Many who have been misfortuned in the dating scene may have heard the term “no response is a response” before. But what does that phrase actually mean? To put it simply, this saying means that a lack of communication from someone is actually making a bigger statement than if they had sent a response.
For example, let’s say that a major corporation has found itself tangled up in a scandal that has been leaked out to the public. If the CEO of that corporation doesn’t come out to make a statement, that alone says a lot about both the situation and the corporation as a whole.
It could cause the public to then assume that they are guilty, uncaring towards the problem, or too wrapped up in other business-related things to address the scandal. Therefore, their refusal to respond is actually a response on its own.
Silence can speak volumes. When one chooses to avoid clear communication and instead chooses to go the silent route, it forces the other party to be left with nothing but their own assumptions of why they chose to do so.
This can lead to a variety of complications and misunderstandings that can quickly drive a wedge between two people.
Why no response is actually a response
Whether you’re sitting across from a date you met moments ago or talking with your spouse of 15 years, clear and concise communication is the key to pushing any romantic objective along. Anyone who is genuinely interested in their date wants to receive confirmation that they feel the same.
When someone intentionally chooses to not respond to their romantic interest for any reason, it only forces the other party to be left with nothing but their best guess as to why that happened.
Once they begin ruminating on the fact that they didn’t respond, they can begin to draw up thousands of conclusions that may or may not be true, and eventually blame themselves for the failed communication.
The other party may or may not be aware of the damage that this can cause. If they are, it shows that there’s a much bigger issue at hand. If they aren’t, it could simply be a sign of naivety, social unawareness, or more.
Regardless, it’s important to get a general idea of what this means and how you can handle it to prevent overthinking the situation.
Knowing how to navigate situations like this can be exceptionally handy in the dating world, especially since some people will experience this more often than others.
Different reasons for no response
It’s a common and tired tale in the dating world. You find an attractive person and one of you decides to make a move to set up a date. Or, you just decide to have a few conversations to get to know each other before planning a date.
You’re giddy with excitement and just itching to unfold all of the magical romantic possibilities with this person. Every message sent and received unlocks another step closer to the potential relationship of your dreams. All of the sudden, they stop responding and leave you in the cold.
At this point, you’re stuck. A million little thoughts and questions about their ghosting buzz around in your head. Did you say something wrong? Did they get into an accident? Did someone steal their phone?
Anything could’ve been the cause of this abrupt and unexpected end to your communication with them. Maybe you reach out again, just to seek some clarity, but fail to get any response to that either.
Ghosting is a common issue that impacts millions of people in the dating world on a daily basis. Although it can sting, taking time to learn and understand the fundamentals of ghosting can help you be confident in confronting the situation if and when it happens in the future.
Here are several possibilities that could have caused it.
Although it may be easy to panic once you realize that they have ghosted you, the first thing people should do is go with the most basic and reasonable possibility, which is the idea that they’ve just become too busy to respond.
Whether you’re dating a CEO of a Fortune 500 company or a cashier at a grocery store, anyone can suddenly find themselves knotted up in one of the many messes of life.
It happens to the best of us. Family issues may appear out of thin air, their car could have given out at random, identity theft may have abruptly impacted them, etc. Life is full of spontaneity and it can jumble up the schedule of even the most organized person in the world.
Always go with the first assumption of them becoming too busy to respond. This could be especially helpful for those who overthink and eventually blame themselves for the lack of communication. It’s also a part of what makes ghosting such a problematic issue in the dating world.
The person who refuses to respond may or may not be aware that their date will eventually begin to wonder whether they did something wrong to make them leave.
They’re unsure of what to say
Social anxiety and the likes of it can impact even the most confident and extroverted people in the world. In many cases, when someone is in the presence of their crush, they may find that it’s difficult to stay on top of the conversation and keep everything flowing.
Some people have no trouble admitting this and happily making a fool of themselves, while others are terrified of possibly ruining a conversation because their nervousness got the best of them.
For some, it may not be nervousness at all. Maybe they are simply unsure of how they want to respond to a particular question or remark.
Maybe they are stumped because they want to get a particular response from you, or they want to make sure that whatever they say coincides with whatever romantic objective is currently on the table.
Regardless, some conversations can unexpectedly throw us for a loop. Thankfully, texting allows people to take time to reflect and brainstorm several different responses before settling on the one that seems the best.
If it has been a while since you got a response from your date, consider the fact that it may be possible that they are having trouble navigating the conversation and want to ensure that what they say satisfies you as much as possible.
They’re not interested in the current topic
Online dating is one of many technological advances that have shaped the way that people respond to things today. When you’re visiting a website and it’s taking a long time to load, you close the site and go to the next one.
When you’re watching a YouTube tutorial and the instructor isn’t getting straight to the point, you click off and go to another tutorial.
Technology has given modern people the luxury of instantly moving on when someone or something isn’t satisfying them as quickly as they want.
The average person on a dating app already has several people in their pool that they are eager to talk to and vice versa.
Therefore, if they feel as though they have bored themselves with a conversation that they’re having with you, all they have to do is click a few buttons and move on to their next interest.
Everything is virtual, meaning they don’t have to deal with the discomfort of having to confront you or explain the fact that they are bored and don’t want to continue with the conversation.
Although it’s an inconsiderate and classless way of handling the situation, modern technology allows people to handle different levels of social discomforts in a way that protects them from tension and awkwardness.
If this resonates with your situation, however, you should consider whether or not you’d want to date someone that handles their problems in that way anyway.
They’re thinking about a good reply
In many cases, when someone gets a chance with someone that they really fancy, they will take time to ensure that every move they make is perfectly aligned with the end goal, which is to end up in a relationship with said person.
This can put a lot of pressure on them and cause them to overthink the tiniest of things, even something as small as whether or not they want to begin a conversation with “hey” or “hello”.
Whether you’re at the beginning of a conversation with someone or in the middle of one, they may have found themselves at a point where they want to make sure that they say the right thing to keep the conversation flowing well.
Even the wittiest of human beings aren’t capable of always having the perfect response to something right off the bat.
As stated earlier, modern technology allows people to have the luxury of putting a pause on a conversation to draft up a response that they think is most appropriate for the mood.
If anything, this explanation could be flattering to you because it shows that they are invested in making sure that the conversation is enjoyable and meaningful on both ends.
They’re trying to make you act
Some men and women will make certain moves not because they are uninterested, but because they believe their actions will trigger a particular response from you.
Some people will intentionally avoid responding to see whether or not you care enough to reach out and figure out why they haven’t responded to you.
For some, this is their way of confirming that you are genuinely interested in them, at least interested enough to have sought them out again once things have gone dry.
For others who are on the receiving end of this, they may think that is a childish or passive-aggressive way to see whether or not someone is genuinely interested in talking.
If your date has gone this route, it’s up to you to decide whether or not this response is a reflection of a bad character trait in your date, or simply a reasonable way of confirming your interest in them.
At the end of the day, it’s best to have a thorough and honest conversation about it. If both parties are equally interested in one another, that should be established so that there is no longer any confusion or tricks being played to determine that.
They think the conversation is over
One of the most important things to remember about dating is the fact that people have different communication styles.
Some people out there want the person that they’re dating to send a good morning and goodnight text each day to conclude any and all communication that happened in that 24-hour window.
Otherwise, they feel like the conversation has been left open and endless. Others are comfortable with ending the conversation when they feel that there is nothing else either party can contribute to the topic being spoken about.
Some people will simply end a conversation on their end when they no longer want to or feel like they have anything else to add.
If you suspect that this could be the reason why they haven’t responded, it may be best to reach out and get confirmation. Perhaps the best method is picking up the conversation where it left off or simply starting a new one.
Later on, it could be best to ask about their communication style so that each party has a good understanding of what to expect from each other in the future.
Once these things have been ironed out, it will be easier for both of you to determine whether or not you are truly compatible and willing to compromise to make communication easier.
They lack interest in you
Most people on dating apps already have several people in their messages that they want to talk to. They may have already chosen the person that they want to continue pursuing.
They may have also decided that they want to keep looking and put any previous conversations with other people in the past.
Regardless, a lack of response can simply mean that the person you’re talking to is not interested in talking anymore. Although this can be a hard thing to accept, it’s important to remember that everyone in the world is different.
People have different backgrounds, interests, goals, pasts, etc. Two separate individuals are their own individual person and incompatibility is inevitable in the dating world. It’s simply impossible for one person to be compatible with every person they encounter in the dating scene.
If someone has decided to stop responding because they lack interest in you, the best thing you can do is simply let it go and move on. Don’t ruminate on what you did or didn’t do to cause it.
Don’t assume that because they lack interest in you, you’re not an interesting person. This is only the opinion of one human being out of all of the others that you will discover later on.
They aren’t interested in making you their priority
Even if someone knows that they’re interested in you, they may not be interested in showing that or making an effort to make you feel like you’re a priority in their life. This could be due to stubbornness, the fact that they’re also talking to other people, or something else.
If this is the case, you can either decide to confront them about it and try to iron this out in a way that helps them see how you feel, or you can move on and decide that you only want to deal with those who will return the energy that you put out towards them.
If someone is simply not interested in you, there’s not much you can do to make that change. However, if they’re interested but aren’t interested in making you feel seen and heard, it could be a red flag and a sign that similar issues could come up in other areas of their life if the two of you decide to get into a relationship.
You could always reach out, but remember that it’s important to ensure that communication is balanced between both parties. If you feel as though you’re constantly having to pick things back up to keep everything running, it may not be worth the effort.
They forgot to respond
There have been countless times when I myself have forgotten to respond to a text. In many cases, I see the text in my notification bar, begin to think of a response, and then I get distracted by something else.
Before I know it, it has been hours since I last read the message and I am scrambling to get back to replying so that I don’t hurt the other person’s feelings. This is a normal and common response that people have.
Although it’s a fair and reasonable explanation for a lack of response, it’s also fair to say that if someone is genuinely interested in you, forgetful responses will rarely happen. If they like you and know that they want you in their life, you will be glued to their mind.
Of course, anything can come up and interfere with their ability to get back to you in a timely manner, but there’s a difference between forgetting to respond once and forgetting to respond all the time.
One implies that a random event just got between the two of you and the conversation you were having. The other implies that you’re not a priority in their life and that they’re not interested in making you one.
How do you deal with no response?
Some people are able to take a lack of response and brush it off and move on. Others may ruminate on it for a while and allow their thoughts to carry them to places they needn’t be. Whatever you feel, remember that your feelings are valid.
People need closure and clarity to be confident that their thoughts or assumptions about a situation are true. Even if that truth makes them uncomfortable, it’s always better to know rather than be forced to wonder about why things unfolded the way that they have.
Mishaps and hiccups are a natural and normal part of all romantic situations. Humans themselves are a flawed species, so it’s impossible for a relationship or date to go perfectly 100% of the time.
However, when you deal with a hiccup and learn how to handle it in a healthy and reasonable manner, it will become less and less of a bother as time goes on.
Knowing how to navigate your way through issues in the dating world can help you feel more confident and ready to face all manner of people, regardless of what issues they may or may not come with. With that being said, here are a few suggestions for dealing with someone who has not responded to you.
Wait to see if they reply
This is the most reasonable first step to dealing with a lack of communication. Before you begin to wonder, question, or assume, take a few moments to sit back and wait for them to respond. Typically, it’s best to wait at least a day before you start to worry.
If something important comes up, it’s best to give that person at least the rest of the day to get it worked out. You won’t know the nature of the situation until they explain it to you, so it’s best to avoid overthinking it until a day has passed. There are a couple of reasons why this option is the best first step.
First, it shows that you’re able to handle a spontaneous situation in a reasonable manner while allowing the other person to have space to get things back together if that’s what they want to do.
Second, it gives you breathing room to take a break from the conversation for a moment so that you can handle any concerns in your own life.
Third, it helps you learn how to navigate the situation in a way that helps you avoid overthinking and engaging in behaviors or thought patterns that contribute to an anxious mind.
Try to reach out again
Once a day has passed, you should feel comfortable reaching out to ask about what happened. It’s best to first ask if they are ok and whether or not anything serious happened that could have impacted their health or the health of someone they care for.
When you start the conversation off with concern for them, it could encourage them to open up and remember to respond to you, since they now see that you will be concerned if they abandon the conversation again.
When you reach out, avoid making any emotional or overly reactive statements regarding their absence and how it impacted you. This will give off the energy of being controlling, obsessive, and unable to live your own life when they aren’t occupying your time.
Always make sure that you exude confidence and maturity when communicating with your date, especially when you’re confronting them about something or having an uncomfortable conversation.
Bring up a different topic
As mentioned earlier, the conversation may have fizzled out due to the topic becoming uninteresting to the other party. If that’s the case, you can always try changing the topic to sort of refreshen the conversation and bring it back to life.
This will show that you are putting effort into keeping the flow consistent, as well as the fact that you care enough about talking with that person that you pick things back up once they’ve fallen down.
Although this can be a good strategy, if you find that you’re constantly picking the conversation back up once it has died down, they may have lost interest in the situation altogether.
Maybe you’ve made a good joke and they had the perfect response to it. Or, you’ve both had an awesome moment of relatability that allowed you to bond a little. That’s a win on both ends, but where does it go from there?
Don’t be afraid to step off of the road and take a different route to another topic. You don’t have to stay on one topic forever just because it adds weight to the conversation. A change in tune every now and then can help keep things interesting and alive.
See if there’s a more convenient time
No one wants to feel like they’re squeezing themselves into someone else’s schedule or day. If you notice that their responses are being delayed more and more, try to set up a time during the day or week to chat so that it’s more convenient for both parties.
This will show that you are considerate of their time and courteous enough to give them the opportunity to take charge of when and how often the two of you communicate.
When the effort is being shared on both ends, it can make conversations much more blissful and enjoyable, rather than feeling like you have to rush or squeeze your way into getting a few moments to talk to them.
Don’t react emotionally
Being offended over a lack of response from someone, especially someone that you’ve talked to for a while, is completely normal and understandable.
After all, if they never come back to explain or make an effort to keep things consistent, it can seem as though they have no consideration for you or your feelings at all. It drives people to think that they have done or said something wrong to push someone away, and that is never an enjoyable feeling.
Though it’s understandable to be upset about it, the last thing you should ever do is react emotionally. An emotional reaction can not only raise red flags, but it will push the person away even more and prevent them from responding ever again.
Though it’s important to be courteous when communicating with dates, you must know and remember that no one is entitled to another person’s time. If someone has shown that they are not interested in making you a priority, don’t give in to the temptation to react in a way that you’ll regret later on.
Don’t take a silent rejection too seriously
Millions of people have had to take their turn at the wheel of misfortune when dating. Thousands of people are being ghosted every day, rejected, ignored, etc. It’s important to remember that you’re not the only one who has to face this kind of issue.
When you’re able to recognize that you are not the only one dealing with a particular issue, it can help you avoid thinking that you’re the problem.
Someone else’s inability to communicate in a way that is courteous and considerate of your feelings is no fault of your own. If they don’t respond and you have no way of knowing why it’s always safe to assume that they have gotten wrapped up in more important matters before jumping to any unfortunate conclusions.
If you know that they aren’t responding because they simply don’t want to respond, don’t take it personally. Any negative behavior that is displayed by your date should be seen as a preview of what they will be like in the relationship.
Lastly, if you’ve exercised all options and have tried to rekindle things but to no avail, it’s best to move on. Your value and your worth as a person stand in the same position regardless of who does or doesn’t see that.
If someone is intentionally refusing to make an effort to communicate, that says a lot more about their character and integrity than anything else, thus making the statement “no response is a response” all the more true.
Instead of dwelling on their absence any further, focus on finding someone who is excited about talking to you and making you a part of their daily life.