Anyone who says they don't play the texting game is lying. You know the one. It's when you're texting with someone you're interested in but one or both people are waiting to text back for a few minutes or even hours instead of replying immediately. It's a tactical game that keeps you both on your toes. So, yes, asking yourself questions like “is he waiting for me to text him?” and “how long should I wait to text him back?” and “is she playing a game with me right now” is normal, but choosing to semi-ghost them could send the wrong message. (Pun intended.)
In a dating world plagued with ghosting and zombieing, it’s not surprising people have built up their defenses to prevent getting hurt. It’s even less surprising that not texting back right away is one of them. Joshua Klapow, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and host of The Kurre and Klapow Show, tells Elite Daily, “There is the perception that responding too quickly shows too much interest, too much 'desperation,' and too much need. Waiting conveys that you have other activities that are more pressing.” He continues, “This is truly a game and we never really know why someone waits to text back unless they tell us why they waited.”
It sucks to be the one waiting around for a text back, especially if you’re genuinely interested in someone. Waiting means you have too much time to think about all the possible reasons they might be temporarily ghosting you. Should you be worried when you haven’t heard back in some time? Klapow says, “It's all about patterns and circumstances. Is this a person who always takes a long time to respond? Do they typically go hours [or] days without a response? … A person who takes days to respond is a person who either doesn’t care enough about your message, is disorganized, or has so much going on that even instant communication isn’t possible with them.”
But what does it look like on the other end? Does not texting a guy back make him want you more? Does responding to a girl too quickly become a turn-off? Do they even care about how long it takes you to text back? These responses might give a little insight.