When your main source of potential partners is via dating apps, you don’t want to waste time having useless conversations for weeks on end that only result in being ghosted before you even meet up. However, you also don’t want to agree to go out with someone before you know anything about them but that they like dogs and hiking, according to their profile. The best way to go about it is to find a happy medium. So, how long should you talk to someone before getting on with it and going on a date with them?
Talking before dating: Why it’s important
- You get an initial feel for chemistry. Dating someone you haven’t had so much as a conversation with is bound to be a waste of time more often than not. Talking first allows you to see how well the conversation flows between you and if there’s a spark there. While the real fireworks won’t necessarily come until you meet up in person, those initial chats can provide some solid insight on whether or not there are any possibilities there.
- You screen out potential deal breakers. Spotting red flags sooner rather than later is in your best interest. You don’t want to meet up with someone, only to find out they’re an unapologetic right-wing conservative while you’re as liberal as they come, or that they plan on moving to Japan for two years in a couple of months.
- You gauge their interest in dating. Just because they have an active profile on Hinge or whatever doesn’t mean they’re actually looking for someone to date. By chatting for a bit rather than agreeing to meet up for a quick hookup, you figure out whether they’re in it for the right reasons. Assuming you want a relationship, this is a wise move.
- You get ideas for what to do on the first date. Talking to someone before dating them is also useful if you’re at a loss for what to do together. You don’t want to do the standard dinner and drinks, but what should you do instead? By building up a rapport before meeting up, you discover one another’s interests. This provides plenty of awesome date ideas.
How long should you talk to someone before dating them?
Because every person and situation is different, there’s no one definitive answer to this question. How long you spend talking to someone before you actually start dating them in person is entirely up to you. If you feel like your conversations are moving forward and there’s a connection there, it’s probably fine to continue with them. However, if you feel like things are losing steam before you ever meet in person, you might need to cut your losses.
Generally speaking, if you’ve been talking for two or three weeks and they haven’t made plans to go out with you — or they’ve dodged your invites for a date — it’s safe to assume they’re wasting your time. They’re either not serious about dating, talking to multiple people at once, or just plain weirdos. Whatever the reason, don’t stick around in a situation that doesn’t serve you.
Is it possible to talk for too long before meeting up?
Sadly, yes. No matter how many things you have in common and how much you have to say to each other, that won’t last forever. While it’s good to establish a genuine connection, it should simply be a framework for you to build upon face-to-face. Keeping your conversations text-based for too long guarantees that things with fizzle out before they ever really get off the ground. Plus, even if you do go on an actual date in the end, you may find you have nothing left to talk about. How much would that suck?
Obviously, you don’t want to overthink it. Putting a specific time frame on how long you chat to them is intense and totally unnecessary. Going with the flow is always your best bet, That being said, if you notice your talks becoming a bit strained and less enjoyable, you may be entering the danger zone.
What to do if a lot of time has passed and they still haven’t suggested a date
- Suggest meeting up yourself. You don’t have to wait for them to make a move. You’re perfectly capable of asking them on a date yourself, right? Tell them you can’t wait to meet up with them in person and suggest something fun. Maybe there’s a concert coming up this weekend or you’ve been meaning to check out a new exhibit at a local museum. Ask them to come along and see what they say. What do you have to lose?
- Have an honest conversation with them about it. If you’re comfortable being honest with them — and if you’re considering dating them, you should be — then say something. Let them know that you love talking to them but that you’re looking to build a relationship in the real world and see what they say. If they’re as into you as they appear to be, they should be into it.
- Figure out what you want. Do you really like them as much as you think? Maybe the reason things haven’t progressed is that you haven’t made many moves or given signals that you want that to happen either. It’s possible that you’re not feeling them as much as you should be. There’s no shame in that — it happens. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?
- If there’s no movement, don’t hesitate to walk away. If you’re interested in dating them and they only want to keep talking, that’s your cue to cut the cord and move on. There’s someone out there who’s actually looking for the same things. Go find them instead.