My Constant Text Messaging Has Driven My Boyfriend Away. What Should I Do?

I just started going out with a guy whom I’ve known for 5 years. We decided together and things have been going very well. Last weekend we spent together, he gave me a single red rose and it was wonderful, just getting to know each other on a different level. We both decided that we were not going to have sex until we are absolutely sure. I sent him my usual daily email to say hi and how you’re doing and also called to say hello before I went to bed since I go to bed at 6:30pm and he gets off work later. For 2 days I did my usual and did not hear anything. I was a bit frustrated after a bad day at work and I sent him several text messages about how I felt concerning his lack of communication. The next morning I received a text that stated “morning, I apologize for the lack of communication but after a long day at work, the last thing I needed was your frustration”. I responded by saying I accepted his apology but reminded him that although my days were not as long as his, they were just as busy if not busier. I also asked or suggested that we talk about it later that night. I have not heard anything from him since then, it has been five days. What do I do, do I wait until he contacts me or should I call or send an email letting him know that I was concerned about how he was doing?



While we love the idea of being 100% fully authentic and self-expressed, sometimes this behavior scares the crap out of the new person you’re dating.

I once wrote an important post about how text messaging is the devil, and your email only underscores it.

Except, in this instance, text messaging wasn’t really the problem. Sorry to say, it was you.

Now, to be crystal clear, your guy was probably never going to be your future husband, so it’s not like you’ve lost someone too important. But what he represents is a lesson to learn forever.

Actually, there are two lessons.

First is that while we love the idea of being 100% fully authentic and self-expressed, sometimes this behavior scares the crap out of the new person you’re dating. Believe me, no one enjoys taking the side of “hold a little bit back, bite your tongue, play it cool”, but, in the early phases of dating, it’s the best course of action.

In short, you emailed him to say hi, you followed up with a phone call, and then sent several frustrated text messages. To a new guy that you were seeing. Without knowing what you wrote/said, I would just ask how you’d react if your new guy started emailing, calling and texting you in rapid succession.

“Needy”, “desperate” and “stalker” are three of the first words that come to mind to describe that guy.

So please, for your own sake, stop trying to talk about important things via email or text.

He’s just being real with you – he’s excited about you and can’t wait to see you again. You can hardly blame him. Except you do blame him. You can’t help yourself. We automatically devalue someone who comes on too strong to us – especially if we haven’t sorted out our own feelings yet.

But hey, it’s just one guy. It’s a common mistake. You live, you learn, you move on.

The bigger lesson I get from your story is one I was actually discussing with a client yesterday on the phone. She was reading me emails that she wrote to her boyfriend about how she was upset that she hasn’t yet met his kids.

The emails were articulate, heartfelt…and utterly the worst possible way to communicate such an important relationship issue.

So please, for your own sake, stop trying to talk about important things via email or text. Way too many things can go wrong, from the absence of voice, tone, and nuance, to the simple fact that a person can ignore you for days at a time after you gave your deep, emotional confession.

I’m not sure if we communicate this way because we’re cowardly and afraid of confrontation, or if we’re trying hard to get our words just right by writing and rewriting, or if we actually think that texting “why r u ignoring me” is an effective way to change a relationship for the positive.

All I know is that without having the opportunity to listen to a human voice, process the information, and explain oneself patiently, it is next to impossible to have a productive discussion via email.

I mean, don’t things ALWAYS turn bad when you’re typing? Isn’t something always misconstrued when you can’t hear the speaker’s voice – when he/she doesn’t have a chance to respond to your reaction?

(And if you doubt me, just read the comments on this blog!)

Suffice it to say, Roberta, there’s no fixing what’s already been broken.

The next time around just keep in mind my cardinal rule for women, Don’t Do Anything.

If you really want to know where you stand with a guy, you don’t have to text him. Just pay attention to the last time he called to make plans. There’s nothing else you need to know.

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  1. 31

    In the beginning of any relationship “less history, more mystery!!”

  2. 32

    @Mara your comments struck a nerve, my boyfriend is always asking for reassurance in our relationship. He also easily bored, and then he says he’s depressed. And recently he was laid off, and he misconstrued his relationship with his boss, expecting that his boss wouldn’t do this to him as they were ‘friends’. I just want to shake him and say “GET OVER II”. I believe it is a sign of a mature person to have realistic expectations in a relationship. Falling in love is grand, your partner staying in love with you requires …. self restraint.

  3. 33

    I read somewhere – it currently escapes me – that a smart woman will not even have a guy she’s dating as friend on FaceBook (or other such social media) or on any of the intant messaging programs, because it provides too much temptation to check up on him and see who he’s talking to, what he’s doing, or to initiate contact when she is feeling emotional.  Seems like a sound policy to me.  

  4. 34

    Hi Roberta,
    in my opinion the biggest problem is actually that it was you who was making so much efforts and contacting him every day instead of it being the other way round. I am speaking from personal experience as few year ago after I had separated from my husband and not having that much experience with dating which includes the usage of mobile phones, I too made the mistake of texting a guy too much (sadly I had kept in touch more than he did) and as a result that eventually drove him away. I was very upset at the time but now when looking back I know he wasn’t the one for me anyway as he was only interested in occasional booty call. The lesson I have learned from this experience and from dating books and newsletters is that even though that it can be very frustrating not being able to do anything and only be able to wait, men hate being pursued by texting, emailing or calling, they prefer to be the one who is in charge when dating is involved and that is the way it is am afraid. Or at least that is the way I see it. Hope this helps at least a little.

  5. 35
    saint stephen

    @ starthrower68 #33

    What is wrong in a lady initiating contact with her boyfriend when she is feeling emotional? whats the essence of having a boyfriend then? I’m a very busy person yet my girlfriend does that all the time, still i didn’t kick her away.
    at least i knew what i was up for before entering the relationship.

    Such emotional needy character has to do with the persons upbringing so you can’t change them, is either you love them the way they are or you leave them.

    The problem here which every one has failed to realize is that the guy in  this scenario do not love her sufficiently to be able to put up with the communicative/emotional/needy attitude.

  6. 36

    You should of have  just texted him twice and left it something that shows you’re not completely heartless. By you texting him you kind made him think your needy and can’t life without him.  I have spoken to many people about this the best thing is to leave it be. Do you want him to think you can’t live without him. Stop texting him and show him you can if he texts you be casual if he doesn’t then you know he’s not for you. Let him miss you, let him wonder why you stoped and if he really wants to know watch him chase for answers. P.s. agree with Mara that i have friend like that and i see her actions so i put myself in the guys shoes and I agree with jersey girl we can get swept up in emotions when texting a person but no matter what I have learnt it’s not worth losing your dignity and being known as the girl who was clingy for answers

  7. 37

    I’m just as guilty with this and probably have scared guys off. It’s best to wait for a response and if you don’t get one, don’t stress over it.

  8. 38
    Chris du Toit

    My wife sends me on average 850 text messages a day. I have to report my every move all the time and if something just sounds out of order a bit I get accused of all kinds of monstrosities. When I am eating a meal, obviously I cant answer her fast enough, and i will get accused that I love food more than her and I have to send pictures to prove that I am eating. If I argue she uses text messages to threaten with suicide. I wish this curse was never invented.

    1. 38.1
      Karmic Equation

      She’s crazy. Probably as hot as she is crazy, which is why you married her.

      You get what you pay for. HA!

      Seriously, if you love her, and don’t think she will boil any bunnies if you suggest it, ask her to consider going to a therapist. 850 text messages (or even 85 messages if you’re exaggerating) — is uncalled for…unless you cheated on her before and she needs the reassurance. But even then, 85 is still excessive, and therapy is in order…for both of you. For her, to get over her insecurity. For you, to know how to establish better boundaries.

      I hope you don’t have children. If you don’t, DO NOT start a family until her underlying mistrust is dealt with. If you already have children, her behavior is not a good model for your children to witness. Get to therapy sooner than later, for the sake of the children.

      Best of luck to you.

  9. 39
    Jo Pinto Palomino

    Never bombard someone with a daily email, then texts, then phone calls because you will drive them insane. Let him contact you. You have made the mistake of saturating his life with your constant contact…what do you expect him to say? Poor bloke probably ran out of conversation topics and wondered whether he was dating a control freak.

  10. 40

    Oh.I’m a guy and totally made this mistake..really disappointed in myself…looked through my texts and confirmed I was a text stalker…and she was the one courting me, totally awesome lady and such a loss of a opportunity…..really bummed out..but what gets me is, if it happened to me, I would be straight up and tell the lady, I’m into her but to slow down..patience pays off…

  11. 41

    The lady had  a surgery and even though she said I’m not bothering her….looking back, she should never have had to say it… she is, in pain and misery, trying to recuperate from a back surgery and I text her almost every day to other day to see hows shes doing..3 days in icu…my god, I was so clueless! I guess when you’re in the excitement, some people aren’t focused on the proper way to act…

  12. 42
    The Truth Hurts

    I’m not sure why you agreed to wait to have sex after  knowing him for 1,825 days.  Unless we were both virgins or had some irreversible disease sex would seem like a natural progression.  You’re schedules already limit the amount of time that you spend together, so the last thing that he wanted to hear was your venting about your rough day.  I found that to be selfish on your part.  Filling his headspace  with your  stress does not count as quality time.  It is a low form of conversation that involves you talking and him listening.  Who really wants to hear about office/job drama in person let alone over text?


    Another piece of advice you may want to adhere to is to know that most guys do not know if they want to be with you until after they sleep with you.  Let that sink in.

    There isn’t a need to send several text messages of anything other than you wanting him to to focus his attention on you.  By rule only text or call to agree to meet in person or to arrange a meet up that day or for another day.  Manage your time better on your own or find a hobby.

    He did not need to apologize to you but he did and you compounded on your disapproval of  him already feeling low for being honest with you by adding those other remarks.  If he is not texting you, stop.  There is such a thing as abusing his attention of you.  When he gets off of work he doesn’t need to feel like he let you down.  I’m sure you didn’t apologize to him for insisting that he pay you attention when I’m sure he was not in the mood to hear about your day.

    If you end up in a relationship with this guy and I hope that you don’t, learn to deal with him and not how you feel.  You seemed to be moved more by him bringing you a dead rose than acknowledging his peace of mind.

    1. 42.1

      The Truth Hurts – I don’t think it’s great advice to basically tell women they should be sleeping with guys so *he* can decide if he really wants her for the long haul. Women don’t want to be used for sex. Or does how women feel about this not factor into the equation at all? Instead, it should exclusively be about what men need from you before actually proving their own worth?

  13. 43

    The problem was NOT her. If he doesn’t communicate very well, if his long day trumps her frustrations – he’s not interested in listening about how she feels – he is not the partner that is going to meet her needs. Throwing around words like “stalker” when they’ve known each other for 5 years is ridiculous. The man in question, and possibly you o wise advice giver, is the kind of tiresome, insincere flake that women should and would run from.

  14. 44

    Well I hate it when men come on strong in the beginning. Acting far to comfortable, treating me like someone they’ve known for years…before we’ve even met it is really creepy and puts me off them very quickly.


    I recently ditched a dude I met online, we had been chatting for a few weeks, he kept sending me weird videos off his house, him dressed up in wigs trying to be funny, random pics from shops, pics off his son, voice recordings, endless whatsapp messages, wanting to chat on Skype for hours every night,  talking about problems with his ex wife and son, getting moody when I couldn’t come meet him (he lived 156 miles from me, I have plans), telling his friends about me, calling me a weirdo and a dick for telling him I wasn’t interested in chatting to him anymore and that I found his behaviour unnacceptable, verbally abusive and creepy.  I blocked him in the end.

    Does that make me poor girlfriend material for not pandering to his needs earlier on? I think not.

    I think the guy in response to the OP was right to move on. Who needs a clingy desperado. Lifes to short.

  15. 45

    I have learned by recent painful experience that sending multiple long texts is a turnoff because when I do this, he does not reply.  He and I have dated casually and communicated mostly via text over 2 years now.  He usually initiates contact, and last month (April 2016) I was very busy with my work (I’m a freelance book editor) and he texted me after a 19-day gap of no communication, asking how I am, etc.  I did not reply, and he texted me 2 days later, asking me to please text him back.  I didn’t (actually I didn’t check my phone), so the next day he left a voice message.  Then I sent him a series of long texts describing my work, etc. (nothing gushy or romantic), and I have not heard from him since then, which was 2 weeks ago.

    1. 45.1

      Cathy that makes no sense!! Ugh. I’ve learned that when the send texts, they want to keep it short. So, it should be back and forth, little sound bytes- take the time to think about your answer, trim it so it’s not stream of conscience; you should be building together.

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