How to Reply to “Talk to You Later” And Why Do People Say That?

DEC 12, 2022 AT 07:09 AM


Have you ever been in a situation where you’re talking to a person you like, the conversation is going well, and you feel like things are going well? But they put a pause on the conversation with a quick and short, “talk to you later”, leaving you unsure of how to respond and how to feel about the situation.

It could be quite a bummer on the situation if this is somebody you like and hoped you can take things further with. But we’re here to tell you not to worry!


Read more to find out why people say “talk to you later”. And how you should reply to this awkward and at times, intimidating, phrase. The reasons behind this might be simpler than you first thought.

What can it mean?

“Talk to you later” obviously ends a conversation. As it implies the other person won’t be talking with you anymore. Sometimes it could mean they simply don’t want to continue the conversation with you, which is not the best news, as you might feel the opposite, and be left feeling quite lost. There are a few things you can consider when you encounter this phrase.

  • One. What were you talking about before the other person suggested that you should “talk later”? Maybe something about the subject of the conversation was uncomfortable for them, or they needed some time to gather up an appropriate response. Maybe you were taking things too far or not far enough. You will be able to tell by going back on your conversation.
  • Two. Did you feel the conversation was going well before the other person said, “talk to you later”? If the answer is no, then you can probably guess why they said “talk to you later”. They might still be interested in you and needed some time to think of another way to approach the conversation that made things flow just a little better. Or maybe they felt that you were also disinterested and wanted to spare themselves from having to awkwardly continue a conversation that’s clearly going nowhere.

If the answer is yes, then it is likely that the other person felt the same. Then why did they say “talk to you later”, you might ask. Whilst we may never know why exactly someone would want to end a good conversation in mid-flow, there are a lot of reasons that can cause this.

Some of them can be as simple as the fact that they needed to go to the bathroom! So, our advice is to stay calm and don’t overthink every word your partner says.

Why do people say that?

So, why do people say “talk to you later”? There could be many reasons why the person you’re talking to texts you “talk to you later”. Sometimes it’s hard to know which of these reasons really prompted the reply, but you can probably tell from the flow of your conversation.

1) Conversations with good flow

If the other person responds quickly and enthusiastically asks questions about you whilst offering up information about themselves, then they probably enjoy talking with you. And when they abruptly end a good conversation with a simple and short, “talk to you later”, they will usually preface the phrase with a reason.

They might say, “I’ve got work (or school) now, talk to you later”. But it is likely that they will keep you informed about why they can’t continue a conversation any longer.

2) Conversations with bad flow

If the other person seems passive in the conversation and responds slowly with mostly one-word sentences, or emojis, then they probably don’t really enjoy talking with you, even if you like them a lot.

And if they suddenly end a conversation with “talk to you later”, you can also be sure they won’t give an answer. But you shouldn’t let this deter you! Just because one person doesn’t seem interested in you doesn’t mean everyone will feel the same.

3) Text vs talking to people in person

If a person seems cold over text, it could just be that they don’t speak well over text. And this is a thing! Some people would seem extraverted and excited in person whilst you talk to them and would seem bland and boring over text.

Being able to see the person you’re talking to always makes it harder to know how they are feeling about you and the conversation you’re having.

Differences between talking through text and in person

A lot of people forget this, but texting is so different from talking to others in person. And this could affect the conversation and how you’re connecting with the other person in more ways than one.

1) Your texting style

Whilst it is harder to know if the person you’re talking to over text is interested in you, you can still tell from the general vibe of the conversation. Some people are easy to talk to, and you can carry a full conversation with them with short exchanges and sometimes even with emojis.

Other people may be easy to talk to in other ways, you might be able to send them many messages, but they won’t find it annoying, and you won’t feel like you’re talking to a brick wall. With others, it might be that you have long text conversations with them all the time, exchanging large bodies of text back and forth in an in-depth conversation.

Everyone has their own texting style, and what “talk to you later” means largely depends on your style and the style of who you’re talking to. As long as you know what texting style you are most comfortable with and are about to engage in a conversation in that style with the person you’re interested in taking things further with, then you know the chances of you encountering awkward “talk to you later” situations in the middle of the conversation is low.

2) Understanding your partner

It is also important to remember that the person talking with you over text has emotions. You’d be surprised how being unable to see the person you’re talking to alienates and dehumanizes them.

Whilst texting is a great way of keeping in touch with people and talking with them instantly, it has also changed the way we interact with them in ways that are unimaginable before.

Sometimes people are just not up for a conversation, and that’s okay. They might be tired, they might have a headache, or it might simply be a bad day for them to talk. No matter how close you think you are with them, the other person will have a side of them that they like to keep to themselves. And that’s okay.

Because they shouldn’t depend on you emotionally, and neither should you on them. If the person you’re talking to tells you they need some time to themselves and would like to “talk to you later”, you should respect their wishes, and be a good friend to them when they are ready to talk again.


There could be many reasons why people say “talk to you later” in a conversation. Most of the time it could be for small reasons. Maybe it's because of work, school, or a family member who needs their attention.

Or maybe they just wanted some time to themselves. If this is a person you like, and would like to take things further with, it’s best to respect their wishes and talk to them later.

Relationships are all about give and take. And whilst you want them to give you the time and attention you want from them, you also need to offer them the same thing in return when they request it. Maintaining this respect for boundaries and understanding of the other’s situation is how your relationship will succeed.