How to follow up after a great first date

Alternatives to waiting for them to text you

Dating can take you on an emotional rollercoaster—the high of matching with someone, the low of realizing you’ll probably have to leave your house to meet them, then the high of a first meeting that goes well, but then the low of replaying every weird thing you said. It’s a lot. We’ve got some tips for you to make the whole thing easier. Here’s how to follow up after going on a great first date:

1. Don’t play games

Let’s dispense with outdated, gendered rules about how long to wait before reaching out. If you had an amazing time, it’s okay to say that. If you want to say that while you’re still on your way home from your date, go for it. Remember, you’re not trying to hide your personality from a potential partner, you’re trying to show them who you are so you can find out if you’re a good fit.

2. Be specific

You may want to open with something general—a classic “Great meeting you!” for example. But go ahead and follow up that generic statement with something specific. Did they recommend a great podcast? Let them know you downloaded it. Did they say something really funny? Tell them you’re still laughing about it. It shows that you were paying attention and aren’t just copy/pasting the same thing to everyone you’ve gone on dates with.

3. Make plans to meet up again

Your goal is to avoid getting stuck in a texting sinkhole. You want to get another meet-up on the books ASAP, so once you get a response to your follow-up, go ahead and suggest a next date.

Here’s a sample script:

Hey, [INSERT CUTE PERSON’S NAME HERE]! It was great meeting you last night. I’m still laughing about how the baby at the table next to us couldn’t stop staring at you. I’d love to hang out again soon—maybe outdoor dining at that taco place on 7th next weekend?

4. Read their signals

If you thought it was a great first date but they didn’t, then guess what—it wasn’t a great first date. If they don’t respond to your follow-up, that’s information for you to pay attention to. That doesn’t mean if they don’t respond within 15 seconds that they don’t like you, but it does mean if they never respond, this is probably not going to blossom into anything more right now.

5. Ask for clarity when needed

Let’s say you tell them you had a great time and don’t hear back for a week. Rather than trying to guess what that means—are they the Rooftop Killer??—just ask.

Try something like this if you’re getting mixed signals:

“Hey, I’d love to go out again, but I’m getting some mixed signals from you. I’m looking for someone who can be consistent and clear with me. Does that sound like something you’re interested in and able to do?”

Communication is hard, but it’s worth it. You can do this!

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