What to Do When Your Boyfriend Ignores You
If your boyfriend ignores you, it's time for you to do a lot of thinking.
There are very few things that a person can do which will be as hurtful as ignoring you—especially during an argument. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there who seem to think that the best way to stay in power is to ignore a person until they concede.
Speaking as a longtime relationship writer, I've had a lot of people ask me what to do when your boyfriend ignores you. It's a common issue that happens with many couples.
It's important to realize that your boyfriend ignoring you isn't necessarily your fault. That being said, here's what I suggest you do when your boyfriend ignores you.
First, gauge the situation in full.
Before we start really delving deep into things, I want to point out that having a boyfriend ignoring you is never a good sign. In fact, it's often called "stonewalling" or "cold shouldering," and most relationship experts (myself included) cite this as a leading indicator that things will not work out between you two.
However, there's ignoring and ignoring.
Have you been arguing with your boyfriend until he literally walked away, ignoring you? Or, did you notice that your boyfriend ignores you when you raise a certain issue? Or worse, do you get the feeling that your boyfriend ignores you in order to hurt you or make you feel insignificant?
Try to figure out what's the full story before you act. The more you piece things together, the better off you'll be able to figure out what to do next.
Remember that what may seem to be him ignoring you may actually be something else.
You shouldn't jump to conclusions when it comes to a guy's behavior. Take a look at context clues surrounding the time he started ignoring you, and you might realize it's not as bad as you think.
For example, have you ever had a really brutal day at work, where your boss yelled at you and clients screamed at you? I don't know about you, but after one of those days, all I want to do is eat, drink, and sleep!
If he's legit exhausted from a rough day or dealing with other issues, he might not actually be knowingly ignoring you. He might just be too tired to do much other than eat dinner and sleep!
If you're worried this is the case, ask him what's bothering him. You might find out that he's just really, really, really tired—or that he's just used to having more space than you'd expect.
Though you shouldn't jump to conclusions, repeated sessions of "going dark" may suggest that he's cheating.
I hate to say it, but if you notice signs he's cheating, you should be worried. One of the most common signs of cheating is to have a partner who suddenly shows decreased interest in their partner—or sex.
Some cheaters also will cause fights and then "ignore" the partner they fought with as an excuse to see the other lover. So, it could very well be that he's using the front of "ignoring you" as a way to make time for the other girl.
If he's ignoring you for a week, it could also be that he ghosted you.
Sorry, but it has to be said. If you noticed signs he's about to ghost you, you should assume that him ignoring you is his way of breaking up with you. Breaking up this way is spineless and pathetic, and all the more reason you shouldn't mourn him.
Regardless of what the cause is, do not follow him around and badger him.
All this will do is make youfeel pathetic and make you appear to be needy. Even if this is fixable, that's the worst possible thing you could do when your boyfriend ignores you. This kind of behavior drives people away and also takes away your power to stand up for yourself.
If things are fixable, his ignoring you is a way of him basically begging you for space to decompress. Give him space, and let him come back to you—even if it hurts like hell to wait that long. Trying to blow up his phone to get him to stop ignoring you will not help the issue.
While you're waiting for him to come back, take time to nurture yourself and hang out with friends.
It's really hard to kill time when your boyfriend ignores you and all you want to do is call him back. Trust me, I know, it's brutal. That's why the best thing you can do is have a friend confiscate your phone and take you out somewhere.
Just about everyone out there has that one thing that will get them losing time while they focus on something else. Is it playing League of Legends? Is it hitting that one Russian banya out in the middle of nowhere? I can't tell you what to do, but I can tell you that doing that will help time pass—and will also help you calm down.
Oh, and also, don't be afraid to hang out with other guys in the interim.
Believe it or not, this often will help you get over him—and give him reason to stop ignoring you. Men get territorial around girls they're with, and if they see you talking to other guys, it's likely that they'll stop ignoring you and talk to you again.
That being said, if you notice that he's only interested in you when other guys are around, it's food for thought. Do you really want to be with someone who acts that way? Probably not.
Many men will clam up when they are very upset—and depending on the guy, this can be fixable with a conversation after the fact.
Guys are not socialized to express feelings and communicate the way women are, and though a lot of guys do overcome this issue, some don't. We all hear about the guys who were raised by "He-Man Woman-Hater Club" guys who insist that "boys don't cry."
A lot of times, guys who are feeling deeply distressed will just clam up and disengage from everyone. It's their way of keeping their shit together until they can release in private.
If you have been having very heated arguments and your boyfriend ignores you as a result, this is what it could be. Understandably, it's frustrating and can even be hurtful. Most people will drop guys like this once it happens too many times—and it's totally okay if you'd do this.
However, if you really care about each other, it can be salvageable, but only if you are tactful and are willing to put your foot down the right way. To do this, you need to give him space and you, too, will need to calm down.
Then, when you're ready, tell him (or text him), "If you want this relationship to continue, you're going to have to communicate more effectively with me. I understand you ignoring me is a way to calm yourself down, but there are other ways to handle this. You ignoring me is making me feel disrespected and unwanted."
After you explain what's going on in your mind, tell him that it's up to him to decide if he wants to try to work on talking to you again. Make it an "us versus the problem" talk, rather than a "you versus him" issue, and you'll probably get better results.
It's up to him to decide whether he wants to work with you to keep the relationship going—and that's okay. You need two partners to make it work, and if it's an uphill battle to get him engaged, it's not a relationship worth keeping.
A good rule of thumb to consider if you just started dating is the three-day rule.
One of the smartest things I've heard a friend say is that she uses a three-day rule to determine what she should do when a guy ignores her. There's really no excuse to ignore a loved one for that long in most cases.
So, if he's doing this for one or two days, it's okay to assume he's just decompressing. If your boyfriend ignores you for more than three days, break up with him—even if he does come back later on.
That being said, my personal take is that a guy who regularly skips on taking your phone calls probably should be dumped after the second round of going dark.
If your boyfriend ignores you out of malice or does so to get his way about an issue you're not happy about, it's time to call it quits.
Let's say you've brought up the way he ignores you, and have told him that it's not cool. Let's say that you've said it's hurtful, and that he needs to stop doing this. He now knows it's hurting you, and continues to do it.
Make no mistake about it, if your boyfriend ignores you as a way to get you to concede on certain topics or does so knowing he's upsetting you, it's not just bad behavior.
According to relationship experts, this form of "cold shouldering" is actually a form of abuse called emotional withholding. My advice, therefore, is to pay it back by leaving him. No one deserves abuse, and frankly, a guy who does this isn't a guy who cares about you enough to keep you.
If he tries to talk to you after you've decided to make the break, explain that giving you the silent treatment is a dealbreaker.
There are several key things you need in order to have an emotionally healthy relationship: love, attraction, communication, a healthy outlook, and similar life goals.
When your boyfriend ignores you to the point that you've determined it's better to be single than with him, he's shown that he doesn't have the adequate communication skills to maintain a healthy relationship with you.
Any reasons why your boyfriend would have ignored you for that long are irrelevant at this point; he's shown he's not relationship material for you. Besides, wouldn't you rather have a guy who's attentive to you instead?