She didn’t text back because she was busy. How do I follow up?

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throaadsys asks:

She basically asked me what kind of music I like etc, etc, we were texting back and forward ( I was looking to not write too much and set up a date as soon as possible). She was asking me a lot of questions though and I asked back, because I was interested. So coming back to the text, I listed the songs I like and asked her what she likes. After that she didn’t respond for 4-5 hours (saw her online a lot though, and she actually read it after a few minutes) After 4-5 hours, I Got a text of her apologizing and saying she was busy studying and she also answered the questions and asked me several more. ( she send a huge wall of text )

So I know I have to set up a date as soon as possible (BTW it would be the 4th date, already made out with her a few times, Just for info – so there is attraction), but when should I text her again for doing that and answering her latest questions? Should I wait at least 1 day and make her wonder why I am not texting back and then set up the date? just don’t want to appear needy.

Thanks a lot, sorry for the grammar

Demetrius says:

You know what’s interesting about “busy” is that it really is a state of mind. Consider the life of a humble farmer circa the Great Depression. Busy for that farmer is probably a heck of a lot different then it is for busy for us. 16 hour work day, having to write a letter or send a telegram if you want to contact someone, etc. If you’re an average American chances are good that your commute is about 51 minutes or more round-trip, you work about 50 hours a week, you get about 7 to 8 hours of sleep per day,  and you own a cellphone. Even if you’re one of those people who works more or longer hours, chances are good that you have at minimum, an hour or so of down time somewhere between commute, work, and sleep.

Let me briefly close out your question before I get into this idea of “busy” and how it’s usually b.s.. You should text her when you want to text her, don’t fall into the trap of trying to be something you are not. Yes it took her 4-5 hours to respond, but you definitely shouldn’t let that impact your behavior.I can tell you, it takes me usually either 15 minutes, or 4-5 hours to respond to a text, and hardly anything in-between that.4 hours deep into a Netflix binge I might *finally* look at my phone and then reply to a text. If my phone is out and I see a text notification, unless I’m at work and busy, or writing, I try to get a reply off ASAP. That said, it’s rare that it takes me 48 hours to get back to someone, which I think is the threshold where “legitimately busy” and “you’re not a priority” comes into play. If she’s getting back to you in 4 to 5 hours, she’s actually busy. No need to worry that you’re coming on too strong, especially if her responses are substantive. Text her at your normal rate, setup your next date, and enjoy it. If she starts taking 2 or more days to reply, she’s not taking you seriously. If she’s replying within 24 hours (or less) she’s probably into you and legitimately busy.

Now, let’s talk about “busy” since I get questions about whether or not someone is “busy” or just not that interested.

Most people have a rough outline of what they want and need to do in a day. Your needs are usually simple and repeat themselves: work, commute, eat, sleep, etc. Your wants usually fall into the less serious categories: “I really want to reply to this text” or “I really want to read the latest post on the Tao of Indifference”. With that said, when someone says “Sorry I didn’t get back to you, I was busy” what they’re saying is “Replying to you is something I want to do on some level, not necessarily something I need to do right away”. How much they want to reply can be measured by how quickly they get back to you in most cases. In your case, I think that the fact that while she is busy, the time between your text and her response was a few hours, and not days, so that’s a good sign. Sure, we all get busy, and waiting a couple of hours can be a bit annoying because we live in a culture of instant gratification, but a few hours isn’t so bad and can be chalked up to genuine busyness. Had it been say, 48 hours or more, that’s when I’d call bullshit on her being “busy”.

Once you get past the 24-48 hour threshold, that goes from “busy” to “yes I’m busy, but you’re also not a priority”. Even if someone works the sort of job where they don’t have access to their cellphone, or have to work 24 hour shifts, at some point within 24 to 48 hours they get a teeny tiny fraction of time where they can send a text if they really wanted to. Sending a text doesn’t take hours, it takes minutes, maybe even seconds. If someone says they were too busy to text you over a few hours, sure, that’s fine. Within 24 hours,hey people get caught up over a day no big deal I understand how it goes. Anything longer than that is probably a sign that they might be busy, but you’re also not a priority. Some exceptions apply of course, like anyone who legitimately works 24 hour shifts or was traveling for 24 hours and immediately went to work after waking up, but for the most part, even people who work the longest hours still have a small window of free time over 48 hours.

If you’re finding that people who work 40 hour work weeks are suddenly to busy to reply to your texts and take 48 hours or more to reply to you, it’s probably a sign that they aren’t as interested as you. If you’re not a priority to them, don’t make them a priority. No need to make any grand declarations if this happens, simply stop reaching out. Make yourself busy by meeting new people.

Good Luck Out There.

Demetrius Figueroa

Demetrius is a sex, dating, and relationship writer based in Brooklyn.

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