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What Does It Mean When a Guy Reads Your Message, But Doesn’t Respond?


This is by far one of the most annoying things. You have a guy that you like, and you want to get to know him better. After debating it for a while, you send him a message to see how he is doing. Instead of texting back, he does nothing. Since the site shows when someone reads the message, you know that he has actually seen it. What does it mean when a guy reads your message, but doesn’t respond?

There are different answers depending on the situation. For example, if this is your first message ever and he didn’t respond, it might be because he is not interested. If he normally responds and you normally talk to each other, then he might just be busy. If you recently got into an argument, then he might not be responding because he is angry at you.

when someone doesn't reply to your text

In general, someone who genuinely cares about someone else will not ignore them. At the same time, there are many common reasons why a single message might get lost in the shuffle. While you always respond to messages, this is not true for everyone. For example, I forget to respond all the time. I genuinely care about my family and friends, but I am terrible at paying attention to messages. Normally, Facebook is running in the background while I do something else. I might check the message quickly, but I will return to the article that I am reading before I respond. In a depressing number of cases, I’ll forget to respond entirely.

Is He a Friend Or Crush?

If he is a friend, then he might have just forgotten to respond. This is especially true if you normally message back and forth during the day. Between the moment he got the message and the moment he intended to respond, something distracted him. If this is the case, just wait a couple of days before you send another message.

If this is your crush, it might be a different story. Unless you normally talk back and forth, this is the one message you sent to see if you could get him talking with you. If he sees the message and does not respond, he may be trying to hint that he is not interested. Of course, he could have gotten distracted, so don’t lose hope just yet. At the same time, it is entirely possible that he is not sure how to respond because he realizes you like him and does not feel the same way.

If the guy is someone you have slept with (but not officially dated), he might not be interested in having a relationship or ongoing conversation. If no other options pop up, he will probably get back in touch with you when he wants another night together.

If you are actually dating the guy, then he might just be busy. Guys might be a little oblivious at times, but they are not stupid. He knows that he should respond to his girlfriend, but he probably just forgot. Ask any happily married woman—even the best husbands easily forget the important things that they are supposed to do each day. Unless you recently had an argument or have a reason to think that he is upset with you, responding to the message just slipped his mind.

message seen but no reply

He Doesn’t Know What to Say

Your message’s content may also clue you in to why there was no respond. There is a decent chance that your friend or crush just does not know what to say. Since he can’t figure out a response, he chose not to answer. If you ask a different, easier question, then he might actually respond.

He Hates Texting

While it seems like everything is online these days, there are a number of people who are still committed to talking in person. Something is lost when you switch your conversations to an online format. If he is generally not a big texter, then the lack of response might not be a problem at all. Try talking to him in person instead, and you may get a better response.

His Friend, Ex or Sibling Hijacked His Account

Everyone knows that you should not stay logged into your accounts, but it is very easy to forget. His friend or sibling could be checking out all the messages on his account. If he has a girlfriend or an ex-girlfriend, she may even have the password to his accounts. Just because it is his name and face on the profile does not mean that he is the one actually using it.

Your best bet is to wait a couple of days and see what happens. If he is interested in you, he will get in touch with you again and most likely apologize for not responding. If he does not respond, you can always send a message in a couple days because he may have just forgotten. If he still isn’t responding, then he might not be interested after all.


  1. I met him via an online dating site. We began talking via email. But then my past abusive relationships began getting the best of me so yes, I began doubting this new man. I became accusatory. He emailed me that he’s “shocked and confused.” Yet, and though Im pleased, he still reads my emails. I know because I have an email tracker, and tested it to see how it really works. Sometimes he’ll read one message 10, 20, etc times over. Im serious! A friend said it sounds like he’s trying to make up his mind. One particular message (read 33 times) was about when he was sick, so I told him via email how I wish I was with him to take care of him. I really like him, and told him so.
    Yes I’ve apologized over and over, asking his forgiveness. I’ll hate to know that my words caused him to stay away from me. He answered one time. Saturday, April 14, 2018 will be a week since he stopped talking to me and Im having a hard time. Yes I blame myself because yes, it’s my fault. Help!

    • You allowed your previous relationships to influence you to sabotage this relationship. Learn this lesson and do not repeat it. It is likely that he is no longer interested in nourishing a relationship with you. Do not attempt to harm people in the future. Treat everyone in your life with kindness and compassion. Have a great day, Etta!

  2. Thank you.
    However, I still have a question. If he might be no longer interested, why is or does he read my emails? I know for a fact that he’s actually reading them because not only do I see that he opens my emails, but the app actually lets you know the reading duration of the person reading the email.
    I really dont understand.

    • It is possible that he is interested in what you have to say. There may be another reason for his actions. It may be possible that he is unable to develop a relationship with you. Allow thoughts of him to fade. Focus your emotional energy elsewhere. Have a great day, Etta!

  3. Well, I know that he’s divorced, how long ago and for what reason I have no idea. This means then that no matter how long ago, and for what reason he’s probably still hurting or is at least cautious. And then I go and hurt him. I also noticed that he wasnt a great communicator. Yet that didnt bother me too much being raised around an Uncle (my mother’s brother-in-law) who hardly spoke unless he had to, and even then it was a few words or less.
    But I like this man, I do. Last night I emailed him sharing how Im working on myself (what I intend to do).

    • You have shared your thoughts and feelings with him. Give him an opportunity to determine what he wants for his future. I’ve him a chance to reach out to you. If he does not speak with you for three days, then determine what you want for the future of your relationship at that time. If he reaches out to you, then share your kindness and compassion with him. Have a great day, Etta!

  4. Well he’s still reading my old messages. The old ones he mostly reads are with the subject lines “Good Morning” and “YOU” I dont know what to make of it at all. At times he’ll read the new ones. A friend said it sounds like he’s holding a grudge. I dont know though it’s been 3 weeks already. I’ll hate to assume and then be totally wrong. I know also how easy it is to just say he’s not interested because to me that could just be a copout as in what else is there to say. Everyone says that when the person doesnt always respond. I remember before this started and I thought the same he wrote back with “have you given thought that I was sick and not able to do my normal routine?”
    So Im trying to avoid thinking that way, though I dont know what else. Oh, and he doesnt know I have email tracking.

    • If he is not speaking with you, then he is unable or unwilling to maintain a relationship with you. You will find benefit in allowing thoughts of him to fade. Determine what you want for your future without him. If he reaches out to you, then share your thoughts and feelings with him. Learn from this relationship to better navigate your future relationships. Have a great day, Etta!

  5. Hello. While there hasnt been much earth shaking difference, Im noticing the time factor in his reading my emails. A couple are being read within 15 minutes which is really good considering.
    The first time that happened I was at a Starbucks and it made me jump. Now its almost a regular occurrence.
    Then last week while running an errand I was walking down a street, and saw him. He actually smiled, then walked up closer to the building I past and smiled again, and I declare…I think he actually blushed. There was a man nearby and I saw that one try to encourage my guy to talk to me. Instead by now in front of a building I had slowed down in front of, he came by the building, stopped and just smiled at me as above.
    I dont know what to make of it.
    So today I emailed him about it, and once again he read it within 15 minutes.

    • It is possible that he is interested in maintaining a friendly relationship with you. He may want to nourish a romantic relationship, but he may be shy or confused. Determine what you want for the future of this relationship. Speak with him about your thoughts and feelings. Give him an opportunity to share himself with you as well. Have a great day, Etta!

  6. Thank you for your response. I find it interesting that you said that he may be confused because after I had unfairly said what I said last month that’s exactly what he said in a return email as in “I’m shocked and confused.” But the shy part has me stumped because he’s 62, and I didn’t know that at that age he can be shy. Well evidently I guess I’m wrong.
    What I want is a romantic relationship with him.

    • People are often shy their entire life. You may not know about them because they are shy. You may find that you will have to be more active in this relationship due to his shyness and confusion. Speak with him about your thoughts and feelings. Perhaps spend additional time with him in person. Have a great day, Etta!

  7. Thank you again.
    Well I emailed him again, and it took what seemed likeforever for him to read it. So I emailed him again that same day, wondering if he was ok since I didnt hear frim him.
    The next I know not only did he read the latest message, but also the previous one, all in 6 minutes from the time of the latest one as in latest one sent @ 3:21pm, read at 3:27pm (I have an email tracker). I feel that was great. I told myself and a girlfriend that “that was great and very sweet of him, and he knew what he had to do.”
    I mean, I would’ve been happy anyway if he had decided to read just the current one, but he took it a step further. I want to thank him, but he doesnt know I have an email tracker, and Im feeling, right or wrong, that if he knew he might feel as if Im watching him, dont trust him, etc.

    • If you have sent that many emails and he is reading them but not responding, it’s probably time to move on . It’s a strong indicator of what future communications with him will be like if you were to become involved. Your self esteem will be hurt every time you don’t get a response. Don’t get overly excited because he is reading your messages. It’s a one-way communication. You deserve better.

      • Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. We always appreciate when members of our community support each other. Please share more of your insights and experiences in the future. Have a great day, T!

    • It sounds as though he is interested in what you have to say. There seems to be a reason for why he is not responding. Do not inform him that you are tracking him. If he reaches out to you in the future, then share your positive energy with him. Perhaps give him a few days to return a message to you. Have a great day, Etta!

  8. Thank you Web Admin.
    Im the type of person who doesnt live by others reality. Im not saying that others reality isnt so, it’s just that I feel that when the majority take a certain position in something, that doesnt necessarily make it so.
    The same with matters of the heart. For instance, it’s very popular when a man or woman acts a certain way that is cue to let them go. Im not referring to violence, or illegal sexual behavior, for those behaviors are in a class of their own.
    It saddens me that as soon as a man fail to behave in a manner the woman expects, then it’s time to give them walking papers. Well, again, while criminal behavior is definitely not to be tolerated for even one second, Im willing to continue being patient.
    And yes, I am VERY excited over his reading my emails, and will continue being so. It’s called grace, as in giving people grace, for who of us dont need it?
    As far as my self esteem is concerned, while I do need to work on it more, as we all do for self esteem isnt something we can get enough of, none of us have a monopoly on it.
    And then I cannot forget how much I hurt him not too long ago. And yes, some may feel that he should, need to, ought to, get over it, and maybe he should if not by now, but who’s to say he SHOULD by now? By what definition? By whose definition?
    Without disclosing his personal business, I do know that this isnt the first time a woman hurt him. And while I wasnt there, Im sure it hurt him deeply.
    I will NOT throw my hands up until I know as in FACTS, I should.
    This is a disposable society. We have disposable plates, eating utensils, etc. And now it looks like we treat people as if they’re disposable when they dont give us what we want, all based on others experience.
    Though I’ve done things I am not proud of, I can say with a clear conscience, that I have not, am not, and will not treat people like they’re just throw- a-ways just because he or she is not giving me what I want. No, whole I’ll certainly not allow him or anyone else to walk over me, at the same time I will not treat him as if he’s nothing.

    • Thank you for sharing your insights and experiences. You are correct, it is always beneficial to share your kindness and compassion with everyone in your life. This respect should not be in relation to your personal relationship. Continue to share your positive energy with the world. We always appreciate such supportive comments from our community members. Have a great day, Etta!

  9. Well, Im still “with” him but found something out. And that is he’s in a halfway house. This means then that he either has/had a drug, alcohol problem, or a mental, emotional problem. Past Friday I emailed him about we need to talk, and yes he read it, but no verbal response.
    I read though that when people suffer with clinical depression, communication suffers.
    However, I was a little surprised that he actually read it since even that has suffered a little.
    The last I actually saw him was when I was on my way to my gym, saw him sitting on the porch of that house. I looked at him, he smiled and that was all. I dont know if he knows that Im aware of his situation.

    • Give him an opportunity to reach out to you. You shared your thoughts and feelings with him. He is aware that you want to speak with him. Determine what you want for the future of this relationship with you. You may want reach out to him in a couple of days. This will give you another opportunity to share yourself with him. Have a great day, Etta!

  10. Thank you.
    On July 4, 2018 I was walking, and saw him. And what he did made me think about what you said about his shyness.
    Though at first glance, I wasnt too sure it was him, I knew it was. But it was his reaction towards me that brought back to me what happened during the very first time we saw each other.
    He saw me first, I know that because Im sure you know that inner knowledge when someone is staring at you, and so you look at the person. He stopped, looked, then a smile came over his face. Then all of a sudden he looked, then down and looked away, then looked back again. He had a faraway look in his eyes as in “she’s here, what do I do”?
    Then just as I was making up my mind he smiled again and walked on.
    I was absolutely delighted! So I continued walking home, emailed him, and as usual he read it only 😀.
    So, though I believed you about his shyness, now I know more than ever what I have to do.
    Yes, some feel and say that if a man really wants you, he knows what he needs to do, and therefore will, including introverts. And while I have no problem believing that, I dont treat individuals as a puppet, expecting each to follow a script laid out for them.
    Of course eventually I will expect him to do his part. I mean, actually, that day while walking, he did do his part. He stopped, gave me his attention that I crave.

    • You have the freedom to make whatever decision you want to make. He may not be aware that you are waiting for him to make the first move. It is possible that he is uncertain or confused about your feelings. If you want to develop a relationship with him, then speak with him about your thoughts and feelings. If you wait, then it is possible that life may take each of you away from each other. Have a great day, Etta!

  11. Thank you.
    Today was most interesting. I took a walk somewhere, and so past his place. En route from the distance I saw him leave his place to get inside his car. All of a sudden a woman bounds down the porch stairs to say something to him. But he turns, sees me, and enters his vehicle, yet she bends over the passenger side to say whatever. She then straightens up, looks at me, he drives off.
    She then walks towards me and stops. I continue walking. As Im passing her I stoled a look. She then looks me up and down with daggers in her eyes, in other words with an attitude, a BIG attitude! But I just smiled, and greeted her with a hello, and continued on.
    My friend feels she was jealous in that he probably said something to her as in him and I. Maybe. Nevertheless I will admit that from what I saw, I did feel kinda good.

    Im feeling confused now. Today he emailed me “What is it you want from me? It was you who cursed me out before we got to know each other. You must be missing some good Caribbean loving.” In addition he read my latest email 5 times today.

    • There may be a variety of reasons for her actions. The two of them may be in a relationship. She may feel a strong emotional connection with him. You need to allow this experience to guide your actions. However, it is of utmost important that you make a decision with this relationship. Either speak with him about your thoughts and feelings, or allow him to fade from your mind. You need to make a decision today, and then you need to take appropriate action. Have a great day, Etta!

  12. Thank you.
    He’s continuing to read my emails, by this time the not really old ones, the last being today @ 5:52am, which makes it email number 30, over and over. I dont know what to make of it. I feel that if he and her were an item, he wouldnt be bothered with me even though it’s just online. So Im confused. But of course I cant express that because he doesnt know of my email tracker. I mean, all night all he did was read the emails, the new ones I’ll send as well as the ones that were sent. All night through the wee hours of this morning. So I want to send one asking why he’s doing this, yet of course, again, he doesnt know of the tracker so that’s stopping me. He did it so much that I seriously began wondering if he was sleeping. Probably not much.

    • Etta, you have shared many of your recent experiences. Many things have happened over the past month, and you will find benefit in making a final decision. Perhaps it would be beneficial for you to allow thoughts of him to fade at this time. It sounds as though he is in a relationship and is unwilling to contact you. If he does not reach out to you within a month, then allow thoughts of him to fade. Focus inward at this time. At that time, please share your insights and experiences. Have a great day, Etta!

  13. Hey 🙂 it will feel great if u help out cause my story is a little more complex….I met this guy online and we had been talking for about a month when I started developing feelings for him but some days later he told me about this girl he likes and I was devastated…..so to stop these feelings cause he clearly just liked me as friends I told him that I like him and I need some time to get over him so I should delete the app we have been chatting on and he was very understanding and let me go even when I said for a few years …..but I couldn’t get myself to delete the app and all the convos we’ve had and then after some days. I get a text from him sending me an update about him for when I come back after a few years….by mistake I clicked on the chat and therefore it showed that I read his message and I felt I couldn’t just not text back so I wrote to him that I couldn’t get myself to delete the app and that I would also send an update to him to keep us connected,……idk I was expecting an ok …or see you something but he read it and didn’t text back….now I am forced to assume he doesn’t wanna talk to me any more or something like that:(

    • I wouldn’t assume that he doesn’t want to talk to you. He is clearly doing what you wanted. You told him you were deleting the app and not talking to him because it’d be too hard, so he’s respecting your wishes. He liked you as a friend, but he clearly isn’t a dating option right now since he is interested in someone else. Your original plan of trying to move on and forget about your feelings is probably the best option right now. Good luck, Sam!

  14. I started messaging him on whatsapp. We chatted for a while but suddenly he left me on read for about a month. When I confronted him he said he was going busy. So i decided to stop talking to him. But I do forward message i get to him but he never replies. I sent him happy new month on the first and it’s still the same story. Today I forwarded something to all my contacts(including him) and he was online but didn’t open my message. I feel so disrespected and don’t know what to do.

    • It is clear that he is not interested in maintaining a relationship with you. He is not interested in speaking with you, so allow thoughts of him to fade. Determine what you want for your future without him.


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