Why Hasn't He Called?

Why hasn't he called? If he hasn't called, there's one simple reason. Beautiful woman waiting for a guy to call her.Of all the questions I'm asked, the most common one is about what to do when he hasn't called. There's something about that unfinished business, about being left hanging without an explanation that leaves even the most confident of us wondering what we did wrong, and whether or not we should try to contact him to elicit some kind of an answer.

We all share the same story line: You met a great guy, you really hit it off, maybe even went on a date or two, then nothing. No phone call, no explanation, just a silent phone. Every time the phone rings your heart rate shoots up as you grab for your phone, only to see that it's your friend or your Mom calling, as  your hearts sinks back into your stomach (sorry Mom!)

It's the same story.

The other part of the story that is always the same, is that we've convinced ourselves our situation is unique, unlike every other woman's experience with the guy who hasn't called. But the reality is that our story is exactly the same as all of the many, many women around the world, and through the ages, that have experienced the same thing. We just don't want to hear it or believe it.

There seems to be something about believing that our own personal situation is different, hanging onto the hope that we're the exception to the rule, that makes us feel better, at least temporarily.

A simple explanation.

But the reality is that it's just not different. Based both my own personal experience as well as that of my friends and the many women I've counseled over the years, the answer is pretty simple: He hasn't called because he isn't ready or interested in pursuing a relationship with you right now. 

And the other hard truth is that he may never be, in fact he most likely won't ever be.  But that's fine because the bottom line is, he's not the guy for you.  If he were, it would be happening. He'd be calling you. That's the short, tough to swallow, but true, answer.  Any further explanation doesn't change anything so it doesn't matter.

What matters is you!

I can't even begin to tell you how much time and energy I personally wasted hoping to solicit some kind of an explanation from a guy who hadn't called.  A guy who suddenly just disappeared.  Oh, he might have still been around, either at work or at a place where we might run into each other from time to time, but in every other way, the most important ways, he was no longer in my life.

There is just something about a guy who pursues us in the beginning, even if it's only for one evening or one date, and then suddenly doesn't call, that brings out the absolute worst in us.  We want to know why.  We need to know why.  It haunts us, keeps us up at night, keeps us obsessively checking our messages, our emails, our voicemails and our phones to make sure they're still working.

Focus on yourself.

The worst part is that it also keeps  us focusing on the exact opposite of what we should be focusing on. It keeps us focusing on him and how bad he made us feel instead of focusing on ourselves and our lives and finding a relationship with a guy who genuinely wants a relationship with us and is showing us that by actively pursuing us!  Why is that so difficult for us to get?  It will seem so obvious to you when enough time has passed for you to be able to see the situation through clear eyes, but when you're in it I know exactly just how hard it is to let it go.

So, as tempted as you may be to call him, to track him down and get the answer out of him that you know you deserve, I'm telling you first hand that doesn't work.  It never does.  It doesn't make him decide he was wrong about you and then start pursuing you – if anything, the opposite is true.

Because if he was about to come to his senses and call you, and beg your forgiveness for the long delay, but you call him before he has that chance, well you've just taken the chase out of it for him. Men have an innate drive to pursue any woman they're genuinely interested in, and for most men if that's taken away, then it changes the entire relationship and not for the better.

It will only make you feel worse.

And it doesn't make you feel any better – in fact, it makes you feel worse because you need something from him that he isn't giving you. By putting yourself in that begging position of looking to someone to give you some crumb to make you feel better, you only hurt your already injured self-esteem and further diminish your confidence level, all of which decreases your ability to attract your true Mr. Right.

Yes, you deserve an explanation, but that doesn't mean getting that explanation is worth what jumping through hoops to get it does to you and your precious self.  You are worth so much more than that!

Instead, resist the urge to contact him and take the high road that keeps your self-confidence and self-esteem intact.  That means accepting the fact that he hasn't called, regardless of the reason.

It also means knowing that you are so much better off finding out now that he isn't interested, or isn't ready for a relationship with you right now, then finding out the hard way down the road after you've invested all that much more time and energy and your heart in something that wasn't meant to be in the first place.

Pick your own reason.

If you absolutely have to have a reason in order to save your sanity, go ahead and give it a reason – either he wasn't ready, wasn't interested, he was still involved with someone else, he met someone else, he's addicted to work (or something worse) in his life, he's too young, too old – whatever, you get the point. Pick whichever reason makes you feel better.  And then, as hard as it may be to actually do this, let him go.  Find your peace in accepting what is.

If he lost your number, he'll find a way to contact you some other way.  Men in hot pursuit of something they want to pursue know no roadblocks.  Let it go.  He's not the one for you, obviously, regardless of how much potential he seemed to show.

The reality is that you didn't even really know him well enough to make that assumption.  No matter how much chemistry, no matter how attractive he was, no matter how much he pursued you.  In the end, none of this will matter.

The only thing that matters is that you have saved yourself that energy, that time to focus on yourself and being available in every way for that guy who is looking for you and is ready to pursue you in such a way that there will be no question that he is truly ready and available and interested in you and everything you have to offer!


  1. stacey says

    Love this post! I used to be the world's worst about calling & begging for an explanation. Funny thing is that if you do manage to contact him, you will 9 times out of 10, get some kind of platitude that you know deep down inside is not the real explanation-just something to spare your feelings. They hardly ever give it to you straight.

    I dated a guy 12 yrs ago for a few months. He was recently divorced & I fell totally in love with him & his kids. He seemed totally crazy about me. I thought HE was the one who was moving too fast. All the sudden, the relationship went from all to nothing in just a week's time. I tried to call him for a week straight but he never returned the call. I left a note on his vehicle asking for an explanation and that that was all I wanted from him. Still nothing. He had met someone else I found out about 8 months later. How I found out is kind of funny now that I think about it. It wasn't at the time though. I was driving through Arkansas about 100+ miles away from my hometown. The local radio station started fuzzing out & I kept adjusting the dial to find another one. Strangely, the only one I could find was from my hometown which I've never been able to pick it up in that location before. The DJ gets on the radio and announces a dedication that a caller had just made. It was to my ex from his new wife Delia. The song dedicated was Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing." I cried the rest of the way home.

    • Jane says

      Glad you enjoyed this, Stacey; and thanks for sharing your own experience with this topic. My heart went out to you as I know just how hard it can be to find out in such a way the real reason someone disappears. It's closure, but never any less painful.

  2. Damien says

    I find nothing wrong with women expecting a phone call. But confident, secure, and women of character should see a relationship as a 'big picture' that will end up taking a long time to get to know the habits of another. For that reason, a women should expect a phone call within a full week after an initial meeting. I did this. I don't like destroying hope and I think by never returning a phone call, a man is what I call a 'hope killer'. The BEST girl I ever invested my time in actually called me within 2 days after meeting her and asked, "We're you going to call me?". At first, you'd think this a sign of a weak, needy, and insecure woman. I DID NOT SEE IT THAT WAY. I replied from her point of view, "Absolutely I was going to call after finishing up some personal work...But since you called me, I'm going to make the time right now to talk to you." Then I began to ask about her week...making her fell needed and her call warmly WANTED! What woman would love to hear that kind of response? After all, consider that when married you will always be making her a higher priority. A man should demonstrate that now.

  3. Nina says

    The true reason is a lot of guys just do not know if they want a relationship or not after just one or two dates. They get stuck in the uncertainty. On one hand they do mot want to lead the girl on too much. On the other hand they do not want to do something silly and miss their chance. They might just get busy with other thing and put off making those decisions of where to take this relationship next for indefibite amount of time. By making some smart actions the girl can help him decide. Well, yes we know, conventional wisdom tells us that men,should pursue, women should stay still. But do we really wsnt to be just a pray for men to hunt on, or do we want to be people with equal rights on a well balanced relationship, which is a two way street, and not a road to nowhere? Do we want a guy who can handle such a relationship, or do we want to restrict our cjoices to only traditional men, who play only traditional role of pursuing women and can not stand it when a woman dares to make a move?If we do want to have our say in selecting giys, and mot just become victims of whatever guy will Chase us to death, then we should see nothing wrong with giving a quick casual call to the guy who showed some interest in us. Of course.it is never a good idea to call hom non-stop, talk for too long, or pressure him into doing something he does not want to do, but wverything else can not hurt that bad. And even if his response is a clear no, then at least now we do not need to wonder. We know for a fact it's a no. We can move on now. It is such a relief compared to not having a clue about what is going on. We know we do not need to think about hiM or call him anymore. Now we can focus on something elsrm

    • Jane says

      Exactly, Nina; as much as we don't want to hear it - much less believe it - it's the reality of what is that allows us to heal and grow and yes, move on, while living in our own fantasy of what could be only keeps us hurting our beautiful hearts over and over and over again!

  4. Kirsty says

    I'm in a situation where for over a month I'd been chatting to a guy at work, we flirted quite a lot bit I was so confused as to why he wasn't putting in any effort to actually ask me on a date. Over the next few weeks this continued then last weekend he actually came to my place, he drove 50miles to come see me, I never promised anything would happen as in end up sleeping together even though we sexted continuously. Now what I found out was he had literally not long broken up from a long term relationship, and he said things were very complicated. Not married it any kids but that they have a house together so lots still needed to be sorted, and that a couple days a week they still live together but in separate bedrooms. With this I said if he wanted to still come see me then I'm happy to spend time with him and see what happens, no promises made. He was fine with this and we had a lovely evening and he stayed quite late. Though we did kiss/snog etc, nothing else happened and restrained ourselves. He then left and messaged me when he got home saying thank you for theively evening chatting and the snog. So all seemed ok.

    Now the issue is I have not had any real contact with him since then, u know he's busy at work and had to deliver a project do knew he would be flat out, and that this weekend he would be working too.

    Now I'm not sure whether I'm reading to much into it that with the lack of contact for 5 days now that he is regretting seeing me? We never have had any one on one time before only the fews hours last weekend, but he did say he normally doesn't mix work and personal life, and in fact I'm the only one who knows at work about his break up. He said he uses his job as an escape from the complications, but I did ask if the break up was mutual which he said it had been dying for sone time and that it's taken them until recently to admit it. He was with the ex a very long time. I did send him an email at work a day ago as I was on his floor for an internal meeting which he did see me and as I didn't get chance to say hello or acknowledge him I said I wasn't deliberately ignoring him. I asked how things were, and he said very manic etc so I just joke with him keeping it light hearted then left him alone.

    Do I give him the benefit of doubt? Give him space & not chase etc? I really of like him but seems wrong for me to expect more, we've gone from communication a lot to now thing!

    • Jane says

      There's always a reason someone says his life is complicated, or that things are crazy, Kirsty. Whatever his particular reason, the reality is that he is still involved with someone else in some complicated way, as he put it, and so he is not physically or emotionally available to you.

      The question isn't so much about whether to give him space or chase him, it's about you! Do you really want to be with someone who's still so involved with a "complicated situation with an ex"? With someone who goes from communicating a lot to nothing? Remember that you're doing the choosing here, Kirsty, and the reality is that as much as you might like him for what you know of him right now, there's a lot more to him and his life that you don't know about.

      If the two of you are meant to be together when his life becomes more uncomplicated, there will still be an opportunity for that down the road. But for now, listen to him, hear what his actions - and his words - are telling you, and treat yourself with the love and respect that you deserve. You're the one doing the choosing here; make sure that he's worthy of you and that you know you're every bit his equal!

      • Kirsty says

        Hi Jane, thank you for your response. I've decided that I'm going to back off and not chase as even though I'm probably a welcome distraction ( which he has said) it's not right for me to pursue someone fresh out of another relationship, though I wasn't aware of this until he told me this that night he came over. Like you said if were meant to be then I'll let nature take its course. I've deleted all his messages etc, so I can't keep going over what was said, and reading between the lines looking for signs etc. He has my number, and he can speak to me at work so there is always a chance but I need to get myself back to a nutural place before all the flirting started.But seems a little unfair how he treated me knowing that he wasn't really available. I don't think you should start something that you're not in a position to finish, or if you can't continue it, at least say something. Don't build up hopes and expectations and then do and say nothing.

        I'm just glad nothing else happened that night!

        Thanks :-)

  5. Crissy says

    I've been dating a very nice guy since October who was calling me and texting me at least once a day or so and we'd get together at least once or twice a week. He pursued me and things seemed to be going along fine. Thanksgiving he went back to his daughter's and son-in-law's home which is out of state, for over a week and I received one text towards the end of that visit which I thought very odd but hey...I tried to be understanding that his focus was on his family and grandchildren and my focus was on myself and my family. He came back and we went back to dating, texting, him calling me and then he left to go to his home to FL for Christmas (he works out of state for long durations of time and he's been in my state for about three years now) and he left the Saturday before Christmas and as of yesterday I had not heard a word from him...no text...no phone call...nothing. I sent him a quick text yesterday saying "thinking of you. Hope you have a great New Years!" and a few hours later he text me back saying "he was outside playing with the kids and that he'd call me in the morning. It's now almost noon and no phone call. I hate feeling like this! You let your mind run away with differing thoughts. I'm 53 and he's 58 so we're not young loves. I like what you say and that is to focus on yourself and not them. I've picked up on a few things over the past few months of dating which could be "little red flags" so I'm going to follow my instincts and just let go and and march on. I know I deserve a phone call, a text and someone who really cares for and about me would do those things and there would be none of the un-settledness that I've been feeling. You have a wonderful site filled with a great deal of wisdom and this young lady is letting go and moving on. :) God Bless and Happy New Years!!

    • Jane says

      "...this young lady is letting go and moving on!" Love your energy, Crissy; your beautiful strength comes shining through here, my beautiful friend. You know what you deserve, and you know what you are and are not willing to settle for. That's no small thing. Thank you for your kind words, and Happy New Year to you, too!

  6. T.P says

    Dear Jane,
    Dear Jane,
    Thank you for your article! Please excuse my poor English. It's not my first language.

    I have been in a long distance relationship with a guy for 3 months. We have not yet met in person. We texted each other everyday and video talked every weekend. He asked me to be in an exclusive relationship with him after over a month. He told his family and friends about me and even talked with my sister whom he's supposed to meet with this Oct before we will both fly together to his place. The tickets were booked.

    He has been very busy fixing the new house before moving in. His dad is having life threatening illness.

    He has become distant , unloving and suddenly stopped texting me 2 weeks ago. When i asked if everything was ok, he explained he's just busy and tired from working on the house and that he thought i kinda disappeared when we were in a middle on conversation.

    I asked him to say Hi sometimes so i would know he's there and ok. We continued to talk for 2 days and then stopped texting me again for over a week.

    This hit me too hard to believe it is a sign he lost interest. And today i did send him a text message saying that i have not heard from him for a while and guess he lost interest, that i m not asking for the reason and just want to wish him well and let him know i will return his belongings and gifts he sent to me. I know i should have not done that but this morning i woke up from nightmares and felt like i need to get a closure, put an end to these " nightmares" and move on. I m feeling drained out and lost interest in everything.

    • Jane says

      No apology necessary; I understand exactly what you're saying. :) Find your life in you, T.P. Don't keep looking to get what you need from someone who can't give you what you're looking for from him. This isn't about you and your worth - what's going on with him is about him. But if you keep looking to get what he can't give you, you'll only set yourself up for more heartbreak and disappointment. Asking him why never gives you the answer you're looking for; it has to come from you!

  7. Chasity says

    I have been seeing someone for a couple of weeks now and we have talked everyday since our first date. He left for vacation with some mutal friends a week ago and the night before he left we were intimate. I talked to him the first few nights he was gone, but have not heard anything since. I figure he is busy and on vacation, but at least could send a text. Now I'm on the fence as to what my next step should be. Any suggestions??

  8. cheryl says

    I do have a question Jane so hope you can help. I met a guy who would come into work and eventually he asked me out for coffee. We had an amazing time and enjoyed each others company. He even text me when I left to say it was good seeing me and he enjoyed our conversation. 2 days later he text me inviting me for a drink, I said I love to and met up with him a hour later which we had a lot of fun. He walked me to my car and we kissed. First kiss I've had in 27yrs since the breakup w my x. Which was amazing. He again text me that he enjoyed seeing me and our conversation, after that he text me everyday saying have a good day with a smily face and a wink. He also showed up at work as a surprise to see me about 2 weeks ago. Since then he hasn't text me first nor asked me out for a third date. I would text him to say have a great day, he does answer my texts right away all the time. However he doesn't ask me my schedule anymore, he just got out of a 2 yr relationship and a 8yr one before that one. And he has a daughter and a paramedic which I understand he's busy and my schedule is a Lil crazy. I don't know if he's just scared of a new relationship or just not interested, should I totally stop texting him and see what happens? I'm confused because he seems so excited when I send him a wink cause I'm working and thinking about him, which he always replies back with Hi! How are you?. I did not text him a couple times for a day but now thinking I should just stop and see if he comes after me again, and if he doesn't then I know it wasn't meant to be. So your advice would truly help me out!

    • Jane says

      "but now thinking I should just stop and see if he comes after me again, and if he doesn't then I know it wasn't meant to be." - You always know the answers to your own questions, Cheryl. This is exactly what I would do, too! :) And don't take any of it personally. It's the easiest way to know who's right for you and who's not - as early on as possible - that's all.

  9. Lizzy says

    Hi Jane. How do take what is said in this article Why Hasn't He Called? and your other article The Worst Thing You Can Do When He Hasn't Called, and decide whether I should in fact call him first? Is there a possibility that he may be holding out on calling me to find some validation that I am really interested in him enough to call him first? The guy I know went on a one week business trip and he said he would call me when he got back but he hasn't. Should I take it as that he is no longer interested or changed his mind if he doesn't call me within one week? Would you recommend that I send him a quick sms at the end of the week just to ask how he's been?

  10. Amelia says

    I met a man a few weeks ago very unexpected. We went on a few dates and had a great time. At 40 I suspect that almost everyone comes with some kind of baggage which is okay if you are dealing with it and facing it head on. He has two kids two mothers, but he is an amazing father to both of them. I found out that he was engaged to his son's mother not less then a year ago and of course it was after I was intimate with him. I was crushed because deep down I now knew he was not emotionally available. We talked about doing things in the future. I was hopeful. Sure I knew he is an owner of a business has two kids and did I mention that he plays guitar and performs in local venues. He made a comment the last time we hung out..."I made the time." Those words ring in my head now. Soon after a few texts but for the most part radio silence. I felt used and completely confused. When I saw him the next week at a show he was different towards me, very disconnected. We talked about doing something that weekend but by the time that weekend came I got the text..." I need to be with my kids right now...just need some time to get through some stuff. " I of course want to believe thats all it is, but I hated the silence and called left a message never got anything back. All I could think was he was using the kid excuse to let me down easy. I will see him Wednesday at his show. I don't know how I should act. Should I say anything? I know that if it's meant to be it will but I would like him in my life if nothing more than just a friend. Is that impossible now because we got physical? I think I know the answers but sometimes its good to hear it from someone else:-) Dating at 40 is scary and I am old fashioned. Online dating freaks me out and I am just to busy with work and school to invest time in looking for Mr. Right I am a hopeless romantic. I believe there is someone out there for everyone, you just can't look. Any advice would be refreshing.

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