This Is Exactly How Long You Should Wait to Text After a First Date

Relationship experts have answered the age-old question of when you should reach out.

For many people, there is nothing more nerve-wracking than a first date. But even if the date goes well, the dreaded questions that come up after the date may be even worse. Did you talk too much? Did they laugh at your jokes? And the inevitable: How long should you wait to text them? You may be worried that you're being held down by the arbitrary "three-day rule," but fortunately, it may turn out you're doing more worrying than necessary. According to experts, the best rule of thumb is that you should text someone within 24 hours after a first date. Read on to find out why one day is the perfect amount of time, and for more relationship advice, discover The One Pick-Up Line That Works Every Time, Research Shows.

Send a basic "thank you" text within the next 24 hours.

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"When it comes to texting after a first date, you should text no later than the next day to say you had a great time, or to thank them for their time," says Susan Trombetti, a matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking. "Most people will text within a few hours of arriving home and thank their date."

Andrea McGinty, a digital dating coach and founder of 33 Thousand Dates, says that "texting a few hours after the date shows you appreciate the person's time, and you enjoy their company." And the research backs this up: According to McGinty, out of 752 single men surveyed by 33 Thousand Dates, 84 percent said they like hearing from a woman the same day as the first date. And if you're wondering about your date, check out these Undeniable Signs a First Date Went Well.

But you can wait a few days to ask for a second date.

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According to Trombetti, the 24-hour timeline is just when it comes to sending "the most basic thank you text." If you're looking to text about a second date or just to flirt, you can wait as many as three to five days after your first date. And before you go on any first date, make sure you avoid The Worst Thing You Can Do When Introducing Yourself.

And you can make exceptions for extraordinary cases.

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McGinty says that 95 percent of the time, texting a few hours after a first date is the most appropriate course of action. However, there could be some instances where you may want to wait.

"The only circumstance where you wouldn't want to text soon after would be if they tell you something personal is happening later that day, and even then, you can incorporate this into your message," she says. And for useful information delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

If the other person texts you first, you should reply within the same day.

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You might not always be the first one to text after a first date. And while this may seem like it takes the pressure off of you, your response time is also important if you are interested in pursuing things further with this person.

"Not responding to texts is the quickest way to sink a new relationship before it even starts," Trombetti says. "If someone texts you, answering is a must during the same day you received the text. If you don't, your date will think you aren't interested in them." And to make sure you're keeping the conversation going, find out which One Question You Always Ask Can Kill a Conversation, Experts Say.

But avoid any late-night texts.

Shot of a cheerful young man using his cellphone while lying in bed late at night

Both Trombetti and McGinty say you should leave the late-night texting out of the picture, especially if you've only gone on a first date with this person. McGinty says that if it's after 11 p.m., you're best waiting until the morning as a text this late at night could "signal you're getting too cozy with your glass of wine." And if you are drinking, you especially want to wait, as you don't want to scare your date away with a sloppy text. And for more reasons you may not see someone again, This Is the Real Reason Half of Men Cancel Dates, Research Shows.

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