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Texting Before the First Date: A Complete Guide to Doing It Right

So, the day, time, and place are all booked? You’ve got a week to go until the first date, should you be texting before the first date?

Texting Before the First Date

Texting before the first date can be tricky or helpful, depending on how you play it. I would probably need more than two hands to count on my fingers the number of times I’ve agreed on a date, but leading up to it either:

– She’s had a change of plans.
– Cancelled at the last minute.
– Or even worse, totally forgotten about the date.

The first date is a slippery affair. It can also be counterintuitive–playing it too ‘by the books’ when you’re texting makes the other person think they’ve won you over and there’s no challenge. But if you don’t text at all, they might assume you’re not serious about meeting.

I’ve even had it when a day and time goes by without either of us acknowledging it because I totally forgot. That’s pretty bad. Other times, we both maintained a text conversation that builds a cool excitement in the days leading up to the first date. The date itself then feels like a climax, rather than reviving the dead.

Have you over-planned the first date?

I try not to set formal dates at all, rather I build up conversation and banter, letting a meeting emerge from my weekly patterns or from hers. This way our time together feels less predictable. It presents an opportunity for us both to get value, rather than me having a desperate desire to close a deal.

I’m never the used car salesman… This goes for both men and women. However, it’s usually the guy chasing the girl more, so usually it’s the guy who needs to crank the brakes a little to show that he has quality options. [Read: How to text someone when you want to make the first move]

Texting before the first date when it’s scheduled

Sometimes you both have busy lives. So scheduling a time in advance really is the sensible way to go about it. Even though it’s not my first option, I’ve had many cool first dates that I planned a week ahead or even more on rare occasions. Here are some of the ways I  text leading up to the date

#1 Not going into detail. She may be a little hesitant or nervous about meeting the first time. So I don’t want to give her feeling that the first date will be a regimented affair or that she must follow some extravagant plan.

Instead, I keep it light. This goes for both the girl and the guy. The mood I go for is ‘Who knows what will happen? This is just a chill cool meeting, not an official date.’


Her: ‘So, where r we going?’
Me: ‘Let’s meet at clapham common station. We’ll grab a quick drink and throw straws at people.’
Her: ‘Ok sounds cool I used to do athletics… see you Thurs.’ [Read: 30 fun first date ideas that will leave them wanting so much more]

#2 Not texting much. The previous example illustrates this rule too. I go short and sweet. And once the logistics are set, the way I view it is that the more I text a girl before a first date, the more I feel as if I try to keep her committed to it. This is not always true, but it’s a general rule of thumb.

She’s already going to meet me in person; I don’t want to hound her. I want her thinking about me during the week and about meeting this busy, fun, mysterious guy. I might message something completely non-date related or fun: a meme, some observation. [Read: 20 flirty ways to text your crush and keep them interested]

#3 Not checking in on her. I won’t ask her questions like ‘how you doing this morning?’ because that just seems too personal before a first date. I usually avoid questions at this point altogether. I might just make a statement here or there.

After the first date has been arranged, I tell her to save the date in the calendar so that she doesn’t forget.

I might say something silly like ‘I’m a lady so don’t stand me up ;)’ or ‘If one of us is late drinks are on them.’ It sort of stresses a boundary, because I value my time. Then I just assume she’s handled her own s***.

#4 Not sexualizing. Girls, if you don’t want a one-dimensional fling, then it’s probably best not to suggest you’re sexually keen. But it is a good test in some ways. As a guy, unless she’s giving crazy sexual signals I won’t be sexual over text before the first date. For me, that’s a bad idea—like stepping into a bear trap. [Read: 18 things a girl does that makes a guy think she’s an easy lay]

Of course, I am a guy, but once she thinks she’s figured out that single one intention she might ignore my other dimensions, or have second thoughts about meeting up.

So I play it smoother, more like a gentleman, and let her imagine what could happen. Gentlemen know how to play it smooth, even if you both do want to get it on swiftly. [Read: How to get lucky on the first date: 15 secrets to get laid]

#5 Indirectly texting an hour before. Examples:

– ‘Hey running like 15 minutes late sorry.’ *I’m usually fashionably late*
– ‘Hey, I’ll meet you outside of the entrance next to McDonald’s. Catch you soon.’

These indirect messages an hour before remind her of the date in case she lost track of time. If there’s no reply, or if I want to be more direct, I’ll say: ‘How are you doing for time? If you’re too early someone will prob try to take you on a pre-date.’ [Read: How to avoid getting stood up on a date]

#6 Tell 30-40% or less. Sometimes girls flood guys with a slew of questions before the first date, as if trying to get a read on their very soul. Or a guy gives away too much about who he is—which is probably more common.

I think this is a bad idea for a couple of reasons. Firstly, even my closest friends and family have a difficult time at working me out at times. So that’s why I never fall for this trap.

Although she’s asking me to tell her everything about me, she doesn’t really want to know—even if she thinks she does. Plus, if we have great chemistry over text together it just becomes too much.

It builds up too much of an image of who we both are before even speaking face to face, and it’s bound to be too much to live up to.

Instead, I’ll tell her like 30-40% about me so that feel she doesn’t get anxious that I’m too much of a stranger. Just enough for her to feel comfortable that I’m a cool guy that she wants to hang out with, and so that it feels right for both of us to meet up and chat. [Read: 7 stages of first date panic and how to quell them]

#7 Not psychoanalyzing the person over text. If they seem reasonably normal and there’s no major warning signs, then I won’t make a call on whether our personalities suit. I think for women it’s more important to do some digging just so that they feel safe with the person *and obviously meet somewhere public.

But it’s hard to get a read on who someone is even in person. Doing so over text is an exercise in disappointment I think. The same goes for if I try to tell her who I am over text.

It’s a strange experience to have a massive profile built up about someone before the first date. Not knowing too much beforehand, let’s the date become an exploratory experience.

#8 Not fronting personality. When I’ve tried to show my cleverness or some strong aspect of my personality through text before the first date, it’s been like pretty much setting myself up to have to act a role on the date itself.

I write professionally, so I turn a half-decent phrase or create convincing imagery, but I prefer not to try too hard to impress over text, so that when we see each other in person she can be pleasantly surprised by my sense of humor, confidence, worldliness, and so on.

I make a chilled first impression over text and then know I can go in chilled on the first date without confusing her, and slowly crank it up. [Read: How to subtly flirt with a girl: The art of subtle seduction]

#9 Not replying with longer messages. This one goes without saying unless you deliver some important logistical information. Imagine the scene below:

Him: Cool, looking forward 🙂

Her: Looking forward to meeting too! This will be fun. I haven’t been to Clapham before, but I heard it’s got great bar life and is pretty suave. Hope I won’t be disappointed! 🙂

Him: Yeah, it’s great, not sure about the suave bit LOL 😉

Her: Haha, I hope you’re right. The only bar I’ve been to in south London is one in Brixton, which was interesting. LOL, Clapham isn’t suave? Well, okay… I guess I’ll have to be careful then.

Sending long text messages to someone before you know them well can be a sign of large-scale naivety to social norms, which might in turn indicate low intelligence or desperation. Any guy who looks for quality makes a note of that, so keeping it reciprocal maintains a feeling of suspense and challenge. [Read: How long should a first date last? Your guide to timing it right]

Texting before the first date is like the formalities before a courtly dance. Being overeager makes the other person think you’re likely to trip over your own feet. But a brief nod and smile tells them you’re a confident mover. When your turn to pair up eventually comes, you’ll get to find out how well you move together.

[Read: The texting and follow-up guide after a great first date]

The next time you’re confused about texting before the first date or wondering what you need to text, just follow this guide. You’ll never, ever go wrong!

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