[This post is about being ignored by people you have actually met in real life, as opposed to someone on a dating app you don't actually know yet. That's a whole other topic.] 

What do you do when you think you might be being ignored but you are not sure you are being ignored?

It is so stressful, right?

You don’t know if you should keep following up. You know he/she has seen your messages or you know that he/she has not seen your messages but has been active.

What is going onnnnn?

Do you call them out? Do you ignore them back? Do you tell them they are putting you in a very awkward position that you do not deserve to be put in and that you really REALLY dislike it?

I personally cannot STAND being ignored. It is the absolute worst. I would so much rather be flat out rejected than put in a position of wondering.

Am I ever going to see you again or hear from you again or not?!?!

OMG, I hate it so much.

Sometimes, I use the line, “Are we ignoring each other now?”

With that question I get my answer whether they respond or not.

Recently, I hadn't been hearing back much from someone I really care about. It isn't like him. He is usually pretty responsive. But these days, you never know when someone is going to just up and disappear on you.

Hours after I had sent my last message, I saw that he had been active, but hadn't read it. Was he actually ignoring me now?!

I didn't know! And that is SO AWKWARD.

I struggled.

What should I say? 
Should I ask, “Do you just want me to leave you alone?” 
Or, “Do you just want to never see me again?” 
What about, “Do you hate me?!?!” 

But, those would all have made me sound insecure.

And we never want that, right? Coming off as insecure is like the worst sin you can commit in the dating world, right?

But what if someone is making you insecure by being confusing?? Do you have to fake it?? I mean, the insecurity is their fault, not yours. So let them deal with it! Right??

Yeah... no, I know. We are not there yet.

So, like I said, this person is usually not like this though he had started to be recently. I felt like he deserved the benefit of the doubt. I feel like most people do. Sometimes you might not know what is even going on with someone and if something not good is going on, you don’t want to pile onto it by being accusatory even though you are annoyed, right? Or by being, heaven forbid, insecure.

It took me so long to figure out the right thing to say.

It all seems so dramatic because it really shouldn’t be this complicated. And the question (are you ignoring me or what?) is so simple, it really should have been easy to put into non-accusatory, non-insecure words.

But it wasn’t. It was really hard. 

How do I approach this? 
What do I sayyyyy?

Finally, I got it.

“Is something going on with you?”

(Told you it was so simple – why was it so hard?!?!)

Turns out, that was the right question. He responded and indeed, the answer was yes. Something was going on with him. I got clarification and an apology. I was relieved that what was going on with him didn't have to do with me. I also felt relieved that I hadn't approached him in a snarky or accusatory way.

I mean, it would have been nice to have just been told that without having to ask and being put in the position of feeling awkward and wondering, but at least I got the self-satisfaction of knowing I had successfully approached it on my end.

Takeaway: If you don’t feel like talking/hanging out, just let the person know. Manage expectations with a simple,

“I am feeling down right now. I will respond when I feel better.” 


“I can’t respond right now, but I will when I can.” 

It's just the considerate thing to do. 

However, if you are not being responsive because you just don't like the person reaching out and you want them to just get the picture?

Don't do that.

Be an admirable, emotionally intelligent and considerate human and just let them know you are sorry that you are not feeling it and wish them the best.

And if you are put in the awful position of wondering? Don’t let the person doing that to you get away with it.

Just be nice about it.

Isn't getting ignored the worst? Tell me how you handle it in the comments!

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  1. Actually, this is a pretty remarkable post. In my experience over the last couple years worth of online pursuits and dating, being ignored is simply the worst. Especially since I cannot be sure that I am actually being intentionally ignored. Is the non-response because the volume of incoming messages to an attractive and intelligent woman is so immense that it is nearly impossible to address / respond to every one.

    I assume that the individual on the other end is inundated and not actually being rude. If they are really someone that I wish to get to know better, then that is not just the case for the five minutes during which I compose my initial note, but rather that desire to get to know someone is far more persistent than that. So I make assumptions that, in this noisy crowded world of electronic communication, the other person has a lot to juggle. So I am gently persistent with my compliments and virtual flowers. It can sometimes feel desperate though.

    I was once rewarded by finally meeting my objective due to, as she put it, my “gentle persistence.” This gentle persistence led to an 8 month long relationship after four months of courting.

    Those who respond and even provide a courteous “I don’t think we are a good fit” are greatly appreciated. In a world of superficial swipes left and right we often claim to not be interested in “hooking up” when the virtual “hook up” is exactly what we seek and use as our foundation for a “LTR.” Isn’t it ironic? So, I try to convey security in myself, in who I am, and in how I behave. I try to say persistent but not overbearing, and after a reasonable amount of time I may simply give up and accept that the individual (who I do not know) is simply not interested. It is then that I will sometimes allow myself to think, momentarily, that this person could have taken the 39 seconds to write a quick message back to say, “I don’t think we are a good fit. Best of luck to you.” But I almost always excuse them from that courtesy by explaining to myself that if I find them worthy, so do hoardes of predatory men (and even a couple decent guys) so it clearly is not their fault or their nature to not respond to everyone. They don’t know what a decent guy I am, and they certainly do not know yet that I am the one they let get away. No harm, no foul.

    Then there are the friendly messages that sometimes encourage my persistence and lead to confusion. I do enjoy those friendly responses. One recently said, “you seem really sweet. Your messages made me smile.” WTF is that? Is that providing false hope? Is that a nice way of saying, “but I am requesting a restraining order.” This message left me in a tailspin because, SHE was the one...in my on mind. As it turned out, I Clearly was not her “one” because that was the only interaction I ever received.

    Ugh! Sometimes digital dating is a world of facades and empty store fronts. Other times you know that the golds are in there but finding the opening to present your case is hard. Sometimes I wish it didn’t exist which would force everyone back to traditional means of engagement (like a glance across a bar and an offer to buy a girl a drink and chat with her). Rejection face to face is sometimes harder to take but honestly is at least obvious and clear and allows all of us to continue down the road to find the next pretty girl, or handsome man, in the next bar to try it all over again. The way people conduct themselves digitally is far from the way we would in a personal exchange.

    Final note. Somehow, you do a great job interacting with your suitors and fans alike. Always a reply. Even if only to say, “Cool.”



    1. Hi Ralph. Wow, thanks so much for taking the time to share all those thoughts! I am sure so many people can relate to that comment. This blog post was about being ignored by people you have actually met in real life and your comment showed me that wasn't clear so I am going to update and clarify that. However, regarding people you haven't met yet? Oh gosh, it is so hard to respond to people and keep people straight sometimes. I know I ignore tons of people and I feel bad about it but I just don't have time to respond to everyone. When I first started using the dating apps, I intended to respond to everyone always. But, it just isn't practical. I think in your case, you seem to have a healthy attitude for the most part. Best to assume your lady of interest has moved on to someone higher up on her matches list if you are not hearing back. I will say that sometimes it is good to follow up though because it has happened to me that I have missed messages or completely forgot to respond to someone and then I was grateful that they took the time and were brave enough to reach out again. Thank you for saying I do a great job interacting with my suitors and fans. I really do try to not ignore people I have entered into a conversation with. And if I have met you in real life? You can bet I will not ignore you. At least not on purpose!

    2. No need to edit. It was clear. I think the idea of being ignored by someone you know is far worse and even less excusable and yet your conclusion was to ask the perfect question. There must be something going on. Have a great week!

  2. Why not just make a simple call instead of trying to come up with that "perfect" text to send? People have gotten so attached to "texting" that most can't even fathom a simple phone convo anymore (not talking about the author specifically). No wonder this online dating thing is making people anxious (did she/he get my message? am I being ghosted? etc.)... Just pick up the phone and call. How hard (giggity) is that?
    I've gotten ghosted by somebody I met off tinder (where I saw your profile as well) after we've already been seeing (i.e., sleeping) each other multiple times. I definitely missed some red flags, but this experience left a very sour taste in my mouth. I did call that person and left a VM, where I wished her well and hoped everything was ok, then I went ghost on her. No hurt feelings, just general confusion as to WTF happened. But hey, what do you expect from Tinder, right?

    1. Hi vid ad. Thanks for your comments. I feel you. I don't know why we lost the ability to just talk to each other on the phone. In the case of this person, we just always messaged and never talked so it would just be weird (and intimidating) to call him. But yeah, you are right. Sorry you have been ghosted on - that is the worst. Did you see my poem "Ode to Ghosting?" In the case of you saying you ghosted, it sounds to me like you left things off like a gentleman - you left a message and wished her well. I am sorry you didn't get the closure you would have preferred though. So frustrating. As far as, "what do you expect from Tinder?" Tinder is a platform used by humans and I expect humans to be kind to each other. Period.

    2. For some reason Google didn't notify me of your responses. I have not seen it, but about to go on the hunt for it :) Nah, closure comes from within, not from the people we think we need it from. It just takes a while to learn this (some never do). I think most "social" platform dehumanize us. Like that guy that wanted to eat you out for 2-3 hours, he'd probably never say that in "real" life in that particular way. Virtual communication removes a lot of inhibitions that we'd otherwise have in person, imho.


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