If He Hasn’t Texted Me Back In 24 Hours, I’m Done With Him

I can’t stand it when guys play games with me, especially when it comes to texting. If I’m dating someone, I don’t think it’s too much to ask to be in regular contact. If he hasn’t texted me back in 24 hours but expects us to carry on as normal when he can finally be bothered to get in touch, he has another thing coming.

  1. He’s just playing games. Seriously, dude, I’m not an idiot. I know perfectly well that he’s trying to play with my emotions by not texting me back right away. I expect a teenage boy to do this, but not an adult man. I really wish that guys would stop wasting my time with these silly mind games and be direct with me.
  2. It makes him seem so insecure. When he doesn’t text me back right away, it makes me think that he either doesn’t know what to write or is trying to make himself seem more interesting and desirable by pretending to have a busy life. A confident guy would never do something like that because he already knows he has my interest. Grow up.
  3. He thinks I have no idea what’s going on here. Who is this guy trying to kid? Does he really think I’m going to look down at that text and go, “Wow, finally he texted me back—I feel so honored that he made time for me in his busy day!” No. I’m thinking, “That’s weird. What a weirdo.” It’s not mysterious—it’s actually super corny.
  4. I’m not about to spend my time waiting for a lazy texter. When he doesn’t text me back right away, I end up wasting my day thinking about his lack of response and why he hasn’t texted me back yet—not to mention all the time wasted checking my phone and asking my friends what it means when a guy you like hasn’t responded in an entire day. I really don’t want to spend my time doing all that.
  5. I’m over the “I’m busy” excuse. It takes a millisecond to text “k.” There’s no way he is too busy to respond to a simple text message. What about those few moments when he’s setting his alarm before bed? He definitely could have responded then. Even when I’m super busy, I still have a few minutes at the end of the day to catch up on notifications.
  6. A grown man should be able to multi-task. If he hasn’t texted me back in 24 hours, I can only conclude that he has no idea how to juggle multiple tasks at once. I don’t know why some guys act like they can’t text and do anything else at the same time. I swear I’ve seen my dad read the paper while eating cereal so I don’t think that this can be blamed on men not being able to multitask. If he comes back with, “Sorry, I was caught up in something (for literally 24 hours),” I’m not going to buy it.
  7. He’s testing me and I refuse to be an experiment. He wants to make sure I’m interested in him, so what better way than to see if I’ll reply after not texting me for a whole day. Well, the joke’s on him because I’ve already cut this guy from my dating arsenal after not hearing from him for 24 hours. I guess I failed his test?
  8. Contrary to what he was hoping, I won’t chase him. I know he thinks that ignoring me will make me go nuts for him, but all I’m seeing is a guy who has to resort to childish tactics and techniques to get a girl to like him. Not attractive.
  9. It’s too stressful to wait for a reply. Does he know what he’s doing to me when he makes me wait for a text overnight? I can’t calm down, my mind goes a mile a minute, and I constantly check my phone only to find… nothing. The stress is too much to handle, especially for a person like me who gets riled up easily.
  10. He wouldn’t have done that to a friend. He’s only doing this to me because I’m a potential date. He would never do this to one of his friends and if he did, he would apologize for not replying within the day. Sure, he doesn’t know me very well yet, but I’m still a human being.
  11. There’s something called texting etiquette—he should follow it. Considering how little time it takes to text someone back, it should never take more than a day to text someone. If it does, there should be an apology or at least a sort of recognition about how long it took to reply. Just like there are rules for dining, there are rules for texting. Look it up! It exists! I’m not kidding.
  12. He’s trying to control the situation and that’s annoying. By taking a century to text me back, he’s basically acting like a typical jerk and that’s not cute. I get it—he’s setting boundaries, he doesn’t want me to be bugging him all day and he wants to have the upper hand in the interaction. It’s just that 24 hours is so excessive. I mean, come on!

Why would it take a guy 24 hours to respond anyway?

Even the busiest guy in the world can take five seconds to answer a text. Here’s what I imagine must be happening when there’s radio silence for more than a day.

  1. He’s talking to other women. This is the first thing that springs to mind when he hasn’t texted me back in 24 hours. I know how guys’ brains operate and given that we’re “just talking” and not in an official relationship yet, there’s nothing stopping him from entertaining several women at once. If he’s not messaging me, he must be messaging one of them, which is infuriating and not something I have time for.
  2. He’s trying to play hard to get. Even if he’s not texting other women, he’s still playing childish games by trying to keep me hanging on purpose so that, what? I like him more? I think he’s super in demand and make more of an effort to get him to pay attention to me? I don’t think so. It’s common courtesy to respond to a message, especially if you’re legitimately interested in the person who sent it.
  3. He doesn’t know how he feels about me. If it’s early enough in our dating life, it’s possible that he’s taking forever to respond because he’s not sure how invested he is in me or if he likes me all that much. In a way, I get it — I don’t always know right away if I’m really into a guy. However, how’s he ever going to decide how he feels if he doesn’t talk to me?
  4. I’m not a priority to him. If he hasn’t texted me back in 24 hours, it’s clear that I don’t feature very highly on his list of priorities (if I’m on there at all, that is). It’s not that I don’t get that he might have a lot going on in his life because we all do, myself included. I also don’t expect his world to revolve around me. However, it would be nice of him to let me know that he’s tied up at the moment and will get back to me when he can. If he doesn’t, I can only assume he doesn’t care.
  5. He’s obviously not that interested. This really is the bottom line. When you like someone a lot, you want to talk to them as much as possible, especially in the beginning of the relationship. If he’s fine going a full day or maybe several days without speaking to me, then he must not be all that interested. And if he is, he sure has a funny way of showing it.
Jennifer is a playwright, dancer, and theatre nerd living in the big city of Toronto, Canada. She studied Creative Writing at Concordia University and works as a lifestyle writer who focuses on Health, B2B, Tech, Psychology, Science, Food Trends and Millennial Life. She's also a coreographer, playwright, and lyricist, with choreography credits for McMaster University’s “Spring Awakening,” “Roxanne” for the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival, and “The Beaver Den” for The LOT, among others.

You can see more of her work on her Contently page and follow her on Instagram @jenniferenchin.