How To Respond When Your Boyfriend Ignores You

Updated May 8, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Relationships are not always perfect, and sometimes issues that you do not know how to handle may arise such as when your boyfriend or husband ignores you. Nobody wants to feel like the person you have spent so much time, energy, and love on is ignoring your attempts at communication. The good news is that just because you feel neglected, it does not necessarily mean that your boyfriend does not care about you anymore. It also does not mean the relationship is falling apart. However, it may mean that you need to take some steps to improve the relationship. Yes, you. Remember, you can only control your behavior, not your partner's.

My Boyfriend Keeps Ignoring Me, What Do I Do?

When Your Boyfriend Ignores Your Texts

First of all, take a breath and allow yourself to calm down for a moment. It's natural to start worrying or let anxiety take over if you haven't heard from your partner right away. You also want to make sure that you're reasonable in your assessment about what constitutes a fair amount of time in which to expect a reply. Automatic thoughts are the initial thoughts that come to mind in any given situation. Because they're our first thoughts, it's easy to believe that these thoughts must be accurate. If you act simply on emotion, you will likely believe the worst-case scenario to be true.

Understand that whatever is going on in your mind (Is he with someone else? Did he have an accident? Am I annoying him?) is likely your anxiety talking more than fact. You should ask yourself what evidence you have that led you to this conclusion. It's likely all your imagination at this point because if he hasn't told you why he is unresponsive, then you just don't know his reasons. He could be busy or be somewhere he must ignore his phone.

You don't need to take offense to that. Sometimes individuals in a relationship need a little space or time for their interests, and it doesn't necessarily indicate that anything is wrong. When you are in a partnership with someone, whether it be a new relationship or a long-term marriage, you have to remember that while you are merging your lives, you are also two individuals who need physical and emotional space at times. You need to take care of yourself and do things without your partner sometimes. You want to have boundaries where you respect the space that your partner needs at times.

If your texts go ignored on a consistent basis, then you may have more of a problem on your hands. In this case, you should choose a time when you are calm, and in person, to discuss with your boyfriend how it makes you feel when you send a text and he doesn't respond for a long time. 

Discuss what you both feel are reasonable lengths of time to expect a response, so that you don't overthink and feel like you are annoying your partner who seems to think "he keeps texting me, it's annoying" when they don't respond to your messages. Be honest without being hurtful to your partner. Also, allow him to explain his reasons, and don't automatically assume that because you have different ideas about communication he doesn't care about you. Try to meet somewhere in the middle, if possible, where your boyfriend tries his best to respond more frequently while you work on managing your expectations and not expecting the worst if he doesn't respond as fast as you'd like.

When Your Boyfriend Ignores You In Person

Being ignored in person is also called the silent treatment. It may just be that your boyfriend doesn't say anything to you unless you specifically address him first. If this is the case, you want to be honest that you want to feel like he is interested in you and your life by starting the conversation more frequently. Something as simple as asking how your day went can go a long way. You may feel like your boyfriend is listening to you but isn't actually hearing you. Making this distinction is important. Your ears can hear what people are saying, but your brain and heart may not be absorbing what the words mean.

Distractions might also be a big reason why you aren't feeling heard. We live in a world where technology rules. Think of how many times we see a couple sitting down at a restaurant and barely speaking to each other because they are too busy on their phones. If you notice that your boyfriend is on his phone, playing a video game, or busy with some other task, ask him if he can please stop what he's doing for a moment to speak to you. If he tells you it's not a good time, it might help to make frequent dates each week where you check in with each other and just talk about how the week has been for you.

Sometimes in these situations, your boyfriend may not even realize that you feel ignored. We tend to believe that after a certain amount of time, our partner should be able to anticipate our needs, but that's not always the case. Sometimes you have to verbalize what you need instead of hoping that your partner will be able to read your mind. If you're feeling like you're not communicating enough, the best thing to do is to approach him calmly because if you haven't talked to him about this in the past, it might come as a shock to him that you've been holding this inside for some time. 

During this time, you can talk about what you both feel are reasonable expectations for communication. Be honest about your desire for more attention and discuss ways to communicate more often. Keep in mind that it takes time for people to develop new habits so don't be discouraged or think that your relationship can't be improved if you do not see the kind of results that you want immediately. If despite continued efforts, you don't see the kind of change that you feel is acceptable, you may want to think about whether your boyfriend is a good match for you.

My Boyfriend Keeps Ignoring Me, What Do I Do?

Is your boyfriend not responding because he's angry or hurt about something? If so, then, now is the time to find out how you can work on the issue that started this silent treatment. Of course, you should still be honest that his reaction hurt your feelings and was not helpful or healthy while also trying to focus on how you can help him feel better about the relationship too. 

Seeking Support

After trying these tips, if your partner is still ignoring you, you may want to seek assistance from a trained couple's counselor to help you work on your communication skills.

It's also not a bad idea to seek an individual counselor who can help you work through your struggles that may be contributing to the struggles you're experiencing in your relationship. BetterHelp can match you with a licensed therapist trained to help with these situations. You can schedule sessions at a time convenient for your schedule, and those sessions can take place anywhere there's an internet connection.

Online therapy has gained in popularity in the recent past, and much research has been done about its efficacy. It's been proven to be as effective as in-person therapy, and it has many benefits that in-person does not have, including widening the number of practitioners available to you and saving costs.

Read below for some reviews of BetterHelp counselors from people experiencing similar issues. 

Counselor Reviews

"Cameron has helped me navigate some incredibly challenging things within my relationship. With his help I’ve developed confidence to be a more assertive person. Therapy has helped me understand myself and my partner much better, in addition to implementing practices and taking action to improve a situation whereas I otherwise may feel stuck or hopeless. I really loved that he took the time to get to know me and my history before trying to “tell me what to do.” I feel like he really understands how my mind operates and therefore can give great, valuable advice, in addition to being a comforting sounding board."

"Libby has been wonderful in guiding me and my partner through our difficulties and listening and providing feedback or asking questions that allow us to move forward and work through our differences. We really appreciate her and her work and for taking the time to help us."


It generally doesn't feel good when a guy ignores you—especially when he's your partner. If you notice a pattern of your boyfriend ignoring you, the next step should be communicating with him. Perhaps he simply gets distracted by work or hobbies like video games, and he doesn't even realize that he's ignoring you. You won't know how he feels (and he won't know how you feel ignored) unless you talk to him. Remember that this discussion doesn't need to be a confrontation. You can let gently him know how you feel and listen openly to his response before determining next steps. If you're unsure of how to bring this up to him, speaking with a licensed therapist can help you learn how to best move forward

For additional help & support with your concerns

The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
Get the support you need from one of our therapistsGet Started