Having a new crush can simultaneously feel like both the best and the worst thing in the world. On one hand, the smallest gestures — like a smile or cute text — can make your whole day. But on the other, that connection can feel so intense and yet so fragile, it’s scary. It's totally natural that you’d want to tread lightly and play it cool. But it's hard to strike a balance, and you probably don't want to be too careful either. This balance is the reason why you hesitate to text your crush back right away when they message you. The line between being excited and being "too excited" is tough to toggle.
If you find yourself holding back from responding to your crush’s texts, Julie Spira, online dating expert and author of Love in the Age of Trump: How Politics is Polarizing Relationships, tells Elite Daily you're not alone. "Delayed-texting is very common, as you don't want to seem too anxious and available," she says, although Spira cautions that holding off on responding might not be the best approach. In fact, it might even backfire. Then what’s the best way to handle texting with someone you've caught feelings for? Here’s why the experts say you’re holding back from responding, and how they advise handling texts from your crush in the future.
Why You Hesitate To Text Right Back.
If you purposefully hold off on responding to your crush’s texts, it's probably because you are worried about coming off as "clingy." “No one wants to appear like a character in He's Just Not That Into You by sitting by their phone waiting for a text to arrive from the person they have a crush on. Playing the waiting game shows that you have a busy life, can live without them, and that they're not the center of your universe,” explains Spira.
But holding off on texting back to avoid coming off as clingy might not have the effect you’re going for if you overdo it, says Connell Barrett, Dating Transformation founder and dating coach with The League. “If you wait too long, you can look like you’re ‘playing games’ with the other person, and that can be a big turn-off,” Barrett tells Elite Daily.
Why Waiting To Reply Can Be Counterproductive
While no one wants to come off as clingy or over-eager, Barrett says it's better to focus your energy on the content of the text, rather than the timestamp. “The amount of time you wait to text someone is way overrated. What’s much more important than how long you wait to text is the quality of your text messages,” he says. “If your texts are sincere or funny or put a smile on your crush’s face, then send them right away. Don’t wait! The better your texting, then the more you can send, and the faster you can reply.”
There’s also the risk of sending the wrong message by opting not to reply in a timely fashion. ”It can send a message that you're not that interested in them. If that's not the case, then I suggest you send a message saying that you're sorry you got caught up with [some other activity],” says Spira.
A Better Approach.
Barrett says dating success ultimately isn’t about how quickly you respond to a text, but rather how into you they are, period. His advice is to “focus on being the most attractive, highest value version of you.” The truth, he explains, is that if they’re into you, they won’t be impressed or put off simply by how soon you text them. “They’re not watching a clock — they’re hoping someone as wonderful as you will write them back at all! As a bonus, if you approach it this way, you will never come across as someone who’s playing games with texting, and that’s refreshing and attractive,” he concludes.
If you’re still concerned about how and when to reply, Spira offers some simple advice: “If you're busy, respond when you come up for air. If you've got your phone by your side, then treat your crush with the same respect you'd like to receive, and respond within a few minutes,” she says. “After all, you're probably staring at the text bubbles appearing and disappearing after your crush receives your text, and if they go radio silent, it's not a great feeling.”
Remember: The less you worry about sending a response in the perfect amount of time, the better. “The more rules you play, the less authentic you'll become, which isn't good for developing a relationship with someone you like,” Spira concludes. Try to relax and be your best, most charming self. The rest will take care of itself.
Connell Barrett, Dating Transformation founder and dating coach with The League
Julie Spira, online dating expert and author of Love in the Age of Trump: How Politics is Polarizing Relationships