If Your Partner Takes Forever To Text You Back, Here’s How To Talk To Them About It

I love texting. Wait, let me rephrase that: I am grateful for texting. That’s because I remember the barbaric dark ages when you used to have to actually call people. So much small talk, so many awkward moments when you would want to get off the phone but couldn’t because the other person was refusing to wrap it up. Fortunately for some, those dark days are over and now we can just skip all the chatter. However, even texting is not without little, ahem, irritating quirks, like being left “on read” or when your partner takes forever to text you back Here’s what to do when your partner takes a really long time to reply.

If you feel like your partner leaves your texts hanging regularly, it can be really frustrating. But is this something you can even address? If the two of you are in a healthy relationship, you should be able to talk to them about anything, so really the question is: How do you bring it up with them? To help with that, I reached out to NYC relationship expert Susan Winter and clinical psychologist Joshua Klapow, Ph.D., to weigh in on how long is too long to reasonably wait for a response, and what to do if your partner refuses to hear you out.

How Long Should You Reasonably Wait For A Reply?

'What's your schedule like this week?' is a 'We Need To Talk' text to send your partner that is firm, but fair

Shutterstock

I have to be honest — I am not exactly the most patient person. When I send a text, I really expect to hear back pretty much right away. But I also realize that’s not really fair, so the question is: How long should you wait for a reply from your partner? Winter says that all depends on a few factors. For instance, “If you’re in an exclusive relationship where there’s trust and a good sense of communication, a couple of hours would be OK — especially if your partner’s busy at work or traveling.” Winter says to only consider getting worried when you “already suspect something may be amiss in [your] relationship.” Additionally, she suggests noting when there’s “a break in the pattern. This can often be a red flag.”

Klapow too points out that circumstances and content really vary between relationships and individual messages — if someone’s in class or in an important meeting, you’re probably not going to get a response within five minutes, or possibly even an hour or two. “People text on different cadences depending on a couple of different factors,” he says, including what they’re doing and their own personal texting style. “One of the things I caution people is that there very often is a context to why they’re responding quicker or slower that may have nothing to do with you or their interest.”

But if your partner normally gets back to you pretty quickly and then starts letting hours pass, Winter says it’s understandable to get a little nervous. “This is especially the case if there’s no good reason for the delay. At this point it looks like a case of disrespect,” she says. “And anything longer than 12 hours begins to look like something far more problematic; an illness, a crisis, or direct avoidance.” Klapow, in turn, gives 24 hours as a start-to-worry mark.

How To Talk To Your Partner About It

Assuming that the delay in response is not just a one-off or isn’t accompanied by a good explanation, it’s reasonable to bring it up with your partner. Klapow advises opening the conversation in a non-accusatory way, with the purpose of seeking information. “I would communicate that you are wondering why there seems to be such a delay,” he says. He suggests questions like whether there are times that your partner just isn’t able to respond, or what they see as an appropriately timely texting response. The overall point, he says, is to understand each others’ communication style and expectations.

One thing not to do? Set a firm deadline for when they need to respond. “Before you set quotas on how much time or how quickly [to respond],” he says, “you need to understand your partner more.”

Winter offers some suggestions on how to initiate a conversation about how your partner’s “habitual problem of being tardy with their texts … makes you feel.” She suggests:

“When you don’t respond to me, I feel like a non-priority. That hurts.”

“When it takes a couple of hours to hear back from you, I feel diminished and unimportant to you.”

“It really makes me happy when you text me back right away. It makes me feel closer to you.”

Focusing on the effect it has on you, rather than coming at them with an accusatory tone, will help prevent them from going on the defensive and make them more likely to hear you out.

Another important thing to consider? How you’ve been texting them. If you’re spamming them with texts in a short time, or asking three questions all at once in a four-inch-long block, your partner might not have the ability to respond quickly or with an in-depth text. “Those are the kinds of things that sometimes are hard for people to process,” Klapow says. “And that should be part of your conversation.”

Here’s What To Do If Nothing Changes

Attractive man wears hoodie, ignores live communication with wife, focused in modern smart phone, reads news online, sad dark skinned woman feels jealous as her husabnd messages with someone

Shutterstock

If nothing changes after you’ve spoken to your partner about how you feel, Winter says you may want to first try digging a little deeper in order to see if you can get at the cause of why they are lagging in getting back to you.

“Ask your partner why they don’t bother to respond,” suggests Winter. “Is it that they hate texting? Is there a reason for the conscious neglect of a response?” She adds that it’s important to “explain that you’re not trying to monitor their activity. You’re trying to establish a natural and fluid flow of communication that reflects mutual respect for each other,” adding, “Explain that a timely response acknowledges your text and makes for a happy partnership.”

“Make it about the relationship,” Klapow advises, instead of something your partner has supposedly done wrong. “This has to do with how you communicate. He points out that if someone simply ignored or didn’t reply to a question in person, it would be unacceptable. “You wouldn’t just not say anything. You might say, ‘I’m busy, can I answer you in 10 minutes?’ … Texting sort of works the same way.”

The question now is: If your partner isn’t changing their texting behavior, is it a relationship killer? Winter says it really depends. For example, “if the only place your relationship is suffering is in the ‘text realm,’ you may still be fine. Every relationship has its issues. If you know your partner loves you (yet has this quirk), you may just have to suck it up. Or, suggest they call you.” However, it can also be a symptom of a larger problem in the relationship, one worth taking a deeper look at. “A lapse in communication is only an issue when it’s the tip of the iceberg,” says Winter. “If this is one of many issues where you find yourself disrespected and marginalized, then do yourself a favor and reevaluate your partnership.”

One final thing to consider: Is this just an issue of them being a little tardy in answering you? Or is it really just another symptom of a more serious problem in the relationship? Really, only you can answer that question, but it may mean facing truths that you’ve been avoiding. But the bottom line is that you deserve to be in a relationship where you feel valued and respected. So, find that person, and you’ll likely find that all the texting stuff falls into place. But seriously though, don’t leave me “on read.”

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

Facebook: phicklephilly       Instagram: @phicklephilly       Twitter: @phicklephilly

Be Unfuckwithable: 5 Solid Ways To Be More Resilient

Things will go wrong. It always does. That doesn’t mean you have to hide in the corner and start crying again. You can burn the darkness and overcome all this shit right now. All you have to do is be Unfuckwithable.

The world is a crazy place, and right in the middle of it all if you, trying to make a decent go of things.

Then life starts fucking with you. Messing up your plans. Letting you down. Throwing a drink in your face.

Not just life, but people too. Yeah, actual humans who come along with their own ideas and plans and who aren’t backward in telling you how to do things or where you’re going wrong.

It’s not fair.

So when life starts fucking with you, wouldn’t it be cool to be a little bit more…unfuckwithable?

A bit more resilient. A bit less fragile. A whole lot more confident. Because then, you could do more of what you want rather than feeling like you’re dealing with obstacle after obstacle.

Well, is this your lucky day, because here are five ways you can be more unfuckwithable, starting right now.

1. Get Real With Yourself

You can’t be unfuckwithable while you’re fucking yourself over. So, first of all, you have to get real with yourself.

The things you’re pushing away need to be faced. The things you’re denying the need to be accepted. The things you don’t want to think about the need to be welcomed in.

This is not easy, not by a long stretch. It takes courage and it takes time. But squaring up to how you’ve been doing yourself a disservice is essential, otherwise, there’s a whole universe of things that will keep fucking with you.

It starts with a little honesty. Some real, bare, honesty that shines a light on the things that you’re trying to keep in the dark. These don’t need to be big, life-changing secrets, like being with the wrong person, denying your sexuality or not facing grief. They can be smaller, more subtle things like a fear of intimacy, shame about being an introvert or not facing up to an issue in your family.

You have to get real with yourself, no matter what you do with what you find. Call it tough love, but it is love. A radical act of love towards yourself to own who you are and where you are.

 

2. Tell Better Stories

The stories you tell yourself will fuck with you longer and deeper than anyone else ever will.

When you tell yourself the story that “other people are better at this than me”, you’ll feel on the back foot and not good enough. When you tell yourself the story that you need to “fit in”, you’re prioritizing the safety of not be singled out over bringing everything you’ve got to the moment you’re in. And when you tell yourself the story that “I can’t screw up or fail”, you’ll never risk much of anything and never gain much of anything.

Your stories shape your experience. When you start telling yourself better stories, you get a better experience.

Your brain constructs stories that fit its MO to minimize risk, maximize reward. Anything that keeps you safe stops you from being rejected or keeps you from risking failure is all the reward it needs. So those are the stories it tells you.

But there are different stories. Better stories. Like the one about how you’ll be okay, no matter what happens. Or the one where you’re greater than the sum of your parts and can learn and grow in ways that means to you. Or the one where you’re already worthy of love and belonging.

A huge part of being unfuckwithable is seeing the stories you tell yourself that fuck you over, then finding new stories that serve you better.

 

3. Park the Drama

Drama is for the Kardashian-loving, opinion-spewing, self-important fools of the world.

Drama is mired in detail. He said, she said. Who did what? Who didn’t do what? Who likes who. Who hates who. The real problem is. What should have happened is. I can’t believe they did that. And then what happened is. And then. And then. And then. And then. And then.

When you’re in the drama, all you can see is the endless, rolling, tumultuous detail and how unfair it all is. It puts you in a place where the whole world is fucking around and not listening to you. It puts you in a place where you’re endlessly fucked with.

The drama keeps you busy while your view of what really matters gets clouded. And it’s the stuff that matters to you—whether it’s love, creativity, contribution, laughter, connection or whatever else—that makes life rich with texture and possibility.

Being unfuckwithable means elevating yourself above the stuff that keeps fucking with you. Go to where the meaning is, not the trivial. Go to where the potential is, not the problems. Go to where the vision is, not the vultures.

 

4. Engage, don’t struggle

How many times in your life have you struggled against where you found yourself? A relationship that didn’t feel right or took an unwanted swerve. A job that bored you or kept you feeling stuck. Or a life that seems to be a string of “almosts” and struggles to come into focus.

It sure seems like life is a struggle for a lot of people, but I wonder about that. I wonder about the idea of struggle as a noble or necessary thing. The idea that you’re like a beleaguered soldier, trying to do what’s right and battling against all the stuff out there that’s against you.

It sets up conflict right from the start. You against the world, in a forceful effort to get free of constraint or resist attack. It’s a conflict that’s not just exhausting but fucks with how you see yourself and how you see your place in the world.

So don’t struggle, engage. When you find yourself in a situation or circumstance that you’d rather not be in, own it. Welcome it. Love it.

Because it’s only when you love the hell you’re in that you get to make choices based on the best of you rather than your worst.

It’s only when you drop the weighty and frustrating “Why me…?” and start the weightless and freeing “Now then…” that you get to make good choices based on the fact that you’re already whole and worthy of love and belonging.

So fuck struggling. Engage.

 

5. Take a stand

Taking a stand is that thing you do when someone or something comes at you and asks you to step aside. Literature, movies, and history are filled with people who did it—Martin Luther King. Erin Brockavich. Captain America. Mother Theresa. Harry freakin’ Potter.

Of course, if your spine happens to made from damp socks then you’ll fold quicker than Superman on laundry day.

Rolling over instead of taking a stand for something that matters to you does 3 things:

  • diminishes your sense that you can have a meaningful impact
  • sets up patterns of behaviour where people-pleasing and fitting in is more important than making a decision that matters
  • fucks with you

Now, this doesn’t mean that you always have to come out swinging, that you have to transform a community or save the world. Taking a stand might simply be saying “No” when you’re asked to work the weekend because you want to spend quality time with someone you love. It might mean prioritizing a personal project (getting fit, writing a book, setting up a business) over slouching in front of the TV. Or it might mean making a choice towards gratitude and wholeheartedness instead of cynicism and judgment.

Say no when you need to. Face a challenge when it’s right to. Be responsible when it’s easier not to. Because when you know what really matters to you, and that includes what you will and won’t compromise on, you can’t be fucked with.

 

So many ways to fuck with yourself

There are so many more ways you get to fuck with yourself. Trying to self-validate your identity by people-pleasing and being a bottomless pit. Chasing an unchallenged notion of success because that’s what you’ve been told or trained to do. Not owning your story or your self because there’s something there that makes you uncomfortable or challenges your beliefs, only to find that same lack of ownership is exactly what’s keeping you stuck.

With all these ways to fuck with yourself, it’s a miracle you get anything done.

But you do get things done. You have times when you do something that gives you the warm fuzzies because, well, it just matters. You have times when you smash through a challenge because you bring your best to it and do what comes naturally. And you have times when you connect with someone deeply or laugh yourself silly because you accept the fact that you’re already enough.

Acceptance over denial. Ease over struggle. Integration over separation.

This is how you stop fucking with yourself and start living.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Listen to phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

Facebook: phicklephilly       Instagram: @phicklephilly       Twitter: @phicklephilly

 

If Your Partner Takes Forever To Text You Back, Here’s How To Talk To Them About It

I love texting. Wait, let me rephrase that: I am grateful for texting. That’s because I remember the barbaric dark ages when you used to have to actually call people. So much small talk, so many awkward moments when you would want to get off the phone but couldn’t because the other person was refusing to wrap it up. Fortunately for some, those dark days are over and now we can just skip all the chatter. However, even texting is not without little, ahem, irritating quirks, like being left “on read” or when your partner takes forever to text you back Here’s what to do when your partner takes a really long time to reply.

If you feel like your partner leaves your texts hanging regularly, it can be really frustrating. But is this something you can even address? If the two of you are in a healthy relationship, you should be able to talk to them about anything, so really the question is: How do you bring it up with them? To help with that, I reached out to NYC relationship expert Susan Winter and clinical psychologist Joshua Klapow, Ph.D., to weigh in on how long is too long to reasonably wait for a response, and what to do if your partner refuses to hear you out.

How Long Should You Reasonably Wait For A Reply?

'What's your schedule like this week?' is a 'We Need To Talk' text to send your partner that is firm, but fair

Shutterstock

I have to be honest — I am not exactly the most patient person. When I send a text, I really expect to hear back pretty much right away. But I also realize that’s not really fair, so the question is: How long should you wait for a reply from your partner? Winter says that all depends on a few factors. For instance, “If you’re in an exclusive relationship where there’s trust and a good sense of communication, a couple of hours would be OK — especially if your partner’s busy at work or traveling.” Winter says to only consider getting worried when you “already suspect something may be amiss in [your] relationship.” Additionally, she suggests noting when there’s “a break in the pattern. This can often be a red flag.”

Klapow too points out that circumstances and content really vary between relationships and individual messages — if someone’s in class or in an important meeting, you’re probably not going to get a response within five minutes, or possibly even an hour or two. “People text on different cadences depending on a couple of different factors,” he says, including what they’re doing and their own personal texting style. “One of the things I caution people is that there very often is a context to why they’re responding quicker or slower that may have nothing to do with you or their interest.”

But if your partner normally gets back to you pretty quickly and then starts letting hours pass, Winter says it’s understandable to get a little nervous. “This is especially the case if there’s no good reason for the delay. At this point it looks like a case of disrespect,” she says. “And anything longer than 12 hours begins to look like something far more problematic; an illness, a crisis, or direct avoidance.” Klapow, in turn, gives 24 hours as a start-to-worry mark.

How To Talk To Your Partner About It

Assuming that the delay in response is not just a one-off or isn’t accompanied by a good explanation, it’s reasonable to bring it up with your partner. Klapow advises opening the conversation in a non-accusatory way, with the purpose of seeking information. “I would communicate that you are wondering why there seems to be such a delay,” he says. He suggests questions like whether there are times that your partner just isn’t able to respond, or what they see as an appropriately timely texting response. The overall point, he says, is to understand each others’ communication style and expectations.

One thing not to do? Set a firm deadline for when they need to respond. “Before you set quotas on how much time or how quickly [to respond],” he says, “you need to understand your partner more.”

Winter offers some suggestions on how to initiate a conversation about how your partner’s “habitual problem of being tardy with their texts … makes you feel.” She suggests:

“When you don’t respond to me, I feel like a non-priority. That hurts.”

“When it takes a couple of hours to hear back from you, I feel diminished and unimportant to you.”

“It really makes me happy when you text me back right away. It makes me feel closer to you.”

Focusing on the effect it has on you, rather than coming at them with an accusatory tone, will help prevent them from going on the defensive and make them more likely to hear you out.

Another important thing to consider? How you’ve been texting them. If you’re spamming them with texts in a short time, or asking three questions all at once in a four-inch-long block, your partner might not have the ability to respond quickly or with an in-depth text. “Those are the kinds of things that sometimes are hard for people to process,” Klapow says. “And that should be part of your conversation.”

Here’s What To Do If Nothing Changes

Attractive man wears hoodie, ignores live communication with wife, focused in modern smart phone, reads news online, sad dark skinned woman feels jealous as her husabnd messages with someone

Shutterstock

If nothing changes after you’ve spoken to your partner about how you feel, Winter says you may want to first try digging a little deeper in order to see if you can get at the cause of why they are lagging in getting back to you.

“Ask your partner why they don’t bother to respond,” suggests Winter. “Is it that they hate texting? Is there a reason for the conscious neglect of a response?” She adds that it’s important to “explain that you’re not trying to monitor their activity. You’re trying to establish a natural and fluid flow of communication that reflects mutual respect for each other,” adding, “Explain that a timely response acknowledges your text and makes for a happy partnership.”

“Make it about the relationship,” Klapow advises, instead of something your partner has supposedly done wrong. “This has to do with how you communicate. He points out that if someone simply ignored or didn’t reply to a question in person, it would be unacceptable. “You wouldn’t just not say anything. You might say, ‘I’m busy, can I answer you in 10 minutes?’ … Texting sort of works the same way.”

The question now is: If your partner isn’t changing their texting behavior, is it a relationship killer? Winter says it really depends. For example, “if the only place your relationship is suffering is in the ‘text realm,’ you may still be fine. Every relationship has its issues. If you know your partner loves you (yet has this quirk), you may just have to suck it up. Or, suggest they call you.” However, it can also be a symptom of a larger problem in the relationship, one worth taking a deeper look at. “A lapse in communication is only an issue when it’s the tip of the iceberg,” says Winter. “If this is one of many issues where you find yourself disrespected and marginalized, then do yourself a favor and reevaluate your partnership.”

One final thing to consider: Is this just an issue of them being a little tardy in answering you? Or is it really just another symptom of a more serious problem in the relationship? Really, only you can answer that question, but it may mean facing truths that you’ve been avoiding. But the bottom line is that you deserve to be in a relationship where you feel valued and respected. So, find that person, and you’ll likely find that all the texting stuff falls into place. But seriously though, don’t leave me “on read.”

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

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