4 Texts Guys Send When They’re Not Interested

A tactic taught to us by romantic comedies and relationship-savvy women is to feign disinterest in a ~special someone~ so that crush becomes suddenly interested, falling madly in love with an indifferent-you ASAP. Taking forever to text back, leaving them on read and pretending not to see them might work in a movie... but when the tables are turned and a guy does it IRL, it’s absolutely infuriating and (let’s be honest) just plain unfair.

Being on the opposite end of the fake disinterest is one thing, but being on the opposite end of real disinterest in an entirely different beast. It’s much, much worse. But often it’s hard to distinguish between the playing-hard-to-get-leaving-you-on-read and the seriously-stop-talking-to-me-leaving-you-on-read, or the playful act of pretending they’re too busy to hang out and the “I’m busy every day for the next month and a half” unavailability.

If you’re basically inept when it comes to differentiating between the two, especially over text, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. We talked to some real-life college women and got their advice on how to decipher when guys really aren’t that into you.

1.  He responds with one word—like the dreaded “haha” or “ya”

If he starts sending you single word texts and responding briefly with “lol” and “ya,” then he’s probably not interested. If we’re being honest, nobody has that little to say. 

“Usually they send short, 1-2 word texts and reply sporadically, and refuse to explain why they do that if questioned about it. Also, they tend to avoid any kind of meaningful conversation,” says Audrey Lent, a student at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

2. His responses are too simple to carry on a conversation

If his responses are so generic and one-dimensional that it’s impossible to carry on any kind of conversation (whether it’s a meaningful one or just small talk about the weather), then it might be time to move on.

Even if he does respond with more than one word, the words he does use still might not mean anything. If he never shares anything about himself, never asks you any questions, or never has anything interesting to say, he might not be interested. (Or he could be just really, really boring.)

Here are some common ones to look out for.

  • In response to something you said: That’s cool, awesome, sound fun.
  • In response to asking how he’s doing/what he’s up to: Nothing much, just chillin, nothing, you?
  • In response to a question that requires more than a yes/no answer: Yes, no.
Related: “5 Texting Behaviors That Mean They’re Interested

3. You don’t text very often

We all ignore people we don’t like. We walk in the opposite direction when we see them on campus, make excuses why we can’t hang out and avoid talking to them at all costs. It’s the same with texting. If someone likes you, especially a guy, they’ll make an effort to talk to you. If they don’t, they won’t.

Autumn Dube, a 2017 graduate of Emmanuel College, agrees. She says “Aside from what they text, how often they text you is telling, too. If someone you like isn’t giving you the time of day or always has excuses as to why they aren’t texting back often, that’s very telling that they don’t see you as a priority.”

So basically, if he takes forever and a day to text back or leaves you on read all the time, he might not be your prince charming.

4. He never texts with any emotion

If he never, every sends any emojis or even says “haha,” he’s either a robot (unlikely) or not that interested. No one has such a lack personality that they never laugh or show any emotions. And anyways, aren’t you really supposed to overdo it with the “lols” over text to make sure you don’t seem emotionless? Aren’t emojis and gifs pretty much the only way to successfully flirt over text?

So chances are if he’s never said lol, sent a smiley emoji, a laughing emoji, or anything to show you that he’s enjoying the conversation, he probably isn’t. If he’s not sending that heart eyes emoji, he’s probably more interested in being friends. And if he doesn’t laugh at your jokes, don’t waste your time on someone who doesn’t see how truly hilarious you are.

So ladies, if you catch any of these signs in your guy’s messages, chances are he’s just not interested. Don’t waste your time chasing after someone who doesn’t feel the same way back. Go find someone that will laugh at all your jokes, send you funny gifs, and actually texts you back.