I remember a time when my boyfriend ignored me… We were at the beginning of our relationship, and everything seemed peachy.
After spending a couple of days together, he returned to his place, and that’s when the ignoring started.
It’s hard to describe what I was feeling. I felt discouraged, hurt, and angry at the same time. You are probably experiencing similar emotions right now.
If you are, you must know there are good and bad ways to approach this situation. As it follows, I’ll help you address the issue productively to ensure your success.
Why Do Some Boyfriends Ignore Their Girlfriends?
- They are busy or distracted with work/school/other obligations
- They need alone time to recharge
- They are upset about something but don’t know how to communicate it
- They take the relationship for granted and don’t prioritize it
Part A: How to React When Your Boyfriend Ignores You?
1. Refrain From Drawing Conclusions
I know what you’re thinking…
- …he is bored with me!
- …he is cheating on me!
- …he is ghosting me!
- …he is losing interested in me!
- …he wants to end things!
These thoughts are natural. I had them, and lots of other girls have them. While they’re not absurd or impossible, they’re probably not true.
So, the best thing you can do in this situation is to be mindful. Studies show that mindfulness is important in romantic relationships, especially when dealing with conflicts and stress.
How to be mindful?
Don’t let your mind wander. If you do, you’ll lose touch with your body, and you’ll have to deal with obsessive thoughts about your boyfriend’s reasons for ignoring you.
Just as I did, you are now focusing on the worst-case scenario. In my case, I thought he had lost interest after spending more time with me.
Was I right? No!
Are you right? Play your cards right, and you’ll soon find out!
2. Keep Your Cool and Give Him a Breather
Since you’re getting the silent treatment, you might tend to call your boyfriend or text him as if you’re going through a life-threatening situation.
I get you! That’s what I wanted to do as well. However, before you continue, step back and make sure you’re not overreacting.
He might be distracted, busy, or maybe a little upset with you.
If that’s the case, calling or texting him too much will only irritate him and make you look like a crazy person.
I can tell you from personal experience that keeping your cool is important. Embracing feelings like frustration and anger will do you more harm than good.
They might lead to mean and offensive texts or voice messages that you’ll regret in the future. You might disclose all your insecurities just because he acts unexpectedly at the moment.
So do your best to avoid that. Channel all your patience and give him some space.
3. Analyze Your Recent Behavior with Him
I mentioned earlier that your boyfriend might be upset with you, so he is ignoring you. Could that be the case?
Ask yourself whether you did something that bothered him before your last date or conversation. Analyze your behavior with him to ensure his reasons for being silent are not about you.
In my case, I honestly didn’t think I did something wrong specifically. Even so, I didn’t know him well enough to know for sure.
Some guys want to have fun and tell a girl anything she wants to hear to get it. But when things get serious, they’d flee. Sadly, any of us could fall victim to such guys.
However, that’s one of the worst-case scenarios you shouldn’t consider now. Instead, reflect on your recent behavior with him.
If you think he’s mad at you, send him a heartfelt apology and ask him for a chance to discuss things.
4. Make Plans to Have a Serious Talk
Having a serious talk with your boyfriend at this point is essential. After giving him a breather and reflecting on your relationship, you should both be prepared to talk about what happened.
Now, most guys are terrified about having serious talks. They hate confrontations. But who can blame them?
As women, we’re often more emotional than we should be. We fail to use the rational side of the brain and be mindful.
I am the same, so don’t worry. Just do what you can to react in ways that favor you, not vice versa.
So, ask him for coffee or plan a phone conversation to clear the air. Write down your thoughts and feelings to show up prepared.
Part B: Having the Conversation When Your Boyfriend Ignores You
5. Address The Issue without Accusations
Pointing fingers and blaming others for our actions or feelings isn’t right. On the contrary, they are like declarations of war.
When you accuse someone of something, you attack them, triggering their defense mechanisms.
To help you with this, I recommend using “I statements” when addressing any issue.
What exactly is “I-statements?”
I-statements are a way of communicating your feelings and needs in a constructive manner during a conflict. The focus is on using “I” language rather than “you” language.
Esther Perel, a relationship expert and psychotherapist, explains why “I statements” are better:
“When we communicate with ‘I feel’ statements, we open doors to empathy and avoid the barriers of defensiveness. It’s a language of vulnerability and trust.”
An I-statement has three components:
- Expressing your feelings (“I feel…”)
- Naming the situation/behavior (“when…”)
- Stating the need/impact (“because…”).
- I feel worried when you don’t reply to my calls.
- I get frustrated when you don’t answer my questions.
- I feel you’re dismissing me when you go silent.
- I told my boyfriend something like this:
- I feel that sometimes things are one-sided between us.
- I get angry thinking you’re just playing me.
- I am confused about what you do when you’re ignoring me.
6. Listen To Him and Show Real Concern
At this point, you might be convinced he’s doing something against everything you believe in when he goes silent on you.
However, you might be wrong. So, don’t miss your chance of getting an explanation. If you get him to talk to you, listen and practice empathy.
Remember: Your boyfriend has a unique perspective on things. He might be different from you in a lot of ways. He may also pull away for reasons that don’t even cross your mind.
So please keep an open mind and try to put yourself in his shoes. Don’t judge him based on your experience only.
Here’s why my boyfriend was ignoring me:
- He was stressed out of his mind with an important project at work.
- He also explained that he’s not an early bird, so he always starts working afternoon until approximately 9 PM. His job allows him to do that.
Even so, I couldn’t understand why he wasn’t texting before work and sometimes not even during the evenings.
His explanation? He is doing a stressful job that consumes his life energy.
Although his words were not 100% reassuring, I accepted his explanation and made some compromises regarding communication.
Six years later, I can confirm he was telling the truth.
7. Share Your Feelings with Him
… and encourage him to share his feelings with you. Show him that you want to get to know him to his core and that it’s safe for him to talk to you.
Express your concern and assure him that your intention is not to control him.
All of the above worked for me, and I am sure they will also work in your situation. How so? A 2010 study by Sibley & Travaglia found that these types of talks are associated with positive feelings.
They bring real and noticeable changes that start immediately and improve over time. At first, you could both be slightly clumsy at talking about your emotions.
However, if you actively discuss things and don’t avoid confrontations, you’ll get better at it and better understand each other.
My boyfriend had difficulty talking about his feelings to me, but now he won’t shut up about them. Gradually, he realized that opening up to me was more beneficial than not.
8. Be Open To and Make Concessions
To make things work with anyone, you must learn to make compromises. By definition, making a compromise is about meeting the other one halfway.
To be more precise, you both must accept to do something, even if that’s not ideal for either of you.
For example, my boyfriend and I made the following compromise at the beginning of our relationship:
He’d try to text me before and after work, and I’d try to respect his work schedule and commitments.
That was not the solution, but it gave me time to understand him better and develop a strong relationship with him over time.
The words of Michelle Obama are an absolute inspiration in this regard. She said,
“Trust your instincts. If your boyfriend is pulling away, take the time to understand the underlying reasons and work together to strengthen your connection.”
9. Affirm The Relationship
As I said before, it’s easy to mess things up with your boyfriend by accusing him of various things instead of discussing your feelings.
His natural response would be to act defensively and blame things on you. To avoid that, express your desire to learn where he comes from.
You can set the tone of accountability and warmth by making him feel secure. He shouldn’t doubt your intentions with him.
He should feel that you are not playing games with him and that you’re there to listen if he cares to share.
Assure him you’re equally important in the relationship and want to deepen your connection.
Also, you could tell him what you’re willing to do for the relationship to work.
Remember: It’s one thing to be demanding and another to explain why you need something and ask nicely for it.
Part C: When to Walk Away?
10. Your Boyfriend Keeps Ignoring You
Hopefully, you’ll not need the information from this section, and things will develop beautifully between you.
But you might have to walk away if they don’t, and he keeps ignoring you for days in a row despite all your efforts.
You are the most important person in your life and should play your part.
You must find a partner who is just as into you as you are into him. You deserve someone actively present in your life and respect you enough to make time for you.
Any relationship has ups and downs, but if you feel he doesn’t change his behavior, face the truth: He is not putting in the effort.
You could be a match made in heaven. However, your timing might be off.
11. He Has Broken Your Trust Irreversibly
Trust is a highly significant factor in a romantic relationship. It takes time to build trust and to lose trust.
For example, being told lie after lie and being deceived by your partner is a serious violation of trust. The same goes for when he cheats on you or disrespects you.
If you think he’s lying to you or better yet, you have proof, then it might be your cue to walk away.
Yes, finding out why he’s lying could help you learn what goes on in his mind. However, if he keeps doing it, that’s a deal breaker!
It means he doesn’t value you and makes little to no effort to be a good boyfriend for you.
As heartbreaking as it is to hear that, I assure you, you’ll see it as a good thing in the long run.
12. Being With Him Makes You Unhappy
Another way to determine if it’s time to break up with him is by asking yourself this:
“Am I happy most of the time, or am I unhappy?”
If you can’t answer immediately, use this trick: write down the pros and cons of being with him. Think about how you’d like your relationship to be and how it is.
Giving up on someone you have a crush on or even love is hard. I will not sugarcoat this for you.
Most people find excuses to keep being in toxic relationships and don’t find the needed courage to do what’s best for them.
But if being in a relationship with him makes you unhappy, why continue it?
Having a partner means having a best friend, a person who understands you and the other way around, someone who wants to build a happy life with you.
Things that are not part of that: being ignored, avoided, lied to, unhappy.
When your boyfriend ignores you, it’s easy to jump to conclusions and accuse him of wrongdoings.
Especially if you don’t know why he’s doing it, you might find it hard to stay calm and give him some space. However, that’s exactly what you should do.
Your boyfriend could ignore you because he’s focused on something else; he might be pulling away or upset.
Your goal is to get to the bottom of it and have a good, productive talk with him. That can be achieved with patience and by expressing your feelings, not blaming him.
Create a safe space for him to talk about his emotions without feeling he’s being judged. Practice empathy and be open to compromise!
Remember: Don’t hesitate to draw the line if the situation requires it!