Are Ignored Texts A Signal To Move On?

Are Ignored Texts A Signal To Move On?I’ve been seeing a man for a year + 4 months. He texted me on Christmas Eve for a hike early Christmas morning. I replied,”YES! I’d love to!” I got up early, got ready for his call, and never heard from him. His text included that he had his 16 year old daughter and niece spending the night on that eve (so no spending the night for us!)

I sure was hurt, disappointed, let down and felt stood up. Finally, I left at noon to go to my friend’s for the day. No cell service there. I got home at 9 pm and saw that he’d left me a text around 2 pm saying we should’ve gone for a hike before the rain that started at 10:30 am (I wanted to say NO SHIT SHERLOCK, but of course I kept my sarcasm and hurt to myself.) I texted back I was ready early for that hike, as requested, and would have appreciated a call! Merry Christmas. It took him two hours to text he never received my reply and my mailbox was full so he couldn’t leave a message. Oh well. Goodnight.

Evan, for a man who depends upon his blackberry for business and social/everything, how could he not get my response almost as soon after he invited me? Then, why wouldn’t he try again, if he didn’t see my reply? If he missed replies for work and other events with people he makes plans for, he wouldn’t be as successful as he is… I responded last night, chagrined that he missed my text, puzzled as to how, saying I’m sorry, was disappointed and looking forward to it. It’s 11am on day after xmas and I haven’t heard from him yet… Plus, I have xmas gifts and a card I was going to give him. Shall I return them? Is he trying to tell me something (that I’m fearful of) by his non response? In other words, no message IS a message? Shall I just hang it up after over a year and cut my losses? Shall I text him asking, “Can we see each other today or at least a phone call…” I’m weary of texting! My heart sure hurts big time, and I don’t want to pursue. Thank you for your understanding.

Sheila

First, my apologies. Unfortunately, my blog isn’t a 24-hour-hotline, and questions are usually answered about a month later.

Could there be a more evil invention for interpersonal dating communication than texting?

So whatever you decided to do the day after Christmas, I’d really like to hear how it turned out. I sincerely hope that everything I have to tell you next is wrong. Because I feel pretty strongly that this problem is mostly of your own making.

Let’s establish a few things right off the bat.

  1. I’m not a fan of texting. I’m not fighting it. It’s not going away. But holy shit, could there be a more evil invention for interpersonal dating communication than texting? No. Texting should be for “I’m running late,” “Missing you!” and “What R U wearing right now?”, not for “Where is this relationship going? I’m disappointed with how U treat me.”
  2. I’m a guy. Any time I answer a question, I filter it through a man’s point of view. Would I do what the man did? Is it selfish? Would I want to be forgiven for it? Is it indicative of a greater problem in the relationship or was it a temporary lapse in reason?

By these standards, I see a number of ways that a very simple miscommunication spiraled out of control to the point that Sheila’s thinking of returning his Christmas gifts.

I pray that you didn’t do that. And I’m not even the praying type.

Here’s what I think happened:

He intended to go hiking early in the morning. The fact that he had two kids staying with him slowed him up.

It was benign neglect and laziness that caused the initial problem – and all of your overreactions that caused the rest of them.

By the time he got his stuff together, it had already started raining. Since it was raining, it didn’t make sense to go hiking. He made lunch for his daughter and niece, tried calling you, got a full mailbox and officially texted you at 2pm, even though the hike postponement was a forgone conclusion.

In response, you texted him an emotional response about your chagrin, puzzlement and disappointment…and wonder why he’s not rushing to respond to your anger.

This seems to be the Occam’s Razor of your story – the most likely way that things occurred.

However, in your version, this man that you’ve been dating deliberately blows you off on Christmas morning, ignores your repeated texts and has suddenly decided to sabotage everything you’ve built together over 16 months.

Only one question about this story: why would he do this?

There’s absolutely no logical explanation. Which leads me to think that it was benign neglect and laziness that caused the initial problem – and all of your overreactions that caused the rest of them.

Two other lingering questions:

1)    If he didn’t call you Christmas morning, why didn’t you call him? The phone works both ways, you know? Or was it just easier to be righteously indignant and leave for the day at 12pm without calling him to figure out a new plan?

2)    You’ve been with him for 16 months and you still say you’re “seeing” him? If he’s not your boyfriend, we’ve already identified the real problem here.

Finally, watch this video about how men and women perceive texts differently:

YouTube Preview Image

And realize that while it was wrong of him not to text you at 8am Christmas Day, pretty much everything else was due to how personally you took things.

Sorry, but that’s what you get when you ask a guy for advice.

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Comments:

  1. 61
    Denise

    This is really, really good advice–and ladies, don’t use a lot of words either (which is challenging for women, so men, try to understand that!)

    As a man, I’ll give you the #1 secret for communicating with men: make everything explicitly obvious. And be literal.

    #61 JoJo

    “I guess a I was expecting at least a thank you or a Happy New Year to you too.”

    One of the things I am currently contemplating in my head is this ‘expectation’ of getting something back.  As an example, if a woman wants to tell a man she loves him, it has to be from her HEART with NO expectation of him saying he loves her back.  If she doesn’t do it with the right frame of heart, that she wants to share her feelings and what’s in her heart, she will be disappointed if he doesn’t return the sentiment. Then we know what will happen, she will get pissy with him, she will start to hold back and have negative energy and attitude towards him.  In addition, saying something with an expectation is trying to control someone else, it subtlely invades their boundary.  Obviously the words aren’t going to show that invasion, but the energy and intention behind them will–especially to the person who is sending them.

    This is not an easy shift, but an important one I think is important to consider.

  2. 62
    Christie Hartman

    Texting is lame. It should, like Evan said, be used to convey brief messages like, “Will be there in 10″ or “Love you!” How hard is it to pick up a damned phone and call the person you’ve been dating for SIXTEEN MONTHS to try and make plans?? Texting as a form of communication is for slackers and flakes who don’t know how to have a real relationship. Like communication in a relationship isn’t difficult enough, even in person! If the OP’s boyfriend makes a habit of this, rather than this being an isolated incident, he’s a flake and she should dump him.

  3. 63
    Sarah

    Isn’t texting limited to something like 256 chars or even less?  Real short form of communication for a long distance relationship.
    Regardless of distance, for me texting is reserved for short questions or answers and certainly not to maintain a relationship.  The simple fact that he has called only about 7 times in 16 months says a lot about the relationship as far as I’m concerned, a real superficial one…

  4. 64
    sarah

    As far as I know texting is limited to a few characters (150 or so) and consequently a very short form of communication.  If he only called about 7 times during 16 months and has been using mostly texts and email (emails are better because you can say a lot and even attach pics but you loose the warmth of the voice), as far as I’m concerned it says a lot about the relationship: pretty superficial.
    Personally I only use texts for short questions and answers and that’s it.

  5. 65
    louise

    Pure and utter bullshit and part of the acceptable double standards, plans were made to hike christmas day and he didnt even have the decency to call, dump him.  P.S. that video was also bullshit, women simply dont behave that way.

  6. 66
    Heather

    Wow. I’m sorry, but if it had been me, I would have called and asked the time and also, if it was the holiday, I wouldn’t expect the plans to be set in stone if family was over. I wonder what happened?

  7. 67
    Rochelle

    If this happened with a new guy who just stared courting me, and seemed to have flaked out I wouldn’t have bothered to call him to find out if we still had plans. I would’ve made other plans to do something.  But by 16 months I agree she should feel comfortable asking what was going on. And besides, it was lame of him to make the plans over a text,  she shouldn’t be accepting that 

  8. 68
    kandi

    I agree with jb….

  9. 69
    Obvious

    This man is married r is with another woman. The fact of the texting all the time indicates that he is in company where he cannot talk!!!! Ie a wife beside him!!!! If he’s daughter is with him how bad is that he can still call. He has his phone on silent Christmas Eve and Christmas morning as he is with his family and doesn’t have time for u. I’m sorry to b hard but it’s a fact. Your there when he needs you . U say its long distance so how could he meet for a Hike??? And not meet to wish u a happy Christmas. He was just texting u to keep u interested so u would b thinking of him and making him a priority in your head but u weren’t one in his. He’s married r with someone else. Forget him he’s not worth it. Stop beating yourself up its not your fault he didn’t txt he’s just holding on to u and playing games. Hope u find true love and someone who will make u there priority. And remember a man should ruin your lipstick not your miscara

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