By Chris Seiter

Published on November 2nd, 2021

If you have gone through a breakup and are interested in trying to rekindle things with your ex it can be annoying when they don’t text you back right away.

I went to our special private facebook support group and asked real people going through breakups what they thought the top reasons for why an ex would take so long to text back were.

In all there were nine “reasons” that I thought were important enough to list here.

  1. They’re Trying Not To Seem Like They’re Too Eager
  2. They’re Actually Not That Interested
  3. They’re Unsure Of How To Respond
  4. They’ve Never Been That Into Texting
  5. They’re Having An Emotional Reaction
  6. They’re Busy With Work Or Play
  7. They’re Talking To Someone And Keeping You On The Backburner
  8. They’re Trying to Stay Consistent With Their Decision
  9. They’re Trying To Repress Thinking About You

I thought the best way to tackle these nine reasons was to take a moment to explain what they are but also dive in to what their “tells are.” After all, if you’re reading this article what you’re more interested in than anything is being able to decipher which of the reasons is consistent for your situation.

Let’s get after it.

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Reason #1: Trying To Make It Seem Like They’re Not Too Eager

So, what does this look like?

Generally when someone is trying to make it seem like they’re not too eager it means that they are very interested in rekindling things but don’t want to seem too eager about it.


Well, in 90% of our clients cases they are the ones on the receiving end of the breakup which means the ex that is trying not to look too eager in going back on the breakup. After all, it’s hard to admit that you may have made a mistake breaking up with your ex. So, some people tend to take the slow approach.

That’s what typically happens here.

What Is The Tell?

Generally speaking if your ex is exhibiting this one they will respond to your text messages and will seem interested when they do.

If you have an ex who is responding after a while but doesn’t seem to want to continue the conversation based on their interested level you probably aren’t in this category. On the other hand if they seem super interested and engaged it’s a good sign that your ex could be in this category.

Let’s move on.

Reason #2: Actually Not That Interested

Sometimes there isn’t a grand conspiracy around their actions.

Sometimes what they do is what they mean.

In other words, they say they want to break up with you so they do so and they aren’t interested in pursuing a reconnection at all.

The most important thing to grasp here is the tell.

What Is The Tell?

So, if you have an ex falls into this category they will respond to you but only do the bare minimum.

That includes conversation starters and body based text messages.

So, what does the bare minimum look like?

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Imagine you send this text message.

And they respond with a simple no.

Sometimes they won’t even respond in a nice way. Sometimes they’ll be incredibly rude.

The theme is generally consistent. They don’t want to be nice to you or they don’t want to respond with any interest.

I do want to note that having an ex “respond” in this way one time doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t interested. Ultimately what we are looking for is this happening over a consistent basis.

Let’s move on.

Reason #3: Unsure Of How To Respond

One of the things that sets us apart from our competitors when it comes to advising our clients on text messages is the fact that we really condone open ended questions.

In fact, we do this so much that it becomes an almost daily conversation within our private facebook support group.

The problem with open ended questions though is that sometimes exes don’t know how to respond to them.

Sometimes you can ask a question so difficult that they freeze up and just become silence.

So, what does that actually look like?

What Is The Tell? 

There are two behaviors that you want to keep an eye out for here.

When confronted with a subject that an ex doesn’t have a response to you can expect them to either

  1. Change the subject
  2. Respond in a neutral/non committal way

Let’s move on.

Reason #4: They’ve Never Been That Into Texting

This one is perhaps the easiest to figure out. If you noticed your ex doing one of the following,

  • Not responding in a timely manner
  • Not responding at all

It is possible that they are doing this because they’ve never really jumped on the texting bandwagon.

What Is The Tell?

You dated this person so you should know better than anyone what their texting habits are. If they didn’t really text much during your relationships I doubt that’s changing now.

Ultimately all you need to do is pay attention to their history with texting.

That’s it.

Reason #5: Having An Emotional Reaction

One thing you’re probably noticing as we get deeper and deeper into this list is that often the explanation of “what” is taking them so long to respond is wrapped up in the “why” are they taking so long.

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That’s certainly the case with this one.

So, I’m going to call an audible here and jump right into the tell because it will help explain what this looks like.

What Is The Tell?

Let’s imagine that you and your ex are texting and things seem to be going pretty well.

Thinking you’re ok to push things along you get into a really emotional subject a little too quickly.

This can be,

  • Talking about the past relationship
  • Asking to go on a date too soon
  • Pushing them on a topic they aren’t ready to talk about yet

We know from studying the avoidant that when you approach them with things that they are ready to process they tend to exit conversations or disappear. That’s generally what’s happening here. So, the best way to tell if your ex is getting caught up in this is to simply look at the conversation you had with them before they fell off the face of the earth.

Could they take it in an emotional way?

Reason #6: They Are Busy With Work Or Play

I’m a slave to my schedule.

During the weekdays it usually goes something like this.

  • Wake up and take a shower
  • Go to my office and work
  • Break to go for a workout
  • Get lunch
  • Go back to finish work
  • Spend time with family
  • Work on my magnum opus 
  • Relax and then go to bed

You’ll notice that I put a few areas in bold. Those are the areas that I won’t be texting around with people. In fact, I actually hate being interrupted when I’m doing those things.

Everyone has their own unique schedule and sometimes if your ex is in the zone on that schedule they don’t want to be interrupted and they won’t respond.

What’s interesting though is I included “gaming” on that non-interrupting schedule.

I did that because of how often women in our facebook group mentioned it,

What Is The Tell?

I thought about this a lot and think the only way to really tell if you are experiencing this is if you have some knowledge of your exes work schedule.

Does this period of long responses happen around the same time every day?

If so then just manage your expectations not to receive responses around this time.

Reason #7: Talking To Someone Else And Keeping You On The Back Burner

In some ways this may be the worst experience in the world.

Generally speaking an ex who is doing this will be hot and cold with you a lot. In other words, one minute they’ll flirt and it’ll seem like old times and the next they just disappear.


Well, it’s because they are probably focusing in on the other person during those “cold” times.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

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What Is The Tell?

There’s one simple way to tell if they are doing this to you.

Figure out if they are dating someone else.

Make sure you pay attention to their dating habits on social media. I would give you advice on how to figure out if your ex is dating someone new but something tells me you already know what to do.

Reason #8: Trying To Stay Consistent With Their Decision

No one likes to admit they made a mistake.

This is especially true when it comes to relationships. Imagine for a moment that you decided you wanted to break up with your ex (maybe you really did but bear with me here.)

Despite the fact that you broke up with them your feelings for them linger and doubt creeps in.

With doubt creeping in you determine that regret isn’t too far behind.

So, rather than admit you might have been too hasty about ending this relationship you decide to stay stubborn and generally you do that by not even responding or talking to your ex.

What Is The Tell?

One of our moderators experienced an ex with this exact mindset. Turns out that the ex was nice enough to send her a text explaining exactly why he wasn’t responding.

So, essentially if an ex outright tells you that they fear rekindling the relationship it’s a sign that they don’t want to regret their decision to break up with you.

It’s also a sign that whatever type of text messages you were sending to build rapport was effective enough to warrant an emotional response.

Let’s follow this thread into the next reason.

Reason #9: Trying To Repress Thinking About You

Sometimes an ex will completely try to repress thinking about you.

One thing I’ve established with the avoidant personality is that they often value their independence at a level so high that anything that threatens that independence causes them to run the other way.

So, getting back in touch with you can sometimes trigger that side.

What Is The Tell?

There’s a pretty consistent tell to keep an eye out for with this one.

Generally speaking your ex will fall off the face of the earth and not respond at all.

After A LOT of time goes by you’ll suddenly hear from them again and then the process repeats over and over again.

It really signifies the internal battle they are experiencing in side if you think about it.

One part of them wants to admit that they find you intoxicating but another part of them goes to war with that and makes them want to run. This internal battle is essential for understanding the core reasons for why they try to repress thinking about you.

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2 thoughts on “Why Does My Ex Take So Long To Text Back?”

  1. Kath

    November 28, 2021 at 4:24 pm

    I broke up with my ex because we’re not a good fit, plain and simple. This may sound selfish, but it’s how I feel: He has anger issues and is possessive. Does not have a stable career with finances saved up. I do, and that stings, and sucks becauseI found him very good looking. He’s kind of realized he’s responsible for our break up in small ways, but still doesn’t realize the in depth reasons above. I wish he were the responsible and secure type, but unfortunately not……which is why I’m torn altogether. Just because I don’t want to change him, so I left. I did explain too him that we weren’t a good fit. And again, that saddens me. But, I move on anyway. Thanks to your very helpful program.

  2. Natasha

    November 6, 2021 at 11:29 am

    Me and my ex got into a huge argument the other day. It was a small thing that escalated very quickly & I said some mean things to him. We have been arguing a lot lately. He wants to get married but I told him we need to solve our differences first. We are in an LDR. During that argument He told me to find another guy. I don’t even know if we have broken up properly because he hasn’t messaged me since the argument, but going by what he said I’m assuming so.

    I have messaged him asking if he meant those words. I sent him a long email saying sorry and telling him how I feel and why I responded that way. He has not replied to me at all but I know he has seen my messages.

    He made a post on Snapchat of a tweet saying if you have a good guy value him. Which I know is aimed at me. This is the first time he has totally ignored me and I have a feeling that he may never respond to me again. As he has told me in the past that disrespect is a dealbreaker for him.
    The issue is that he can also be very disrespectful to me too and has hurt me numerous times, but he doesn’t see it. I know he is only seeing what I did to him, A lot of what I said to him the other day was out of hurt. But I know he won’t see it this way.

    I’ve decided not to contact him anymore. But I have a feeling that he won’t contact me ever again.

    Thank you