Everyone seems to have a different opinion on when — and how — to follow up after a promising first date. You want to air on the side of forward (but not too aggressive) and you don’t want to come on too strong. But then again, you don’t want her to think you’re too into her, too fast.
So before you start counting the minutes in between text messages or obsessing on what to say to the beautiful woman you just went out with, take a breath, relax and repeat after us:
Most of those rules are bullshit. Founder of The Professional Wingman, Thomas Edwards, says the key is to let her know you’re interested. It’s that simple. But if you need some more tips — because hell, who doesn’t in today’s modern dating world? — here are some tips straight from the expert:
First Date Follow-Ups
1. Don’t Think Being Nice = Desperation
Ask yourself this: did you like going out with her? Did you really enjoy that goodnight kiss? Do you want to see her, physically, in person again, instead of spending countless hours — and uh, days — communicating via text? If so, then Thomas says to tell her. “The biggest mistake men make is not following up sooner. They seem to think that being too soon with a follow-up indicates desperation,” he says. “We live in a time where instant gratification overrides many of our decisions, so the longer you wait, the more chances you’re allowing her to get distracted by someone else.”
2. When Do You Text?
Edwards says if the context allows, put the ball in her court by having her text you if she got home okay. “Not only will this break the tension as to who should text who first, but it also opens up the conversation to responding right away to let her know you enjoyed yourself and want to see her again,” he says. If you dropped her off at her place (gentleman for the win!), Edwards suggests waiting no longer than 24 hours to text her.
3. When You Follow Up, Have Something To Say
Sure, technically speaking, “Hey, how are you?” is a follow-up to a date, but it’s a pretty lame one. Sarah, a 26-year-old from New York, says that she usually gets frustrated by men who she went out with and had a nice time with, but they don’t seem to initiate another date. “It’s great to hear from someone that you could be interested in, but when the conversation becomes monotonous, it feels like a waste of time and I’m not sure if he actually wants to go out again,” she says. Edwards says that having a plan will help illustrate your intentions. “It doesn’t have to be as concrete as Friday night at 8 p.m. at the bar down the street, but you can blatantly ask when she’s free again to get the plan rolling.
4. Whatever You Do, Don’t Play Games
The bottom line? If you want to talk to someone, you do. Though you might be really interested in seeing her again, try to think of her as one of your friends. If you wanted to grab drinks and watch the game with a friend, would you wonder if you were texting him too much? Nah. The healthiest start to any relationship is being honest and open. Even if it’s as simple as saying, “I can’t wait to see you. Let’s get dinner this weekend — are you free?”