If you know the expression, “A watched pot never boils,” then you’re probably familiar with how true it can be in matters of waiting for the phone to ring…er, message indicator to buzz. Whatever.
Let’s say you met a woman worth following up with this past weekend, and she gave you her number. How long should you wait before throwing out the first casual-yet-witty text? It depends on the circumstances, but I’ve got you covered.
In a perfect world, no one would play games and try to choreograph our interactions, they would just call when they felt like talking to you, text if they were thinking about you, and make time when they wanted to spend time. Unfortunately, that’s not the planet we live on. We’re all inhabitants of the land where Should-I-or-Shouldn’t-I intrigue is of the utmost importance.
Though there are exceptions to every rule, there is a general framework you can work off of, and ways to tell what it says to us if you take those routes. So listen up, and weigh in. You might just learn something.
The scenario: After you first met her. The wait: No more than four or five days. Why? Because your meeting is still fresh enough in her mind that she’ll recall you, but not so fresh as to seem overeager. What’s too soon? An argument can be made for the next day maybe, but honestly, even that’s not terrible to many of us. Better instead to send an immediate text, perhaps on your way home, saying “Nice to meet you, so-and-so.” Then, you’re off the hook for a bit and can plot your next move.
When have you waited too long? Eh, I’d say if you let it go a week you’re pushing it, honestly. And if you’ve surpassed a week, you might’ve missed your window. Waiting two weeks tells us that you haven’t met anyone better the past few weekends, so maybe you’re dipping back into your phone now to see what we’re up to out of boredom or convenience. No guy who’s really into a girl will be able to hold out that long, and we know it.
If your life is just particularly crazy during that window, throwing out a preemptive message is a solid, solid move. Try something like, “Hey it’s (your name). Enjoyed meeting you and would still like to catch up soon. This week’s a bit hectic, just putting next week on your radar if you’re into it. Will hit you up when things calm down.” You’ll put her mind at ease and buy yourself time to actually let things settle.
On the flip side, if you were just waiting for the next weekend to come along as the impetus to hit her up, beware. While this makes complete sense, it can give the impression that you’re waiting until a Friday or Saturday because you want to meet up late night. If she’s even remotely worth keeping around, she won’t let you try to fit her into that category, especially not straight away. Unless of course that’s all she’s looking for, too.
Post-first date. The wait:
Somewhere between two and four days…five tops. What’s too soon?
Nothing, really. You can easily get away with texting her the following day. Just as long as your messages aren’t constant and persistent beginning mere hours after you meet. When have you waited too long?
Over a week says, “I’m just not that into you.” You know it, we know it, it’s that simple.
The scenario: Post-first time hooking up. I realize that people’s definition of this term varies greatly, but I’d say it doesn’t really matter how extensive it was, if anything more than garden variety kissing went on, the rule still applies. Were clothes removed? Did she stay over? These all just up the ante here, men. How long? The next day.
Hear me? The. Next. Day.
Unless you had something going on that day that she’s aware would be keeping you busy, you should never allow a woman to feel vulnerable post-hook up that there’s a chance you were just in it for the chase, and now that you’ve gotten it, things are going to anticlimactically and unceremoniously fizzle out. Call me old fashioned, but this is how it is. Making her have even a moment of regret that she gave it up is the surest way to make her not trust you. After that, all bets are off.
For that matter, you may be asking yourself why you have to be the one to reach out at all? Why can’t she text or call you first? Because you’re the man, that’s why. I’m from the school of thought that this makes it your job, and I know I’m not alone in that thinking.
You could take this a step farther and ask how long you should wait to call or text post-fight, but that one’s not even subject to standard timelines. Wait as long as it takes you to ensure that when you speak with her, your thinking will be clear, your temper will be in check, and perspective will be kept in mind. If you feel like you’ll make a bigger deal out of it by jumping the gun before you’ve simmered, sit tight.
That’s it, for the most part. I’ll restate just for emphasis the fact that there are exceptions to every rule, so don’t think because you deviated from this that you’re done for – not so. These set ups are really just nerve-wracking when it hasn’t been established yet how you feel about each other. They’re only tough in the beginning. After that you know what she considers you, how she feels about you and what her reaction will likely be, so use those as your north star from that point forward.
My motto has always been, is now and never will go wrong being: Don’t pay attention to anything he says, just pay attention to what he does. Anybody can talk a good game, that’s easy. But backing it up is a whole different ballgame. If you’re serious about keeping her in the fold, you have to start out by fostering trust on both sides, it’s the only way. Good luck, God speed, guys, and go out there and get get your girl.