Why Do Women Reply Late to Text Messages Or Ignore You Altogether?

By Kwadjo Panyin
Love & Relationships Photo- Shutterstock
SEP 10, 2018 LISTEN
Photo- Shutterstock

Women are a mystery! Oh man! Okay, that is a strong sentiment so permit me to rephrase. Most single women are really a mystery! For the last couple of years, I have made a concerted effort to understand the communication habits of single women. I’ve spoken to countless female friends and dates and I have made all kinds of inquiries. Frankly speaking, I have miserably failed to understand how women communicate in the dating arena. It was indeed a fool’s errand! What in the world was I thinking?! Perhaps I wasn’t thinking. As the adage says curiosity killed the cat. In this case, however, curiosity caused me to push this huge boulder called “how to decipher the communication habits of women” up a steep hill while struggling to hold my footing. It’s about time to let the boulder tumble right back down and let the dust settle.

I was once told and I quote,

“You can never indubitably read a woman’s mind because her thoughts are as immense as the Atlantic Ocean.” Now that was an understatement! I strongly believe that this declaration has some depth to it.

Every single guy on the planet has at some point clicked with a woman he thought was awesome. Phone numbers were exchanged and he walked away looking forward to the stimulating conversations that were to follow. He texted her after giving himself some grace period not wanting to appear desperate and then surprise! He is hit with total radio silence. Here is how radio silence starts. It takes her a day to respond to his message. A day drags into a week, a week drags into two weeks and what do you know, the “hello” message floats into obscurity. Every now and then, by a stroke of luck, she will respond with an excuse, most likely a flimsy one and disappear once more for a stretch of time. It’s absolutely baffling! If any guy out there says this situation has never happened to him, I’ll be amazed but of course, there’s always an exception. Women going radio silent on men happens more often than not.

For the ladies reading this piece, please be informed that radio silence is no fun for most men. It leaves a man literally looking at himself in the mirror, scratching his head wondering what the heck happened. We know you are glued to your phones like magnets. We see you at the clubs, malls, restaurants and almost everywhere with your noses buried deep in your phones. We know that not a day goes by without you seeing our messages. If you’ve had the pleasure of hanging out with women, it is quite common to see them glance at their phone or pick it up every time it makes a sound.

Let me share what I’ve learned from my own experience on what is likely going on when a woman quits answering your texts or is very slow to respond to your messages.

This is how I personally interpret radio silence from women. If my message is seen and there’s no reply within a reasonable time limit, I take a hint. If my message is unread for a long time and there’s no reply, I take a hint. I feel that there is no need pining away over a girl who doesn’t even bother to type a word back.

If a woman does not reply to your message for days or weeks, it simply means she is not interested in you. There may be legitimate reasons for not replying in a timely manner on the other hand. She may be actually busy, she may be traveling or she may have lost or damaged her phone. If she does not have any legitimate excuse and repeats a pattern of slow or no responses, you are definitely on radio silence. Most women will never tell you upfront because they may not want to hurt your feelings or bruise your ego. For this very reason, most women employ one of the most powerful arsenals at their disposal; radio silence! Both sexes find it hard to soundly reject another person. Avoiding is the easier and most common way out. It doesn’t feel good that’s for sure, but it happens. So, fellas, you have to read between the lines and decipher the indirect message being conveyed by her silence.

I do feel sorry for women sometimes. The honest women are given a lot of grief for simply being upfront with a man about their lack of interest and in any further communication. Sometimes quite sadly, some men tend to respond abusively when a woman rejects our advances. This invariably contributes to preconditioning women to choose radio silence as a safer option.

Sometimes a woman may be interested but still employ radio silence to control the flow of communication. A woman I was interested in at one point in time told me that sometimes the conversation is going somewhere, but the woman may feel the need to slow it down if things appear to be moving too fast for comfort. The guy may be in a hurry to rush the process and in most cases, the women are in no hurry so they switch to radio silence to control the pace.

I also know women who are simply tired of the high volume of messages and interactions occurring in their lives. Single women may be open to meeting strangers but there is a limit to how many interactions they can carry on at a time. Sometimes their use of radio silence is a matter of priority and not be taken personally. In either case, if she is interested in you, the interactions will be more frequent and bound to flow naturally. Radio silence means you are not on her mind and you should take that as a subtle rejection. Trust me, fellas, dead air is a gentle blow to deal with than a straight and outright rejection.

Radio silence sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? You would think so. Well, recently, I was interested in a woman and sought the help of a mutual female friend for an introduction. The introduction went quite well. At the time she was open to the idea of us becoming friends or so I thought. I did send her a message soon after. A week went by with no response. Our mutual friend asked if I had heard from the lady. I said to her that she had seen my message as registered on my phone but had not responded. She then urged me to send her another message. I hesitated at the suggestion. I was not going to pester her, I argued. If she was interested, she would have responded given the time-lapse. If she was not, that was perfectly fine. I knew how to take a hint, I stated. “You must not be serious about getting to know her then.” She responded. Hold on!, What did she just say?! I must not have heard her right. A woman was asking me to pester another if I was truly serious about getting to know her? She proceeded to explain that women like to be pursued and sometimes their silence or slow response is a test to see how much you really want her. At this juncture, I was SUPER confused. Other women have told me that sending another message after the first one is ignored is a major turn off. The harder I chase, the lower my chances of dating her, so I was told. Now here I was being fed with a total opposite that if I was relaxed, it was a sign that I was not serious enough?

Before I delve any deeper into a cynical tirade, I’d like to first say and it is my opinion that women are notorious for ignoring texts from men just because they can. They can also get away with it.

Most men respond immediately when they see a message come through even after a woman hits them with radio silence. To most us serious fellas, it is a simple human reaction; if you send a message to me, I will respond if I am able to as soon as it is seen. We have no time for mind games and speculation on what she may be thinking of us if we respond quickly. In today’s dating environment, you run the risk of being labeled as needy and desperate if you respond to a message too quickly. I guess waiting a bit to respond makes you appear important and sophisticated. I think that is simply absurd.

Radio silence gets even deeper and ‘sinister’ with some women. Some women not only intentionally ignore texts and calls, they sometimes do so in order to gain power over the interactions. They use radio silence to gain leverage over the guy giving them a subtle upper-hand. It is really a power play and women are excellent at this game I think. Men are at a disadvantage when it comes to games of this nature because we do not think deeply to decode the true intentions behind the radio silence. We are not wired to play hard to get, women are.

I have heard some male friends argue that a woman uses radio silence when she wants to play hard to get. I disagree with this assertion. A woman playing hard to get may want you but she needs to be certain that you are serious. Ignoring you for weeks, however, is not the best way to find out if a man is serious about her or not. I can, however, to some extent understand the rationale behind a woman using radio silence to gauge the interest level of a man in her. I personally think some women enjoy the chase because it boosts their egos and self-esteem in some cases.

A couple of years ago, I sat in stunned silence as a woman I was dating huddled with six of her friends to share their ignored texts and missed calls in a show of what I termed “who had the most guys chasing them.” The biggest laughs and accolades went to the girl who was ignoring or stringing along the most men. Seriously?? I was dumbfounded more so at the fact that I happened to be physically present. I might as well have been invisible.

The jury is still out on whether women consciously or subconsciously employ radio silence. I’d like to believe that most women are not aware that they engage in such actions because to them, radio silence and slow responses to messages are normal.

My cynical self will take a breather from this tirade.

Always remember that as legit as these excuses for radio silence may be, romance and dating shouldn’t be that hard. Conversations should flow naturally if both parties are truly interested in each other. It should be fun and spontaneous as much as possible. It is worth noting that, attraction is not a choice; it just happens. If she is single, you have an equal chance as any other guy does. You may be an option; a warm body she needs to keep around just in case the guys on top of her list do not work out. If you want to take your chances with a radio silent dame, prepare to take things easy and do not take her actions personal. You need to chill anyway if you really like her, otherwise, it’s going to be counterproductive.

Never ask a radio silence dame why is she ignoring you just out of the blue. You should never plead with her to talk to you. That is just pathetic! If she starts to communicate with you again, definitely do not call her out on her behavior. If you really like her, just stick around and do not be a pest. Do not overwhelm her with texting or calls. Don’t make it look like she is the only option you have, even if she is. If you choose to employ these tactics, she may come around and recognize that you are different. You are not needy or an obsessed stalker. You have a life and you are busy living it. Compare this tactic to ten other guys who may be also messaging her and showing completely opposite insecure behavior.

If all else fails, take the hint! Do yourself a favor and exit quietly from her life because she has already crossed you out. There is no need for any drama.

By Kwadjo Panyin/

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