The Friendship Doctor

Send in your friendship questions and quandaries and get expert answers and solutions

What Do You Do When a Friend Doesn't Respond?

When texts and emails get no response, that's a response of sorts.

QUESTION 

Hi Irene,

There's a guy I kind of like and there are some signs he likes me, too. But when I ask him questions by email, or ask if he's available to go out he says he's busy or doesn't respond. 

We see each other weekly and are also Facebook friends, but he seems kind of aloof at times and I was wondering whether he is being a good friend despite the “no response” and if he is at all interested in taking the friendship to a higher level (i.e. romantic). 

And yes, I'm willing to hear whether I'm just engaging in wishful thinking. I need to hear it straight up!

Signed,

Vicky 

ANSWER 

Hi Vicky, 

I’m not sure what the “signs” of him liking you are. Unless they are strong signs, when someone doesn’t respond to invitations at all, not even saying he is too busy, it’s likely that he’s less interested in you than you are in him. 

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No response is a passive response, typically used by someone who doesn’t want to hurt the other’s feelings. Perhaps, you are coming on too strong or too fast because of your feelings for him. 

Given the situation you have described, I would leave the proverbial ball in his court and see what happens. He’s not being a considerate friend let alone showing potential as a romantic partner. 

Relationships, whether between friendships or lovers, require initiative on both people’s parts. 

Hope this helps. 

My best, Irene

Check out more reader questions with sage & savy advice on The Friendship Blog.

Irene S. Levine, Ph.D., is a psychologist and professor of psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine. Her latest book is Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup With Your Best Friend.

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