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Why Your Ex Takes So Long To Text You Back

If you’re trying to get your ex back, texting is one of your best tools.

But it’s way more difficult when your ex takes FOREVER to respond to your messages.

This hurts the flow of conversation and can kill your confidence.

Why is it that your ex takes so long to respond? I’ll explain what they’re thinking and what you can do about it.

Let’s talk about the reasons that your ex is taking forever to reply to your messages. Are they just playing games or is there something more?

1. They’re angry

This is an obvious reason and probably one that you’re most worried about. Your ex may be so angry that they don’t want to speak to you at all and so they’re taking a lot of time to respond either so that they can mask that anger effectively or to send you a message that they’re mad at you and don’t want to talk.

This isn’t as common as the others on this list but if you did something that upset your ex and led to the breakup or otherwise treated them badly then this is most likely the reason they’re taking a long time to answer your messages.

Believe it or not, this isn’t actually the worst situation to be in after a breakup. If your ex is mad at you that means they still care. It’s much more likely to win back an angry ex than it is an ex who has moved on and feels nothing towards you.

2. They don’t know what to say

Breakups cause a massive change in the dynamic between you and your former partner. In this situation, your ex may not know what to say to you or how to treat you. This is especially common in scenarios where you and your partner met on a dating app or didn’t know one another very well prior to dating.

You two have no experience communicating as anything other than a couple so it’s no wonder that you’re now struggling with communication–you don’t know what the rules are.

If things feel awkward between you then this is usually the situation. I’d chalk this up to a lack of common interests. Maybe you two failed to build up rapport outside of specific areas of conversation that are now off limits like your future together, how much you care about one another, etc.

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This is one of the hardest situations to overcome because you’re trying to build rapport after your relationship has fallen apart but there is still hope.

3. They’re afraid you’ll convince them to get back together

This is another one that’s very obvious once you recognize it. Were you particularly resistant to the breakup when it happened? Have you tried to change their mind since? Even if you’ve realized the error of your ways and opted for a less direct approach, the damage is done. They’re now afraid to engage with you.

They think that by taking awhile to respond, they’ll avoid the risk of getting into a drawn out or serious conversation.

This can actually be a good sign because they’re not only worried that you’ll bring it up but that you’ll be able to succeed and convince them to take you back if they give you the chance. That means that you’re very much still on their mind and in their heart so don’t despair.

RELATED: What Your Ex’s Texts REALLY Mean

Now before we move on to number four on this list, I wanted to briefly touch on the importance of No Contact. The time shortly after a breakup can be full of confusing mixed signals like this because you and your ex are still caught up in emotional turmoil.

Neither of you are sure what you want or how to get it. You know that you have strong feelings for the other person but that the relationship is seriously damaged, if not broken.

So you may say things you don’t really mean or do things that you regret because you’re overcome by the heartache. No Contact helps you avoid mistakes and misunderstandings during this period by stopping contact altogether. I know it can feel impossible but it really is the best way to allow both of you to process the breakup and get a chance at a fresh start together.

4. They’re trying to set boundaries

If your ex is taking a long time to respond and you find that when they do they’re cold and businesslike rather than the warm and inviting person you fell in love with, then chances are they’re trying to set boundaries with you. Basically they’re trying to avoid drama and let you know that things are different now and that you have to get used to it.

Boundaries can be good at this point in time because, like No Contact, it sets expectations more clearly.

So you’re less likely to get late night texts about how much they love and miss you but you’re also less likely to have them completely ice you out or tell you that you’re a bad person and they hate you.

This is certainly a tradeoff that your ex is making but just know that it doesn’t mean that they suddenly have zero feelings for you. Instead, it means that they’re making a choice to spare themselves more heartache by pulling away, even if that’s not what they really want.

5. Your texts are boring

I think, after a breakup, we can get so caught up on wanting some love and attention from an ex that we forget that they have needs and desires too. So instead of asking “why aren’t they responding?” ask yourself “have I given them something worth responding to?”

Often in relationships we don’t have to work too hard in texting conversations because the other person is interested in engaging with us no matter what and that allows us to have an interesting conversation even if it doesn’t get off to a great start. Now that you’re not together, you need to reconsider your approach.

Ask yourself “why am I sending this message?” and “what do I hope to get out of this interaction?” before hitting send. If you can’t answer these questions then don’t text your ex. It’s that simple.

You’ll be surprised at how much this changes the dynamic of your conversations with your ex. I’ll talk more later about the types of texts you should be sending to your ex during this period.

6. They’re over you

This is the one that I know that you’re worried about and it is a definite possibility. Maybe they see a text from you and mean to respond but it slips their mind and they let a few hours or even a day pass before responding.

You’re no longer a priority for them because they’re simply done with the relationship. I know, this is the one you don’t want to hear and I understand why. But I’m here to let you know that while this is one possibility, it’s not the only possibility.

The truth is that there are plenty of reasons that your ex may be taking a long time to text you back and without knowing more, I can’t say for certain which one of these you’re dealing with but just know that there’s always still hope.

RELATED: Does No Contact Always Work On Your Ex?

And remember, even though they’re taking awhile, the fact that they’re still responding at all is a good sign. That means they still have some love for you and don’t want to abandon the relationship completely.

How To Make Your Ex Text You Back

So what can you do if your ex is taking a long time to respond to messages? Well the truth is that there’s nothing you can say to CONVINCE your ex to respond to you more promptly.

Don’t Do THIS

  • Tell them that you’re upset that they don’t respond fast enough
  • Be passive aggressive with them when they don’t message you back
  • Send a follow up text checking in on them
  • Get angry at them for not communicating with you how you’d like
  • Overcompensate by sending more, longer messages

I can understand why you’d respond this way. You’re frustrated and you want results but you’re only going to make your ex want to text you less by behaving this way.

Instead, you want to give your ex more reasons to respond to your messages and less reasons to ignore you. So instead of sending “Hey” or trying to get into a deep conversation about the relationship, say something funny. I’m guessing you know your ex’s sense of humor better than most people so you know how to make them laugh. It can be a funny meme or an inside joke or a reference to a TV show you two watched together.

RELATED: How To Rebuild Your Ex Girlfriend’s Attraction For You

Another approach is to make your ex remember the good times you two had together by bringing up a memory from the past. This can be a trip you went on, a meal you shared or a funny story. You have this shared history together–you need to use it to your advantage.

A text like this can be something like “I just ran into Gregory downtown. We were talking about that time the four of us went to LA. I didn’t have time to pack so I wore that Mickey Mouse tee shirt the whole weekend! Good times.”

Obviously you’d have to make this message specific to your relationship but I think you know what I’m talking about here. And notice that I didn’t ask a direct question here. This is a great way for your texts to come across as less threatening because your ex doesn’t actually NEED to respond in any way which will make them more comfortable and actually more likely to respond. And even if they don’t send anything back, you will make them smile and remember a simpler time when the two of you were happy and in love.