When Should You Meet Your Tinder Match In Person? This Is How Long It Takes Most People To Do It

While I rewatched the first season of Law & Order: SVU, as one does on a rainy weekend, I saw an episode about a 16-year-old girl who spent months talking to her older chatroom boyfriend, only to finally meet up and be abducted and raped. Rather than blaming the adult man for his heinous crimes, everyone seemed weirdly fixated on the teen girl's supposed mistake — meeting up with someone she met online. But life is different now. Today, the question isn't if you should meet your Tinder match in person. It's when to meet your Tinder match in person.

I'm pretty sure I'm doing this whole "timing" thing wrong. Twenty-six days ago, I handed my phone to my coupled-up friend and told her to have fun swiping through my Tinder. She gleefully swiped right on a long-haired lawyer whose bio mentioned he loved movies and volunteering. She cheered when we matched, and she started up a conversation.

After four days of sporadic messaging, he asked me out, but I was visiting my sister in Texas. I threw out two dates for the week I got back to New York. He said it was a tough week for him at work, so he offered to circle back later. Six days went by, and then he floated the idea of Thursday at 9:30, which I vetoed as too late.

I will spare you the details, which grow even more tedious from here (can you believe it?). But ultimately, after considering four other dates and times, we settled on Wednesday the 25th, a full 21 days after we had matched. I texted him to confirm that we were still on for drinks, and he essentially cancelled.

Was literally just going to shoot you a text. I can't, I need to be in Midtown for something until like 9:30. Will be tough.

He asked to reschedule, but by that point, I was over it. Nothing is less sexy than repeatedly checking iCal. I'm pretty sure that Long-Haired Lawyer Dude and I will never meet in real life.

And until recently, I also thought that was kind of the norm. But whoa, was I wrong. Tinder sent me data about how long it takes most users to meet up with each other, and I was really surprised.

This Is How Long Most People Take To Meet Up

According to Tinder, "About 95 percent of our users who meet up will meet up within two to seven days of matching with each other."

That's kind of awesome, no?

To me, that sounds like most people really prioritize dating. Rather than seeing someone they like, but then pushing off their eventual meet-cute until after their book club/aerial yoga workshop/13th consecutive night in watching Law & Order: SVU re-runs, they're making moves. I like it. And clearly, I should learn from it.

Tinder's findings dovetail pretty nicely with conventional wisdom about how to date most effectively.

"The idea is always to take [the conversation] offline sooner rather than later," says Michal Naisteter, a matchmaker from Three Day Rule. "It's the only way to find out if you click in person!"

How Are People Really Using Tinder?

I started asking around to see how people tend to use Tinder — half because I wanted to see if that statistic rings true, and half because I wanted to see if I'm really the only scheduling-challenged nightmare out there who will probably die alone and then still ask to move the date of my funeral twice.

It turns out that Tinder's numbers — 95 percent of people who meet up with their match do so within two to seven days — seem pretty legit.

This woman wants to meet up that night if possible.

I try to meet up with them as soon as possible — that night if at all possible! Though I’m busy so I would say on average it has to be three or four days before we can meet, and I try not to message a ton before hand. I’m picky with my swipes so I know I’m already intrigued. Just the basics — have they made me laugh in messages? Are there no red flags? Let’s get a drink ASAP.

— Sharlyn, 27

This woman aims to meet up within three to four days.

Typically, if I match with someone and there seems to be a really good vibe, I'll try to meet up with them three to four days later. I can tell pretty quickly if I want to meet up with someone based on the way the conversation is flowing and how much of their personality is coming through.
If I wait longer to meet up with a guy it's usually because of a busy schedule and I think they're worth waiting a few extra days. I matched with a guy five days ago and then went away for the weekend, but we've been texting daily since we matched. We have a date in two days.

— Christina, 24

This woman kindly gave her matches a week to meet up.

When I used them, I was pretty generous. I'd give it about a week. Over a week, and I was definitely moving on to other people.

— Theresa, 24

This woman usually stopped responding after two days — but then met up with her now-boyfriend after a week and a half.

When I was actively on dating apps, I would match with someone and give it no more than two days of talking before scheduling a date. If we didn’t schedule a date within two or three days of talking, I got bored and moved on. After my current boyfriend and I matched, we originally planned a date for around a week and a half after matching. It was the only day we were both available, which kind of sucked. But I was so into him that I maneuvered my schedule to make room for a date just three days after matching. I’m glad I did!

— Alexia, 24

And there we go, folks. Meet up in two days. Meet up after a week. Meet up after a week and a half, if you're really digging someone! Do not wait 21 days and then cancel.

I'll take the extra-wide coffin with adequate room for all my day planners, please.

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