What does it mean when someone takes a long time to return a text?

Lovelyme asks: Hello. I have this problem and its bothering me. See, I used to like this boy and, now that we aren’t talking anymore, it’s like I still like him and I’m pretty sure he does too! However when ever I text him he never replies back, and when he does its 30 minutes later. Usually I know what to do but at this point I’m stuck!

Hi Lovelyme –


Well Lovelyme, of course I don’t really know what’s going on in this boy’s mind, but two thoughts come to me.


First, kids today are SOOOO impatient!  Your great-great-grandparents probably wrote letters to each other that took a month to arrive, which means it took two months for them to hear back from each other.  Your grandparents could phone each other, but unless there was someone there to answer the call, they didn’t even know the other had called.  And even your parents probably just had answering machines, so until they went home they didn’t know.  And you’re complaining about thirty minutes?!  (And think about me!  The only way I know who’s come by to visit is to smell around and hope they peed on a tree!!!!)


So I don’t mean to be annoying, but really, even though texts are immediate, he might just be talking to someone, or doing his homework, or asleep.  So I really would say to relax, and figure that, especially since you’re not talking, getting a text in a half-hour really isn’t all that bad.


But the second thought is the more interesting one.  You say you think he still likes you too.  Well if you’re not talking, he wouldn’t want you to know how much he likes you, would he?  That’s too vulnerable.  So isn’t it possible that he worries like crazy, hoping you’ll text, and then when you do he sets a clock to make sure he doesn’t text you back too soon, and always waits at least a half hour so you don’t find out how crazy over you he is?!


Of course, it’s also possible that he simply isn’t as interested in you as you’re thinking.  But I don’t think his delayed response proves that.  The only way you can really find out would be to reach out.  Like maybe you could text him “That new Lassie movie opens Friday.  You wanna take me to it?”  If he ignores you, that probably means things are going to keep being a bit cold between the two of you for a while.  But if he responds, even after a half-hour… you just might be in!


(Okay, I know there hasn’t been a new Lassie movie in years and years, but I don’t know what sorts of things you two liked to go out and do together!  You get the idea.)


Good Luck!




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