How Long Should You Wait to Respond to a Text?

Online Dating

How Long Should You Wait to Respond to a Text?

Julie Spira Julie Spira • 11/06/15

He loves me. He loves me not. Gone are the days when single men and women sit at home and wait for the phone to ring after a date.


Need help finding a date? Match.com is the largest dating site out there, and the best part is you can try it free for 3 days.


When it comes to digital dating, it turns out the cell phone has now become a single dater’s best friend. Here’s how to determine how long you should wait to respond to a text:

Users Say 1-3 Hours is Appropriate

A recent JDate and ChristianMingle study titled “Mobile’s Impact on Dating & Relationships” revealed cell phones are causing anxiety among singles.

Some singles admit they sleep with their cell phones in bed with them, or at least at arm’s reach, with 64 percent believing the quality of their relationships with those they are dating has improved as a result of mobile phone technology.

Further delving into the study, it appears the acceptable response time to a text message from someone you’ve just started dating has shrunk.

Among the 1,500 singles aged 21 to 50 in the study, 60 percent said they expected a response to a text within one to three hours and another 35 percent actually expect a reply within one hour.

Is 1-3 Hours Too Long to Wait?

If you don’t reply to someone in four to eight hours, you’re suddenly tossed in the digital doghouse? Apparently so, as those surveyed won’t tolerate waiting an entire day to get a reply.

When USA Today interviewed me about the results of this survey, I said if you’re able to, you should send a reply within one to four hours.

However, there are some who believe in playing the game of making someone wait to hear back. In online dating and with your mobile phone, sometimes the squeaky wheel gets the deal.

If your mobile phone is handy, then I believe you should respond to the text if you can in a reasonable amount of time. If that means it’s within minutes, so be it.

“Don’t let missing a text define

the health of your relationship.”

It’s a digital conversation that’s becoming the norm these days, not a monologue.

Think about your relationship once you’ve become Facebook official or have proclaimed he’s your BF. Typically you get into a groove.

He might send you a text message every morning to brighten your day. You might send him a few text messages during the day about upcoming plans that night.

You could go an entire day without ever talking to your guy, while exchanging up to 10 texts a day, and life would appear to be normal.

Would You Want Them to Leave You Hanging for 1-3 Hours?

What happens if one day your boyfriend doesn’t send you a text message in the morning? You might brew about it, but you’ll sit on your digital laurels waiting for the afternoon text.

If that text doesn’t arrive, does that mean your relationship is on its way out? Does that mean he slept with someone else last night and is busy texting her instead?

I highly urge that you don’t jump to a digital conclusion about your relationship status based upon the quantity and timing of your text messages.

We are putting way too much emphasis and pressure on ourselves if we value our relationship status based on a pattern of receiving text messages.

Sometimes you might be busy on a project or have a work commitment, which won’t allow you to flirt on your mobile phone.

How Do We Handle All This Texting Anxiety?

First of all, it’s best to set boundaries in relationships, especially when they are new.

Ask the person you’ve gone on a date with how he or she feels about text messages. Make sure you’re on the same digital page.

Don’t let one bad day of missing a text message or two define the health of your relationship.

At the end of the day, the survey showed 68 percent of singles still want to talk on the phone or in person to schedule dates, while only 20 percent prefer to text.

Isn’t it still nice to hear the sound of his or her voice?

Digital daters, how often do you text someone when you’ve just started dating? How long do you wait to respond to a text? Do you get mad if they wait too long to text you back?

Photo source: adarkheart.com.