First Date Rules: Texting After The First Date

Updated June 5, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

The first date with a new person can be challenging for both parties. Often, neither individual knows much about one another, and they may both fear rejection. The first date can also bring many questions (i.e., What if they don’t like me?, What if I say the wrong thing?, Who pays?, Do we kiss on the first date?) With so much pressure, you might wonder how anyone makes it to the actual date. 

If the first date goes well, it’s a sign that both parties enjoy one another’s company and they want to learn more about each other. Texting after the first date may be one of the best strategies for maintaining a first-date spark . Still, a major point of debate in today’s dating world involves texting etiquette after the first date. 

Texting can play a major role in the way most people communicate (and miscommunicate) these days. A significant downside of using text messages as a primary means of communicating may be the inability to understand intention or hear inflection. Thus, people may read text messages differently than they were intended. For example, the sender of a certain text message may have been innocently joking, yet the recipient may interpret it as snarky and harsh.

If you’re wondering whether you should send a follow-up text after a first date, keep in mind that texting can be one way to let your date know that you’re thinking of them and that you had a great time.

Before we get into what you might consider texting after the first date, let’s talk about some things you might want to avoid texting.

What not to text

What you text a date matters

Your first instinct may be to send the first text to a girl you like with something especially casual. Your intent might be to avoid sounding too clingy/interested/desperate by sending something overly personal. However, you might not want to send a generic text such as “How are you?” either. Doing so might show a lack of effort or personality, and it may not set you apart from any other suitor. If you send a basic message like this, it could give the impression that you didn’t find your date interesting. The person on the receiving end may question your level of interest if you fail to point out any of their unique qualities, for example. Instead of going generic, you may want to text them something specific that reflects your time together or your date’s personality.

Another texting mistake after the first date may be being too eager. For example, you might want to avoid asking for another date the following day. A message such as “Hey, let’s grab breakfast tomorrow morning” might come off as too direct or even inconsiderate of the other person’s time.  Even if you are genuinely interested in the person you went on a date with and want to see them again as soon as possible, consider giving it some time. Otherwise, you may scare your date off. 

A cooling off period may be helpful for you as well. After a first date with someone you feel a connection with, there could be a tendency to view the experience through rose-colored glasses. Thus, it could be a good idea to take some time to separate yourself from the immediate experience. This will give you the distance necessary to determine whether your feelings are genuine or influenced by first-date excitement.

You also don’t want to appear too desperate or as though you don’t have anything else going on in your life. Instead, consider giving your date (and yourself) some time, so the desire to see one another again can grow. If you’re too available, this could give off the impression of neediness, which some people may find unattractive.

Before deciding what to text after a date, consider the tone of the date. Then, craft a message that matches that tone.  You may want to avoid sending mixed signals early into dating, especially if you are truly interested.

What to text after the first date

Texting after the first date can be a big deal. You want to make a good second impression and set the tone for your communication going forward. Consider sending a nice, charming, thoughtful message. Your date may appreciate this type of text the most. Here are a few examples.

Example: “Hey! Thanks so much for earlier. I had such a great time (insert activity here), and your company wasn’t too bad either ;).”

A message like this may come off as casual and playful while also encouraging the other person to respond. Here, you took care of the most important point: acknowledging the date and thanking the other person for participating. After this, you added fun and teasing elements that may make the other person smile and feel good about themselves and the date. The emoji use might also help you to overcome the typical texting challenge of understanding intonation. It shows that you’re lighthearted, an attitude that may be more likely to get you a response. Consider adding more details to this message to personalize it. This may earn you additional points for attentiveness. 

Example: “Good to see you! Sending you cold hugs.”

This one may seem a bit out of the ordinary, but here’s the context: If you and your date shared some ‘inside’ jokes, you might consider using this in your first text message. Perhaps you and your date joked about you being a “colder” and more closed-off type of person during the date because you may have been acting shy or nervous. After your first date, you could send a text message that circles back to that. This can spark the other person’s memory and prompt a smile or even a connection. 

There may not be anything outstanding in this message, but the personalization could grab your date’s attention. To replicate this type of text, start with some sort of ‘thank you,’ then recap a specific detail of your time together and/or the conversation you had on the date.

Overall, when trying to decide what to text on the first date, it could be best to stick with the most tried and true ideas – starting with a thank you message to show appreciation of the time spent together, and then following that up with something personal related to either the recipient or the date itself. Consider a playful and nonchalant tone so that the other person might be less likely to feel intimidated. You might want to think along the lines of pressure-free conversation starters, since the period following a first date can be a vulnerable time.

When should you text?

When it comes to the timing of your first text message, there may be a few standard options. You can text someone directly after your date, an hour after your date, two to three hours after, or six to seven hours after.  The “when” might be a lot less important than the “what,” but as a general rule, waiting for at least two to three hours may be advisable. This casual interval may give you both some breathing room after your date to reflect. 

How often to text

What you text a date matters

Once you send that initial message after the first date, you may start texting with the person on a regular basis. Even so, you might wonder how often you should text. You may not want to give the impression that you’re overly needy or demanding by texting too frequently, for instance. This may turn your date off and make them think it’s just too much too soon. It could be important to find a balance between too much and too little. Too little texting, for example, could make the other person think you are no longer interested.

It may be a good idea to gauge how much the other person texts you, and then follow their lead. When the other party texts, text back. Use similar time intervals between messages. If you notice the other person isn’t very talkative, you may want to probe a bit to determine interest, but don’t push or force a conversation. 

Online therapy for dating advice

If you’re having trouble working your way through first dates and need some help understanding how to navigate this space, a relationship therapist can help. This type of counselor isn’t just for couples; you can attend sessions individually or with a partner. 

It could be difficult to find time for an in-person counseling session when you’re dating, though. You may be juggling other responsibilities and have little time outside of work and your social life. In this case, online counseling may be a better fit for you. This type of counseling is less time-consuming since you can access your sessions from home. It may also be more flexible with appointments available around the clock. 

Some people may question the legitimacy of online therapy, but researchers in the field of mental health have found it to be just as effective as traditional in-person therapy. A comprehensive meta-analysis demonstrated that similar outcomes were associated with both types of counseling. Researchers reviewed nearly 10,000 cases spanning a range of mental health challenges when coming to this conclusion. 


Texting after the first date can be like an uncomfortable ping-pong game. This may be expected as you start to learn more about each other. Perhaps a good rule of thumb for first date texting is to use texting to show interest, but avoid going to the extreme.  You might not want to shy away just because the other person does, but you also want to respect one another’s space. For more support and guidance about this and other common dating issues, reach out to Regain

For Additional Help & Support With Your ConcernsThis website is owned and operated by BetterHelp, who receives all fees associated with the platform.
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
Get the support you need from one of our therapistsGet Started
This website is owned and operated by BetterHelp, who receives all fees associated with the platform.