You went on an incredible second date, now what?
The anxiety of not knowing what to do can eat you alive. I’ve been there many times, and this article describes exactly what has worked for me.
Should you text after a second date?
You should not text immediately after a second date. Texting right away often comes across as desperate and can lower attraction. Instead, wait seven days to text the other person. This waiting period allows the other person to contact you first and generates uncertainty, which can raise attraction.
Why You Should Not Text After a Second Date (5 Great Reasons)
There are at least five great reasons you should not text after a second date. Here are those five reasons.
1. You Might Seem Needy or Desperate
You should not text after the second date because texting might make them feel like they can’t get away from you. Which is a problem if they’re not as interested in that sort of relationship.
Neediness will almost always lower their attraction for you (even if it’s not true).
This has happened to me so often in my life that I can’t even count how many times.
And, every single time, the other person eventually lost attraction. Although it killed me not to text sometimes, it works better than texting right away after the second date.
2. Too Early To Establish Patterns of Contact
You should not text after the second date because it’s too early to establish a pattern of expected contact. The other person might feel obligated to respond, which can lead to feelings of inadequacy or annoyance.
I probably don’t need to tell you that annoyance is not a positive sign in a budding dating relationship.
Instead of testing right away, wait at least a few days and definitely don’t send a bunch of messages. Later, if you two decide to enter into a committed relationship, then you can create a daily pattern of texting that works for the two of you.
3. Texting Is Impersonal
You should not text after the second date because texting is more impersonal than talking in person. You want this new relationship (or whatever it becomes) as personal as possible.
There are so many possibilities for misunderstanding in texts and messages, especially between just two people who don’t know each other very well yet.
If you want to contact them, a call is much better than a follow-up text. However, I would still not call right away after a second date so that you don’t appear needy or desperate.
4. Texting Is for Logistics
You should not text after the second date because you’re still trying to get to know one another.
Texting will take away from your time together in person.
Save all of the “getting to know you” time for when you meet face to face on a date. Use text messages only for planning the logistics of the date (time, place, location). If you find all about the other person by text, you have less to talk about on your next date. You also lose the emotional connection of learning about each other face-to-face.
You simply can’t replicate that emotional connection by text.
5. Texting Too Soon Kills Attraction
You should not text after the second date because texting too soon can lower attraction. It’s scientifically proven that uncertainty raises attraction.
Research published by the Association for Psychological Science concluded that uncertainty raised the attraction between males and females. In the study, the female participants reported that they thought more about and felt more attracted to the men whose feelings about them were unclear.
Uncertainty is not comfortable and most people will say that they don’t like it, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. Most people have no idea what actually attracts them to someone else.
Uncertainty is almost a secret weapon in creating massive amounts of attraction.
By not texting at first, you create feelings of uncertainty in the other person because they wonder if you like them or not. This uncertainty is research-proven to raise attraction (if the other person is healthy and mature).
Should You Send a Thank You Text After a Second Date?
Generally, no, you shouldn’t send a thank you text after a second date.
However, there is some difference between what is recommended for men and women. The difference is based on solid research published in a scientific journal.
Should Women Follow Up With a Text After Second Date?
If she really enjoyed her date and wants to see him again, then yes, she should follow up with a short thank you message over text.
When a female texts a man, it doesn’t appear to lower attraction. On the contrary, it often lets a man know you are interested and actually raises attraction.
Should Men Send a Thank You Message After Second Dates?
No! Men should not send a thank you message after a date.
This lowers attraction from what we’ve seen so far in our research. However, if a guy finds himself enjoying his time and would be willing to go on another date, then he can contact the woman eventually, but not right away.
What About Same-Sex Dates?
Things get a bit trickier with same-sex dates. Unfortunately, most research still focuses on relationships between men and women.
Therefore, there is no clear data to guide our actions. For these dates, I still recommend not sending a thank you text right away.
Wait at least a few days before you make contact.
Should You Text Continuously After a Second Date To Show Your Interest?
Some people think you should text constantly after a second date to show your interest. Should you?
You should not text continuously after the second date. Most mature people don’t want you to do it. Texting all the time comes off as creepy, needy, and desperate.
Texting too much will also lower attraction.
There will be plenty of time to chat when you see each other for a third (or fourth) date. Don’t get too carried away until then!
You should not be texting them every single second of your day.
Anyone who expects constant texting from the beginning is displaying serious red flags of neediness. You want to date someone who wants you but does not need you. If someone demands neverending validation through texts, run the other way.
Texting daily when you are in a serious, committed relationship is another story.
But when you are on your first few dates, there is no good reason to text all the time.
Why You Should Text After a Second Date (5 Exceptions)
This might sound contradictory, but there are exceptions. Most of the time you shouldn’t text after a second date, but there are five reasons it might be a good idea.
Here are the five exceptions:
- The other person asks you to let them know that you made it home.
- You promised to text.
- If you are only in the area temporarily.
- The other person texts you first.
- If it would be rude not to text (like when it’s their birthday)
If the other person asks you to text, then it doesn’t seem needy or aggressive.
The same is true if they text you first. If you promise to text, it’s only mature to follow through. Yes, it may lower attraction, but so does not living up to your promises.
If you happen to know that it’s the other person’s birthday or another important day (such as a funeral or big promotion they told you about), then it would be rude not to send a short text.
Keep it brief and don’t text again unless they first reach out to you about another date.
You can send something short like, “Just wanted to say ‘Happy birthday!” or “Good luck on your run today!”
The other person will probably respond to your thoughtful text, but if they don’t ask you a follow-up question or mention another date, don’t text them back right away.
How Long Should I Wait To Text After a Second Date?
Eventually, you should text the other person. But how long should you wait to text after a second date?
Generally, you should wait a week after your second date to text the other person. A week gives the other person enough time to miss you and allows for uncertainty to raise the other person’s attraction. It also gives the other person a chance to show their interest by reaching out to you first.
However, if you don’t hear from them in a week, then it’s time to call them or to send a text.
If you text sooner, you can erode the attraction effect of uncertainty and might come across as needy. If you wait too long (longer than a week), then you might send the message that you are not interested or don’t care.
Now, I realize that a week seems like a very long time.
When I was dating after my divorce, I really wanted to text within the first few days. Sometimes, I gave in to the temptation.
In every single instance, texting too soon lowered the odds of a successful third date.
When I resisted texting during the first week, the results were always better.
Keep in mind, the research suggests that women can get away with contacting a man sooner.
How Long After The Second Date Should He Text?
If you don’t reach out to him, he should wait a week before he texts you.
You may think you want him to text sooner, but if he texts too soon, it is likely to lower your attraction for him (even if you don’t realize it).
If he waits for a week, the research strongly suggests that feelings of uncertainty will raise your attraction.
You may not agree with the research, but it is based on good science and published in a reputable peer-reviewed journal.
That doesn’t mean there are no exceptions, but my own personal experience (and that of 1.4 thousand other men in a private Facebook Group) also validate that texting too soon really does often lower attraction.
Not all the time, but a large percentage of the time.
Below is an in-depth video on texting by my favorite dating coach for men (find out my favorite dating coach for women in my article on the best relationship coach).
Even though it talks about first dates, it also covers a lot of solid texting information that relates to the second and third dates.
Should I Text Him for a Second Date?
If you are a woman, then you should text him to let him know that you are interested in a second date.
You don’t have to directly ask for a second date, but you can contact him.
When you contact him, if he is interested in a second date, he will ask you for one. If he is not interested, then he will either not text you back or he will send a short reply text with no follow-up conversation.
You may want to wait a few days to text him back, but texting him within the week is not likely to hurt your chances of a second (or third) date. The research only says that about guys. So, if you want to text him, go for it. He will probably love it.
If you’re wondering what to text him, you might try one of the forty obsession phrases in my article, Obsession Phrase Master List (w/ 40 Full Examples).
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If You Don’t Want a Second Date, Should You Send an Apology Text?
This is up for debate. Some people think it’s fine because they’ve never heard of anyone being offended by one and other people say it’s simply not necessary.
Going on two dates doesn’t equal a relationship. You have no obligation to the other person.
What do I think?
I say it’s polite to send a message letting the other person know that you’ve enjoyed your time with them, but that you don’t feel enough of a connection to continue dating. There is no need to apologize.
You can simply text, “Hey, it was great meeting you. It sounds like we’re on different paths and I don’t think there’s anything here for us. I wish you all the best.”
They may not be happy with your text, but most people will appreciate that you didn’t ghost them.
Final Thoughts: Should You Text After a Second Date?
The unwritten dating rules for texting between second and third dates can be confusing. Hopefully, this article helps clear up some of that confusion.
Here’s a quick summary:
- In general, you should not text right after a second date.
- A guy should usually wait a week before contacting a girl for a second date.
- A woman can text anytime because it will likely not lower attraction.
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