How Long Should You Wait Before A First Date? The Answer May Surprise You

So you're swiping right and left on Tinder, while taking the train to work. Suddenly, the cutest person appears on your screen. You consider super-liking them, but don't want to seem to eager — it doesn't matter because they swiped right, too! You shoot them a message and they send one back. You get butterflies as your screen lights up, and you're left wondering how long should you wait before a first date.What if I told you there's actually a definitive window of time for you to plan your first date? That's right: Tinder revealed the best time to meet your crush IRL, and the results are fascinating.

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According to a report provided by Tinder, 95% of matches are most likely to meet between two-to-seven days. This window of time can be a helpful guideline for those of you wondering how long you should wait before asking someone out (or how long you have until that spark starts to fade).

Life can be busy without the added variable of dating, and some times it can seem like there are so many reasons to delay a first date with that cutie you've met online. Whether you're crushing enough that you feel a little too nervous, you're concerned about your safety because you're meeting a stranger, or your life is jam-packed by your busy schedule — the reasons can seem endless. Although there's no need to pressure yourself, consider opening up one night in your week for a first date. You might just thank yourself later.

Jen Grantham/Stocksy

This Tinder statistic isn't a hard and fast rule: there are definitely some exceptions. I decided to ask the opinion of a Tinder user who found her current relationship through the app. Hannah, 25, explains, "My schedule is pretty much always booked a week or two out." She has a point. Life can be overwhelmingly full of responsibilities that you may need to prioritize over a date.

She went on to say, "Guys would sometimes be like, 'Wait, you seriously aren't free to meet for drinks for the next nine days?' I was like, 'Uhhhh, yeah, I have friends and hobbies and a life.' I was not going to drop any of that for a date." Hannah later met her boyfriend on Tinder, but consistently forgot to message him back because she was so busy. When she finally did respond, he leapt at the chance to ask her out. She still had to schedule their date a week in advance, but they ended up hitting it off.

It's never too early to look for signs of compatibility. If someone you're talking to on a dating app isn't supportive of a your busy schedule, then you might be better off keeping the connection digital. However, if they seem understanding about what you have going on in your life, their compassion could be an even stronger sign that you should consider asking them out!

Javier Pardina/Stocksy

While things may have worked out for Hannah, every connection is unique. While it's true that meeting up with your crush after the week-long window isn't off the table, there are plenty of reasons to consider following the two-to-seven rule. For example, the more you see your upcoming date as a source of excitement, the more likely you are to look forward to the date. Meeting within a week will keep you from thinking of your plans as just another stressful calendar entry, because it won't take up space in your schedule for too long. It's helpful to remember that romance should never feel like an obligation — moving from online to a date within a week keeps things fresh and stimulating! Additionally, by asking your match out after two or three days, you're allowing yourself just enough time to get to know them personally.

No matter what happens between you and your crush, putting yourself out there is always something to be proud of. Every dating experience, big or small, has the potential to teach you about what you're looking for romantically. Start by finding the right person for you — you can figure out the rest together.

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