Why That Post-Date Thank You Message Is Crucial



Name: Scott
Age: 30
City: New York
State: NY
Comment: So I’ve decided to get back on the sauce and once again use a fairly popular, well-known internet dating website that’s free…Yes, I’ve been going out with a few women, with mixed success, and thankfully enjoying the experience for the most part without getting too exhausted and/or frustrated.

Last night, I was pleasantly surprised to have a first date which I initially thought wouldn’t go anywhere turn out to be excellent…instead of having the typical one round of drinks and calling it a night, we ended up having four rounds, and our conversation flowed smoothly as we opened up and got to know one another…as I got the sense that she was enjoying my company and somewhat into me, just as I was into her, I asked her if she would be interested in seeing me again.  I’m in my 30’s now; I’m not into the dating games and am fairly clear with my intentions, and she was in her mid-20’s and respected the fact that I’m a bit older and have my act together (for the most part).   She seemed receptive to getting together again, and I suggested getting together the upcoming weekend – we went out on a Wednesday night, so it seemed like an appropriate amount of time.

When she indicated the weekend was not looking good, I suggested the following week, and she seemed hesitant, and said she was pretty booked.  Now, I understand how someone can easily book 7 dates for each night of the week, and I’m not implying that she did that.  When she suggested that we meet a week and a half later, I mentioned something like, “I’m going to have to wait a week and a half to see you again?”  Keep in mind as well that she’s relatively new to the site, having signed up about a month ago, but she was the one who initially contacted me on the site.  After my comment, she checked her schedule again and she realized she was free on Tuesday, so we agreed on getting dinner that night.

However, I’m wondering what your thoughts are with respect to waiting too long for that second date…If she were to make me wait, let’s say a week and a half, when there was no discernible excuse like going out of town, studying for a test, etc. etc., then would that be too long to wait and a sign that she wasn’t really into me, as I had thought?  Do you think my comment about waiting a week and a half compelled her to “free” up a night, because she sensed I would lose interest?  What’s your take?

I generally feel like after a successful first date, barring any exigent circumstances, i.e. catering to out of town guests, out of town trips, heavy work loads, etc., you shouldn’t have to wait more than a week to see someone you’re interested in.   What say you?


My take is that she’s new to the site and probably getting a lot of offers because she’s in her twenties.  As we’ve said before, women in their twenties and men in their forties are the highest in demand on dating sites. I don’t think she’s any more interested in you than she would be any other guy she met on there.

Here’s the thing: when a woman is into a guy, she finds excuses to free her schedule. That’s it. She doesn’t tell a man she’s booked unless she’s trying to play hard to get and/or not terribly interested. She could have been trying to seem aloof and like she has options. I tend to think that people like this are more invested in the chase and the attention than anything else. Either way, her response doesn’t bode well for you.

I’m not sure if all of this back and forth happened the same night of your first date or what. If so, yikes. You came on pretty strong. If this whole conversation happened while you two were face to face after that first date, I’m thinking she felt kind of awkward and uncomfortable. If that’s the case, she might have agreed to see you Tuesday just to get away from you and planned on cancelling once she got home.

In the future, when a woman says she’s booked, just reply back and say, “No problem. Get back to me when you know your schedule.”  Don’t offer commentary like, “I have to wait a week and a half to see you again?” It just makes you seem overly invested and aggressive given you only had one date. Not only that but you really shouldn’t have to convince someone to want to see you again. That, too, is a bad sign. My guess is she wasn’t 100% psyched to go out with you again, was trying politely to get out of it, and you pushed a bit. That or her plans cancelled and she had nothing to do so she figured, “Why not?”  Like I said, if we like you, we make time for you. If she had been on the same page as you you wouldn’t have sensed hesitation. You would have sensed antici….pation. (Rocky Horror reference!)

I think a lapse of a week and a half after the first date ruins the momentum. There’s too much time between meetings for things to develop naturally. You want to be able to build on whatever attraction and compatibility is present in person, and rather soon. Suggesting to a date that you and they should get together again over the weekend following the first date sounds reasonable to me. I used to think that suggesting a second date within the next 2 or 3 days after the first date was too much, but that’s changed. Time is of the essence. If the connection and attraction is there, go for it. Within reason, of course. Don’t become all clingy and barrage them with texts, don’t suggest a date the next night, but do something to let your interest be known. Tell them at the end of the date that you’d like to do it again then shoot them an email the next day and make plans.

Make sure that the woman has sent you a text or email thanking you for drinks or whatnot from the night before. That’s the other reason you wait to set up another date. That one gesture not only tells you of a woman’s interest, but it gives you an idea of her character. My personal opinion is that if a woman doesn’t send that thank you message, a man should move on immediately. Not sending one is rude. Full stop. I don’t care if you said thank you in person. If it were any other situation and somebody bought you something or did something nice for you, you would send a thank you note even if you effusively expressed your gratitude in person. Same rules apply.

What was considered “too available” a few years ago doesn’t necessarily stand now because of how intense and fast the process of meeting and connecting has become.

Now, to touch on your distinction that she messaged you first and therefore that is an indicator of her interest level. You’re rationalizing. The online experience and the offline experience are two separate animals. Your profile is a one dimensional representation of who you are and nothing more. She probably sent a few messages to different men. I can assure you that her investment level was minimal. That’s how it should be given she hadn’t even met you yet.

It’s very easy to get frustrated with online dating, but it’s important to not let that frustration seep into your dates. I don’t blame anybody for wanting to seize a particular moment, especially if the date goes well. Those evenings are few and far between for many. The folks in high demand on these sites and apps are naturally going to be more difficult to pin down. Therefore, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Don’t focus too hard on one person. Instead, try to have at least two different options on the roster at once. That way you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket and getting disappointed. If you want them, rest assured that someone else wants them, too.

The other option is to start dating people less in demand. Yes, that means people outside your preferred age range or who only tick off a few must-haves on your list instead of almost all of them. They’re the ones who are probably going to be less of a chase.


Sometimes the love of your life is the love of your life. (R)



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30 Responses to “Why That Post-Date Thank You Message Is Crucial”

  1. D. Says:

    Two things.

    1. Pretty much what Moxie said. People who are into you will find time for you. If that means canceling on someone else, or shuffling their schedule around, they’ll do it because they want to see you.

    2. I think the OP came on a bit strong, and that he and his date probably aren’t the right fit, due more to demographics and stage-of-life issues. He’s probably got, like, a mortgage and a steady job, and shows up with the attitude of “Sure, if I meet the right woman, I’d be happy to get married and have kids.” To him, that’s perfectly laid back and casual. He may not want that with her, but he knows, ultimately, that’s what he wants.

    To her, though, his mere interest in her forces her to consider stuff like whether she’s ready for marriage, if she wants to have kids or not, where she wants to live in the next five or ten years, etc. It’s not even about the guy himself, either. She might like him just fine. But he represents a whole series of decisions and considerations that she’s probably just not that interested in thinking about right then and there, because her sense is that he expects that all of this will happen if things continue to a certain point. Faced with that kind of decision, she’ll likely just pass.

    If this guy wants to date women in their mid-20s, that’s fine, but he’s gotta approach it from a position of “I guess I want that stuff in the abstract. I don’t really think about it.” Even so, I’d say he’s better off dating women in their late 20s or so, assuming he can get dates with them in the first place.

  2. Fyodor Says:

    I’d steer far away from saying ““I’m going to have to wait a week and a half to see you again?” to someone you just met.

    It makes you come across as if you have boundary issues. Someone who has been out with you once doesn’t really owe you any explanation or frequency of contact.

    I understand that it’s exciting to have a great first date and be anxious to see someone again and it’s disappointing when the person doesn’t seem to be reciprocating. But you need to be more zen about these things.

    I would also strongly discourage asking someone out again on the first date. It puts them on the spot and leaves you with these lingering situations where you’re trying to schedule a date with someone who isn’t that interested because she didn’t want to reject you to your face.

    • D. Says:

      I don’t think there’s anything wrong with generally asking if you can see someone again on a first date, but (A) you have to “read the room” and, (B) you’re asking in a general sense, rather than “So, is Saturday good? How’s 7:30 work for you?” while you’re on the date. More like “This was great. Can I see you again?” “Sure!” “Cool. I’ll give a yell this coming week and we can figure out the details.”

      And, again, that should only really be used on a date that you know went really, really well. It’s not some lengthy back and forth. More just an acknowledgement that you’d both like to get together again soon.

    • SS Says:

      “I would also strongly discourage asking someone out again on the first date.”

      I personally love guys that do that – because it gave me the impression that they were interested in me specifically. I also admired them for taking the risk. There are SO many timewasters, people just looking for sex, and people who were just ambivalent about me personally. I’d find those were the men who preferred to play it by ear. I didn’t want to waste time on those men.

      And as D. said, they had “read the room” correctly, so it was generally only the men I really liked that did it. So no awkwardness or hurt feelings.

      From the second date on it was more organic, but I felt they had started out on the right foot.

      • Fyodor Says:

        Well, two things.

        1. It is harder than one thinks to judge how the date went. How many letters have we seen where someone thinks that they’ve had some super great date but never hears from the guy or hears back from the girl?

        2. I think that you can express interest without putting the other person on the spot. Tell them that you had a great time and you’d like to give them a call.

        3. I’m sure that when a woman also likes a guy she really appreciates when he shows strong interest, but these tend to be women who would have gone on a second date regardless.

        • SS Says:

          Agree with everything you say.

        • E-B Says:

          “It is harder than one thinks to judge how the date went.”

          Especially if each person is having a couple of drinks. Sometimes people just want to relax and enjoy the moment, and that doesn’t mean they want anything more than that.

  3. Nicki Says:

    I’m going to have to agree on everything Moxie said.

    In addition, I think the OP came on way too strong. I think it’s one thing to say, “I’d like to see you again” while on a first date but totally different to force someone into locking down plans while they’re there. None of that exchange seemed organic and I’m a huge fan of allowing things to move naturally.

  4. SS Says:

    When I signed up for Match last year, I received nearly 40 messages in the first hour after joining. I’m not even in a big city like NY.

    For a woman in her 20s in NYC, I imagine she received 3 times that.

    So I would reiterate what I said to someone else in a previous comments section – be patient with the first few meetings. I completely understand your frustration, but you need to understand that there is tough competition out there and she’s likely *unable* to make you a priority until she’s sifted through that initial rush.

    Know that if the connection is there, she will *absolutely* make you a priority. Remember: women (for the most part) are looking for a healthy functional relationship. Of however many messages she receives, only about 5% will be nice decent men looking for the same. If that’s you, and she doesn’t have issues that make her prioritize the douchey bad boys, you will rise to the top of the pile very very quickly.

    Take a deep breath, don’t pressure her, and keep the faith.

  5. Jake Says:

    OP, time to move on. When she said the weekend was not looking good and, then, dodged your counteroffer you were dead in the water. This girl is not interested in you.(Btw, how is she all booked up? Is she joining the Pope on his Papal tour of the U.S.?) You said it yourself, she hesitated. Then, you made her feel bad and she “agreed” to a date with you. I bet she will cancel the day of the date. That’s how these characters work.

    Here is what I would have said and done. When she said the weekend was not looking good, I would have said, “Great, you have my number, so let me know when you are free.” Then you wait. I bet she probably would not have called or texted you. If she did call, you would treat it as a causal deal. Do not invest. And like Moxie said, never whine to a woman when setting a date.

    One more point. I know this has been said a million times, but I will say it again. Online dating is supremely volatile. You can be having a great time with some woman, think there is a connection, but, then, two days later, she meets another guy or maybe guys she likes better. You have to prepare yourself for that. Especially, for the more attractive and/or younger women. They get bombarded online.

  6. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    I have a practice of almost universally ending my first dates saying something to the effect of “let’s do this again.” I don’t have these wildly varying first date experiences. Most of them are good. Some are better but I pretty much can get along with anyone who is not batshit crazy and, even then…. So, no “reading of the room” necessary for this exercise.

    I agree there should be no calendering or begging about second dates while on the first date. It creates awkwardness even if she’s interested in seeing you again.

    As for the OP, there’s no harm in following up but it doesn’t sound like she’s interested.

  7. coffeestop Says:

    She is looking at her options. If she was really into the OP, she would have cleared space somehow. I went out with a dude on a Saturday and he asked me for a second date this week and I said yes because I had a nice time and there was no horrible awkwardness. In contrast I went out on a date a few weeks ago and trotted out the busy schedule as an excuse because we did have a lot of awkwardness, things did not flow and while I found him physically attractive, I figured he is dating other people and I was not feeling it so… I feel like if the first date is good, a second date should be a go.

    it might just be that the OP thought the date was great and she did not. She enjoyed it enough but was not quite as enthused. Plus, she is in her 20’s so if she is attractive and nice she is getting tons of offers. Unless the OP is a movie star or a Master of the Universe type, if he wants to date younger very attractive women, this will be happening pretty frequently to him. He needs to accept this as reality and go with it. Women in their mid 20’s who have a job, are attractive, and who are obviously not damaged are the sought after demographic on dating sites.

  8. Maria Says:

    One more things to consider: pay day. I sometimes don’t schedule any dates if it’s the last week before my payday and I am a bit low on cash. Even if a guy is happy to pay for drinks/dinner/enternainment I would not put myself in a position where I am not able to offer to contribute. I would just not feel at ease.

    There are quite a lot of variables here. So it made a good idea to go ahead with another date just to see how things develop. But Moxie is absolutely right about also seeing other people and not putting all eggs in one basket.

    • SS Says:

      “There are quite a lot of variables here”

      Exactly. It seems short sighted and unreasonable to me to insist or even expect that a random stranger drop everything stat.

  9. Lisa Says:

    Asking if “I’m going to have to wait a week and a half to see you again?” is just plain manipulative. He was basically trying to lightweight bully the woman into a date.

    If he asks when she wants to see him next and the answer is a week and a half from that day, then that is the answer and he needs to respect that.

    Unless the guy was a total asshat, online first dates were usually enjoyable and pleasant for me, whether or not there were romantic sparks. That doesn’t mean anything. The LW seems clueless (as evidenced by his laborious explanation of the situation and his admission that most of his dates go poorly) and rather arrogant to presume interest on her part and expect her to drop everything be available to him whenever.

    No, I don’t think the woman felt compelled to fit him in lest he lose interest. I think some women (and men, I suppose) are easy to bully and push around and she felt she had to.

    Men complain about dinner whores and the burden of paying to entertain women who aren’t interested in them…and now you see the other side. The woman will oblige (begrudgingly) long enough until she and her friends hatch a less awkward exit strategy.

  10. bbdawg Says:

    The strategy of moving someone way further down on the calendar is a way to almost pre-cancel the meeting. I would not be surprised if this woman cancels on the OP. Once he almost threatened her she gave him a date so he’d get off her back.

    Women in their 20s can afford to be picky because they are flooded with messages from really attractive/desirable guys for the most part. You just never know what the deal is though. I actually really like it when a guy wants to make plans right away. When I feel the same way it’s wonderful. It can be quite awkward otherwise. It just sounds like she wasn’t that into you.

  11. mxf Says:

    It’s funny how everyone dating develops their own set of little guidelines based on what they prefer, but I’ll throw mine in the ring: I don’t like being asked to set up the specifics of the next date at the end of a first date. This is for a couple of reasons: first, when I’m on the dates I’m trying not to filter every tiny thing through a “does this have potential” filter, so I often need to look back on the experience as a whole and see if there’s continued interest on my side, either later that night or the next morning or whatever. That means I can’t presume the other person wants to see me again, or me them, until the date is finished, even if the date is loads of fun while we’re in the moment.

    Secondly, I think it’s too risky of putting someone on the spot. You can express an enthused desire to see each other again, and then pick up with another invitation in the days following the date. If you’re both into it, it doesn’t diminish that little rush of adrenaline from making plans with someone you’re psyched about, and if one of you isn’t into it, it saves you having to reach that decision and answer on the spot.

    The exchange outlined above would have made me bail, for sure. Descriptions like “no discernible excuse” make the OP sound a bit entitled. I agree with him that it didn’t look good that she couldn’t see him for a week and a half, but that’s an indicator of her interest, not a deficit in her dating approach. The best way for him to look like he’ll lose interest is to actually lose some interest, not pressure her to free up an earlier slot for him. I’d be curious if date 2 happens at all.

  12. Tinker Says:

    This letter seemed so familiar I got a sense of de is vu reading it. Is it a rerun or is it a case of there only being so many questions to ask?

  13. Donnie K Says:

    There’s nothing wrong with saying something like “let’s do this again” at the end of a first date. Trying to nail down plans makes you come across as too intense. The other side of the coin is that guys will often suggest (and women will politely agree) to future plans at the end of a date that went reasonably well only to realize later that neither is interested in a second date. After all, there’s nothing worse than the dreaded “it was nice meeting you” followed by the ass-out hug or worse – the hand shake. People will often feign optimism only to later say “thanks but no thanks.” But I digress.

    It sounds like this woman really did have a nice time. Unfortunately, she’s likely got a ton of options which puts the OP into a pool of random dudes who don’t really have a shot. It sucks. Chalk it up as a learning experience.

  14. tasia Says:

    Yeah, i only made the mistake of being honest at the end of a less than stellar first date once & it but me in the @$$. He said “let’s do this again” or “I’ll give you a call sometime” or something along those lines. I decided to go with radical honesty (stupid younger me!) and said, “nah don’t bother. It was nice to meet you but I don’t see this going forward/having potential”. He was nonplussed & I ended up bumping into him awkwardly a few weeks later (turns out his mom is a client of mine). D’oh.

  15. SB Says:

    If I was the woman in this situation, I’d consider this an awful first date and, in fact, one that is so bad that I might even tell friends in a round of bad date tales.
    Haranguing a woman into a date with you while still on the date is so desperate and off-putting that any interest she was feeling likely disappeared in that moment. If that second date does happen (and I’d be surprised), it will likely be the last.

    Don’t do this again, learn from it, and the next time your date tries to save you from a dating faux pas like this, let her.

  16. Selena Says:

    Prior to reading this blog it would never have occurred to me to send a “Thank you” text after a date. I always thought thanking someone at the table (or other venue) and thanking them again when we said goodnight was the proper thing to do.

    Now that I know about the TY text thing I can see the advantages of doing it: it’s something a woman can do to let the guy know she is interested in going out again. If he’s interested, it gives him prime opportunity to text back asking for another date. It’s all good.

    A guy could also send a TY text: “Thank you for meeting me last night. I had a great time. Would you like to get together again?”
    Polite. Low-Key. No pressure.

    By asking for the next date while on the first date, the LW put the woman he was out with on the spot. The comment about not seeing him for a week and half was pushy. Many women who were interested, might be thinking “Uh Oh” hearing that. It could be construed as controlling among other unpleasant associations. I don’t know if this guy shot himself in the foot or not, but HE might find it more effective sending a TY in future dating.

  17. J Says:

    Not trying to hijack (though I guess I am), but I’m curious about a tangential remark in the response to the OP, that men in their 40s (along with women in their 20s) are most in demand on dating sites. I’m in my late 40s, fit and nice looking, and I get zilch for the most part online. To clarify, I hear from a lot of 50s-age women of all races, and few younger whom I do not find attractive. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the two pay sites I’m on, but I’m thoroughly underwhelmed. I reach out as well, naturally – always graciously though sometimes irreverently – and have about a 1% response rate. I get that this is an impersonal and highly subjective venue for meeting people, but I can’t say I’m not disappointed. Any thoughts?

    • ATWYSingle Says:

      I’m in my late 40s, fit and nice looking, and I get zilch for the most part online.

      There’s no way to say without looking at your profile and knowing your geographic location. You are in demand because you’re getting messages from a fair amount of women. You just don’t like your options. That’s not the same thing as “getting zilch.”

      Also, what you consider fit and nice looking is subjective. You might not be what others consider fit and nice looking. I see a ton of people state in their profile that they think they’re attractive and I’m like, “Uh. Okay.If you say so.”

    • SS Says:

      1. A low response rate is pretty standard – don’t take it personally.

      2. That being said, you may be shooting out of your league – a good friend of mine is a sweetheart but his looks are intensely “average” (he calls himself a 5) – he used to show me the woman he was contacting. All were gorgeous. Uh, no.

      3. There may be something in your profile text (or photos) that’s offputting. Have a few friends review and give their honest opinion.

      Best of luck!

  18. Bree Says:

    This guy is a violation waiting to happen.

    Instead of pouncing on women in their 20s who just signed up for online dating YESTERDAY (before they figure out you’re just like all the rest), the LW might do what women are constantly told to do when seeking men to date: “Lower your standards.”

    Try contacting women your own age or (gasp!) a few years older. Maybe even women who are in a similar physical condition as you.

    Otherwise, desperately brow-beating women out of your league into spending time with you is going to get more and more frustrating and eventually get you in trouble if you can’t control yourself.

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