So you have found yourself in the never-ending mental cycle of wondering why he rarely texts you first but will always respond straight away. I suffer from anxiety so a read receipt on an iPhone is my worst enemy, especially when I sit there wondering why he had the time to read my message a few hours ago but hasn't bothered to respond yet. Or to make it worse I am always sitting there thinking, why am I the one that always has to put the effort in. In today's day and age having your phone in your hand every hour is an understatement, it's more like every 5 minutes.
There are a lot of harsh realities for you to face here but the biggest one has to be that there is a really good chance that he isn't really that interested in you. Because he rarely is the first to text you should indicate that there really is a lack of strong interest or even a real interest. When it comes to situations like this, he is pretty much not putting you as a top priority or is busy doing other things. You will find that you aren't really at the forefront of his thoughts until he receives your text and then he replies.
On the other hand though it could be that he is allowing you to take control of the situation. If this is the case it's really not a good sign because men really love the chase. Men are wired that way, if he is no longer chasing you he is pretty much just going through the motions and this unfortunately is a true indication that he isn't that into you.
When a guy is really interested in a girl he will chase her, he will try hard to impress her and the best way to see that is that he takes the initiative to message her first. If you are the one doing most of the work then he isn't chasing. Think of it as if he is a lion on the hunt, if he isn't hunting then he is not hungry.
This can be the same if you are the first one making advances, he will really do very little to move the relationship along and you're the one doing all the hard work. He doesn't need to put in much effort because you're doing it all for him.
What you need to decide here is whether this is something you are okay with or willing to put up with. The fact that his effort is lacking may be something that gets worse over time. I've been through it and it sucks, especially when you really like someone.
You may think that as long as you put in the effort and show him that you are interested by texting and making contact, he will eventually come around. But in situations like this, men like this will just keep going on in the same way, so it is useless that you try to force their hand.
If you want to see if this is the kind of guy that you are dating and force his hand, stop being the first to send a message. He will pick up on the fact that you are missing and begin to wonder why. He may either get into the chase mode and start contacting you first or he may not.
It will take a lot of courage and inner happiness to do this but if you want him to start chasing you then you need to show him you are worth chasing and stop making it so easy for him. The problem with not doing this is that you will keep going around in this circle for however long it keeps going which could be indefinite. He could also get used to the fact that you're okay with him not making the first move and months go by and he still thinks it's okay, but to you, during these months you're the one putting in all the effort and getting more and more emotionally invested in him only to end up with a broken heart because you won't know if it is reciprocated by him.
As much as you might be worried about stopping communication and losing him, think about it this way. What have you got to lose when you don't really have him at the moment anyway?