How Long Should I Wait? When To Text After First Date

Updated April 8, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

Many people experience so-called “post-date anxiety,” with the conversation about whether to text after a date often entering therapy sessions. Though first dates can make us feel insecure, a few reminders can make it less nerve-wracking. Remind yourself that you don’t have to wait for them to text you first, you can be direct and upfront in your responses, it’s okay if they don’t text back right away, they’re probably experiencing the same nerves, and your dating life does not define your self-worth. There are not any rules for how much time should pass before you send a follow-up text after your date, but many sites agree that, if you liked them, texting soon after a first date is a good idea.

Feeling insecure? Unsure if they liked you?

When to text after the first date

Many people debate when to text after the first date. In an opinion piece for the New York Times, Lindsey Goldstein describes her concerns about texting after a good first date. After months of frustration, her takeaway was to be upfront and clear about what you want. You don’t need to wait days to text after your first date (or second, or third). 

These quotes demonstrate the wide variety of opinions when it comes to timing a post-date text. But, in general, if you enjoyed your date, most blogs recommend texting as soon as you want to afterwards. If you want, you can impose a rule to text within the first 24-48 hours, or you can go with your instincts and text them whenever feels right to you. 

Texting etiquette

Texting after a date can feel daunting. If you had a good first date, however, there are some guidelines that ensure your date knows you enjoyed their company and ease their post-date anxiety. In turn, these tips may make you feel more confident, too: 

  • It’s okay to text first: You can simply let them know you had a nice time and would like to go out again sometime. 
  • Respond to their texts: It is kind and considerate to respond to texts, even if it’s to tell them, “I’m about to head into a meeting, but I’ll respond in a few hours.” If you don’t always have your phone on you, you can let them know ahead of time that you’re not a reliable texter, but that you’ll respond when you can. 
  • Be honest: If you don’t want to go on another date, you should try to avoid ghosting them. Instead, focus on being honest, sensitive, and brief
  • Be considerate of their time: Lengthy texts can take up a lot of time. If it takes you several minutes to write a text, it may be better saved for a phone call or your next date. 
  • Don’t spam texts: If you’ve texted them several times without a reply, it may mean that they are not interested or they’re busy. Wait for them to respond. 

What to text after a good first date

Now you know that you don’t need to wait to send a text after a first date, but you still might not know what to say. The following examples are simple, express your interest in them, and make it clear that you’d like to go out again: 

  • “Hey, I had a great time going out with you last night. I hope that you had fun, too, and I’d love to do it again sometime!”
  • “I enjoyed our date. I’d love to see you again soon.”
  • “Still dreaming about how good the food was at the restaurant you picked! I think you’d really like this sushi spot near me, want to go sometime?”
  • “It’s cool we’re both runners, I’d love to join you on a jog sometime soon!”
  • “Hey, I had fun last night and wanted to see if you’re interested in catching that new movie with me and some friends next weekend?”
  • “Okay, I listened to that band you recommended, and they rock. Seeing that we have similar music taste, there’s this Indie band in town next month and I have an extra ticket if you want to join!” 

In a brief text, you can let them know that you enjoyed getting to know them and suggest another date. If you discovered that you share a common interest on your first date, your follow-up date might revolve around that. For example, if you both love yoga, you might invite them to a yoga class. Or, if you’re both superhero fans, you may want to invite them to see a superhero movie in theaters. 

This will likely open up the conversation about whether they are interested in going on a second date. If they are interested, great! If not, that’s okay, too. 

Second date tips

If you’ve texted them after you’re first date and are ready to ask for a second, the following tips may be helpful: 

  • Try sometime fun together: Your first date is a good time to sit down for a structured event (such as getting a drink or meal) that enables you to easily leave if you’re not connecting well. For your second date, you might want to try doing an activity together, like going to the beach, attending a trivia night, or going to a local dance class. 
  • Deeper conversations: During a first date, you probably asked them the standard questions about their family and career. On a second date, you might want to ask your date about the type of relationship they’re looking for, if they’re monogamous, and about their life goals. 
  • Be honest: If you’re looking for a casual relationship or short-term partner, you should make that expectation clear. If you don’t have much time to put into a relationship, you may also want to let them know so they can make an informed decision about pursuing a relationship. 
Feeling insecure? Unsure if they liked you?

Consider trying therapy to boost your self-esteem

Dating can expose your insecurities and self-doubt, which can harm your self-confidence and spark jealousy in your relationships. If you’re experiencing these feelings, you might want to reach out to a cognitive behavioral therapist. Research published in 2017 demonstrates that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can effectively address low self-esteem in most people. 

Therapy sessions from online platforms, like Regain, are typically more affordable than in-person therapy. Additionally, a 2022 pilot study found that online CBT can effectively improve self-esteem, self-compassion, quality of life, and symptoms of depression and anxiety. 


After a good first date, many people find themselves wondering how long they need to wait to send a text. While there are exceptions, most dating websites recommend reaching out soon (within a day) to express your happiness with the date and propose a possible second date. In general, it’s a good idea to follow texting etiquette, such as texting back as soon as you can, keeping text length to a minimum, and being clear and uncomplicated about your interest in them. 

While dating can be stressful for everyone, you may find it more challenging if you don’t have high self-esteem. Online cognitive behavioral therapy can effectively help you improve your self-esteem, self-confidence, anxiety, and depression. Even if they’re not interested in another date, you are worthy of your own self-love and compassion. 

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