What To Text After a First Date

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So you’ve had a first date. But whats the etiquette when it comes to texting after a first date? How do you know what to text after a first date, and what’s more – when? Who should text first after a date? And how do you know what to say? I mean, how “strong” should you come on? Well fear not, in this post, we’ll break it all down. So let’s start from the top.

Who Should Text First After a Date?

So first up, after a first date you may be wondering – now what? Should I text? Should he / she text? Who should text first after a date? Are there any rules with this?

Well, no, not really. Texting after a first date, is kind of just polite.

Unless the date went terribly, you recognised the signs he’s wasting your time and both left on bad terms (yikes!), texting after a first date is just the natural follow up.

Even if it’s just a small message to say, “Thanks for today. It was great to meet you.”

It doesn’t matter if you see things romantically or not. Sometimes it may be a case of you being better off as friends. But if someone put the time into seeing you, it’s nice to acknowledge that with a little message after, and you’ll typically get something back.

For this reason, it doesn’t really matter who texts first after a date. So try not to overthink it, or fall into the common debate of “should I text him first?!”

If he/ she hasn’t yet said anything – feel free to send something over to them. And if they have – great, make sure you reply! After all, being ghosted after a first date, has got to be the worst!

Generally speaking, if someone else planned the date and went to more of an effort before, it’s nice for you to send that first text to say thank you after…

But – like I said – it’s not a major deal either way.

When Should You Text After The First Date?

So you know that it doesn’t really matter who texts first after a date, but then comes the question of when to text after a first date.

I mean, how long after a first date should you text a guy? 

  • Should you text as soon as you leave?
  • Should you text when you get home?
  • Or should you wait a few hours, a few days even?

Well, this ones nice and simple. 

Essentially – you shouldn’t be texting as soon as you walk out the door, but you also don’t want to leave it too long.

Your first text is going to include a “thank you”, so you want to send this within the first 12 hours, if you don’t hear from your date before.

The time of day that you have the date will also make a difference when it comes to when you should text after the first date. For example…

Texting after a date

1) If You Had a Morning Date

Morning dates are great. In fact, there’s plenty of fun and different morning date ideas that you may not have even thought of before!

So if you have a morning date, you’ll then want to text late afternoon / evening.

This gives you enough time to get about your day, have that space like we said, and you can then carry the conversation on with there, asking something like:

“How was the rest of your day? Did you… [mention whatever plans they said they had to show you listen]?”

You could, of course, swap it around. So you might text shortly after the date, once you’re back home perhaps, but keep it short and sweet like:

“Thanks so much for this mornings date. I really enjoyed it! Enjoy the rest of your day xx”

You’ve then acknowledged your time together and can continue the conversation later on, if you’re looking to get the balance right with how often you should text when dating someone.

2) If You Had a Day Date

Next up, comes the question of when to text after a first date, if that date was in the heart of the day. I mean, let’s say it was an afternoon date, or a last minute date on your lunch break.

In this case, you’ll probably want to go for the evening to text – before you go to bed.

If they have plans that night, again, you could get the initial text out the way fairly shortly.

“Thanks for a great date! Have fun at [whatever they’re doing] this evening.”

But if you do this, you don’t want to text again later that night to see how it was. Just save that for the next day.

Personally, I’d text later on – give them some time to process it. For example, that night you might say:

“Thanks for a great date today. I really enjoyed it. Hope [whatever they were doing] was fun too. Night night! xx”

It’s short, snappy, cute and sweet… Whilst still showing that you are interested and do care.

Remember, there’s a right way to play it cool when dating, and this kind of falls into the category of that!

3) If You Had an Evening Date

Last but not least then – if your first date was on the evening, you may be wondering – more than anything – when to text.

  • Do you text straight after when you get home?
  • Do you text just before you go to sleep?
  • Or do you text the next morning / next day?

Well a little message before bed is okay. Especially if you / they were travelling back.

It also means that – if it’s late – you’re not going to text too much anyway, so they still get that space and time for reflection before speaking further the following day.

Does that make sense? And make things a little clearer / easier?

When To Text After a First Date

In a nutshell, when it comes to when to text after a first date, go with what feels natural.

Don’t text as soon as you leave the door, but also don’e leave it days on end to acknowledge the other persons time. 

Generally speaking, you want to text on the same day of the date – whether the date went well or not. It’s just a polite follow up. You don’t have to say a lot. But it’s good to say something.

This then avoids the feelings of being ghosted after the first date, like we mentioned.

Because hey, here’s a not-so-fun-fact – surveys show, “about 80% of millennial singles have been victims of ‘ghosting’.

And sure, there’s effective ways to deal with ghosting, but if we can reduce it – from both sides – that would be far better! Don’t you agree?!

What to text after a first date

What To Text After a First Date

So what next? Well, we’ve looked at who should text after a first date and when to text after a first date, which means it’s time to move onto the big question of what to text after a first date.

I mean – what should you actually say? Is there a formula? Or at least some examples to give you a better, clearer idea of post-date texting etiquette? Absolutely!

So let’s start with some guidelines for texting after a first date, then I’ll finish off with some templates.

Rules For Texting After a First Date:

When it comes to texting after a first date, you want to:

1) Start By Saying Thank You

No matter how the date went, this person went to the time and effort to see you so it’s essential that when you text after a first date, there’s some “thank you” in there.

Manners cost nothing after all, my friends. You know that. So be nice, and say thanks!

2) Acknowledge How It Went

So if you covered the key things to talk about on a first date, you may have already done this in person. But it’s also good to make a comment of how the date went.

So even if you think it’s more of a “friends vibe”, but you enjoyed the company and your time – pick out the positive. Say something like, 

“I really enjoyed it! / It was great meeting you. / That was so funny when… [pick up on something that happened which made you smile.] Such a great day!”

If the date exceeded your expectations and you loved every minute, of course try not to come on too strong by saying something like, “Wow. That was honestly the best date of my entire life!”

It may well have been but unless you want to try to say it jokingly – tone it down just a touch!

Instead, say what you enjoyed, make it personal and with “a bit of feeling” – and that will “do the job.” Okay? This leads me onto my guideline for what to text after a first date…

3) Keep It Light & Casual

The two of you went on a first date. Even if you’ve not dated for a while and this was a big step and a big deal, try to keep it light and casual when messaging after.

Don’t put too much pressure on, or make things too intense. You want to keep a guy interested right? Play it cool the right way, like we mentioned?

So this means, you don’t need to send an essay when texting after a first date, or go into too much depth. Just keep building on what you have and KEEP IT FUN!

Or – if the person’s not for you – let them down gently without making a massive deal about it. Remember – there’s ways to do this nicely when dating.

4) Be Honest

On a similar note, I want to remind you that “honesty is the best policy” and this still rings true when looking at what to text after a first date.

See, somewhere in your message, you’re going to want to give a bit of feedback – not as if it was some sort of interview or review! No, no, no. It’s all about how you phrase it.

So if you’re not feeling it romantically – you’re going to have to say and it’s better NOT to blow them off with the same old “it’s not you, it’s me” nonsense, by the way.

Just be straight about why you don’t see it working, in the softest way. For example:

“I don’t think we’re at the same place.” Or: “I don’t think we’re looking for the same things.” Or: “I think you’re a great guy but I didn’t feel the romantic chemistry between us, as I’m sure you’ll agree?”

On the flip side, if you are interested and want to see them again however, it’s good to get this out in the open too. This can be dropped into your first message if you like.

For example, you might text something like:

“I really enjoyed today. Thanks for a great date. Definitely up for doing something again, if you’d like to too?

Maybe [date suggestion] or something? [Jokey comment to finish – e.g. if they said they’re good at bowling, suggest that as the next date and say about seeing if they’re “up to scratch!”]

You see? You’re putting yourself out there, you’re being honest and straight to the point and will see what you get back. 

If this isn’t your style, you can also give the feedback message, see how they respond and THEN say about doing something again.

But by saying you want to see them, you’re setting your intention and showing where they stand with you. It makes dating far easier and less complicated!

5) Remember: You Don’t Have To Say Everything At Once

Texting after a first date may seem like a big deal. What should you say? How should you say it? How can you get everything across in the right way? And how will you be perceived?

The thing is, it’s important to take a step back, BREATHE and remember:

This is a conversation. You don’t have to say everything all in one go.

Texting Rules When Dating

So when you text after a first date, you’re likely to just say something small.

Your date will then reply, they’ll acknowledge what you say, say something of their own, maybe ask you a question – then the conversation will continue from there.

So try not to put too much pressure on yourself or get to het up with what to say or how to say it.

Dating is hard – not knowing how to act all the time, or how the other person is feeling perhaps. But everything becomes clearer in time

After all, it really does take time to get to know someone properly and fully.

So when it’s such early days – just focus on having fun, getting to know the person and seeing how things naturally unfold! Okay? Agreed?

What To Text After a First Date [Templates]

Let’s finish off with some suggested templates for what to text after a first date, depending on how it went.

See, as a little insight, it can be difficult to determine the exact percentage of first dates that lead to second dates as it varies based on people’s individual experiences.

But studies have suggested that approximately 40-50% of first dates result in a second one. So it’s nearly a 50/50 chance as to which way this will go from here.

The most important thing is to know where you’re at, how you feel, and act accordingly based from that.

So have a read, see which ones sound like you, then tweak the following messages to make them your own.

Here’s What To Text After a First Date If…

1) If The Date Went Well

So if the date went well, speak from the heart, have fun with it. Flirt a little, have some banter, and – most importantly – try to tie this into the date you had, relate it back.

So you might want to say things like:

  • Well that was fun. Thanks for such a great night. Love that you… [pick up on something here]
  • Well, I didn’t expect you to be… [something funny here!] What an unexpected bonus, hey? Full of surprises aren’t you? 😉
  • So, umm… [something that was joked about on the date. Bring it up as a one-liner here.] / Managed to recover from [something cute yet funny that happened on the date] yet? 😉

See when it comes to what to text after a first date if it went well, you’re more likely to have more ideas – more of your own.

There will be plenty to pick up or talk about because you just clicked. (Which is great!)

You can then start with your jokey comment then add on something about really enjoying your time, after that, within the first message.

Or, wait until they reply and continue to discuss the date together from there. It’s entirely up to you and what naturally flows.

2) If You’re Not Sure How You Feel

If you’re not sure how you feel about the person, and the date was a mix – some great moments, but also some awkward ones – then you may be more unsure about what to text after that first date.

What I would say is – try not to close the doors too early on.

  • Have you spent enough time getting to know them?
  • Do you think first date nerves came into it?
  • Was there still a bit of a spark there?
  • Are there things about them that interest / intrigue you?
  • Could your limiting beliefs / fears, simply be getting in the way here?

Because if there’s enough positives, it’s still worth giving them another shot on a second date (providing it doesn’t fizzle out by then!)

There’s plenty of second date ideas to enable you to relax and get to know each other better.

So if this is the case, don’t focus too much on the date itself, and certainly don’t say things that are insincere. But focus on where you go from here…

So in that first message you may like to keep it short and sweet, saying something like:

  • Well that was fun. Great to meet you NAME. Looking forward to getting to know you more. DATE SUGGESTION next time? 😉

I know “sometimes you know” but also – sometimes you get things wrong. So unless you’re hands down 100% not feeling it, try to remain open minded, have that second date, and then make a decision after that.

Don’t fall into the trap of being too picky when dating and missing out on some truly amazing people, and potentially beautiful relationships!

What To Message after a Date

3) If You’re Not Feeling It

If you’re really not feeling it and you don’t want to see them again, I highly recommend bobbing over to this article for how to reject someone nicely.

This will run you through the process to make the wording of your message far easier.

See unless the date ended on bad terms (in which case there’s probably no point texting at all), you want to send a follow up message to make things clear on where they stand.

Essentially, you don’t need to go into too much depth, or pick up on any specific flaws. Just say something like:

  • Thanks for today. I really enjoyed it. I’m not sure I think there’s a romantic connection, but it was genuinely so great to meet you and I wish you all the best x
  • Thanks for today NAME. It was a lot of fun. I don’t think there was really a romantic spark, but I’d love to stay friends and keep in touch. We’ve still got to go to ACTIVITY YOU SPOKE ABOUT right? And you do know, I make the most epic wingwoman, right? 😉

Only talk about being friends if you genuinely want to, and think you still will, remain friends from this. Otherwise it’s just pointless fluff.

Remember, he may only see you as a friend too, and that is also okay.

This leads me to my next point actually. What if you liked him, but you think he didn’t like you, you think you like him more than he likes you, or you’re unsure how he sees you?

4) If You’re Not Sure How Your Date Feels

You’re not a mind-reader. Yes, you can make judgements based on the way people act and the things that they say, but sometimes even from this – it’s hard to know a persons feelings for sure.

I mean, just like many different things can come into it and affect the way you are and behave, the same applies for others too. For instance:

Regardless, if you’re unsure how your date feels, then comes the question of – how do you act? Should you lay your cards out, ask for answers, or see how it plays out?

Well it’s all about balance. You want to be yourself, be honest, be open. But you also don’t want to come on too strong.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again though – you have to remember, it’s still very much early days right now. You’ve had just one date.

As time goes on, his intentions, what he’s looking for and how he feels about you – it will all become clearer. You’ll also be in a better position to ask more personal questions to help you make sense of it.

So be patient. Become comfortable with uncertainty when dating. And ENJOY the process!

And even if you don’t know how he feels, don’t ask. Simply follow the rules for texting after a first date as above:

  • Say thank you.
  • Tell him that you enjoyed it.
  • And keep it light and fun!

That’s it. That’s all you need to think about or do at this stage. Okay?

That’s All For This One

So there we have it – what to text after a first date.

Are you feeling more confident now what message you’re going to send now? I hope so.

Remember, this is an exciting time! Dating can be fun. It’s all about your outlook.

So keep putting yourself out there, keep enjoying yourself, and make the absolute best of this time in your life.

Good luck! Take care.


What To Text After a First Date
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Ella Stearn
Ell is a Breakup, Dating & Relationship Specialist & Coach, with over 3 million annual readers, globally. As the Creator of Forgetting Fairytales, her mission is to help you learn to love yourself, find the right person to give your love to, then make it a love that truly lasts.

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