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What to text after the first date: how to up your chances for a second

by eharmony Editorial Team - November 22, 2023

You met someone, you asked them out, it went well… now what? Even the best date can come with some confusion the morning after like what to text after the first date? Are you even supposed to text? Call? Follow the three date rule? When is it too soon to suggest a second date? Take a deep breath. With eharmony’s guide to first dates (you can see parts one and two here) you’ll be breezing your way through figuring out what should happen after a first date in no time. 

What to text after the first date: Questions to ask yourself before you send that text

Figuring out what to do after a first date can be hard. Productivity guru Stephen Covey once said, ‘Begin with the end in mind.’ While he might have meant it in a corporate context, it’s as applicable to dating. Especially with the sheer variety of people you meet while looking for love online, it’s important to be clear about your own needs and expectations right from the start. Here are six questions to ask yourself before you send that text:

Was there any chemistry?

Perhaps the most important question of all – was there any chemistry? Especially when it comes to people you meet online, things can be very different once we get away from the screens and meet  in real life. If the chemistry is there… great! If it isn’t, or if there’s not as much as you’d like, you have a second question on your hands… do you want to give the chemistry time to develop, as it might over a few more dates, or would you rather cut your losses early and try again with someone new? There’s no right answer, but it’s worth thinking about before you make the next move.

How did I feel when I was on the date?

We’re so concerned about making a good impression and what our date thinks of us that we often forget something far more important: our own feelings. Checking in with yourself how you feel about the date – and the person you went on it date with – is crucial. Were you calm or flustered, bored or interested, great or not good enough? Why did you feel that way? Was it something your date said or did, or something else entirely? Thinking about the answers to these questions will tell you whether a second date is a good idea.

How did my date treat me? The people around me?

Pay attention to your date’s behavior – this is the first date, after all, and a time they ought to be putting their best feet forward. Do they listen when you’re talking? Pay attention to your body language and make an effort to make you feel comfortable? Offer to split the bill (regardless of the genders involved)?

Another thing to ask yourself is how your date treated the people around you, especially those with less power than them. It doesn’t matter if they’re kind to you while being rude to the server – someone like that definitely doesn’t deserve a second date.

How did my date talk about the people in their life?

First dates aren’t the time to interrogate people about their pasts, but you can glean important clues about them from the way they talk about the people they do mention. If they talk about their exes in a respectful way, that’s a green flag right there. Pay attention also to how they talk about their friends and family – you don’t want someone who’s too attached to their parents  to make you a priority, or a partner who bristles at a casual mention of friends of the opposite gender, for instance.

Can I imagine daily life with my date?

This doesn’t apply if you just want a casual fling, but if you’re looking for something serious, it’s important to look at the future right from the start. Life isn’t going to be all dates at cute coffee shops or romantic dinners, as lovely as that would be. Take a moment to imagine doing laundry with your date, or running errands, whether your schedules would work together, whether they’d get along with your friends and family. Especially given how many more people are finding partners from different cultures, this clear-eyed consideration of the more practical parts of life is key to a successful relationship.

How does my date match my dating goals?

Sometimes it doesn’t matter if your date is gorgeous, funny, and kind – they’re not who you need in your life at that moment. Different relationships require different amounts of effort to maintain – consider a long-distance relationship, for instance, or one that’s deliberately casual. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a specific kind of relationship – but it does mean that you need to carefully filter your dates through the lens of what you actually want. It would be a pity to date someone for a while and maybe even fall in love before realizing the pair of you want fundamentally different things.

Once you have the answers to your questions, you can decide whether you want to take the relationship forward or not.

Searching for first date tips?

After first date is sometimes before first date. Know how to behave before, during and after your date and get your relationship with that special someone off to a good start with our first date advice.

When to text after a first date

You’ve decided to text your date! Fantastic! Problem: you have absolutely no idea what to say after the first date, or when the appropriate time to text is. You’re second, or even third, guessing yourself, wondering if it’s too soon ortoo soon because  you don’t want to look like some sort of deparate. You might even mistakenly tell yourself it’s best to wait for the other person to make the move,which can lead to miscommunication on both ends.

Fear not, the 3-day rule after the first date is history, and in fact, texting immediately after the date lets people know you’re interested. Feel free to shoot off a simple text the very same night along the lines of, ‘Hope you got home safe! Good night!’ to show you’re concerned. If that feels like too soon, the next day is fine, too. What’s important here is being honest – if you’re not interested in a second date, don’t hesitate to say so (nicely, of course!) Especially in the era of ghosting, clear communication will gain you massive brownie points. On the flip side, if you are interested, make that clear, too – your date will appreciate knowing that sooner rather than later.

Remember though, some people just don’t like texting – they might just not be by their phones very often or prefer the intimacy of phone calls or face-to-face conversations over texting through  a screen. So don’t be disheartened if you don’t receive a reply to your text right away – it may be for any number of reasons other than a lack of interest. That said, if they aren’t interested, respect their decision and back off – you can be sure that there’s someone out there for you.

Examples What to text after a first date

Just as important as the timing of your text? The contents of it. You want to make your interest clear, while not going overboard. You also want to straddle the fine line of getting to know your potential partner better before the second date while still leaving things to talk about during the actual date.

To make it easier on you, here are a few examples of what to text after the first date:  

When you know you want to see them again soon: Thanks again for a wonderful time 🙂 Work is a little busy this week, but I’m free at [date and time] if you’d like to meet up again! This makes your interest clear and is a great text to send when you both know the date went well.  

When you want to make your interest clear: Last night was great. I love that you XYZ. This lets the other person know that you were paying attention, but it also leaves the ball in their court regarding a second date.

When you want to get to know them a little better: Just wanted to say hi and see how your day is going 😊 This is a good text to send when you’re not sure you want to commit to a second date, but you are interested in maybe taking things there.

When the flirtatiousness was off the charts: I’m going to have trouble sleeping tonight 😉 It’s always a bit of a gamble sending risqué texts – you never want to cross the line between flirty and creepy, especially after just one date. Strike a balance with just a little bit of innuendo and an emoji.

When you’re meeting in person for the first time: It was really great to see you in person, you’re amazing. How about another fun date (surprise activity) this Sunday? With online dating, it’s more and more common to develop a connection before you see each other in person, so don’t be afraid to acknowledge that!

After the initial text

You sent that follow-up text… and your date responded! Yay! Texting is a great, low-pressure way to get to know each other better before committing to another date, especially if both of you have busy lives already. You might wonder how much should you text after the first date – be careful not to overdo it, though, or you might wind up killing the relationship before it even starts with your well-intentioned enthusiasm. A good way to keep it light is to mix up getting to know you questions with memes, jokes, and funny videos.

Questions to ask a guy

Knowing what questions to ask a guy is an important tool when it comes to dating. We collected flirty, deep, funny, personal and other questions you want to ask him.

Questions to ask a girl

Whatever the situation, coming up with the right questions to ask a girl can be daunting – which is why we’ve compiled 70 good ones you can use in a variety of situations.

About that second date…

While texting is great fun, at some point it’s important to bite the bullet and ask for a second date. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you should play hard to get or put a second date off for whatever reason – if you like them enough to want to see them again, say so, and if you don’t, make a grateful exit (no ghosting, please.)

While the first date is all about getting over that initial awkwardness, the second date is all about getting to know each other better. If you can, try and make the date about something you know your date is interested in – not only will it give you the chance to get to know them better, you’ll gain bonus points for having paid attention.

Stuck for ideas for a second date? No worries, we have you covered.   

Keep the flame going after the first date

It can be really hard knowing when to text after the first date and what to say to keep the connection going without coming across as too enthusiastic or like you’re not interested at all. How you react is essential, however, since that will set the tone for the rest of your relationship. Want someone who wants the same things you do and is a good fit for you besides? It’s time to try eharmony, where our scientific Compatibility Matching System and pool of eligible singles will increase your odds of finding someone compatible right from the start. Sign up for eharmony and get started on the path to real love today.

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