When a Guy Takes Hours to Text Back (15 Reasons Why)

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Sometimes guys text back so quickly that it seems like they were already typing a response before you even sent your message.

Other times, they take ages to message back… and why is that?

Read on below and discover 15 things that it means when a guy takes hours to text back, as well as how to respond!

When a Guy Takes Hours to Text Back, What Does it Mean?

Guys typically text back pretty fast, but not always. Sometimes they take hours to text back.

Here are some of the most significant meanings behind those hours-long silences:

1. He Has Moved On

If he has moved on, he’s likely to take more and more time to respond to your texts. Eventually, he may not text you back at all. However, if he’s a decent guy, he’ll break one of his hours-long silences to let you know he’s over you.

2. His Feelings Are Hurt

When a guy’s feelings are hurt, he may take hours to text you back when you message him. Whether he’s upset about your choice of where to go for your next date, or the pictures of your ex-boyfriend he noticed on your phone, he’s likely to take longer than normal when texting back and forth with you.

3. He Started Talking to Someone Else

Sometimes the reason that guys take hours to message back is that they’re talking to someone else. That doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s talking to another woman, or even talking romantically period. They could be talking to friends, family, co-workers, Jehovah’s Witnesses, or even a traveling door-to-door vacuum-cleaner salesman.

4. He’s Playing Games

A big factor that often plays into guys taking longer than normal to text you back is that they’re playing games. We’re not talking about mind games here, we’re talking PlayStation and XBOX. Once the action starts, the time flies by in the wink of an eye and your unanswered texts begin aging like cheese and fine wine.

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5. He’s Losing Interest

If he’s losing interest, one of the first places you’ll notice is in your inbox. He’ll text message you less and less, and take more time in between each one. The next place you’ll notice his lack of interest is in actual phone calls, followed by enthusiasm in the bedroom. The final step may be him telling you it’s over, or even simply ghosting you.

6. He’s Busy With Other Things

When a guy is busy with life, it doesn’t matter whether he’s head over heels in love with you, or just a good friend… sometimes he’s too preoccupied with other things to text you back as quickly as you’d prefer. There’s not always a grande reason behind things, as in this case. When a guy is really busy, he’s really busy. Sometimes that’s all there is to it.

7. He’s Taking Time for Himself

Speaking of being busy with other things in life than yourself, sometimes guys just want to take a bit of time for themselves. And, there’s nothing wrong with that. But, that doesn’t make it less annoying for you when he takes hours to message you back when you send him a text.

8. He Doesn’t Know How to Communicate

Some guys don’t know how to communicate as well as others. In fact, some guys may barely know how to communicate at all. In the case that you’re dating/texting one of these savage men, have patience and realize it is nothing personal. He just doesn’t know much about communication!

9. He Was Just Having Fun with You

Guys aren’t always Princes in shining armor. Sometimes they are the opposite, and the only sweeping you off your feet they’re interested in doing is knocking you on your butt (metaphorically speaking) and leaving you to wonder what happened as the dust settles. In other words, sometimes when a guy doesn’t text you back for hours, it’s because he was simply having fun with you from the very beginning.

10. He’s Searching for the Truth

When they are searching for the truth, guys may be very calculative about putting off answering your text messages. They want to see how you react. They want to know if you’ll reach out to them, or will you simply move on to talking with someone else. Do you really love them? Or are you just killing time by talking with them?

11. He Isn’t Sure About Dating You

If a guy thinks you’re interested in a relationship, and he isn’t sure about dating you, he may not text you back as often or as quickly as you wish he would. That said, a decent guy will let you know when he makes his mind up. Whether he tells you outright, or simply starts texting you constantly, is dependent on the guy.

12. Something Bothers Him

When something bothers the guy that you’re texting, it is only natural that he takes longer than normal to reply. Whether or not the guy includes you on the issue that he is upset about depends on the guy. That said, men aren’t exactly known for letting the opposite sex in on stuff like their emotional status, deepest thoughts, and feelings,

13. He Just Wants to Be Your Friend

In the case that a guy just wants to be friends with you, and either is unclear how you feel about things or thinks that you are interested in him romantically, he may purposely take hours to answer your texts. The fact that he answers shows that he cares, but he is hoping that when he takes forever to message you it shows you he just wants to be your friend (not your man).

14. He’s Waiting to Hear from You

Even when you think that you’re messages are perfectly clear, and indicate that he should reply to you when he can, he may not see them in the same light. He could be waiting to receive more messages from you before he texts back. Further, he could be busy and forget to text and be waiting to hear from you before messaging you.

15. He’s Really a Girl Playing Mind Games

If you haven’t met the “guy” in person, it’s possible that he’s really a girl that’s playing mind games with you. It could be your arch enemy from high school or college, or even a co-worker or ex-best-friend messing with your head. That said, it could also be a random catfish artist from the internet!

How to Respond When a Guy Takes Hours to Text Back

The best way to respond when a guy takes hours to text you back depends on you, the guy, and your particular circumstances. That said, the following pointers are definitely useful to keep in mind the next time you find yourself being ignored via text message, regardless of who you are:

  • Wait for a certain period – don’t text him
  • Try not to obsess about it – don’t overthink it or blame yourself
  • Don’t text him for an explanation
  • Consider how getting a text back now would make you feel, and why
  • Avoid creating scenarios in your mind or assuming things
  • Don’t play games – just leave it alone and move on
  • Save your energy and go about life as normal
  • Remind yourself that this guy is not the center of the universe
  • Turn your phone on mute or turn off notifications – so you don’t see his text right away


Why Do Guys Not Text You Back for Hours?

When a guy doesn’t text you back for hours, it could be because he’s busy at work, or hanging out with friends or family. He could also be studying, mowing the grass, or sneaking around with his mistress. Other less flattering potential reasons include him giving you a dose of your own medicine if you’ve taken forever to text him recently, or simply playing mind games.

How Long is Too Long for a Guy to Text Back?

There is no golden rule for how long it should take a guy to text back. Some guys text back instantly, while others take a few hours or even days. The response time depends on several factors, including what the message was about, how you know the guy, how busy the guy is, and how he is feeling when he receives the text.

Is it Disrespectful to Not Reply to a Text?

While it isn’t typically considered disrespectful to not reply back to every text, generally speaking, it is expected that you will text back at some point. That said, just because someone texts you doesn’t mean you are obligated to text them back (including guys that like you).