What Do You Do When Your Boyfriend Never Answers His Phone?

Ask him if he answers other people's calls.
... Marili Forastieri/Photodisc/Getty Images

When your guy won't answer his calls, knowing how to handle the situation can make the difference between communicating your needs effectively and coming off as needy. Before you give up and stop calling for good, consider the real reasons behind his lack of adequate phone etiquette. Let your boyfriend know that his inability to answer is causing you stress or emotional strain.

1 Outright Ask

If your boyfriend's lack of phone etiquette is becoming a serious bother, stand up for yourself and ask him what's going on. Take an assertive approach and let him know exactly what's on your mind. Before you start ranting and raving, keep in mind that assertive behavior is straight to the point in a respectful -- not confrontational -- way. Start by saying something such as, "I want to understand why you aren't answering my calls. Can you explain why you never pick up?" If he retorts with, "I don't know," don't back down. Make it clear that this subject is important to you, and that you would like to understand the problem, and ideally have him start answering your calls.

2 Respect Issue

Respect is a two-way street. While you want your guy to respect you and answer your calls, you also need to respect his needs and boundaries. Consider the possibility that he's not picking up the phone because he's at work, is in the middle of a class or is having a conversation with friends that he doesn't want to rudely interrupt to pick up his phone. If your guy isn't ever answering when you call, set up boundaries that you can both respect. For example, he may want you to wait until after 6 pm, when he gets home from work, before you call.

3 Quality vs. Quantity

If your calls mainly consist of chit-chat or you don't have much to say other than, "What's up?," your guy may start turning a blind eye -- or ear -- to your number, especially if he doesn't like talking on the phone at the best of times. Instead of calling your boyfriend on the hour every hour or at least a few times a day, give him some space. If you truly need to talk to him, give him a call. When he sees that you're not calling "just because" he may start answering your calls again.

4 Offer Alternatives

Sophia Dembling, author of "The Introvert’s Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World," points out that if your guy is more of an introvert, he may feel like the phone is an intrusion or impersonal, making him less likely to answer when you call. If you're sure that your guy isn't ignoring you on purpose -- or he's already told you that he just doesn't like the phone -- suggest that the two of you communicate in other ways. For example, some people simply prefer face to face interactions, and others are more comfortable using texts or emails as a way to communicate. Ask your boyfriend if these other methods of communicating work better for him.

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.