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When You Ignore a Guy How Does He Feel?

We all have ignored a guy at some point in our life in the hopes he’d come chasing after us. However, does ignoring a guy work? What does he think when you ignore him? Is it not better that you express your emotions to the man so he understands what you want and you do not have to ignore him?

We are going to find out if it is a good strategy to ignore a guy in the hopes that he starts missing you and giving you attention. We will also study the psychology of an ignored man and what he thinks when you ignore him. 

Use the tips in this article to communicate your emotions to the man rather than choosing to ignore him.

Key Takeaways 

  • Ignoring a guy can work but it isn’t necessarily a healthy approach.
  • It is not easy to tell what a guy thinks when you ignore him.
  • A guy cannot read your mind, so you should share your feelings with him if you want him to understand you.

Should You Ignore Him to Get His Attention? Let's Analyze

When the man likes you and when done correctly, ignoring a guy can help you get his attention. When you are in a long-term relationship, you get used to each other, and after some time, you might start taking each other for granted, as you know the other person will always be there for you.

A guy you are in a relationship with might act like he does need you around, so “ignoring” him to see how he reacts might help. Whether the guy is trying to woo you or you are in a long-term relationship, in lots of cases, taking away the attention can make them want it more.

The primal instinct of a man is to chase the woman as they love the thrill that comes with it.

Girls ignore guys because of three reasons - 

  1. First, they do not like the guy and want him to leave them alone; 
  2. Second, they like the guy and hope that ignoring him will make the guy chase them;
  3. Third, they want the guy to understand them. [1]

Ignoring a guy can work when you are playing hard to get, but it shouldn’t be done in a toxic way. You should never entirely ignore the guy, rather, let him know that you are interested in him but at the same time appear busy. This will tell the guy that he needs to put effort into taking you on a date.

However, if you are ignoring a guy because you do not like him and he is not taking the hints, then it is best that you be vocal with him. If he is still not leaving you alone, then it is better that you block his number.

Now, if your long-time partner has started taking you for granted, then instead of ignoring him, adjust the amount of attention that you give to him, and he will start missing the old you. You should not ignore your man if you feel a certain way, and instead, you should share your feelings with him as he cannot read your mind.

When You Ignore a Guy How Does He Feel? The Psychology of an Ignored Man

Every person reacts differently to a different situation; therefore it is not easy to tell what he thinks when you ignore him. 

When a guy likes you, in most cases he will not leave you if you ignore him a couple of times; however, if the guy is not too much into you or is egoistic there are chances that he would not chase you much after all the ignoring.

Below is a list of things a man might think when you ignore him.

1. You are losing interest

When we like someone, we tend to want to spend time with them, which holds true for both men and women. We look for excuses to be with this person and don’t mind keeping other things on hold to see the person we like in person. 

Guys notice your behavior and the changes in it. Therefore, when you start ignoring them, it makes sense for them to think that you are losing interest in them and do not want them. In such cases, assuming you are no longer interested in them, they might take a step back and give you the space they think you need.

Woman ignoring a man in the kitchen

2. He feels the need to chase you

Men love the ‘chase,’ so playing hard to get will make him chase you as he will believe you have something special in you and are “worth pursuing.” 

On the other hand, if you are always available for him, the mystery will be “lost,” and he will not give you the importance that you deserve.

In some cases, the guy might know that you are ignoring him to get his attention, but he would be so invested in the game that he would not stop. When you ignore guys, the absence makes them understand your importance and they start missing you.

However, if you want the guy’s attention, ensure that you do not play too hard to get as it might irritate him, and he will stop all his efforts to get your attention, thinking it is impossible to get you. 

3. You are high maintenance

It is different when you are not in a relationship with the guy and ignore him, but always ignoring your boyfriend with whom you are in a serious relationship without any reasonable explanation seldom works. Ignoring your boyfriend and not ever answering his text message or call will irritate him and drive him away.

A typical guy does not like women playing mind games with him and does not always want to be the one to call and text his girlfriend. He’ll notice that you are playing games, and he might even break up with you to keep himself away from all the stress and drama.

4. You are busy

A guy's mind works differently than a woman's in many ways. While with lots of women all hell breaks loose when a man does not reply to his lady's text within a few hours of receiving it, guys are not as intuitive and do not think much about the situation.

Ignoring a guy can backfire in some cases, as there are chances that he might not understand that you are ignoring him. If you are an independent woman who has taken a while to answer her man's texts, there are chances that he might think that you are busy with work and leave it at that.

Just because many men don’t overthink does not mean they are stupid, and if you fail to answer their numerous calls and messages, they will soon figure out that you are playing games or ignoring them. [2]

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5. He feels unloved

Ignoring a guy can damage his self-esteem and make him feel insecure and unloved. It can hurt the guy’s feelings and make him feel that he has done something wrong. If the guy really likes you, he would be heartbroken and try to replay in his mind what he did wrong.

If you guys are not in a relationship, he might not even be able to muster the courage to approach you and ask you what happened. If you have mutual friends, he might try to ask them if he hurt you unintentionally because of which you are ignoring him.

6. He misses you

Man happy to see his wife

Does silence make a man miss you? In long-term relationships, lots of men might take their girlfriends for granted as they are used to always having her beside them. This means that even if they love their girlfriend, they do not make efforts to make her feel special as they know she is not going anywhere.

In such a case, ignoring a guy works in most cases as it will make the guy realize your importance. So when you stop doing things that you usually do and are not around, the guy will start missing you. Here, you need not stop texting him or completely ignore him; show him that you have a life and you can live without him.

If your man is used to constantly having you around, just a few minutes without you can make him feel lonely and lost.

Once the guy realizes that you can live without him, it would be a wake-up call for him, and he will do everything in his power to make you feel loved and treat you the way you deserve to be treated. 

7. He thinks you are rude

Most guys would not think much about it if you ignored a couple of their messages. However, a guy feels you are rude if you ignore his repeated attempts to contact you without any solid reason. Playing mind games with a guy drives him crazy, as men want a stress-free relationship and do not like it when girls play mind games. 

I can tell you from my personal experience that you lose the guy when you play games with him. Moreover, giving less importance and ignoring a guy completely are two different things.

Other Healthy Ways to Show Your Emotions and Expectations to a Guy

Many girls think it is best to ignore a guy who takes you for granted; however, this trick can sometimes backfire as there are chances that if you ignore a guy he will stop taking an interest in you. 

Moreover, keeping your emotions bottled up rather than communicating openly is not good for your emotional well-being, as it can make you feel unheard and unappreciated. Below are some tips that you can choose to show your emotions to a guy rather than choosing to ignore him even though you like him.

1. Choose a suitable time

Yes, it is true that instead of ignoring a man, you should share your feelings with the man you are interested in and let them know how you feel. However, it is important that when you do this, the time is appropriate for both of you to chat about things.

Ensure that you do not talk to your man when he is in a bad mood or busy with something else. If the time is not appropriate for you two to have a conversation, it will only result in misunderstandings and negative feelings.

2. Connect when you are in a calm mindset

If you are filled with emotions and already frustrated about something that the guy did or something completely unrelated then it is not the right time to share your feelings with the guy. Sharing your thoughts when you are not in the right state of mind can only make matters worse.

Before you start an emotional conversation with your man, take a deep breath and give it some time until you feel relaxed and calm. 

Try to have a conversation which does not hurt the man in front of you. 

3. Talk to him honestly

If there is something that you want to communicate to your partner, then you should have a clear heart-to-heart conversation with him. Let him know how you feel and what you expect from him. Remember, the guy cannot automatically know what is going on in your mind, so let him know what is bothering you.

Remember, if you ignore a guy and start treating him badly, he will never know what he did wrong, so instead, be honest and let the guy know what you want. 

4. Write him a letter

Woman writing a letter

Ignoring a guy is never the right way to let them know how you feel. If you feel a ton of emotions and are confused about how to express yourself clearly in a face-to-face talk, then it is best that you write a letter to your man. 

The best thing about writing a letter is that you can do it at your own pace and pour your heart onto the paper. As there is no one to question you while you write, you can write whatever comes to your mind. 

Once you are done, you can give this letter to your man and ask him to read it alone later, or you can sit beside him when he reads it so you can have a conversation after it.

5. Try to understand him

Just like you might feel that the man does not understand you, there are chances that the guy feels the same. So instead of constantly complaining about how you feel and what your boyfriend needs to do, try to get into his shoes and try to find out what is bothering him. 

Rather than ignoring a guy, try to put in the effort to understand them and where they are coming from, and in return, they will also try to make an effort to understand you better.

6. Share your feelings daily

Now you don’t need to have long, serious conversations with your partner daily but it would help if you could share your feelings with them on a daily basis. Doing this will help you know your partner better and understand how they feel in different situations. [3] 

When you ignore sharing your feelings, a wall builds between you and your partner; however, sharing your feelings brings you closer to your partner.

7. Learn your man’s love language

Every person is different and so is their love language. In order to ensure your guy understands your feelings and emotions, you should try to communicate with them in their love language. 

If you do not try to understand the love language of your partner and instead keep communicating to him in your own way, he might start to think that you are ignoring him.

So try to find out if receiving gifts, physical touch, spending quality time, words of affirmation or acts of service are the love language of your man and use them to communicate.

8.  Set realistic expectations

Just because instead of ignoring a guy you have learned to communicate your emotions and expectations to your man, it does not mean they will always understand where you are coming from and what you want. 

There would be times when even after being a great guy and understanding what you want, he would not be able to give it to you. In such a scenario, it is best that you set realistic expectations and appreciate him for the efforts he is putting into doing things for you.

9.   Visit a therapist

Even after your various attempts, if you are finding it difficult to share your feelings with your partner and find yourself ignoring him and building a wall between yourself and him, then it is best that you visit a professional counselor who can provide you with a unique insight into your relationship. [4]

The professional will also give you tools that will help you communicate, so instead of ignoring guys you are not interested in, you can let them know how you feel and why. With these professionals, you can discuss any of your relationship problems and get advice specific to your situation.


What does he think when you ignore him?

If you used to talk to each other daily and now you have been ignoring him for a long time, he would be hurt and think there is someone else in your life. In this scenario, he might also want to end things with you. However, if you keep talking to him but reduce the attention you give to him, he might start doing things to get your attention.

Can a relationship work when you do not share your emotions with your man?

Sharing your emotions with each other is an important part of a healthy relationship. If you suppress your feelings and emotions, it can harm your mental health. Once you start trusting your partner and sharing with them how you feel, it will strengthen your bond. On the other hand, if you do not share your emotions with your partner, they will feel unloved and unimportant.

Will he come back if I ignore him?

If the man likes you and you ignore him a little, he will likely keep chasing you. In the early stages of a relationship, most men want you to play “hard to get” as they love the chase. However, the trick can backfire if you ignore the guy completely and hurt his ego. Ignoring a guy will not work if the guy has zero interest in you.


In a relationship, ignoring a guy to get his attention will only sometimes work. There are many negative things that a guy thinks when you ignore him. 

So instead of ignoring him, it is best that you share what you feel with him honestly. If he really loves you, he will try to change his behavior so he can fulfill your needs and expectations.

Utilize this tool to verify if he's truly who he claims to be
Whether you're married or just started dating someone, infidelity rates have risen by over 40% in the past 20 years, so your concerns are justified.

Do you want to find out if he's texting other women behind your back? Or if he has an active Tinder or dating profile? Or even worse, if he has a criminal record or is cheating on you?

This tool can help by uncovering hidden social media and dating profiles, photos, criminal records, and much more, potentially putting your doubts to rest.

4 Sources:
  1. Leary MR. Emotional responses to interpersonal rejection. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2015 Dec;17(4):435-41.
  2. Aya Avishai, Noel T. Brewer, Jennifer R. Mendel, Paschal Sheeran. (2023) Expanding the analysis of mechanisms of action in behavioral interventions: cognitive change versus cognitive activation. Psychology & Health 38:4, pages 409-428.
  3. Alexander Ort, Andreas Fahr. (2022) Mental contrasting with implementation intentions as a technique for media-mediated persuasive health communication. Health Psychology Review 16:4, pages 602-621.
  4. Faye Clancy, Andrew Prestwich, Eamonn Ferguson, Daryl B. O’Connor. (2022) Cross-sectional and prospective associations between stress, perseverative cognition and health behaviours. Psychology & Health 37:1, pages 87-104.

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