Whether sparks flew or agonizingly awkward, a follow-up text is the best way to move things to the next level or politely end the connection. Consider this your ultimate guide to post-date texting, including when, what to say, and how to deal with unexpected challenges.
How Long Should I Wait Before Texting After The First Date?
The timing of your follow-up text after the first date is important because it conveys your level of interest and enthusiasm. While there’s no strict rule, sending a follow-up text within the first 24 to 48 hours after the date is good practice.
This timeframe strikes a balance between showing interest and giving the other person space to reflect.
Sending a text within a day or two allows you to:
- Express appreciation for the date (especially if they paid or planned it)
- Mention something specific you enjoyed or appreciated (“Thank you for arranging such a thoughtful picnic! How did you know I love charcuterie so much?”)
- Please express your interest in seeing them again or continuing the connection
Conversely, if things don’t go too well, a polite rejection text within 24-48 hours ensures that nobody wastes their time or feels left in the dark. Ghosting can be very emotionally painful, and you probably would want closure if the roles were reversed.
However, remember that everyone’s preferences are different. Some people may appreciate a text on the same evening, while others prefer more time.
The key is to arrive quickly, as this might give the impression of disinterest. It could also leave the other person needing clarification about whether or not things are going anywhere.
Conversely, texting immediately after the date might come across as overly eager to some people, or it could demonstrate a genuine excitement about the connection.
What to Text After a First Date: 9 Expert Tips
Ah, the first text after a date. It’s easy to overthink it. What do you say? Should you be direct? Do you sound too eager? Perhaps you’ve been on both sides: wondering how to gently reject a date that didn’t go too well or trying not to seem too eager about a date you’re enamored with.
Every first date dynamic is different; you should always do what feels most authentic. Still, it helps to know the most common and socially acceptable ways to initiate a text convo after a first date.
#1 Express your genuine feelings
The best early dating texts are personalized and honest without being overwhelming. Be sincere and straightforward about your emotions. Use phrases like:
- “I had such a wonderful time last night…”
- “Our date was the highlight of my week! We should do it again next week.”
- “I felt a real connection with you…”
- “I genuinely enjoyed our time together…”
- “I’m excited about getting to know you better…”
- “I can’t stop thinking about our date…”
- “I loved talking about ___ last night.”
You can also add specific aspects of the person or date that were most enjoyable. For example, “I loved our conversation about [specific topic],” or “That moment when we [shared experience] was fantastic.”
As the text thread continues, consider offering a genuine compliment related to their personality, sense of humor, or something they said or did during the date. For instance, “I admire your [specific trait], it’s really refreshing,” or “I love how [specific quality] you are.”
If you’re interested in a future date, Indicate your desire to see them again or continue your connection. You can say, “I’m looking forward to our next meet up” or “I’d love to do [shared interest] together soon.”
What not to do:
It’s recommended that you steer clear of intensely affectionate phrases like “I love you,” “I want to marry you,” or anything that feels like moving too fast. Even if you feel strongly about this person, it’s usually best to wait things out. There is no rush!
First impressions are powerful, but they aren’t always reliable indicators of a future with someone. An intense message could come across as love bombing or a general red flag that you want to rush into a relationship.
#2 Keep it brief
In the modern Western dating scene, sending a multiple-page-long text message may seem weird after a first date. There is no hard rule for first-date text length, but 1-5 lines of text is commonly acceptable. Remember that a sentence over text can seem longer because the words are broken up in a message.
For example, if you are iMessaging, a single-line sentence like this will likely be formatted as two lines.
If you’re unsure how long to write your text, stay on the brief side. “Thank you for the great time last night” is a good starting point.
#3 Strategize your emojis
Emojis are the texting equivalent of facial expressions and body language. Some even have hidden meanings! These icons can be a fun way to convey your feelings and intentions while enhancing the emotional tone of your text. It’s still key to prioritize clear and respectful communication.
Here are some tips on how to use emojis to express interest, flirt, add a touch of romance, or inject humor into your texts:
- 😊 – A simple smiling emoji can express your genuine happiness and interest in the person.
- 😃 – An enthusiastic smiley can show excitement about the date.
- ❤️ – A heart emoji can subtly convey your affection and attraction.
- 😘 – The kissing face emoji can add a playful and flirty touch to your message.
- 😍 – Use the heart-eyes emoji to express admiration or attraction.
- 😉 – The winking face emoji can be a light and flirtatious way to imply something without being too explicit.
- 🌹 – Sending a rose emoji can add a romantic or polite flair to your message.
- ⚡️ – The light emoji can indicate a sparkling connection.
- 🌅 – Use the sunrise emoji to suggest the beginning of something beautiful.
- 😄 – Use a laughing face emoji to show you’re in a playful and light-hearted mood.
- 😂 – The laughing tears emoji can be used when sharing funny anecdotes or jokes from the date.
- 🤣 – If something was exceptionally funny, this emoji can emphasize your sense of humor.
Remember, the key to using emojis effectively is moderation. Many people avoid heart eyes 😍 or star eyes 🤩 emojis right off the bat because they could be too affectionate for the early stages of a connection. Don’t overwhelm your messages with too many emojis; it can be forced or insincere.
#4 Set the tone
The tone of your texts should align with the atmosphere of the date. You can use specific language or emojis to convey your feelings about the date and express your personality.
Here’s how to navigate a few different scenarios:
The Sparkling Connection:
- Scenario: The date went exceptionally well, and there’s great chemistry.
- Sample Text: “I had an amazing time with you last night! Can’t stop thinking about our conversation about [topic] and the way we both found out we love [thing] 🙂”
The Flirty Romance:
- Scenario: The date was very romantic, and you felt physically drawn to each other.
- Sample Text: “Still can’t stop thinking about how amazing you looked last night in that [outfit] 😉I hope I can see your [gorgeous/handsome] face again soon.”
The Casual Yet Promising Date:
- Scenario: The date was enjoyable but not overly intense.
- Sample Text: “I had a great time yesterday. How about we do it again sometime soon?”
The Thought-Provoking Date:
- Scenario: Deep conversations dominated the date.
- Sample Text: “Our discussion last night was truly thought-provoking. I look forward to learning more about [key topic] from you.”
The Uninteresting or Awkard Date
- Scenario: There wasn’t much chemistry, and you don’t want to see them again.
- Sample Text: “Hey! I appreciate you taking me out the other night. Meeting you was great, but I didn’t feel a romantic connection. I wish you all the best!”
#5 Take time to reflect
Before diving into the texts, take a moment to gauge the dynamics of your first date. Did it end on a high note with laughter and shared interests, or was it more reserved and contemplative?
- Overall Atmosphere: Was it light-hearted and fun, or more serious and reflective? Friendly, funny, or romantic? Were you able to be authentically yourself around them? If not, maybe you want to end the dynamic then and there.
- Conversation Flow: Did you both engage in lively discussions, share stories, and connect over common interests? Or did the conversation feel more reserved, with moments of silence? If things feel easy, you should continue the conversation topic over text. If there were many awkward silences, you could send a voice memo text to initiate a new conversation style.
- Shared Interests: Did you discover shared interests or hobbies? These can be great topics to mention in your follow-up text, as they show your genuine enthusiasm for getting to know the other person better.
- Body Language: Recall their non-verbal cues. Did your date maintain eye contact, touch you (like a friendly hug or a handshake), or lean in during the conversation? Did they show flirty cues like head tilting, eyebrow-raising, or mirroring your gestures? These cues can provide insights into their level of interest. Perhaps if they were flirty, you could use flirtatious emojis like 😉or 🥰 in your texts the following day.
- Your Feelings: Pay attention to your feelings and impressions. Did you feel a strong connection or chemistry? Did you enjoy their company and conversation? Did you feel nervous, calm, or excited? Your intuition is an essential guide to communicating in the after-date text convos.
#6 Time your follow-up text
Yes, it’s essential to send a text after the first date. It shows your interest and appreciation for the time spent together.
Send a follow-up text within 24-48 hours of the date. It keeps the momentum going and shows you’re interested in expanding the connection.
The timing of your post-date text may say a few things about you:
- Quick Text: Texting fast isn’t always a bad thing. Some dates may appreciate your authentic interest in the age of teasing and ghosting. If things between you were extra magnetic, you may send a quick text the same night of the date, like “Wow, thank you for a magical night 💫” But for some people, texting super quickly could seem overly eager. If you’re unsure, wait until the following day.
- Time for Reflection: If you need clarification on the dynamic or want more time to reflect, wait 12-24 hours to respond.
- Longer Wait: Waiting several days to text or respond after a date might give the impression of disinterest. The person could even feel “ghosted” and take it as a sign of rejection. This can be hurtful and is not recommended. If you aren’t interested, be clear as soon as possible.
Should a man or woman text first?
Modern dating has no strict rules about who should text first after the first date. It depends on your preferences and the person you’re getting to know. A few things to note:
- If you prefer a more traditional heterosexual dynamic, the male suitor may initiate the conversation or invite the woman for a future date.
- Some psychological research shows that 75% of men prefer women to make the first move1https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16123845/.
- If you are unsure, the person who initiated the date could be the first to send a text, but you should do what’s best for you.
It’s perfectly acceptable and even encouraged for either person to initiate the first text after a date or in the early stages of dating. Regardless of gender, the key is to communicate authentically and genuinely. Your text should reflect your interests and personality.
#7 Gauge their interest through texts
Look for signs of engagement in their responses. If they ask questions, share personal stories, or suggest plans, it’s a positive indicator. However, remember that people have different texting styles, so don’t jump to conclusions too quickly.
- Response Time: Pay attention to how quickly they respond to your texts. It’s often a positive sign of interest if they consistently respond promptly. However, remember that people have busy lives, so occasional delays are normal. But going several days without responding may be a sign they aren’t interested or don’t have time for a serious dating dynamic. Alternatively, If someone instantly texts back all day, every day, they may have little going on in their personal life. This could also be a red flag.
- Engagement: Look at the depth and enthusiasm of their responses. Are they asking questions, sharing personal stories, or showing curiosity about your life and interests? Engaged and interactive responses suggest interest.
- Initiation: Take note of whether they initiate conversations or suggest plans for future meetups. If they proactively reach out and express a desire to see you again, it’s a strong indicator of interest.
- Emojis and Tone: Consider the tone of their messages and the use of emojis. Playful emojis, positive language, and flirty remarks can signify interest and excitement.
- Continuity: Gauge if the conversation continues from where you left off during the date. Whether they reference shared moments or inside jokes from the date is a sign that they were genuinely engaged.
- Consistency: Consistency in communication is crucial. Frequent and consistent texting, where they maintain the level of interest shown during the date, is a good sign. Still, constant text communication may impede you from getting to know each other as well in person. If you can’t meet up again for a while, you may want to plan a phone call or at least send some voice memos.
- Future Plans: If they express an interest in making plans together, whether it’s suggesting a specific date idea or simply mentioning that they’d like to see you again, clearly they are interested in you! If it feels right, keep the fun going! Here are
#8 Start a dazzling text conversation
Here are 110 Good Conversation Starters For Texting! If you want to go deeper in your text convo, try these 231 Deep Icebreaker Questions to Build Authentic Connections.
No matter what conversation starter you choose, remember to:
- Ask Questions: When someone gets to talk about themselves, it triggers dopamine release in their brain and may make them like you more. If you’re truly interested in your date, express interest in learning more about them. I love to use these 13 Great First Date Questions Backed by Science.
You can also watch our video below to learn questions to ask on the first date!
- Choose Topics Wisely: Avoid discussing sensitive topics like politics, religion, or ex-relationships in your initial follow-up texts. Focus on positive aspects of the date, shared interests, or plans. For example, if you both love hiking, you may send a link and say, “I found this amazing trail we should explore together next time. 🏞️” If you share a love for movies, you could say, “Guess what? They’re screening our favorite movie this weekend. How about a movie night?”
- Balance Playfulness and Seriousness: The tone of your follow-up texts should align with the vibe of the date. If the date was light-hearted and fun, being playful in your texts can maintain that energy. Keep the conversation reflective and meaningful if it is more serious and deep. To strike a balance, try something like, “I had a fantastic time last night. I especially love your corny pick-up lines 😅 Your stories about your spiritual journey were so interesting, and I can’t wait to hear more. Let’s do it again soon!”
- Avoid Bombarding With Messages: Sending two texts in a row can be okay, but use it judiciously. If you haven’t received a response, sending a friendly follow-up message after a reasonable period (a day or two) is fine, but avoid bombarding them with messages.
Remember, everyone has a different texting style, and their responses may not directly correlate with their level of interest. Your perception of the in-person dynamic and conversation flow is always more important than what happens via text. Still, some responsiveness over text (especially a phone call or FaceTime) is usually a good indicator of genuine interest.
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#9 How to deal with ghosting
Dealing with ghosting after a first date can be disheartening and confusing, but handling it with grace and self-respect is essential.
Here are some steps to gracefully navigate the situation:
- Give It Some Time: First, don’t jump to conclusions too quickly. Sometimes, people have genuine reasons for delayed responses. Give it a few days to see if they eventually respond.
- Send a Polite Follow-Up Message: If you haven’t received a response after a reasonable period, send a polite follow-up message. Keep it light and non-confrontational, expressing your continued interest in a friendly manner. For example: “Hey [Name], I had a great time on our date and would love to hear from you. If you’re up for it, let’s catch up again.”
- Consider Possible Explanations: Understand that there could be various reasons for the lack of response, such as busy schedules, personal issues, or even uncertainty on their part. Maybe their dog died. Perhaps they just got fired. Maybe their phone did fall in the toilet. Avoid making negative assumptions until you have more information.
- Stay Positive and Respectful: Maintain a positive and respectful tone in your follow-up messages. Avoid expressing frustration or anger, as it’s unlikely to elicit a positive response.
- Limit Follow-Up Messages: If you still don’t receive a response after the follow-up message, respecting their choice is essential. You may send a second follow-up like “I hope everything is okay. Let me know if you ever want to chat or meet up again. No pressure!” However, sending multiple follow-up messages can come across as pushy or desperate. It’s better to move on gracefully.
- Don’t Be A Ghoster: If you don’t want to get ghosted by someone you like, be sure you’re putting that energy out. Respectful rejection is part of compassionate and kind dating. Hopefully, you already sent some body language cues you’re not interested in, but it’s usually best to be transparent over text. End things as soon as you’re sure it’s not going anywhere. You might say, “Hey, you are awesome, but I didn’t feel a romantic connection. I hope you find what you’re looking for!”
- Focus on Self-Care: Dealing with ghosting can be emotionally challenging. Take care of yourself during this time by engaging in activities you enjoy, spending time with friends, and focusing on your well-being. Remember, their decision to go silent reflects their issues, NOT your value! You are fantastic, regardless of their response. They just weren’t the right fit for you. That means someone out there is way better for you who is excited about getting to know you!
- Continue Dating: Don’t worry! This is not the last date on Earth! Reflect on the experience and see if there are any lessons or insights to gain. Use it as an opportunity to grow and improve your dating approach. Don’t let one negative experience deter you from dating. Continue meeting new people and exploring opportunities for meaningful connections.
Key Takeaways: Keep a Post-Date Text Short, Sweet, and Genuine
In dating, meaningful connections are forged through authenticity and communication. Texting after the first date is an opportunity to express your genuine interest and personality. Remember, it’s not about crafting the perfect text but showing your sincere self.
In summary, before you send that first text after a date remember to:
- Take Time to Reflect: Before diving into the texts, gauge the dynamics of your first date. Consider the atmosphere, conversation flow, shared interests, and your feelings. Your intuition is a valuable guide.
- Set the Tone: Your texts should align with the atmosphere of the date. Whether it was a sparkling connection, flirty romance, casual but promising, thought-provoking, or uninteresting, let the tone of your texts reflect the date’s vibe.
- Time Your Follow-Up Text: Sending a text after the first date is important to show interest and appreciation. Ideally, send it within 24-48 hours to maintain momentum, but tailor the timing to your dynamic and communication style.
- Text First or Wait If You Want: In modern dating, there are no strict rules about who should text first. Anyone can initiate the first text. What matters most is authentic communication that reflects your interests and personality.
- Strategize Your Emojis: Emojis can add personality to your texts. Use them to express interest, flirt, add a touch of romance, or inject humor. But, use emojis in moderation to maintain clear communication.
- Express Your Genuine Feelings: Be sincere and straightforward about your emotions in your texts. Mention specific aspects of the date you enjoyed and express your desire to continue the connection.
- Keep It Brief: While there’s no fixed text length, aim for 1-5 lines in your initial follow-up text. Conciseness keeps the message clear and easy to respond to.
- Gauge Their Interest Through Texts: Respond to their response time, engagement, initiation, tone, continuity, consistency, and interest in making plans. These cues provide insights into their level of interest.
- Start a Dazzling Text Conversation: Use engaging conversation starters that reflect your shared interests or positive aspects of the date. Ask questions, choose topics wisely, balance playfulness and seriousness, and avoid overwhelming messages.
- How to Deal with Ghosting: If you encounter ghosting, give it some time, send a polite follow-up message after a reasonable period, consider possible explanations, stay positive and respectful, limit follow-up messages, and focus on self-care. Remember, it’s a reflection of their behavior, not your worth.
Modern dating can be confusing, challenging, and even heartbreaking. If you’ve had a bad experience or a whole series of them, you’re not alone, trust me! Fortunately, a text message will never determine your fate.
“You can’t mess up what’s meant for you,” and “what’s meant for you can never pass you by.”
There is undoubtedly someone out there for you, and it’s helpful to think of every first date as a fun test drive of a car you may want to have down the line. The outcome of the test drive or the car’s reaction to your steering has nothing to do with your value.
Want to plan your next date? Here are 81 Exciting Second Date Ideas to Elevate Your Relationship!
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