.
Most times it’s a rejection. And if it’s not, they will reach out in some way or another.
Is Silence A Powerful Response?
Many people do not consider silence to be a response at all, but the truth is that it is one of the most powerful responses imaginable.
Sometimes, saying nothing is better than saying anything at all, and it could be the best option to get the message across.
Whether you are the one on the receiving end of the empty response or you decide to not respond, there is much that can be conveyed through saying nothing. Silence speaks louder than words.
If you are wanting to say something to someone, to move on, or to convey that you are not happy, but you can’t quite find the words, sometimes the best thing you can do is not say anything at all.
It is likely that you would drive them a little mad, wondering why you haven’t said anything and what it might mean that you aren’t responding. Maybe get them to consider what it is that they might have done wrong and how they might have upset you.
When you can’t think of something to say, silence can be your best friend, so use it when you can, and you might even be able to get your message across more clearly.
However, suggest using silence to get some space and a clear head. Don’t use it as a form of abuse.
The silent treatment is incredibly hurtful and used by narcissists. Don’t do it to torture them! Simply get some time, space, and respond when (if) you are ready.
How To Stop Getting No Responses
Do you find that you often are at the receiving end of no responses and it is becoming a recurring thing in your life?
It might be that your texting style isn’t very conducive to responses, and with a few changes in your messaging style, you could prompt more responses from the people you are chatting to.
Here are some tips to help you out when texting, to hopefully stop getting no responses:
Put More Effort Into Your Messages
People will be more likely to want to respond to you if you put more effort into the messages you send. Don’t send lackluster, single-word messages, as nobody will be enticed to respond to that.
Rather, put some emotion and thought into your message, and make your tone clear, so that the other person is more excited to respond to you.
Ask Them Questions
It is hard to respond to a text that doesn’t necessarily need a response, so to keep the conversation going, you should ask them questions.
Be genuinely interested in them.
Now, this is a fine balance, as you do not want to bombard them with questions to the point where they feel overwhelmed or like they’re at a job interview, but you do not want the conversation to die out either.
Just keep in mind though that you should not be the only one putting effort into keeping the conversation going. If it seems very one-sided, then rather leave it be.
Don’t Come Across Too Strong
You might be ready to settle down and find a serious partner, but the person you are speaking to might not be. Yes, eventually, they might want it, but if you start being too eager and if you come across as too strong, it could put them off.
You can’t dive headfirst into a relationship with someone before getting to know them.
Rather take things slow and get to know someone at a decent pace or else you risk overwhelming them and putting them off completely.
Relationships are very fragile in the early stages. You want there to be an even give and take.
Should I Send A Second Message?
When someone doesn’t respond to you, you might be tempted to send them another message to prompt a response. I get it and I’ve done it (unfortunately.)
I seriously advise that you do not do this! They have made it clear that they are not interested in responding to you and there is no good that another message from you will do.
Seriously, I’m a broken record. No Response Is A Response.
Sending another text message will do more harm than good. This will just extend the hurt for you and keep you waiting even longer for a response that you are likely not going to end up getting.
The best response to no response is (you guessed it) no follow up!
In some rare (I mean, rare!) cases it might be a genuine misunderstanding or mistake as to why the other person hasn’t responded, and a second message could prompt them to reply.
You will have to use your own judgment for this. But if you ask me, it’s a nope.
If it is someone that you know well and who is not likely just to ignore you, then a second message should be fine. If it is someone who you do not know well and who you don’t have a strong relationship with, then it is best just to leave it be.
No Response Is A Response
Understanding that no response is a response will help you avoid confusion and guessing-games when chatting to people online.
If someone decides to not reply to you, then there is a good reason for it, and it usually shows that they are not interested anymore or that they do not have the capability to communicate properly.
You will have to judge the situation for yourself and decide what it could mean. For someone that you know well, they could be giving you the silent treatment or they could simply be busy.
If it is someone new, then it might be time to consider that your days of chatting with them are over!
Remember, respect yourself first! No response is a response. And you should never be sitting around feeling like a bother or second option.