“How many texts should I send if she doesn’t respond for a while?”
We totally sympathize. Texting etiquette in modern dating can feel murky and uncertain at the best of times.
If you’re in a situation where you’re talking to a woman and things seem to be going really well and then she disappears and stops answering your texts, your mind might be spinning:
“Did her phone die?
“Did she lose interest?”
“Is she just busy at work?”
And most of all…
“Should I keep texting her??”
Take a deep breath, because that’s what we’ll be solving today.
First, we’ll ask a few questions:
- How long has it been?
- How many texts have gone unanswered?
- What was the tone of the conversation before she stopped responding?
As you answer those questions, your gut reactions will probably give you some clues about what you should do. Still, if you make it until the end of this post and you’re still unsure, don’t worry.
We will definitively answer the question of whether you should keep texting if she doesn’t respond for a while.
Before we get into that, however, you will need some context for this post to be useful to you.
Understand who this post is written for:
This is not a post geared toward conversations that take place in the first couple of back-and-forth texts on a dating site.
Those conversations come and go all the time, because neither party owes the other anything by that point, and true feelings have not had a chance to develop.
(That said, still read and apply the below guidelines! Just know that she may not be as responsive just because you’re still at the “top of the funnel” having just had a few messages so far.)
This is the post for situations where you have been talking with a woman for a while, maybe gone on a date or two, or at least had some in-depth conversations where it feels like this thing could really go somewhere.
You might have the beginnings of feelings, and she may have hinted at the same.
Then, sudden radio silence. What happened?
If that sounds familiar, and you have the twisted-up feeling in your stomach to prove that those feelings mean something to you and you really just want her to please text back soon, OMG, then read on.
Now we can dive in. When you’re wondering what to do if she doesn’t respond to your texts, start by asking yourself the following questions.
How long has it been?
There’s a huge difference between a woman not responding for a few hours versus a day or more.
It’s entirely reasonable that she might go several hours without having access to her phone. Or she might be racing around and not have time to think about a good response.
Often, and especially in the early phases of a budding relationship, one party would rather wait and send a well-thought-out response rather than rush it and risk saying something they regret later.
So if it’s only been a few hours, over the course of a work day or a single night, don’t panic. It’s still well within a reasonable response time.
However if she doesn’t respond for a full day, a few days, or more, she may be letting you know that talking to you isn’t high on her priority list.
People tend to act on their unconscious priorities. “Actions speak louder than words” is a popular adage for a reason; it’s often true.
If you hold an important place in her life, you will know it based on her actions.
How many texts have gone unanswered?
Here are some considerations:
- Is this a pattern over the whole time you’ve been talking?
- Or has she always responded quickly in the past before suddenly disappearing?
- Does she forget to answer sporadically, or forget to bring her phone along with her sometimes?
- Have you sent multiple unanswered texts in a row?
While the answers to these questions don’t necessarily solve your current issue, they might provide clues.
For example, if she periodically leaves her phone on silent, you can probably feel safe assuming she’ll get back to you later.
Or if she’s a consistent texter most of the time and has always been highly communicative before this, perhaps her phone died or she got called into a day-long work meeting.
If she doesn’t respond habitually, you might again choose to take that as a signal that her effort does not seem to match yours.
What was the tone of the conversation before she stopped answering?
Do your best to objectively evaluate both your side of the conversation and hers.
- Was she enthusiastic to talk to you?
- Did you perhaps come on too strong?
- Did her tone match yours?
- Could you have played it too cool and signaled disinterest?
- Were her responses often a single word or full paragraphs?
- Did she mention anything that could explain her disappearance (feeling tired or unwell, taking on a big work project, meeting up with some old friends, etc.)?
- Did she initiate texting approximately as often as you did, or was it one-sided?
Sometimes anxiety can get the best of you, and then when you reread an old conversation you notice things you might not have noticed the first time around.
A few days ago when she mentioned offhand that her best friend would be in town Tuesday night, it might not have jumped out at you. So if it’s Tuesday evening now and you can put those puzzle pieces together, you’ll certainly breathe a sigh of relief.
If you can come up with an easy explanation for the silence, rest assured that she’ll answer you eventually.
Otherwise, use the clues above to gauge her level of interest and determine if it matches yours.
Most dating sites will tell you to match her tone and responses if she doesn’t respond or she responds infrequently.
For example, if she seems to be pulling away, conventional wisdom would recommend that you give her an equal amount of space.
While you can absolutely do that, you do risk a situation where both of you are sitting there thinking the other person isn’t into it.
Budding relationships could sputter out before the fire ever gets started if neither of you are willing to take the initiative and pour some fuel on the flames.
So, for best results, move on to the next step.
If she doesn’t respond for a long time and you still don’t know why…
…Then yes, text her again.
Before you do, use these guidelines to help you formulate a message that will likely get the best results:
Keep it under control.
Only send one more text today.
It’s unlikely that two texts would fail to send in a row. So you can feel safe sending just one text to make sure.
If she answers later today, great! She won’t feel like she was bombarded with messages while she was away from her phone. On the contrary, she will feel like you cared enough to check in.
Keep it short.
This is not the time to debut an autobiography of your feelings. Short, direct, and to the point is what you’re aiming for.
If you find yourself typing out a wall of text and adding paragraph breaks to make it more readable… turn back, you’ve gone too far!
Hit the delete key and pare down all except for the one or two points that you truly want to make.
Keep it positive.
This is also not the time to assume that you know her feelings, to let your anxiety seep into the words you choose, or to jump to any conclusions.
Don’t venture anywhere near the territory of “I guess you don’t want to talk to me” passive aggression. That can take a happy yet busy woman from excitedly anticipating your next conversation to thinking, “Oh, he’s one of those guys…” in two seconds flat.
Keep it honest and true to who you are.
Part of the appeal in sending just one more text is that you’re approaching dating like a mature adult.
Waiting and suffering in silence, playing it cool with the “3 day rule”, or employing any other head games you hear about in common dating advice is contrary to your goals of finding a healthy relationship with strong communication.
- So if you want to send one more text, and you’re reasonably sure you haven’t been ultra-clingy, do it.
- If you want to tell her you’re into her to avoid any miscommunication, do it.
- If you want to (calmly, positively) ask what she’s up to because you’re genuinely interested in her life, do it.
When a woman is a great match for your communication style, she will appreciate your honesty and directness, and she will likely respond well to it.
If a woman isn’t a great match for your communication style, no amount of waiting, playing it cool, or playing head games is going to make that potential relationship any healthier.
Wouldn’t you rather find that out in the early stages?
Conclusion on whether you should text again if she doesn’t respond:
When the answers to the “ask yourself” sections don’t give you any clues and you feel reasonably certain that you’ve handled yourself maturely and gracefully, you should absolutely feel confident sending a follow-up text.
If she doesn’t respond to the follow-up text within another few hours or a day, take that as an answer.
To recap today’s post:
- Evaluate the situation by thinking about some context clues that could explain her silence,
- Follow a few short guidelines to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward if you do text again, and
- Prioritize healthy, honest, and clear communication, because that will help you find a woman who also values those things.
If you’re still sitting there agonizing, perhaps that’s an indication that your confidence or overall dating skills could use some attention. Download our free ebook, “Why PUA Doesn’t Work for Introverts & What Works Instead,” to start laying the groundwork for a healthier dating life.
Or, maybe you’re still unsure because your situation doesn’t quite match up with any advice you can find online. That’s okay, too! Real life comes with caveats and extenuating circumstances that make one-size-fits-all advice seem like it’s not applicable. In that case, consider joining our
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