• Keeping Friends

What does email response time say about a friendship?

Published: May 3, 2012 | Last Updated: April 2, 2016 By | 9 Replies Continue Reading

Do you procrastinate more than usual before you respond to emails from one particular friend?

Is someone consistently very slow to respond to you?

A new study suggests that email response time may be one measure of a friendship.


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Comments (9)

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  1. Danielle says:

    I pretty much have a similar issue with an “old” friend of mine.

    What does it mean when it takes a friend of yours a month long to respond to an email you sent them whether close or not?

    -I know she sees and reads my email(s), but doesn’t usually respond to them until about a month later…should that be acceptable in terms of a friendship? And can’t those email(s) easily be forgotten about? If there is no reasonable response time…?

    I know she knows it bothers me when she does that, but she chooses not to respond to them…and I’ve tried to come up with compromises on how/when she chooses to respond, but she doesn’t want that because she finds it to be an expectation and considers a compromise in a friendship “Unhealthy” where I feel like she focuses on those aspects way too much. In my opinion, she is very detatched in her friendships where I’ve done some research where that’s a form of insecure “attachment”.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I have the opposite problem. I have a very good friend who emails me constantly during the work day. There is nothing really for us to talk about and I get so tired of trying to come up with responses. And if I don’t reply quickly enough she gets worried that I didn’t receive her email.

    It has become a real source of annoyance to me. I have gradually been writing her back less quickly and less frequently and although she hasn’t said anything, I sense that she is puzzled/hurt.

    I just feel that unless there is something going on, I don’t need to be in contsant contact with this friend.

    I feel so guilty though. It’s pretty miserable.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi there, when I read your blog posting, I thought I had wrote it myself…it SO GREAT to know that I am not alone with these questions. Atleast you are married. I don’t even have a husband to talk to.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I do like your post. It definetly gives pause for thought. I to regret the loss of a best friendship about a year ago. My ex-friend and I have had very little communication this past year, finally I decided that I needed to apologize for things I should/should not have done, which I did a few weeks back. I wished my friend the best and told her that I wished we could find ourselves at a better place this year, etc, etc….well, other then a very simple text telling me she got my message, I heard nothing more from her…How hard do you try? You dont want to push, staulk or chase????

  5. Anonymous says:

    I wouldn’t say I have an email frenemy as the article says. i think that I have kept up with friendships consistently via email. As far as the response time to different type of friends, I think close friends will get a response within 24 hrs or a couple days. For people I’m not too good friends with, it’s more immediate, only to build trust and maintain a reputation. I have been on the receiving end of unanswered emails, mostly from unkind guys. It’s hurtful and cold. So, I try not to be the one who brushes people off unless I have a legitimate reason like I haven’t had time. If the friend emails too often, I don’t respond right away and hopefully they get the idea that I don’t want to be bothered so often. I believe in creating good karma with people. So far, treating others with kindness has returned that same to me.

  6. Anonymous says:

    This topic struck a cord with me because I have experienced this situation with my friends. I have several friends I have known since childhood and high school— basically most of my life. We all live out of state now or too far away to see each other often so email is our main communication. However, I have found that I AM the one who always emails them first. I get a reply but it is mostly very short.
    I tried to see what would happen if I did not email them for awhile and I quickly found out if I do not email them I do not hear from them very often or not at all. This is hurtful to me because of the length of time I have known these women. Out of the three of them, I do have one who does email more than the others and does call once in a while but she has never offered an invitation to get together. We live 3 hours away from each other. I have offered in the past on several occasions to arrange a lunch date or day out but she never responds to that. Even when I offered to drive closer to her.
    The other friends live out of state so it is financially hard to travel to see them. In any case, given the fact that I have known these friends for so long I would think they would email me more often but they do not. ‘
    One never even answered my last email. We have shared weddings, birth of our children, death of a parent, and divorce. One friend we do see each other once a year when she comes to visit her family but she never emails me. So I am confused by it all and wonder if they consider ME a friend or acquaintence. I have to assume their lack of contact with me gives me my answer.
    I’ve been tempted to just ask them why they do not email me often but I am afraid of losing their friendship or them thinking I am needy which I am not. I know we all are busy with our own lives. I am too but I know they use the computer alot and I do not think it takes much time to send an email. I just find it sad and hurtful as a long time friend.

    So , how often is reasonable for long time friends to email each other–once a week, once a month etc.?
    Any thoughts out there?

  7. Iyamacat says:

    The only thing I would question about re-establishing the friendship is that your friend was so mean and talking about you & your family behind your back in ending the friendship – that is not cool.

    If your husbands are friends then of course it is best to be civil but be cautious in investing your emotions into this person too fast because you don’t want to be stung as you were before.

    You could have a talk with her about it and if she deflects it back on you and doesn’t take ownership of her mean behaviour then you know you can’t get too close to this person – on the other hand if she acknowleges how she was hurtful then that is new ground and shows you will be able communicate.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Life is too short. I have lost a friend it was her decision to terminate. Do not decide now if you will or will not be best friends. I would try to mend fences as you mention you regretted the loss of the friendship. Hopefully you will start some communication you never know where it may lead. Years from now anything is possible. If you do not try you will never know. Some people leave big footprints in our hearts. For my two cent’s I would say go for it. For it to work you need to have zero expectations and have reached a point where you would like the friendship and contact more than being proven right or vindicated and are able to forgive the hurt and anger you have felt. Let it go try to start again!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Hi Irene, You are so wise. I had a friend a two years back that betrayed me. She was an old friend from high school. She marrioed a man I introduced her too then moved away two states away. still married to this man. Now she supposedly has decided to sell the house two states away and move back to my town with her husband/ live in an apt for four years until; he retires (hard for me to believe she would do that,. but that is the plan her husband says they are doing)/ So, I have always regretted the end of our friendship, that she herself decided to end by being horribly mean to me and talking badly about my family and me behind my back. Since she is moving back I thought that I would go by her house two states away in a couple weeks and see if we could just mend fences. We will never be best friends again, but since she is moving back here and her husband is friends with my husband, I thought I would make an effort to at least mend the fences, since I will be going right through the town she lives in now in two weeks. Should I? OR Should I not?

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