Picture this: You're on a date. If Nicholas Sparks had been casually observing, he would have been inspired to write a new bestseller about your budding romance. We’re talking about a magical evening, brimming with witty banter that flows without a moment of awkward silence. It all ends with a goodnight kiss that leaves a stupid smile plastered on your face all the way back to your fifth-floor apartment. And yet, you get no text after the first date. What gives? Are they playing hard to get? Did something catastrophic happen that’s prevented them from reaching out? What kind of girl or guy doesn’t text after a first date?
If you’ve seen the flick He's Just Not That Into You, you probably remember that cringeworthy scene where Gigi calls Conor after her first date and leaves an epic, rambling voicemail that oozes desperation. “I just thought that I hadn't heard from you, and I mean, how stupid is it that a girl has to wait for a guy's call anyway, right? Cause we're all equal, right?” she stammers, while her two girlfriends grimace in the background. No one wants to be that person. Still, there’s a fine line between playing games and playing it cool. How long is reasonable to wait for a text? What should you do if you have an arranged date but haven't heard from him or her? Luckily, experts have the answers to these questions.
How Long Should You Wait To Text Someone Before A First Date?
So your date is quickly approaching and your guy hasn’t texted. What should you do? Well, matchmaker and dating coach Lori Salkin says it’s never too late to ask your date, “Are we still on for tonight?” As she previously explained to Elite Daily, “If you find yourself in a situation where [you] just want to confirm your date and the date plan ... there is no harm in taking matters into your own hands and texting [them] to confirm.
Licensed marriage and family therapist Nicole Richardson agreed, telling Elite Daily it’s best not to beat around the bush when you’re confirming your plans with someone. If you ask them, “Hey, are we still on for tonight?,” then that will convey “a sense of excitement and confidence” that your date will likely appreciate. And if they don’t respond to confirm plans, then you have your answer.
How Long Should You Wait To Text Someone After A First Date?
You’ve probably heard of the three-day rule (made popular by the movie Swingers), but not everyone agrees that that’s how long you should wait before texting a date. It’s tempting to freak if a date hasn’t texted you, especially when you have friends weighing in with such conflicting experiences and advice. The fact is, there is no exact science when it comes to knowing when is reasonable to expect a text — it depends on the person’s schedule, obligations, habits, and intentions. But according Pricilla Martinez, online life coach at Blush, it’s reasonable to expect your date to text within a week, maximum.
“Someone who is really into you will not keep you waiting too long,” she explains. “If they are interested, they will take the necessary steps to see you again. If there were extenuating circumstances, they will eventually reach out and explain what those were. It’s then up to you to decide if you not only believe them, but consider their reasons good enough to warrant not taking 10 seconds to send a text.”
What Reasons Might A Date Have For Not Texting You?
There are certain factors to keep in mind if your date has been radio silent. For example, you might want to evaluate your texting habits with this person up until this point. If you two have been chatting back and forth on a daily basis and you haven’t heard from them a few days after your date, that could potentially be a red flag. Maria Avgitidis, CEO of matchmaking service Agape Match and host of the dating podcast Ask A Matchmaker, says there’s a few reasons why someone might not text you back ASAP.
“Sometimes, people look at their text messages on their Apple Watches and think, I’ll respond to this later, and then completely forget to respond,” she tells Elite Daily. “And you’re not a priority — so one of those things I think is — if they’re not responding to your text message in the evening after work, then it just means you’re not a priority. You’re on the back burner.”
On the other hand, if your date wasn’t texting you on a daily basis before you met up, then it’s a little more understandable if they haven’t reached out yet. Martinez advises thinking back to your behavior on the date to assess what kind of vibes you were giving off. “Was it clear that you were interested? Did you flirt? How did the date end? Usually, when you’re interested in someone, these things come effortlessly with little thought,” she explains. “But if you were purposefully aloof in order to play it cool, then you may have sent the message that you weren’t feeling the chemistry.”
What Should You Say To A Date Who Hasn’t Texted You?
If you come to the conclusion that you didn’t make your interest known and you still haven’t heard from your date a few days later, Martinez recommends sending a message to make it more obvious that you’d like to see them again. She also suggests thinking about what you deem to be a valid excuse for not touching base sooner.
“If they can give you an explanation that you find reasonable, then go with your gut feeling,” she adds. “You have to decide for yourself because there really aren’t strict rules when it comes to this. If you aren’t comfortable or interested in taking the lead in this way, then don’t. You have to think about what you want and align your actions accordingly. If you want a person who takes initiative, then you can’t jump that gun. After you’ve made your interest clear, you have to let them do it.
However, should probs shouldn’t call them, no matter how tempted you may feel. “If you feel the need to call them, ask yourself why,” Avgitidis says. “Usually, the answer to that is acknowledgment. And if they’re not acknowledging you over text, I don’t think you’re going to get the answers you want through the phone.” At a certain point, though, it might be time to move on from a date who left you hanging. As Martinez says: “Don’t feel badly that it didn’t work out. Be grateful that they didn’t waste your time.”
The bottom line? There’s no right or wrong when it comes to the texting time frame after a date. Furthermore, there’s no right or wrong regarding when you should reach out yourself. Don’t be afraid to try and reconnect with a date that you felt a spark with — that way, you can better evaluate whether your crush is into you but super busy or shy, or simply misread your level of interest. It's important to give someone the benefit of the doubt. Who knows? They could be "the one" — and if that's the case, then they're definitely worth a little extra patience.
Lori Salkin, matchmaker and dating coach
Nicole Richardson, licensed marriage and family therapist
Pricilla Martinez, online life coach at Blush
Editor's Note: This story has been updated by Elite Daily Staff.
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