My Boyfriend Takes Ages To Reply: Should I Be Worried?

My boyfriend takes ages to reply

If your boyfriend takes ages to reply, are you concerned something is amiss in your relationship?

Before you suddenly panic that your partnership is under strain, there are multiple different factors you need to take into account.

You should know your boyfriend’s texting mannerisms. If he is prone to taking a couple of hours to reply, he probably does not like to have his phone on him when he needs to focus on work or activities.

It’s a healthy indicator when your boyfriend does not respond straight away to your texts. It shows that he can be independent and focus on his own goals. If you are the same, you can call this an interdependent relationship.

The context of your message is an important detail in whether or not an immediate response is warranted. If you send an urgent text needing help, then yes, your boyfriend should reply as soon as he’s seen it. However, if you just message a ‘I miss you’, it may not be interpreted as a priority for him to reply.

With this guide, we well delver deeper into the reasons why your boyfriend takes ages to reply, and what signs you should look out for before you can consider this as a cause for concern. We will also expand a bit more on what an interdependent relationship looks like, and how it effects the text game in a partnership.

Why does my boyfriend take ages to reply?

My boyfriend takes ages to reply
My boyfriend takes ages to reply

Your boyfriend will take ages to reply if he’s busy with a task or activity that will consume all of his focus. Previous research has found that men find it more difficult to ‘multitask’. This is because men use more brainpower to change between tasks compared to women.

If you’ve messaged him while he’s at work, or at some sort of event that requires him to focus, he won’t be thinking about sending a text response until he’s got time to read what you’ve sent without being distracted.

It’s a good indicator that he can function normally outside of the relationship if your boyfriend takes ages to reply to your messages. This is a telltale sign of interdependency, which we will discuss in more detail further into the article.

There are a few other reasons why your boyfriend may be taking ages to reply;

1. They’re overwhelmed

Are you sending your boyfriend a copious number of messages throughout the day? If you are, he could be overwhelmed and may feel the need to have some ‘breathing space’ before he replies to you.

Especially if he’s at work, he won’t want to be continuously on his phone responding to texts.

Another thing to consider is how you send a message. Do you send multiple texts all at once or a long essay that will require your boyfriend to take time to read? This can make it more difficult for someone to process and may step back from sending a reply until he feels he’s ready.

2. He’s not with his phone

Your boyfriend may have just left his phone in another room, and he didn’t hear the notification come through.

He may have his mobile near him, but if it’s set on silent, he won’t hear the alert and will reply to your message as soon as he checks his phone.

3. He forgot to reply

We’ve all opened a text when we’ve been busy with something else, and planned to reply at a later stage but end up forgetting about it.

If your boyfriend opens your message but is busy with something else, he intended to reply, but just forgot to do so.

4. They’re waiting to speak in person

Depending on the context of your message, it could be a topic that your boyfriend feels he wants to discuss in person, rather than over text.

If he knows he’s going to see you shortly, he could just be holding off replying to you.

5. There’s no urgency

Did you perhaps send your boyfriend a message that does not necessarily warrant a reply? If so, he may feel there’s no need to actively respond to your text.

This could be anything in the form of ‘How are you’, ‘I miss you’ and ‘What are you doing’.

6. You’re not a priority

If your boyfriend has seen your message and he’s not doing anything of much importance without replying to you,  you may just not be a priority.

This doesn’t need to be a warning sign just yet, but you will need to take note if this happens on an odd occasion, or if it is a continuous pattern that you’re left on delivered or read.

7. The form of message you’ve sent

Some messages should expect an urgent response.

If you’ve sent an emergency text to your boyfriend, asking for help or that you need him urgently, he should reply almost immediately, or as soon as he’s seen the message (he may not be with his phone when you send it).

How long is too long for my boyfriend to text back?

My boyfriend takes ages to reply
My boyfriend takes ages to reply

You can consider anything longer than twelve hours to be too long for your boyfriend to text you back. Specifically, if it’s during the week, your boyfriend will be at work, followed by any additional hobbies he may partake in, eg; gym or sports. Depending on what type of texter he is, he may only message you back once he’s home.

How long is too long for your boyfriend to text you back will also depend on a few factors in your relationship, as well as his personality traits.

If there’s good communication and trust between the two of you, you should not worry about a couple of hours going by before your significant other responds to your message.

(Did you know; When you try and read a message while you’re in the middle of completing a task, it can slow down your reaction time to be the same as seventy year old person).

Your boyfriend may not be a fan of texting, and would much prefer waiting to have a verbal conversation with you. If you know this about him, you should be aware that your message may not receive a response.

A message response that takes longer than twelve hours without an explanation, could be a warning sign that something could be wrong in the relationship, or even a safety concern.

When should I start to worry when my boyfriend takes ages to reply?

My boyfriend takes ages to reply
My boyfriend takes ages to reply

If your boyfriend has suddenly changed his normal behaviour from responding to your texts pretty quickly, to taking ages to reply, this could be a cause for concern. Before you start to panic, you will need to look at how your relationship has been as a whole. Has the communication between the two of you gone astray?

Are you facing any difficulties within your relationship?

The longer your boyfriend takes to respond to your message, the less he may value the conversation. If there is no valuable reason for the delay, along with changed behaviour towards you, you may want to consider speaking to him about it.

What to do when he takes long to reply?

If you’ve noticed a consistent break in your boyfriend’s texting pattern, and there’s been a few setbacks in your current relationship, you should consider having a chat with him about it.

You don’t want to accuse him of anything, as it could be from external factors that have altered his text responses. This could be stress or wanting some space after an argument.

We advise you to speak to your boyfriend in a non-accusatory tone, to not make him feel defensive, and to have the conversation go nowhere.

You should focus more on letting him know how it makes you feel. Here are a few examples of how you can initiate a conversation;

  • ‘When you don’t reply to me, I feel…’
  • ‘I really appreciate it when you text me back, it makes me feel important’

This will stop you from jumping to any conclusions, and can even help improve the communication in your relationship.

What is an interdependence relationship?

Couple laughing
My boyfriend takes ages to reply

An interdependency relationship is where both individuals can live with the freedom to act independently. This entails being able to make your own decisions without having to rely on your partner to do things for you. If you’re in an interdependency relationship, you won’t need your partner to reply to you straight away, and he won’t feel like he has to. 

If your boyfriend takes ages to reply, it will show that he can focus on himself and his own responsibilities without being too attached to you.

This will apply to you too. You won’t need to reply to his messages immediately. You will both feel secure in your relationship, and help each other achieve your own independent goals.

An interdependency relationship will have balance. Neither you, nor your boyfriend will rely more on the other person to feel secure, or provide the other with self-esteem.

What is a codependent relationship?

A codependent relationship is the opposite of an interdependent relationship. In this partnership, there is an unequal balance where either you or he rely on the other person for their self-worth and self-esteem.

If you are codependent in your relationship, you won’t feel good when your boyfriend takes ages to reply. It will start to diminish how you feel about yourself.

You will rely on him to respond to your texts as soon as possible, otherwise, you’ll start to panic and possibly feel anxious.

If you believe you may be codependent, it will be a good idea for you to focus a bit more on yourself, and spend time doing things that you enjoy.

An active lifestyle, whether you’re pursuing a hobby, or spending time with friends will allow you to break away from relying solely on your relationship.

For more tips on how to overcome codependency, Healthline has a very informative guide that you can read.


Now that you know the most common reasons why your boyfriend may take ages to reply, we hope you can make a better judgement on whether or not you should be concerned.

It’s important to keep in mind that in your relationship, it’s healthy for you and your partner to live your own lives, and focus on your goals and aspirations without needing to rely on each other.

If, however, his actions have suddenly changed towards you, and he consistently does not respond to your messages, we recommend you have a conversation with your boyfriend, without any accusations, as he could just be stressed with other matters.

Be mindful of what type of texts you’re sending him, and in what manner. You could be concerned he’s not responding to you, when you’ve been sending him content that does not require him to reply.

(Quiz Question; what happens to your reaction time when you try and read a message while you’re busy with a task?).

If you know the answer, drop it in the comments box below.

My Boyfriend Takes Ages To Reply: Should I Be Worried?

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