The Real Reason He Stopped Texting You

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woman texting on phone

Dear Charles,

I went on a first date with a guy and I thought it went well. He texted me about an hour later and asked if we could get together again and I said I'd like that. We playfully chatted via text for a few hours that same day. It's a week later, and I haven't heard a thing from him. Why did he ask for a second date and not set anything up if he wasn't interested? Why did he stop texting me?​ —A

Dear A,

First dates offer you a glimpse of who the person is, but you don't really know them; you just have an impression and they have one of you. There's no telling what was going on behind the scenes for him: Multiple dates with multiple people, just out of a prior relationship, busy work schedule, family issue(s), etc.

The fact that he didn't get back in touch after putting in the beginnings of effort, however, is a red flag. If he's going to say one thing and then do another, it sounds like he's done you a favor by stopping communication. After all, it just takes a moment for him to let you know if his circumstances have changed.

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Dear Charles,

My boyfriend (25) and I (27) have split because I don't trust him. On several occasions, he has been talking to other women — text, by email, and via phone. I don't think he's done anything physical (apart from when we had a short break and I asked him not to but he still did). He says he doesn't see anything wrong in talking to women, even though I made it clear it wasn't acceptable.

He said he did it to "see if he still has it," and that he wouldn't have actually met up with any of these women. He wants me back and I love him so much and everything else about him is perfect. He says he won't do it again but he has said that before. Would I be a fool to take him back? —M

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Dear M,

A man who is really with you won't need to validate himself by "seeing if he still has it." My gut reaction is that he is playing you. You've said that he's done this before, so it's very likely that's what's happening. You told him that it was unacceptable, but then you took him back, which to him means that it IS acceptable to you.

My advice: Move on. If he's playing these games now, what will happen later? He needs to be real with you and confident in his decision to be with you and you alone. Until he does, you are better off on your own. You can't make him stay or invest, and it has nothing to do with if you are "worth it" or not. You are worth someone choosing to be with you and only you.

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Dear Charles,

I received a text from this guy I've been dating. We've been seeing each other for the past six months exclusively. He often says "I love you" (he also said it first; I made sure of that), but tonight he told me that he needs some space. He says he loves me, but he's not in love with me. He wants to take a break for a few months, but he wants me to wait for him while he figures things out and stopped responding to my messages. Why did he stop texting me? What gives? —S

Dear S,

It's been six months and he tells you he loves you. Now, he's spooked and wants space? That sounds a little like deflection and doesn't effectively communicate what's really going on in his head. The red flag? He wants you to wait. So what he's really saying is: "Baby, I love you, but only kind of and I want some space to go do whatever/whoever I want.

But you? You need to wait. Right. Here. Don't see anyone. Don't sleep with anyone. Don't do anything that involves another man. And when I am ready, I'll be back (maybe, though I haven't quite decided yet)"

Sorry, but I call BS. My feeling? He's doing you a favor. Take his need for "space" as a gift and recognize that this break is actually a breakup. Go do your thing and if/when he comes back you can decide if you want to be available then. But I will say that anyone who plays these games is (usually) just warming up. There's more game-playing behind that and I would advise you not to find out.

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Charles J. Orlando is a bestselling author and relationship/interpersonal relations expert.

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