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When a Guy Apologizes for Being Busy (Meaning & Responding Tips)

Feature Image of When a Guy Apologizes for Being BusyWhen a guy apologizes for being late, it means he is a good person who knows how to be responsible for his actions. He is so gentle with you, probably because he likes you. He wanted to spend time with you, but he could not because an emergency came up.

This article will help you understand when and why a guy apologizes to you for being busy. It will also help you react appropriately. Read on.

What does it mean when a guy apologizes for being busy?

  1. He is a responsible person: A guy apologizes for being busy when he is a reasonable person. He made you wait and felt bad about it. His thoughts are in the right place.
    • The guy we are discussing thinks with reason. He apologized for being busy because he understood that the lack of attention would make you feel bad. He knows you consider him important. He is paying respect to your feelings by apologizing to you for being busy.
    • You can call him a reasonable person because he knows where he went wrong. The best thing about him is that he is attempting to make things right by admitting that he was wrong. A little “sorry” can make a big difference.
    • The fact that he felt bad about making you wait proves that he is a nice person. You can bank on him in times of need. He means no harm.
    • He thinks it is his responsibility to let people know why he is busy. This happens particularly in times when he fails to participate in social activities for being busy. You are not the only person to whom he apologizes for being busy.
  1. He cares for you: He apologized for being busy because he cares for you. He cares about your feelings. He behaves like this only with people he cares for.
    • He considers you to be an important part of his life. He cares for you. That is why he apologized to you for being busy. Your feelings matter to him.
    • He did that probably because he felt guilty about being too busy to spend time with you. He feels like this about only a select few people, and you are one of them. He can’t stand hurting you in any way.
    • Even if you feel nothing about the fact that he was busy, he will overthink and blow the matter out of proportion if you do not stop him at the right time.
    • His caring attitude toward you makes him feel bad when he fails to be the cause of your happiness. He might have an obsession. He loves making you feel loved. The unnecessary apology is a part of that feeling.
  1. He is polite: He apologized for being busy because he is a polite person. He is extremely well-behaved. Not just you; he behaves politely with everyone.
    • Some people are too well-behaved to be true. They always tend to think about other people’s convenience, and one little detour makes them feel guilty. His polite nature made him feel guilty about being busy when he could have spent time with you.
    • He will stay polite even if the reason for him being busy is legit. Polite people like this guy almost never get annoyed at anything. They will hide their true feelings even if they are angry.
    • If you think he is polite because he likes you, you are probably mistaken. He is polite to everyone. He will say sorry even for the smallest inconvenience. He is like one of those gentlemen, belonging to the times of yore (preferably from the regency era), who is too chivalrous to be true. They always look for moments (voluntarily or involuntarily) to showcase the inherent goodness of their heart.
    • This incessant politeness can point toward two personality types. He can either be a people pleaser or a schemer. A people pleaser always does things that would make other people happy, even if it makes them unhappy. They make decisions based on what the world thinks. On the other hand, a schemer acts politely only when they need people to like them. They will probably change once they reach their goal.
  1. He is being formal: He apologized to you for being busy because he is too formal. He did not have to do that. He does not know how to deal with people in an informal way. This behavior might have something to do with the way he grew up.
    • His proper behavior can be traced back to a very formal upbringing. He was probably taught a lot of socially approved etiquette for good conduct. He was probably raised to be a gentleman.
    • Adults are supposed to be busy. Most of us stop being busy only after retirement. The guy who apologized to you is also supposed to be busy. He did not have to say “sorry” for something that he couldn’t avoid.
    • His upbringing has not taught him ways to deal with situations in a casual manner. He is always worried about what other people think of him. This escalates when he knows them personally. That is why he apologized to you for being busy. He knows you and gets to meet you often. He does not want any kind of emotional tension between the two of you. He is worried about things that might never happen just to be safe.
    • Informal relationships are not his thing. He will be extremely polite to you even if you two have been dating each other for a while. He thinks politeness is the key to winning hearts. He has a weird tendency to equate business and personal life. He thinks life runs on a formula.
  1. He was late to the date: It is legit for him to apologize if he was late for a date because he was busy. He kept you waiting and he feels bad for that. He is a sensible man who values people.
    • He likes you and it makes him unhappy to make you wait. He apologized for being busy because he was late for a date. It might not be a big deal for you but it is for him.
    • People in a relationship often tend to be in different places. No relationship is perfect (that only happens in cheesy a rom-com). You are here asking questions about his apology probably because you were not that upset with him being late for the date.
    • On the other hand, he was extremely embarrassed to keep you waiting. It can safely be stated that he is a bit more invested in this relationship than you are.
    • He values your presence in his life and is probably scared to lose you. He is extremely careful about insignificant little things that might make you go away. There is a chance that he loves you.
    • He thinks arriving late on a date is one of the worst things. He genuinely feels bad about that. He will feel guilty even if he was busy with an unavoidable task. It is up to you to make him feel at ease.
  1. You were angry: He apologized for being busy because you were angry for the same reason. He wants you to forgive him.
    • It is clearly because of you. You were annoyed at him for being too busy all the time. He apologized to make you feel better. It might have been an obligation rather than something that should have come from the heart.
    • Adults being busy is normal. Your annoyance over that is a bit unfair, especially if his profession demands his undivided attention all the time. That is how he earns money. He can’t possibly jeopardize that for making you feel good.
    • The apology does not mean he will quit being busy. He will continue with his profession just as he did earlier. He apologized to you to pacify your anger. He knows you are being unreasonable, but instead of pointing it out in your face, he did something to stop you for the time being. He knows you will yell at him again after some time for being busy and not spending enough time on you, but he chooses to ignore that.
    • It could also be that he is genuinely sorry for being busy. He knows you are angry and therefore, he apologized hoping that you will forgive him. He probably wants to spend time with you but his job does not allow him to do that. He expects you to meet him halfway here by understanding his plight.
  1. He likes you: He did what he did because he likes you. He would never apologize to any other person for being busy. You are special.
    • He was busy and apologized to you for that because he does not want to disappoint you in any way. That is probably because he likes you. He is looking for a romantic relationship with you and needs to be in your good books.
    • This extra polite behavior is only reserved for you. He would never apologize to anyone else for being busy. Other people’s feelings do not matter to him much.
    • He treats you with so much importance because you are special. Think about the things Sheldon did for Amy in The Big Bang Theory. He never did any of that for anyone else in his group of friends or even for his family. Amy was special and that is why she received the best behavior from him. She got to unveil a part of Sheldon’s personality that no one was aware of.
    • Similarly, you bring out an unexplored part of his personality by being the one he likes. He would do all the mushy things for you and that includes apologizing for being busy. You might find it a bit too much if you are a reasonable person, but people do weird things when they are in love. Here is a list of weird things people do when they are in love.
  1. He couldn’t spend time with you: He was supposed to spend time with you, and he could not because he was busy. That is why he apologized to you. He probably feels guilty.
    • This is about keeping promises. He apologized to you because he could not keep a promise he made. It might have been insignificant, but he took it seriously. Failing to keep the promise made him feel bad.
    • He was supposed to spend time with you but had to cancel for unavoidable reasons. He thinks you should not suffer for his obligations. The situation may not bother you, but it bothers him. He feels guilty even if it means nothing to you.
    • He was probably looking forward to the time you were to spend together. When that failed to happen, it disappointed him. Were you disappointed? A possible answer to this question can be traced through the fact that you looked for this article to understand why he apologized to you for being busy. This shows he is more interested in this relationship than you are. It can also be that he is the more emotional one.

What does it mean for you?

  1. Accept the apology: He apologized because he felt bad for being busy. You can respect that sentiment and accept the apology politely. Do not make snide remarks.
    • He is already embarrassed because he could not spend time with you. Do not make it more difficult for him. You can accept the apology with an open mind. The situation does not demand much from you.
    • A smile can go a long way. You can rid him of his misery by saying “it’s okay” when he says “sorry.” Try not to ask awkward questions or make snide remarks about his feelings.
    • His emotions are a bit too overt than yours. That is perfectly all right as long as it does not become the baggage that harms your relationship. Respecting his sentiments will make you a great partner and you will probably receive a similar kind of support from him when you need it.
    • He is probably a bit like Leonard from The Big Bang Theory. In his relationship with Penny, he clearly was the more emotional one. He apologized to her for the most insignificant things. However, the way Penny reacted to all of that is not exemplary behavior.
    • An overtly emotional person like the guy we are discussing needs to be treated delicately. You cannot hurt his feelings as that might lead him to change for worse.
  1. Do not make him feel miserable: He is already pretty miserable about the fact that he was busy when he was supposed to be with you. Try not to make him feel worse.
    • He was supposed to spend time with you but could not due to an unavoidable obligation. He apologized because he felt bad about that. He is quite embarrassed for something which probably was not even his fault. Do not make him feel miserable after he has apologized.
    • Put yourself in his shoes and you will probably understand his plight. The worst thing about adult life is that people have to prioritize their profession over most other things. He could not possibly have skipped work for you. You cannot expect someone to jeopardize their career for a date.
    • Do not make him feel miserable by making fun of him. The is already feeling bad for not spending time with you. That feeling might not matter to you, but that does not mean you have the license to joke about it. It is cruel and in bad taste.
    • You can also apologize for being rude to him when he was not able to show up to spend time with you. Show that you understand his plight. Your rude behavior can have an adverse effect on his mind, and by extension, on this relationship. A little “sorry” can change the whole equation.
    • If you do not feel anything about the situation, he is so worried about, you can always pretend to be interested. Show that you care even if you do not, if you like this guy and want to be with him. The truth is, guys have emotions and it is perfectly okay for them to show that or have outbursts. They are not supposed to be stoic robots without emotions. Treat him like a fellow human being.
  1. Ask him to be a bit informal: Ask him to relax and be a little informal around you. Tell him that he does not have to apologize for every little inconvenience.
    • Let’s accept the fact that he is a very formal person. He is like one of those Bridgerton guys who are always chivalrous around women. He lives in the twenty-first century but functions on a mind that belongs to the Regency era. You can ask him to relax a bit.
    • Ask him to be a little more like the century he is living in. Tell him: “You don’t need to be so formal around me all the time.” Make him realize that a relationship with airtight rules of conduct often narrows down the path for love to exist.
    • Tell him that being busy is normal and it is definitely not something that one needs to apologize for. His formal upbringing is responsible for his giddy politeness. As his potential partner, it is somewhat of your responsibility to show him what real relationships are like.
    • However, if you think he is too much to deal with, you can always step out of the relationship. After all, it is not your responsibility to fix him. You are here to be his partner, not his parent. Trying to teach him fresh new ways of life will make the relationship weird.
  1. Be polite and have patience: Being polite won’t cost you money. It will not cost you your sanity either. He apologized to you for being busy. Be polite about it even if you do not find it important.
    • He is a polite person and that is why he apologized to you for an apparently insignificant issue like being busy. He did that probably because he likes you. If that is the case, you need to be polite to him too. You might not like the guy in a romantic way, but that does not legitimize rudeness.
    • Being polite is easy. It does not cost you money and energy. It only requires you to be respectful of other people’s feelings. Bear with him a little and listen to what he has to say. Patience is key here. Even if you do not feel what he feels, your patience can go a long way.
    • Couples in real life do not always have a lot in common. As Monica said in F.R.I.E.N.D.S, a relationship needs a lot of hard work to survive. Consider your patience and politeness the “hard work” you need in your relationship. The effort you put into being a good partner can return to you as a lifetime of happiness and good companionship.
  1. Ask him not to apologize for everything: You can tell him that he does not have to apologize for every little inconvenience. He needs to know that being busy is not a crime.
    • Tell him that being busy is not a big deal and he does not have to apologize for that. Use your life as an example. Ask him: “Do I apologize to you when I am busy? No. Then why should you?” Explain why excessive apologizing affects his personality in a negative way.
    • It is okay to apologize when you have done something wrong. Being busy does not fall into that category. Ask him to reserve these words of apology for serious situations. Tell him that his life matters and he does not have to apologize for being good at his profession or even for meeting a few friends instead of spending time with you.
    • Explain to him that incessant apologizing will make him look weak in front of other people. Use Leonard from The Bing Bang Theory as an example. His overtly emotional nature and the habit of apologizing for every little inconvenience earned him the reputation for being whiny. He was known as a pushover who easily got manipulated by people (mostly his roommate Sheldon) into doing stuff he does not want.
  1. Check if he is hiding something: People often overcompensate for worse deeds by apologizing for trivial inconveniences. You can check if he has done something that needs a cover-up.
    • You know him better than anyone. It is expected that you will be able to trace fishy behavior on his part. Try to use your sixth sense to check if he is hiding something from you.
    • Things will be easier for you if you find this incessant apologizing a bit unnatural for him. Check if he makes eye contact while talking t you about his guilt for being too busy to spend time with you.
    • The real question, in this case, would be: Why was he busy? Was he busy doing something he is not supposed to do? Is he cheating on you? There are a few questions you should try to find answers to.
    • You can follow him around for information, or check his phone to see if he is cheating on you. However, you will have to keep in mind that cheating may not always be the case. He could lie to you if he was chilling with his friends, instead of spending time with you.
    • You can directly ask him, “What have you done? Tell me the truth.” With a sudden question like this, you will probably be able to catch him off-guard. He will definitely try to cook up new lies to cover for his dubious deeds. The more time he takes to do that, the surer you can be about the fact that he is hiding things from you.
    • Lies damage relationships irreparably. They are like pests that eat a relationship from the inside. If you catch him relying on lies to get rid of difficult discussions, your relationship has already turned toxic. There is not much to do about it. You can try to put it back together but succeeding in that is extremely difficult. It is better to detach yourself from the relationship and move on by forgetting it like a bad dream. Here are some more symptoms that show he is hiding something from you.


A few things to remember:

  • He likes you more than you like him. His busy schedule and disability to spend much time with you do not bother you, but it bothers him. He feels guilty for making you wait.
  • He is a man of his word who does not like breaking promises, even if they are the most trivial ones. He promised to spend time with you but was too busy for that. The situation is extremely uncomfortable for him.
  • He is very serious about little things that do not matter to most people. He is a romantic who believes in a kind of love that can only be found in rom-com.
  • You can ask him to stop apologizing for every little thing. He is an independent adult, who ideally should be able to live his life guilt-free. Tell him that it makes him look weak and most people who are not aware of his problems laugh at him for this.
  • However, do not discourage him from venting out. He should be able to deal with his emotions in a healthy way. Try to make sure he does not constrict himself to a stoic life to match society’s prescribed (and often unrealistic) standards for being an ideal man.
  • He could be hiding something. People who have things to hide often use overcompensation as a distraction. He apologized to you for being busy probably because he had something to hide. Hiding things from you, point towards the fact that he does not trust you anymore.

About the Author

Nirajana Mukherjee

Nirajana Mukherjee has been helping people find out their relationship queries since 2019. At Relationshippp she loved to talk about topics related to Dating, Affairs, Attraction, and Breakups. Her work can be seen in RelationshipExplained - A Renowned Relationship Blog. Nirajana has a Masters in English literature from St. Xavier's University.
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