If a Girl Doesn't Text Me Back, Should I Leave Her Alone?

If a girl doesn't respond to your text, sometimes it is best to call.
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A text that goes without reciprocation from a girl can leave you wondering what to do next. Your thoughts might bounce between thinking she is ignoring you, worrying you did something wrong -- or even thinking that she might not have gotten your text. You might think, "Should I text again, call, or just leave her alone?" Stop the bouncing back and forth and make a plan on how to handle the situation.

1 First Texts

If you haven't heard back from a girl and the text you sent is your very first communication, you owe it to yourself to try again. It's possible you have the wrong number or that she can't remember who you are. Rather than sending a second text and risking more silence, pick up the phone and call after 24 hours -- which is a reasonable amount of time for her to get back to you, according to the Lehigh University article "Telephone Etiquette." Say something like, "Hey, I sent you a text, but I'm not sure it went through. Just thought I would call to touch base." You should get a good sense from her tone of voice and what she says whether she was ignoring your text or it was an honest mistake. If she doesn't answer your call or return a voice mail, it's probably best to leave her alone.

2 Ongoing Conversations

If the text is one in the middle of an ongoing conversation -- and then she is suddenly silent -- you might wonder what happened. If there is a reason you need to talk right away, such as you have made plans to get together, try sending a query text such as "Everything OK?" and wait for a reply. If you still hear nothing, pick up the phone and see if you can sort out the matter. If, on the other hand, you can wait to hear back from her, give her 24 hours to respond. You might find that she ended up in the middle of a crisis and had to put texting on the back burner. If you still haven't heard from her after that much time, start the process of asking if things are OK.

3 Emotional Issues

If a girl doesn't text you back after you send an emotional or hurtful text, you should probably leave her alone for a while. Heavy issues should be reserved for telephone or in-person conversations. If you know she might have been hurt by what you texted, give her some space and wait to see if she eventually responds. If she does, offer to talk on the phone or meet up so that you can apologize or work out your differences. If you don't hear back after an extended period, consider making a call to try and sort things out, recommends psychologist Art Bowler in the article "Text Etiquette" from his website.

4 Just Not That Into You

If you've made repeated attempts to contact a girl to no avail -- it is best to leave her alone. Likewise, if a girl consistently takes a long time getting back to you, that is probably a good sign she is not that interested. Conducted in May 2013, the "Mobile’s Impact on Dating and Relationships" survey of 1,500 daters commissioned by Christianmingle.com and Jdate.com showed that the majority (72 percent) believed an interested dater would respond within at least six hours. Give her some space to see if she comes looking for you. If it doesn't happen, realize that you may need to move on.

Arlin Cuncic has been writing about mental health since 2007, specializing in social anxiety disorder and depression topics. She served as the managing editor of the "Journal of Attention Disorders" and has worked in a variety of research settings. Cuncic holds an M.A. in clinical psychology.