What to do if a girl is not responding to messages

When I first started dating, nothing was more exciting than the rush of flirting with a new girl over text. It always felt like the start of something good.

I also remember that nothing was more nerve-racking than waiting for a reply. And waiting. And when she never replied at all — realizing that our connection was potentially dead in the water.

In hindsight, I spent WAY too much time stressing and analyzing my rollercoaster of emotions. I’d check my phone constantly, worry about whether or not I should send another text, and always wonder WHY…why is she not talking to me?

Ten years later, I now know that worrying about it was a waste of time. Unfortunately, there were no clear answers then and there are no clear answers now.

So when guys reach out to me asking, “Why didn’t she text back?” I can only make educated guesses about a woman’s motivations. There are countless reasons a girl goes MIA.

The point is, my advice will always be to…

Stop dwelling on the fact that she hasn’t responded. Instead, focus on a plan of action to get the conversation going again.

To give you the best shot, I created a simple framework to follow next time you don’t hear back from a girl you like.

1. Give her a day to reply before you send another text

Assume that your message was delivered successfully. Unless your phone says otherwise, it’s almost guaranteed that she received it.

Maybe she just hasn’t seen it yet. Maybe she did but she’s busy with work, study, or something else in the real world. Maybe she is waiting to respond because it’s not her top priority in the moment. Maybe she’s playing coy. Or maybe she just became bored of the conversation.

Regardless of the reason, hitting her up again within 24 hours almost never yields good results.

When a woman is talking to a new guy, she’s cautious about the situation. She wants to make sure you’re not too intense, needy, or overly invested.

If she didn’t see the message and you ping her again, it feels like you’re desperate for a response.

If she did see the message and is waiting or choosing not to respond, your follow-up often reinforces that she shouldn’t reply. It feels overbearing and like you’ve got nothing better to do.

I’m not saying to pretend like you’re cool and aloof. Rather, I want you to put yourself in the shoes of a confident man with options who’s not seeking approval. He might think, “that sucks” when he doesn’t get a reply…but then he’s going to focus on something else. He’s going to be productive, hang out with friends, do something fun for himself, and talk to other women.

He’s not sitting at home agonizing over the response time of a girl he barely knows.

2. But don’t wait more than 2-3 days to text again

That said, a lot of guys go the opposite of intense messaging and instead distance themselves completely. They decide not to message for multiple days, weeks, or ever again — even if this was the first time she went cold.

One reason guys do this is to avoid appearing needy and desperate. But as I’ve said before, neediness comes down to your mindset. If you genuinely want to connect with this girl and are pulling away to manipulate her approval of you — you’re being needy.

Another reason is that guys feel they put enough in effort and now it’s the girl’s turn to respond. I wish the world worked like that. Some women will reinitiate contact but many more, even ones that are interested, won’t. If this is just the first time she’s stopped responding, there’s no point in playing the waiting game and potentially missing your window of opportunity.

Hit her up within a few days and follow the ideas below for your message.

3. Don’t ask if she got your last text or talk about the same thing

I know you might feel lost when reinitiating with a girl who went quiet. Your natural inclination may be to double-check if she received your message or repeat the same topic.

For example, perhaps she went silent after you asked her what she’s doing on Thursday. You write something like…

“I guess sitting at home and not talking to anyone then =P” [Making fun of her not answering]

“So what did you end up doing Thursday?” [Asking her after the fact]

“Not sure if you got my last message but I was wondering what your plans were for Thursday?” [Double checking]

These rarely ever work. Even when you think you’re being sarcastic about her lack of reply, you’re coming off as passive-aggressive and bitter.

This girl stopped responding after your last message FOR A REASON. Pushing her to reply to that specific idea or checking on her like you’re her dad isn’t exciting. It also makes it feel like you’re hung up on why she didn’t respond.

4. Don’t immediately invite her out again

You also don’t want to invite her out as your first message back to her. This is especially true if your previous unanswered text was about trying to set up plans.

She may have not been comfortable enough or excited enough yet to commit to a date. You pushing again without addressing those feelings (through positive emotion, see below) will often yield another silent response or no commitment.

It’s better to start with a more casual and engaging message, have a few texts back and forth, and then invite her out when she’s expressing positive emotions. Because if she went radio silent after your first invitation, you have to make the second one count.

Women can feel awkward about telling a guy off twice. They know you’re probably feeling rejected and frustrated which makes them feel uncomfortable. In turn, they can pull back to avoid confrontation or convince themselves it wasn’t meant to be. Then they go back to ignoring you or tell you sorry, but they’re not interested.

So why blow your chances by rushing it? Sending a couple more playful messages will shift the vibe and make her feel more secure about your connection. Here’s how you should be getting back into conversation:

5. Get the positive emotions flowing and THEN invite her out

As I said earlier, women stop responding for many reasons. But it usually comes down to that they’re not excited, invested, or comfortable enough to meet up with you (basically a stranger) yet.

A lot of guys think the remedy is to talk about commonalities and get to know each other on a deeper level. But women don’t want that over text — it’s a horrible means for communication. She can do that on a date with you.

All she really needs is to FEEL that it’s going to be a fun, awesome experience meeting up with you.

If you just start up the conversation with something bland, logical, or devoid of emotion — it’s not likely to go anywhere. This is why messages like, “Hey, how’ve you been?”, “So did you do well on the test?” fall flat. They don’t encourage her to open up and feel something more.

You want her to experience positive emotions such as enthusiasm, curiosity, playfulness, passion, and get her laughing her ass off when she reads your texts. There are countless ways to do this:

Use more descriptive or emotional language even when talking about normal things. Make everyday conversation more intriguing. Use words that paint a picture or evoke powerful responses.
“Btw, the new X album blew my mind, I think I just had an audiogasm.” vs “Btw, that new X album is good.”
“I just shook my ass like Shakira at salsa. Getting into anything exciting yourself?” vs “I just got back from salsa class. What are you doing tonight?”
Add a funny GIF using iMessage/Whatsapp to enhance your message. So for example on the salsa message, you could then include a GIF of a cat shaking its body awkwardly.
Share something interesting about yourself. This could be a situation that happened to you, an adventure you had, or an idea/subject you’re passionate about.
Send a photo of you hiking at a beautiful lake, at a concert, or in your new suit. You can attach a quick note to it like, “I’m coming for you Daniel Craig.”
“I just spent the last 15 minutes wondering what my dog was trying to tell me. I can’t be the only one, right?”
“Yeaaaah, finally got my SCUBA certification. Feel free to picture me in my wetsuit.”
Ask a relevant question to her life, something you’re genuinely curious about, or just something random/silly. When someone asks a great question about a topic we’re passionate about, we love to talk about it. And fun or thought-provoking questions surprise and excite us to continue the dynamic conversation.
“So what inspired your bohemian-chic style? A memorable trip?”
“You said you love to sketch — can you draw me like one of your French girls?”
“What’s your most useless superhero power?”
If you haven’t noticed, there’s a theme here. All these messages are concise (1-2 sentences max), lighthearted, and often contain a joke.

Humor is the quickest way to re-engage a girl and get her hooked every time she reads your messages. And if she feels great chatting with you over text, she won’t be able to wait to meet up with you in-person.

Don’t wait long to make your move though. Once she’s responding back a couple times positively, strike when the iron is hot and invite her out.

These 5 steps will give you the best chance of bringing back a dead conversation. But if you’ve tried all the above more than once and she still hasn’t responded — it’s time to focus on someone else whose more excited to connect with you.