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Tech Dating 101: Decoding Post-Date Texts and IMs

The men of Swingers championed a rule that fundamentally changed how fellas of the '90s plotted post-date communication. They said a man should wait three days after a date to call a woman so she would want them more. Preposterous, right? Today the possibilities for contact are so varied — email, work email, IM, gChat, Facebook, Twitter, text and so on — that it can be harder to gauge interest or commitment based on the time frame and way someone reaches out. In this installment of my Tech Dating 101 series I will address how technology and texting have changed the moments and days after a good first date. To see what I think (spoiler alert: it's complicated),


  • The same day text: Most women I have talked to say they like it when a guy follows up a first date with a short text. It doesn't have to be sexy, or even offer the promise of a second date, but texting is a simple, quick and sweet way to say thanks, without an immediate call. If you had a great time and want him to know, text him yourself. It is one of the most relaxed forms of communication (no login required!) and will keep both of you from getting too wordy.
  • The three-day text: Consensus among friends is that the day three text could be a cop-out (as in, he isn't ready to commit to a phone call and he's using the antiquated Swingers mentality to make you want him more), but it does count as contact and an effort.
  • The instant reach out: If a guy initiates communication via instant messaging in any form (iChat, Yahoo Messenger, gChat, Facebook chat etc.) less than two hours after a date he can come off as eager to get the party started. Do with that what you will. I do; however, think it is polite for him to acknowledge he sees you online if you pop online right after your date or in the days following. It's ridiculous to pretend you don't see one another online. That being said, instant messages are not a phone call. If he really wants to talk to you he should still call you up, or at the very least send an email to plan your next get-together.

Got a burning dating and technology question you need answered? Join our Tech Dating 101 group and share your conundrums and advice there with other GeekSugar lovers. Here's a detailed guide to posting questions or posts to groups if you are new to the PopSugar Community.

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