So your date, boyfriend, or husband ignoring you and you’re wondering what to do when he ignores you.
Firstly, hey there, if you’re looking for an article that is going to encourage you to pick up the phone 10,000 times and blow up his inbox with emotional texts, then turn right around my friend because we’re going to work on a little something called self-respect.
The reason he is ignoring you is more thoroughly answered in our “why is my boyfriend ignoring me” guide, but suffice it to say that sometimes it has to do with his crappy personality, sometimes it’s because you upset him, and sometimes it’s because he’s actually going through something and it has nothing to do with you.
How you handle him ignoring you also differs based on your relationship and the context. Is he straight up giving you the silent treatment?
Or does he tend to ignore you when you’re over in favor of his video games?
Is it your husband ignoring you for a few hours while he cools off from a fight?
Or is a date that you’ve gone out with a few times who has suddenly ghosted you?
Below, we’re going over all of the things to do when he’s ignoring you, both to see if you can salvage your relationship and to ensure that you keep your own self of self-worth intact because no one’s got time for people who hurt you, you know?
1. Try to Figure Out if it has Nothing to Do with You
There are some instances where he might be ignoring you because he is going through something traumatic or stressful.
Going quiet on you can be a warning sign of something like depression or overworking or an impending mental breakdown due to overwhelm, and in these instances, the best thing you can do is let him know that you’ll be there for him and give him some space (usually).
If he is in a situation where you fear for his life due to the dark place he is in, then make sure to seek other help for him.
This could also go another direction, in which the “him ignoring you” is really “technology failing you” and thus it has nothing to do with you and also nothing to do with him.
Maybe he doesn’t have signal, maybe he doesn’t have WiFi, maybe he dropped his phone in a lake or maybe yours is actually broken and you don’t know it.
This is rare, but it can happen, so make sure that’s not the case before proceeding to the next steps.
2. Tell Him How it Feels for You
It’s a little bit hard to talk to someone and tell them how him ignoring you feels for you when they’re, well, ignoring you, but this works best in a situation where it is something like he’s ignoring you to play on his phone or you feel ignoring you to hang out with his friends when you haven’t had a date night in like 3 months or another “we have some sort of connection, but I feel ignored” situation.
Sit him down, wherever possible, or call him when you know he’s free and talk openly about how you feel ignored and what you’re feeling about the relationship as a result.
In the worst case scenario, he won’t change and will continue ignoring you and then you’ll know to skip to the break up step, but it may be he is just unaware of how much time he’s spending staring at his screen and ignoring you on the couch every night and he can start to make changes if you talk to him about it.
If you are being given the silent treatment and he isn’t responding, you can still send a message telling him how it feels for you.
For instance, “I know you might be angry, but it really makes me feel insecure in our relationship when you give me the silent treatment. If you need space, I can give that to you and be respectful of it, but please talk to me about that instead of just disappearing.”
At the very least, you’ve expressed how you feel and that’s a better step towards reconciliation than you ignoring him.
3. Plan Fun Date Nights and Schedule More Time
If you feel like he’s ignoring you on a more social or event-based level and not spending enough time with you (or not being present with you when you’re in the room), try to mix it up a bit and plan some fun date nights and actively schedule time to do things with him.
It may be that when he comes home from work, he really does just want to unwind and doesn’t mean to ignore you, but has nothing much left to give emotionally or physically that day.
However, it might be that if he knows in advance or if you choose Sunday afternoon to spend some quality time together when he’s more rested, that you’ll feel more like he’s all yours and not distracted or tired.
If he doesn’t seem into planning things with you, then that is another problem entirely.
4. Send a Final Message and Let Him Come to You
The worst thing to do is someone is ignoring you is to go tit-for-tat and ignore them right back as retaliation.
Now, I’m not in any way saying you should wait by the phone or you should even think twice about him while he’s ignoring you and you’re off living your life, but ignoring in response to ignoring just snowballs the problem.
Instead, if you’re getting no responses, send a final message and then let him come to you.
If he comes to you and you’re still wanting to talk it through and be in the relationship, then you can work it out, and if he comes to you and you’re wanting to break up, then do that, but there’s no point in sending 1000 texts or in sending 0 and hoping he feels the same crappy way you do.
Sending a final message like, “I’m getting the sense that you’re not responding to me on purpose because it’s been a few days, but I wanted to let you know that this is the last message I’m going to send. It’s clear that you want space, and I’m going to go ahead and move on with living my life. If you want to talk at some point, let me know, otherwise I wish you all the best.”
Make it clear that this is your final attempt to get in touch before you’re going to leave it, and then mean it.
5. Try to Communicate in a Different Way
In a world where everyone seems so attached to their phones, it can seem obvious that if he’s not replying to your messages that he’s ignoring you, but sometimes people are just really, really bad at responding to text messages or phone calls.
This isn’t an excuse to ignore you, but if you feel like you’re sending 10 texts for every 1 of his or he takes hours to get back to you every single time, try and see if there is another way he would like to communicate.
Maybe it would be best to stop texting during the day and call each other at night, or maybe it’s actually easier for him to read e-mails while at work and not look at his phone for text messages so you can communicate that way.
6. Break Up
We’ve left “break up” until a little bit down the list because it’s not always the best idea to just break up if someone is ignoring you, but there are a lot of instances where it is warranted.
If someone is cruelly giving you the silent treatment frequently, even after you’ve discussed how it makes you feel, it’s time to consult the good old break up lines and find someone who is more willing to treat you with respect.
Similarly, if someone completely ghosts you, there comes a point when your message simply has to be “Message received. We are now broken up. Wishing you the best” and never talk to them again.
A partner in a relationship who respects you should not be consistently ignoring you, and if you’re turning to the internet for relationship advice because you’re ignored that often, you need to question whether the relationship itself is the problem.
It’s common to need time to cool off after arguments, and it’s common to have a life outside of your significant other so you’re not always talking every single second of the day, but if it is to the point that you genuinely feel ignored, have some self-respect and think about whether this is a healthy relationship for you.
7. See a Therapist (Couples or Individual)
Therapy is an amazing solution for so many issues in relationships, not because it will always fix the issues, but because it can help target fixing the people until they’re no longer willing to put up with a bad relationship.
If you’re feeling ignored regularly because your husband is always out golfing instead of spending time with you and you’re fighting because of it, it can be helpful to have a few sessions with a marriage counselor who can help you both get your feelings across to the other and see if you can resolve the issue or understand each other more.
Similarly, you can go to one-on-one therapy to give yourself the courage and strength to get what you deserve out of a relationship and decide if it’s not the one for you.
8. Go Out with a Friend
Let’s talk about what to do from a practical perspective when he’s ignoring you.
Often, it’s hard to just sit at home doing nothing and this often leads to sitting by your phone and waiting for him to call.
Instead, make plans to go somewhere or do something with a friend or family member.
Bonus points if you pick someone that you can feel safe about expressing your thoughts to and tell them what’s happening so you can get some emotional support and other advice.
The main thing you don’t want to do is have your whole life revolve around a person to the point that what they do affects what you do. If he ignores you, it doesn’t mean you can’t go out and continue on having fun with people.
It feels really, really hard to do this sometimes, but you need to send the message both to him and to yourself that you are not under his spell and that his ignoring you is his problem, not yours.
9. Take Up a Hobby
If you’re so distraught by him ignoring you and find yourself with nothing much else to do than obsess over it, it’s time to either join a club, organization, sport, or take up a hobby.
You need more in your life than just him, even when he’s not ignoring you, and if he is ignoring you, it’s a great time to try and figure out what those other things are.
This is usually best if it can be done in some sort of group setting or there are meet-up groups to join, as the attention of others will help you remember that you are worthy of being nice to and that you don’t have to just crave his attention for the rest of your life.
10. Practice Positive Self-Talk
If a partner is ignoring you because he’s mad at you temporarily (say a few hours), that can be okay if he needs space before coming together to discuss the argument or solve an issue.
However, in almost any other situation, he is the one in the wrong and you are not the problem. Seriously. You. Are. Not. The. Problem.
Even if someone decides they don’t like you anymore and they want to break up, giving you the silent treatment is not the way to do that. Ignoring someone is cruel and is a way of trying to control a situation, and you deserve better than that.
If you find yourself spiraling downwards with sad thoughts because he’s ignoring you, try flipping it around and listening to some inspirational music or some confidence-boosting tunes (I find Pink! is always good for this!)
Practice positive affirmations, listen to positive meditations, and really work on your self-esteem so you don’t feel like you want the ground to swallow you whole when he ignores you.
11. Get Back into the Dating Scene (if early in the relationship)
If you’ve only been on a few dates with someone and he’s ignoring you, then it’s time to jump straight back into the dating scene and not give him a second though.
If you’re not exclusive and have only been talking a little while, there’s no break up needed. Just start again, meeting people, swiping left or right, and leaving him in the past.
This obviously doesn’t work if it’s a boyfriend or husband (never, ever cheat on someone because they’re ignoring you. Break up with them first).
But if you’re early on and it’s all pretty casual, or you maybe are just talking and haven’t even started dating yet, then you need to close out of this guide and go find yourself some fun new dates who will treat you right.
There are plenty of people out there who won’t cause you this type of emotional pain by ignoring you, and all he’s done is helped you out by showing you his true colors before you got too far in.