6 Things to Know About Texting After the First Date

No matter how your first date went, you’re going to have some communications back and forth with the guy or gal that you spent some time with. And since we live in the day and age where no one makes actual phone calls, that communication is going to be by way of texting. 

If you’re fairly new to dating (or it has been a while), this may be uncharted territory. What do you say if you want to see them again? What do you say if you’d rather go your separate ways? How do you react if they’re a “great” texter or not that awesome at it?

While we aren’t able to just head over and type the texts for you, we can offer some guidance to help you learn to text after a first date like a rock star. 

Here are six things you need to know about texting after the first date. 

1. You SHOULD send a message the same night after the first date. 

We highly recommend that you send a text message when you get home after every single first date. This is true whether you want to see them again or you don’t want to see them again.

If you want to see them again…

Let them know that you had a great time and thank them for sharing some time with you. No need to go over the top here (we’ll cover this more later), but let them know you had a good time and would like to see them again. 

For example, “Thanks for hanging out with me tonight. I had a really great time. I’d love to see you again sometime!”

Something that simple is all you need to get the point across. 

If you don’t want to see them again…

Yes, you still should send a text to someone on the night of the first date even if you don’t want to see them again. Bad news never gets better with time, and it’s best to share your feelings right away.

Here’s an example of what you can say. “Thanks for spending some time with me tonight. I had fun, but I don’t think we’re going to be a good fit romantically. Thank you again!”

Notice how we weren’t mean, but we were still straight forward that we aren’t feeling it. 

2. Ensure you’re paying attention to their texting rhythm. 

The biggest question we hear on this topic is how often you should be texting after the first date, typically referring to the time between that date and the second one. There are a lot of schools of thought on this topic, but here’s what we really think is best. 

First, don’t feel obligated to text every day. If you do, that’s okay (depending on the next thing we’re going to mention). If it’s every few days, that’s okay as well. 

All of this is dependent on two things—how often you feel like texting and their texting rhythm. If they’re someone who seems to respond quickly and is also initiating texts every day, then that’s how often they prefer to text. If they’re someone who only texts every few days, then that’s their texting rhythm. 

A great way to answer the question of how often to text is to try and align yourself with their rhythm.

Don’t try and force texts every hour if it’s pretty clear that they’re more of an every few days kind of person. 

The other piece of the puzzle, though, is how often you like to text. If you only like to text every few days and they’re an every hour type of person—don’t feel an obligation to match that high-pace of a rhythm. 

In those situations, the best thing to do (if you like them) is to meet in the middle. If you’re every few days and they’re every few hours, maybe move towards a few times every day. Or if they’re every few days and you’re every day, aim for every other day. 

Don’t overthink this, though. If you want to text them, text them. Just don’t be too over the top or too distant and never think of it like a game. 

3. Be honest but don’t scare them away.

As we mentioned earlier, it’s great to let someone know via text after a first date that you had a great time. But if the date went extremely well, there can be a temptation to ooze those feelings into a text message. 

Step one—pump the breaks. Yes, it’s important to be honest. Yes, it’s important to communicate how you feel. However, after only a first date, some people emotionally move slower than other people. If they like you but want to take things slow and you come out of the gate telling them how they’re going to be your future husband or wife (or something similar), you’re going to scare them away.

Keep it simple that you had a great time and share those over-the-top excited feelings down the line after a few more dates. 

4. Don’t be scared to be forward about not wanting to see them again. 

We also mentioned earlier that you should be sending a message to a first date if you’re not interested in seeing them again. The key takeaway of this tip is not to be scared about being forward. 

Don’t beat around the bush. Don’t sugarcoat how you feel. No, you don’t have to be mean and tell them everything you didn’t like about them. But you should be forward about the part that it’s not going to work out between the two of you.

It might seem harsh, but being forward is always the healthiest thing for both people. 

5. Don’t read into their text timing too deeply. 

Earlier, we talked about matching their rhythm when it comes to sending texts. What we didn’t talk about yet is what different texting rhythms actually mean. 

In most cases, they mean absolutely nothing. Yup. Nothing. If they’re slower at texting, it probably means they’re busy or don’t like to text that much. If they text a lot, they’re probably someone who spends a lot of time on their phone. So, don’t read into things too much.

That all being said, there are some things you may be able to pull out of things. 

  • If you’re always the one initiating the text conversations, they might not be that interested in you. This isn’t always the case, but something to be aware of. If it feels like pulling teeth to get them to respond, you might want to consider looking for other options. 
  • If they’re texting you a lot and initiating the conversations, the chances are very high that they’re interested in you. The initiation of a text conversation is almost certainly a tell-tale sign they’re into you.

6. Remember the goal.

While it’s nice to use texting as a way to get to know the other person a little bit better, the ultimate goal should be to get to a second date. Use texting more as a way to logistically set up that second date and less as a way to carry on full-on conversations.

Yes, it’s fun to use texting to flirt (and we encourage it.). Yes, it’s a nice way to continue growing the connection between dates. But all that being said, your goal should be to get that next date set up so you can spend some more in-person time with your new love interest!

The Wrap Up

We’ve given you a lot of tips here about how to text with someone after a first date like a champ. But here’s an even more important bottom line—don’t overthink any of this.

It’s easy to obsess over what you’re saying, when you say it, and how you say it. And while these things are important and should be considered, there is no exact science. Enjoy the excitement of a new love interest and let things happen as naturally as possible!

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Author: Matt Seymour, MSF

Matthew J. Seymour is a dating industry expert with over a decade of experience coaching singles, reviewing dating apps, and analyzing trends within the industry. Matt is a published author with his most recent work “Get More Dates: How to Master Online Dating Apps” that hit shelves in 2023. With a Masters of Science in Finance (MSF) degree from the University of Florida and extensive knowledge of the innerworkings of the online dating industry, Matt frequently serves in an advisory role to some of the largest dating apps on the market. In Matt’s current role with Healthy Framework, he leads the interview team that regularly interviews key dating industry leaders, and leverages his financial knowledge and dating app experience to review and share what singles need to know to get the most out of dating online.