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. 


Victoria
vbrewood@gmail.com

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.

16 Comments
  • 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!

  • Hope
    Posted at 08:32h, 17 May Reply

    Hi, i was talking to a guy from different country, we never met we were just texting everyday for almost a week , but when i stopped texting to see if he is going to text first , but he never did but he is watching my ig stories tho .. what do you think?

  • Sophie Jones
    Posted at 17:41h, 13 June Reply

    What about if they view all of the stories and reply to them often? Similar to the poster above, we had a few dates pre Corona lockdown that went really well, we had phone dates each week too but not for the last 3 weeks. Communication has slowed down a bit which we spoke about. He assured me that he is interested in something not just physical and that we’re in the same place but then my texts go unread for days and i’m left wondering he’s even bothered.. Then he’ll reply to my instagram story. It’s confusing when his actions don’t match his words, i’m terrified of being played and hurt by him. .

  • Aryu
    Posted at 00:53h, 15 June Reply

    So i am in a pretty complicated situation. I became really good friends with 2 guys.. who were best friends themselves. One of them asked me out on a date, and i got really confused. We did eventually go on a date but i told him i don’t want to name it dating since i am not sure about anything, i am not sure if i will develop strong feelings. I told him i liked him, i liked his company, but didn’t know about anything more. He was pretty okay with it and said that he doesn’t want a relationship at that stage too, and that he is fine with everything. This went on for a month, and i realized that i actually like the other guy friend (guy 2). By this point me and guy 1 were pretty close, but i knew this can’t go on any longer. I told him the same day about my feelings for guy 2, and that i don’t think i’ll ever develop feelings for him, but i really love the friendship and didn’t want this to affect it. But it did, he broke the friendship eventually.. I tried to fix that a lot but all efforts in wane.

    The other guy likes someone else but i don’t think she does.. Now i did tell guy 2 eventually about my feelings (due to certain circumstances) and to my surprise, he was VERY HAPPY AND WAS SMILING constantly, when i told him my feelings. He also said that nothing will change between us, but kept smiling and we had a great convo that night, hours long. We stayed friends.. It’s been 3 months, quarantined, guy 1 has moved on it seems n sometimes would talk too. But the guy 2, the guy i actually like, and this is a damn serious crush, he just confuses me. Does he like me or not? Why was he happy knowing i like him? If he ever likes me back, will he ever tell me? I fear he might not try out of respect for his best friend (guy 1). I respect that, i regret whatever happened and i cannot change it, but i reallllyyy wish there’s something i could do to fix the situation because i really really like this guy and it would hurt to know that he doesn’t confess his feelings because of my mistakes n for his best friend. 2ndly, clearly i like him way more than the girl he crushed on few months back. Sometimes i think there are chances and sometimes not. I just don’t know. Maybe he’s waiting, to confirm whether the girl would like him or not (which i dont think would happen, n if it does, i’ll back out completely cause i don’t want to come in between them), but he says he don’t think of her anymore… and sometimes i really feel like we’re just so good together, can’t he see?

    So my confusion is..
    1. Does he feel something for me?

    if yes, 1. Will he hesitate or won’t tell out of respect for his bestie?
    2. If it is, Is there something i can do to reverse this situation? So he tells me without any guilt or hesitation

    I am fine with him not liking me back. But certainly not with him liking me, and still controlling himself. We talk sometimes on text, and even if he wouldn’t reply, he surely checks my stories.

    He’s an introvert and we are pretty darn similar, thought process wise. Idk, now i’m just blabbering, i think you get the point.

  • Adeyemi omooba
    Posted at 18:54h, 26 June Reply

    I matched with a guy on tinder his first message was “does this makes us boyfriend and girlfriend” and I laughed because I thought it was funny. Few weeks after we matched on another Dating site and he messaged again saying “I found you cute on more than one dating app” few days after we went on a date. He was a complete gentleman, he drove me back to my apartment and wanted to walk me in but I told him not to that I’ll let him in another time (maybe I shouldn’t have said that, I don’t know) but it’s been 3 weeks now and he hasn’t requested for a second date neither did he unmatched me on the dating apps. Anytime I message him he replies, but he never message first, he watches all my Instagram stories but never says anything. I’ve been on other dates since that time but I can’t seems to get him out of my head. What should I do?

  • Anna
    Posted at 11:47h, 09 July Reply

    I have a question. I’m a plus sized girl and I met this guy on tinder who said he didn’t care about that and he likes big girls. He told me that he doesn’t want a relationship and wants to be friends with benefits because he was new to town and didn’t know how long he was going to stay. He hates his job. I told him that’s fine because I don’t want one either. I haven’t been in a relationship for a while and I just wanted to have some fun. I’ve never done fwb but was interested in giving it a go. Because of the corona lockdown we never got to meet up but we texted for a while. He keep on trying to get me to come over during the lock down but I said no because I wanted to be safe and practice social distancing. Also it was against the law. He seemed to understand. Now we are allowed out and back to work. He told me about him having anxiety about going back in and I sent him a message to encourage him on his first day back. He send back his thanks with a :). Then I didn’t hear from him for a week. I sent him a hey message and he didn’t answer until 3 days later, saying “ Hi, I’m know I’m weird because I’m not very talkative.” All I said was ok and asked if he was ok and he said “yes thanks :)” . The next weekend I went to a birthday party and posted it on my story. He watches my stories everyday. He watch it and messaged me saying that the restaurant I went to is close to his apartment. So I asked him if he wanted to hang out sometime? Since we both are cool with fwb I thought that would be fine to hang out and then chill at his place. (Since he was always trying to get me there) He didn’t answer me. That was Sunday and it’s now Thursday. I think he was boars in lock down and now regrets talking to me. So my question is should I delete his number/block him an move on, or wait and see what happens? I’m really leaning towards the delete though. Sorry this was so long.

  • Nicole Disu
    Posted at 10:41h, 15 July Reply

    There’s this guy. We’ve been close since college. everytime he wanted to eat i’m the person he wanted to call. but then we got busy and separated ways. He had a gf and i pretty much lived my life. Then 4-5 years after we had communication again. He messaged me in messenger then it just continues. It started last year 2019 i think then up until now we still talk to each other. We’re both single and we admitted to have liked each other back then. Until now he admits he likes me and starting to catch feelings for me and asks if he can court me. Then he always makes an effort to call me and message me or video chat me. Then one day he stopped talking to me. Stopped messaging me, stopped calling me and worse. I think he’s ignoring my messages but i can see he still views my stories on messenger. I’m confused and i don’t know what to do. I’m starting to catch feelings for him. It’s been a week since he started ignoring me.

    P.S. He asked me if i could go on a date with him and that he would like to cook for me on our first date and likes me to meet his mom.

    What shall i do? help me please

  • Simone Bell
    Posted at 14:35h, 20 July Reply

    what if he never initiates conversation, but when I do DM him he does reply. Plus, my person doesn’t even follow me on instagram, so I’m not in his feed, right? And yet he makes the effort every day to watch my stories (twice). What does that mean?

  • Vanilla
    Posted at 06:53h, 28 August Reply

    Hi Victoria, I have a question, in fact this was what led me to your blog, I needed sincere answers.
    So I met a guy earlier this year(May) on Facebook, I was trying to search for someone on my friends list and his name popped up, didn’t even know we were friends on there so I decided to send him a Dm, he replied quite fast and we had a cool conversation the first day and then the second day he asked me for my snapchat user, we added each other and he began to view my snap stories.
    He is ALWAYS the first person to view my stories, but he never texts me, never!… From May till now, not even once, I really like this guy a lot but I feel like he doesn’t even give a fuck about me.
    This is putting me through a lot of mental stress, everytime he views my story I have this tingling feeling in my tummy, I try to console myself that he like me.
    I know this is toxic for me, but I don’t know what to do. I need help before it gets out of hand.

  • Maria
    Posted at 23:17h, 30 August Reply

    Hello! I met this guy on tinder. We talked for a long time through text messages, everyday for over a month. I was always the one texting 1st every night. He was always the sweetest. But, soon, he told me he wasn’t looking for anything too serious and gradually turned into a hook-up with no promises or attachments. So, I started having feelings for him, and soon realized I was getting attached. I told him that, and he said it’s okay, but as he told me before, he can’t promise me anything. But all the time we spent text messaging it was very intense and deep. We shared a lot. It hurts knowing that for him, it has no meaning, enough to accept a dinner instead of a hook-up and never call back situation. So, we ended things right there, before I got hurt. But, I realized I was actually attached to the routine of text messaging, I found a weird confort in that. Now, I wanted to clarify that with him, but I’m not sure if I should call him. I’m not looking for anything in specific, but I wanted to leave things okay for both, since he’s a very interesting and nice sweet person. It feels, for me, like things ended weirdly. He never texted me back but he keeps watching my stories and liking my posts. Idk what to do honestly… Advice needed!!

  • Catherine
    Posted at 10:43h, 02 September Reply

    Hello ,
    So this guy has ben texting me but than he stops texting for 1 week but whenever I post on my insta , he’s the first or second person on the list. so is he really into me or what lol

  • Crystal
    Posted at 00:37h, 08 September Reply

    Hi Victoria! I come up here as I matched with a guy on Tinder. He just lives across the street. Things got heated up really fast that I went to his place for dinner, watched Netflix then hook ups. I used to meet him 2 times a week like that for around a month. Then dynamic changes with his new (female) flatmate moved in following with the start of the new semester. He stopped initiating from last 2 weeks and sometimes even ignored my messages. But the thing is that he reads every one of my stories. He used to react but now not anymore. He knows that we clicked really fast and the chemistry we had is real, even though he was just looking for a casual relationship at first. I am still not sure where I stand and I am thinking should I still wait for him to text or just pull away completely. It’s pretty torturing as he leaves me hanging right now.

  • Madeline
    Posted at 07:31h, 24 September Reply

    What if the guy who’s doing this is your husband who lives in another country?

  • Tiffany
    Posted at 01:28h, 26 October Reply

    So, me and this guy went to eat two weekends in a row. The second time when we were done he said anytime I want to come over and hang or chill to just let him know. Once I did he said he had a busy week and wasn’t free to hang. I responded that it’s ok and just to let me know. It’s been going on a week and I haven’t heard anything. Idk if I should wait on him to text or just text again. I will say before he did text me on his own without me texting so that’s great, but I just want to talk to him and spend more time with him to get to know him better. Ugh idk

  • Chris Klein
    Posted at 17:41h, 16 January Reply

    Great article. I had a girl I met on hinge and dated for a couple months.. maybe five or six dates.. we never went anything further than just making out and one day out the blue she randomly tells me she’s “unavailable”. yet now present days and months leading after she watches all my stories on IG and likes all my posts but have not spoken to her since our talk ending things. im sure im probably just reading too much into things as usual but what do you think this means?

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