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When to Text After the First Date: How Long Should You Wait?

Audra

Written by dating expert Audra. Last updated:

The butterflies you felt when you met in person for your first date. The smile that lingers on your face for hours after you’ve parted. The knot in your stomach that forms when thinking about when you should text after the first date, or if the other person had a great time, like they said.

Navigating the love labyrinth of online dating can be tricky. The good news is: It’s never too soon to receive a text from a great first date.

When Should You Text?

After a first date, it’s best to contact someone sooner than later. Don’t wait three days to text after a date, as it not only shows bad manners, but it also displays a lack of interest. A simple thank you text after the first date to say you had a good time is meaningful as it shows respect.

Even if you didn’t feel a romantic connection, this doesn’t mean that it was a bad date. Sending a short text is polite. It’s kind. It’s good karma. It shows that, even if there wasn’t a spark and you don’t want to set up another date, you have enough regard for that person to acknowledge your time together.

Since online dating can be a revolving door of meet and greets, you never know who is connected with whom. Even if you decide not to stay in touch, it’s always good to leave a positive first impression.

Beware of Texting Too Much

On the other end of the spectrum, it’s also good dating advice to not go overboard with texting. No matter how enthusiastic you are, or if you feel like you’ve met a girl who does it for you on many levels and you’ve had an amazingly great date, texting too often and/or too soon can be a real turn-off.

Angry man with mobile phone sitting at home

While it’s certainly flattering to feel that you have someone’s attention and interest, coming on too strong via text feels disingenuous and creepy. I once had a guy excessively text me when I got home from our date because he thought I was ghosting him instead of falling asleep. Yikes! How long after a first date should a guy text? There’s no definitive answer. But the last thing you want to appear after a first date is needy—that’s how excessive texting comes across.

Some basic dos and dont’s of texting while dating should be considered. Sweet messages, such as when you text a girl goodnight and to get home safe are appreciated. Simple texts that express having a great time and wanting to see her again work well. What you don’t want to do is send kissy faces and other sappy emojis to someone before you begin dating or are exclusive to one another. It can make someone feel uncomfortable and ruin a good date. More than likely, it will feel forced and look like a red flag.

Lock in a Second Date

What you do want to do is capture attention and engage interest. Never leave a girl that you want to see again wondering how long guys wait to text after the first date. You want to stay in the person’s thoughts, so it’s best to take the lead and text your date first following the date. It should be something specific, so think about which texts to send instead of sending one-word texts or something impersonal. Putting out date ideas is definitely more interesting than sending a “How’s your day?” text.

Generic texts are really the kiss of death when you first start texting, as they don’t display any personality or sense of humor. If you connect well, you can even joke about pick-up lines and the best texts to send. Getting to know each other is the goal.

Making fun plans with someone is the best way to show interest and get to know someone. A tip for men: nothing is more attractive to women than a man with a plan. So, before you plan a date, explore possibilities that your date may enjoy.

You could ask her what her favorite foods are or what kind of activities she likes. Don’t be afraid to ask what her idea of a great time entails. You want to get to know her and find out what piques her interest. You don’t want to try to impress her by taking her to the gun range only to discover she’s terrified of guns.

Should You Call Instead?

a woman talking on the phone at home

Maturity is a prominent factor when you’re talking about texting etiquette, as well as how old you are and what you’re looking for. The older you are the more likely you are to make a phone call after you’ve connected with someone instead of constantly texting. You’re also more likely to be looking for something substantive over just a good time.

When you’re first getting to know someone, take into account your texting habits and when you decide to call someone. While texting is a convenient and easy way of keeping in touch, many people appreciate the sound of a voice on the other line. Don’t be afraid to use the phone to get to know the person you’re dating. Being able to text is a great resource, but the old-fashioned way of talking on the phone can be underrated.

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