Why If A Man Doesn’t Respond Immediately To A Text Or Phone Call, It Doesn’t Necessarily Mean He’s Behaving Badly

January 29, 2013 ‐ By La Truly


Women don’t realize the power that we wield when it comes to love and relationships. I don’t know where it starts, our ignorance to the command/influence we have. I don’t know why we give ourselves so little credit in the way of steering our relationships. But I do know that for many of us, we misuse the power that we don’t even know we have. I know, because I’ve done it.

I gave him a big spoonful of what he had been giving me. Texts answered hours or a day late or even some just left totally unanswered. Half-hearted one-word replies. Nonchalance at its height. He needed to sweat. He needed to wonder the way I had wondered. He needed to know that I was not the type of woman to be played. No. I had a life and he wasn’t going to treat me as an afterthought. So, I fell back and let him wonder.

It was empowering the first day or so. But then the third and fourth day I started to feel differently. He was calling and texting like a mad man trying to figure out what was going on. I decided I had my fun and it was time to let him know I was done with this lopsided “relationship.” All the things I wanted to say came out cold and lacked feeling in about three text messages. But I wasn’t satisfied. It didn’t feel right. So a few days later I went by his house to talk. I practiced what I would say about his behavior and why I reacted the way that I did. I was ready to give him a piece of my mind along with the dose of his own medicine I had already served him.

What happened instead was pretty much not the way I saw the conversation going in my head.

“When we first started talking, we agreed to be open and honest with one another. We agreed that communication is a big key. But instead of communicating your feelings to me you just ignore me? That’s childish! You never made me aware of how you were feeling and there’s no way that you can justify that!”

I sat in silence for most of the conversation. I was stunned because no man has ever been able to rightfully speak to me like that. I couldn’t argue against his points. I had assumed so many things. I had taken his late responses to my text messages personally when in actuality, he was WORKING. I had used my power in the most juvenile of ways instead of communicating like an adult and it almost cost me a great friendship and what could be the beginning of an amazing relationship.

I thought I was teaching him a lesson, giving him a taste of his own medicine when instead I got schooled on my own lack of communication/trust and a lesson in humility. All rightfully deserved, when I sat and thought about it.

Sure, I got a reaction out of him, but for what purpose? Had I thought through my confusion and hurt I would have clearly seen that everything is not always as it seems and instead of jumping to conclusions, as I sheepishly admit I do sometimes, I should have spoken – IN PERSON, NOT VIA TEXT MESSAGE – to him about it. I have that right. I have that power. Not to nag but to communicate openly and honestly. And by God, if a man is ASKING for open and honest communication, that’s half the battle already WON!

Was it a bitter pill to swallow at first? Of course it was, sitting there being scolded by someone I had every intention of all but cursing out. But what was bitter at first taste became sweet once it sunk into my system. The power I have as a woman is not one of control or manipulation to MAKE a man do right or do what I think he should do so as to avoid ever being hurt. The power I wield as a woman is that of strength and honesty. There is no power in assumption or living in a perpetually reactive tit-for-tat state of mind. There is no true happiness or peace in that space either. I got the message loud and clear.

La Truly is a late-blooming Aries whose writing is powered by a lifetime of anecdotal proof that awkward can transform to awesome and fear can cast its crown before courage. La seeks to encourage thought, discussion and change among young women through her writing. Check out her blog: www.hersoulinc.com and Twitter: @AshleyLaTruly.

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  • Sara

    It is still rude to wait that long, even if you are working. If you are working, let me know. Is that really hard? WE worked back in the 90s too, we still called people back.

  • Ms_Sunshine9898

    Girl please. A man I used to text used to do me the same way and I gave him the benefit of a doubt that he was working. But at the end of the day, he had to pick up and use that pone at some point or another so I know he saw my text or call. So far as I’m concerned there is no reason why a whole day should go by and he doesn’t acknowledge your text or call, even if it just to say “hey, sorry I missed your text/call, I’m was working, what’s up”. While you still should have communicated better with him, don’t let that I’m too busy to respond ever mess fool you. Then again, I am and always have been single so what do I know lol. . . .

  • Nope

    And ladies, please STOP immediately calling right back if a man doesn’t answer his phone That’s what voicemail is for. Use it.

  • http://www.yourtango.com/users/cheekee-baby cheekee baby

    Never knew anybody THAT busy that he can’t be bothered to answer a text for an entire day. You don’t use your power of no (which is what you really did) to manipulate him into treating you right, there’s a marked difference really. What you do is you set a bar and expectation of what you will and will not allow. Either he agrees to pay that price to be with you or he thinks the cost is too much and keeps it moving. It has NOTHING to do with him at all. Its simply knowing what YOU want from a relationship no games or BS necessary.

    • JaneDoe

      Girl thats what I say. Ppl find time to do the things they want to do period. I know I do and if someone claims to be busy all day and couldn’t return my text or call I know what time it is.. Games are for loosers and dummies.

      • http://www.yourtango.com/users/cheekee-baby cheekee baby

        This is the truth. One unanswered text is one thing , a repeated pattern of not responding or being slow to respond means that for whatever reason he’s just not that into you period. How hard would it have been for him to let her know from the gate, “hey look for the next two weeks I’m going to be going balls to the walls as work I’m still thinking about you, I just won’t be able to talk as much as usual.” and even then a man all into you will make time if that means he’s calling you while getting gas or eating lunch, he will make it happen.

        Bottom line is if I was the author and he was treating me with the stiff arm I would have sent him a text (if he doesn’t answer the call I made) and told him that his lack of common courtesy with not returning my messages was a dealbreaker.

  • diggy.p

    My boyfriend and I used to do this to each other. But we had a talk about it and everything has been pretty good. Communication is definitely key. A relationship won’t survive without it.

  • SheBe

    This is why playing stupid a$$ games in relationships doesn’t work. Please stop listening to these “rules” that other single people feed to the other single people.

  • hollyw

    I can definitely relate to this article in learning, then un-learning “game-playing” in the dating scene…one thing I just wanted to throw out there, though, is that, in an already-committed relationship, a day is pretty inappropriate of a length to let a message or call go unanswered, not to mention not answering at all…I’m just saying, you might’ve handled it poorly lol…but you weren’t completely unjustified in the insecure feeling it gave you.

    Idk if I’d call a woman’s power in a relationship to be communication, rather than it strengthening the relationship as a whole if BOTH parties communicate well, but that’s overall the biggest thing that I am grateful for in my current relationship; both mature and willing parties who want to be in a relationship and can overcome any natural insecurities w/ continued (and healthy) communication…great read.

  • Na Na

    La Truly Brande better watch out you’re coming for my fave MN writers spot! lol In response to C’Mon Son, even if he was really a douche bag in men’s clothing the lesson she learned is still more than valuable because when she is in a relationship with the right one, the right one male or female, is not going to put up with mind games and self delusion.

    • Nuff Said

      “the right one male or female, is not going to put up with mind games and self delusion”.

  • IllyPhilly

    I can’t stand people like that. Men are culprits too.

  • C’mon son

    This is why I’m not about that texting lifestyle in relationships but anyway, you say, “I gave him a big spoonful of what he had been giving me. Texts answered hours or a day late or even some just left totally unanswered. Half-hearted one-word replies.” So was he doing this initially or not? It doesn’t take a day to respond when you’re “working”. And totally not answering isn’t right. And how did he respond when you addressed the “lopsided relationship”? It sounds like you did have him feeling some kind of way, so he flipped the script and decided to make you feel guilty instead of taking any respondibility for his own actions.

    • http://www.yourtango.com/users/cheekee-baby cheekee baby

      Sounds about right.

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