How Long Should I Wait to Text Back?

What is the acceptable amount of time to wait before texting or messaging someone back?

We’ve learned from working with our clients the nebulous rules of text communication—the unwritten code that everyone knows. And after three years of research in a Psychology of Social Interaction college class that one of us taught, we discovered that male and female understanding and interpretation of text communication can be all over the place. 

One of the primary reasons we coach together, is to eliminate the ambiguities of male and female communication styles. Both women and men tend to make assumptions, so honest (text) communication is essential for setting boundaries. All honest communication is crucial. 

  1. One of our male clients shared, “Just because I don’t respond right away, it simply means I’m occupied. If I do respond right away doesn’t mean I’m desperate; it just means I’m currently available. Don’t read anything more into it.” Text back as soon as convenient.
  2. If the text to the guy says, “I had a nice time last night!” And several emojis, don’t play games. Be honest. If you had a nice time, say so. You don’t have to add emojis. If you didn’t have a good time, or it wasn’t a good fit, say so. Don’t be accused of leading someone on.
  3. Getting back right away also eliminates triple texts. If you’re at work, tell her. Especially if you’re interested in her. “I’ll text you when I leave work.” If you’re not interested in a future date, or if a woman double texts or more, don’t freak out. Don’t have a long lag time for her to invent many scenarios. “Thanks for going out. I’m not going to pursue this any further. I wish you the best.” You can both move on.
  4. Don’t play games, whether you’re interested in her or not. If interested, it sets up a possible relationship on a false premise. Why would you want deceit as the foundation of your relationship? Into her or not, have the courage to be real. 

Poppy and Geoff Spencer, CPC, Relational Coaches, Speakers, and Authors of 1 Billion Seconds.