he watches my instagram stories but doesn't text me

He watches my stories but doesn’t text me

Oh man, a topic I’ve been wanting to cover a while now on this site. 

With the advent of Instagram stories, Facebook stories and Snapchat, there’s a new kind of dating issue in town and it’s called “orbiting”.

This is where a guy ghosts you or barely communicates with you but watches every single one of your Instagram stories. Kind of like an orbiting moon, he keeps his distance but is still on your radar. 

It goes something like this:

You have a few dates, then suddenly the communication becomes infrequent or he never texts you back. You open your Instagram app, swipe up to view your stories and there he is, right at the top of the list. 

He continues to watch your Instagram stories every day and often he’s one of the first people to view them. Every time you see his profile picture in the list your heart skips a beat.

“He seems to be stalking my stories, which means he must be really into me!” you think to yourself. 

Soon you find yourself posting stories just to see if he’ll view them and before you know it, you’re curating what you post in order to impress him.

Just knowing that he’s going to see what you’re up to gives you an adrenaline rush every time. That little buzz is becoming an addiction.

He’s silently stalking you but doesn’t text you and seems to be ignoring you, but you kid yourself that he’s still a part of your life and that he’ll be in touch sometime soon. 

But alas, not a peep out of him, which leaves you feeling confused. 

“So why is he watching my Instagram stories?”

Why he watches your Instagram stories but doesn’t text you

I have a few theories about why guys do this:

He is just going through the feed – Sometimes I just mindlessly click on all those little round circles at the top of my Instagram without paying much attention. I click on the first one in the queue and before I know it I’ve watched the stories of 8-10 different people. I’m just going through my feed and it doesn’t really “mean” anything if I watch someone’s story. I think this is often the same for guys too. Due to Instagram’s algorithm, if you watch someone’s stories a couple of times it will prioritize that person and put them at the front of the queue, so I see more of their posts every time. 

He’s curious about your life but not enough to date you – He’s curious about what you’re up to, particularly if you lead quite a fascinating life. It’s his way of keeping in touch and without having to actually have a conversation or commit to anything more than that. It’s the minimal effort option. Perhaps he’s not in the right place where he could have anything more or he just doesn’t think you two are a match, but he does like you enough to keep up with your daily life. 

He’s looking for confirmation – By viewing your stories he might be looking for confirmation that what he did was the right thing. For instance, perhaps he broke up with you because you partied too hard and then he sees a bunch of stories of you on a night out. Whenever he sees a story he doesn’t like he thinks “aha! I knew I was right”. 

Or perhaps he regrets what he did and misses you – It is possible that he regrets dumping you or he misses you but he’s too afraid to actually bite the bullet and reach out. Perhaps he’s in a new relationship now and wouldn’t leave her, but he still thinks fondly of you and it’s his way of still being in your life.

Lastly, maybe he’s a narcissist – If he’s a narcissist he could just be doing it because he wants to keep you on the hook. He puts in just enough effort to like your pictures on Instagram or view your stories because he knows you’ll see it but he has no intention of being in your life. 

Why social media stalking doesn’t count!

I don’t care if he’s watching all of your Instagram stories or liking your pictures. Social media activity does not equal a relationship. It’s lazy and requires the absolute bare minimum in effort, so he’s not texting you then it doesn’t matter how often he views your stories.

It can become dangerously addictive to keep posting stories and checking to see if your crush has watched them, yet when you look at the bigger picture, it really means nothing. 

Nothing beats real communication so if he really wanted to know what was going on in your life he would pick up the phone and text or call. 

If you’re feeling on cloud 9 every time he watches your stories or down in the dumps when he doesn’t, perhaps it’s time to hide him from your stories and mute his.  

And if you really think that he misses you, try sending him a casual DM on Instagram to see if he responds. If he doesn’t reciprocate or he makes little effort with conversation then you have your answer. 


Hi, I’m Victoria. I’m not a psychologist or a therapist, instead my relationship advice comes from real life dating experience and lessons learnt by trial and error. All the guys I’ve dated have been very different but I certainly came across my fare share of “Mr Unavailable” types, so if you find yourself in a situation with a guy who won’t commit, hopefully these stories will help.

  • Adel
    Posted at 23:13h, 05 May Reply

    I have a questiony. So I matched on tinder with my old schoolmate from highschool. We hit it of pretty good, he invited me to a date, but then corona happened. We continued texting. We were texting a lot a it wasn’t just short answers from him but long messages. But then he didn’t responded. It happened 2x. I always texted in few days to check on him. He was always on how he always forgets etc. Then we had real conversation on if friends with benefits or something more. We were texting already for 2 months. I told him I can’t do the first thing, cuz I always end up putting emotion into it. He was always talking about being bad with girls and relationshíps. I told him directly, that I want him to be honest and to tell me he is not interested. He said he didn’t say that, that he just needs time. After few days I texted him drunk that I want him to decide if he wants to meet me or not and to set a date. He said in funny way I shouldn’t be drinking to much. I apologized the day after and told him not to worry anymore, he saw it and never responded. It has been 3 days, should I still wait for his respond, or just give up.

    • Victoria
      Posted at 18:08h, 12 May Reply

      I wouldn’t text him again if I were you. If he wants to text you he would reach out. He’s gone quiet because he doesn’t feel “safe” to chat normally without feeling pressured. Sometimes you need to give things time to reset themselves. Men (or women for that matter) typically don’t like to feel pushed, so by asking him to set a date and telling him to decide whether he wants to meet you, you’re trying to control the situation. You were drunk, we all get drunk sometimes and do things we know we shouldn’t, so don’t beat yourself up about that. He’s already told you that he isn’t good with girls and relationships, so he’s issued you a warning right there. He probably knows he isn’t really able to give you what you need right now. It should be you who is deciding, “do I want to be with someone who can’t text me back?”. I’m sure the answer is no. It sounds like he’s interested in you a bit, but not enough to make the effort to give it a 100%. People “forget” to text back when they’re not that invested in the person yet, and it sounds like you’re more invested than he is. Hope that helps!

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