Tinder is pretty intuitive. You swipe right on faces who swipe right on yours, send messages back and forth, and hopefully end up on a real life date. Zero tech savviness required. Your nana could handle it (and she should).
Real life dates, however, require advanced planning. A cute-but-casual locale must be selected, a convenient-but-not-desperate date and time must be agreed upon, and two human beings must actually show up to the cataclysmic event that is a pretty-much-blind date.
Ugh, I'm tired already.
Because there are so many logistics to be planned, but also no one wants their phone blowing up with dating app notifications, there is often another step in the process of Tindering: the text phase.
This is when you exchange numbers via the app in order to communicate more effectively about the IRL date you're trying to arrange.
If you are messaging back and forth with a cutie and wondering if you should move from Tinder to texting, here are four surefire signs that it's time to offer up the digits.
1. You've Already Talked About An Actual Date
You mentioned that you love ramen, and your match mentioned an awesome spot where they are weirdly a master at getting last minute Friday night reservations. It's v on.
If you are talking time and place, offer up your number. "One can throw out their cell after this as a courtesy to connect if someone is running late or they can't find each other at the meetup," explains dating expert Meredith Golden of SpoonMeetSpoon.com.
You don't want to be late because there are two ramen spots with the same name, and you have to check in with your date via an app five minutes before you're supposed to meet. Hopefully, they aren't checking Tinder while waiting for you to arrive. Phone numbers = easier.
Overall, Golden recommends waiting to share your number once a date, time, and location are confirmed. "I've noticed that switching to texting from messaging has a high drop-off rate," she explains.
I'm intrigued. I usually offer up my number pretty early on, because I single-shame myself and am too embarrassed to check the dating apps unless I am alone in my bedroom, which means I'm pretty much never replying to messages unless they are via text.
That said, it makes sense that the stakes to actually plan a date with someone from Tinder are higher if the communication is kept to the app until the night of.
2. You're Both Slow To Reply To Messages
Sometimes you end up Tinder-ghosting a genuinely cute and interesting person simply because you forgot you were chatting with them. No, the fact that you didn't open the app during your busy work day does not mean the chemistry isn't there. It's an app, and it's easy to forget to check back in with a stranger about how their Monday was.
As I mentioned, I would have never made it to a single app date were it not for the good old number exchange. I'm admittedly lazy, and checking an app feels so much harder than just replying to an iMessage.
That said, if you give your number to a match too soon, you run the risk of endless banter and date rescheduling that never results in an actual meet-and-greet. "It's good practice to meet, otherwise [a] 'text buddy' develops, which no one looking for a relationship ever enjoys," explains Golden.
If you've been hesitant to put your notifications back on since that one time an Uber driver charging your phone teased you for having Tinder, texting is OK. Just make sure you are chatting to set up an actual date, not just to occupy yourself on a Wednesday night.
3. Your Match Asks For Your Number
Don't be a weirdo. If someone you are interested in is messaging you on Tinder and asks for your number, go ahead and give it to them. You don't have to withhold your number because it might lead to becoming "text buddies." When it comes to giving out your number, do whatever you feel comfortable with.
In terms of asking for a match's number? "I prefer for the guy to take the lead and the female can follow," says Golden.
Still, this is 2017, and I think if you are up for tossing out your number to a match you don't want to see fade away, do it.
A particularly successful and handsome gentleman I matched with and subsequently dated had initially let our conversation trail off. I couldn't stop thinking about how cute and funny he was, so I shot him my number. On our first date, he told me he was impressed that I had sent it to him, because he just forgot to check the apps while he was traveling.
At the end of the day, you should switch over to texting whenever it makes things easier for you — whether that is right before a date, or because a particular cutie doesn't seem to be checking the apps diligently and you want to make sure a date happens.
If you've ever given your number to someone at a bar, you know that it's not a giant deal. It's just 10 numbers. On Tinder, you're just matching due to an internet algorithm instead of a vodka soda.
If you're forward and happy to offer up your number, do it. If your match turns into a relationship, it won't be because you followed certain rules about when to give out your digits, it will be because he likes you. Phone number sharing and all.
Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!