No matter how well you felt the date went, that first text can be scary. After all, what if they said they had a nice time just to be polite? What if your date is feeling just as vulnerable as you are? What if…? Just take a deep breath, relax, and fire off a friendly text to open up the door to more conversation.
Fire Away Right Away – Or Wait?
Picking the right time means finding a balance between coming across as desperate, and coming across as uninterested. If you text 5 minutes after saying goodbye, you run the risk of seeming clingy, and you might send something pretty lame and unimaginative. Also, you might stress your poor date out. They probably need some time to decompress as well, and a rapid fire text might make them start to wonder, “If we keep dating or begin a relationship, is this person going to be constantly texting me every two minutes?”
Playing By The Rules When Texting After The First Date
On the other hand, you should also avoid taking too long to send a text. Along with creating doubt, this might anger them as almost everyone has heard about “The rules” or understands the whole “playing hard to get” game.
Within 24 hours is perfect timing for sending your first post-date text. I recommend sending this text sometime in the evening, in order to avoid interfering with your date’s work-day. People are usually more relaxed and receptive to social texts in the evening, and they will have the time and energy to text you back.
Having said that, sending a goodnight text to someone you’re already acquaintances with, or who you speak to on a regular basis could help you avoid an awkward run-in.
Checking in to make sure that he or she arrived safely is also another good reason to send a text right away. For example, if you took separate cars, asking your date to text you when they arrive home safe and sound will come across as very classy without seeming creepy.
Always Be Polite And Say Thanks
Gratitude means a lot. There’s bound to be something to thank your date for. Did they make sure you ordered a special chocolate dessert? Spend a lot of time planning creative activities? Pay for a movie (movies aren’t cheap these days!)? Even if the date was entirely your treat, thank them for spending time with you. It makes you come across as classy and well mannered.
Coordinate Your Text With Your Date
The text you send should be in line with the “flavor” of the date. If your date took you to a classical music concert, then sending a text filled with slang is probably going to bomb. Likewise, if you went out to a sports bar and had dollar pitchers and nachos all night long, sending a stiff thank you text is going to be read by your date as a lack of interest.
Good Old Traditional Date
The old stand by date of dinner and drinks probably means that someone is looking for a somewhat serious relationship. Dinner is long and a fairly expensive date (unless you are eating the wings during happy hour). For most daters, there is also the pre-dinner preparation of putting your best date outfit on, and extra grooming to make yourself as physically attractive as possible. Then there is the mental stress of striving to impress your dinner companion, by holding a fun, lively conversation. If the date went well, then you’ll certainly want to send a text that isn’t wrapped in formality, but still sends a signal that says, “I want to see more of you.”
Message 1: “Hey Peter, thanks for dinner last night! I had such a great time, you’re quite the story teller.”
Message 2: “Last night was amazing! Being able to talk to someone who actually understands and shares the same love for modern art was a rare treat.”
Just because your date took place in a more casual setting, like a bowling alley, doesn’t mean the new special someone in your life thinks about you in a casual sense. Being invited to a basketball game, street fair/bazaar, or outdoor music festival means that the organizer is making the effort of being creative and trying to gauge whether or not the two of you have similar interests. Reassure them that they made a good choice of venue by bringing up something sincere and specific from the evening:
Message 1: “The Lakers game was incredible…think I lost my voice from all the screaming.”
Message 2: “Loved the farmers market. Thanks for helping me pick out the best tomatoes! Next time it’s wine and cooking. Deal?”
Message 3: “Amazing concert! Just found that band we both really liked on Facebook. I’ll send you the link later tonight.”
Grey Zone Date
There are certain situations where you can’t quite tell if you were on an actual date. These are typically spur-of-the-moment outings, such as a co-worker inviting you out for drinks after work. If you felt sexual tension and obvious flirting, it’s probably a sign that they’ve been looking for their window of opportunity for a while. Regardless, they might feel just as unsure as to whether or not it was a real date. Therefore, don’t get too gushy, or put a label on the time you spent together. Simply let them know you had fun!
Message 1: “I had a great time last night! Good thing it was a Tuesday or we would’ve tried every wine on the menu.”
Message 2: “Monday tapas beats Monday night football. I say that we turn this into a weekly event.”
Message 3: “Last night was just what I needed! Haven’t laughed that much in a long time!”
Social Get-together Date
If your love interest picked a friendly gathering for your first outing, then there’s always the stark possibility that he or she – for now, at least – only sees you as a friend. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that’s all they want to be. In cases like these, texting after the first date is extremely important. It sends a slightly formal message that indicates you’d like to continue seeing them.
There’s also the possibility that this gathering was a test to see if you get along with their friends. This is especially true if the event was filled with other couples. No matter what you think their intentions are, let them know once again that you had fun.
Message 1: “Thanks for inviting me, your friends are really nice. The evening went by in a nanosecond.”
Message 2: “Last night was great! You friends are just as sweet and funny as you are.”
Employ Caution When Using Specific Terminology
Unless the phrase “Would you like to go out on a date with me?” was spoken out loud, do not use the term “date” in your first texts. Doing so will automatically take any causality out of the conversation, and makes you come off as aggressive. Keeping the word “date” out of your texts after the first date will allow things to progress much more naturally.
As with all text conversations, have fun! If it isn’t fun to send texts to him or her than you probably have not found the right partner, and you should move on.