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:

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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.