Should I Text Him First or Wait for Him to Text Me: Yes, No & What to Know

The age old question, “Should I text him first?” But what are you supposed to actually do? We have the answers you’re looking for!

should i text him first?

Communication is supposed to be easy…so why is deciding who will text first so complicated? Whether it’s right after a great date, tomorrow or three days from now– when are you supposed to text a guy first, if at all?

The truth is that this question comes mostly from insecurity and what society has told us is the right way to approach this type of situation. These rules may have been laid out with the best of intentions, but they tend to be restrictive and frankly, pointless. There are no hard and fast “rules” of when you should text someone. Every situation is different. [Read: Texting before the first date: 15 rules to make them eager to see you]

What to do when you start asking yourself, “Should I text him first?”

Society’s rules on this matter should go the way of the dinosaur. Why wait a certain amount of hours or days before texting someone after having had a great date? All that being said, being clingy and desperate is still a turn off. There may be no “rules” to who texts first, but there is certainly still a code of conduct. 

If you actually want to make a guy yours, then there are certain guidelines that you should follow in order to have a better shot at making him like you. The reality of dating is that confidence is attractive and frantic clinginess is not. There is nothing wrong with texting first, but you have to make sure that you are still playing cool.

The quick answer: should you text him?

No. Not until you’ve finished reading this piece, at least. You might be excited about a new relationship and that’s great, but coming off as crazy and clingy over text can quickly squash any feelings this guy may have for you. Calm your butterflies, and think about the situation a bit. Remember the golden rule: someone who wants to talk to you will do so. 

That being said, the question of whether or not you should text him first is one of the very first things that will pop into your head. Here’s everything you should do when you start to ask yourself this very common question.

1. Take a chill pill

Before you make any decisions, you need to relax for a minute. Having a new potential significant other can have your nerves going crazy. The high of a new relationship is almost like a drug, and it should come with a warning label. 

Those nerves can cause you to do things that you normally wouldn’t. You might panic at the silence and do something stupid, like texting him a ridiculously long message that makes you seem needy, desperate, and, worst of all, annoying.

So, before you do anything, put your phone down. Take several deep breaths. If possible, go do something else for a little while, then come back to the text you want to send.

2. Consider how long its been

Texting a guy right after your date can seem really needy and desperate, two of the worst things that you can be after starting a new fling. So you have to decide just how long it’s really been since you’ve talked to him.

If it’s only been a day, wait it out and see if he’ll text you. If it’s been a couple of days and you’re genuinely curious as to what he’s been up to, shoot him an engaging text that will pique his interest and spark a conversation. [Read: 14 reasons why he’s MIA and not replying to your texts]

You don’t want to get stuck waiting to text each other because you both are afraid of coming across as desperate. But you also don’t want to be blowing up the phone of someone who is not interested in you. Patience is key.

3. Get a friend’s opinion

You can be a bit biased when it comes to someone new on the horizon. Try to get your friend’s opinion on whether or not it’s too soon to text him. She’ll most likely give you an unbiased answer, and it always helps to have a clear-thinking person in your corner.

But remember, good advice not taken is useless. If your friend is telling you it’s best to back off, then back off. Otherwise what’s the point of asking. 

4. Ask yourself if you’re being needy and clingy

Someone who has gone on one or two dates with you doesn’t necessarily owe you any of his time. It is far too early in the relationship to start making demands on when he texts you back. If he isn’t texting back, maybe he is busy or maybe he doesn’t like you that much. Either way, double texting and being clingy is not going to solve the issue. 

So before you send that text, ask yourself if it’s going to make you seem needy. Would you be annoyed if someone texted you as quickly as you wanted to text him? If the answer is yes, don’t text him yet. [Read: 9 effective ways to stop being so needy and insecure]

5. Ask someone else if you’re being needy and clingy

You’re going to try your very best to justify any reason that you can come up with to text someone you really like. This is why you need a friend to give you a second opinion. If they can spot the neediness a mile away, guess what? So can he!

6. Do you always text first?

If you’ve been texting this guy for a while, ask yourself– do you always text first? If so, he might not like you that much. It sounds harsh, but if you are doing all the work to talk to him, he might just be going along with it. You deserve someone who wants to talk to you, not someone who thinks you’re just “good enough.”

If you always text first, stop for a while and see what happens. If the conversation drops dead, then you have your answer. 

7. Has he texted/contacted you in any way?

If the two of you have been talking already and you’re thinking about initiating a new conversation, then you’re in the clear to send him a quick hello.

If he’s been contacting you already, then he obviously enjoys talking to you. In this situation, you should be perfectly fine to send him the first text this time. Just make sure it’s not always you texting him first. [Read: What to text a guy when you want to make the first move]

8. Has he responded to your previous text?

So, let’s say you’ve been talking to this guy for a while. Then he just…stops. You send him a text, but no reply. Now a few days have gone by, and you wonder if you should text him again. 

No. You shouldn’t. If he dropped the conversation, he should pick it back up. If he doesn’t, you can safely assume he isn’t interested in talking to you and move on with your life.

9. Decide how you feel about him

Sometimes, the jitters from a first date can carry on and we can get a skewed perception of whether or not we actually like someone. This means that you’ll really have to think hard about whether you really like him, or if you’re just excited about the possibility of starting a new fling.

10. Think about how the date went

You should also think long and hard about how your date with him went. If it was a complete blast and you had a great time, wait a day or so before texting him. That gives both of you time to mull over the wonderful date and even miss the other person.

If the date went south but you still really like him, try texting him the same night or even the next morning and say that you would love to go on a second date. He may think he’s ruined his chances already, so this is a great opportunity for you to make your feelings clear and get to know him better without seeming needy. [Read: 16 first date tips for girls to dazzle your date]

11. Think about what you would say

You have a big crush and his phone number, but do you have anything interesting to say? If you can’t think of anything relevant to say and you just want to get that text back, then don’t text him. Wait until you have a topic of conversation, or until he texts you first.

12. Are you mad at him for ghosting you?

So, you’ve been ghosted. We have a lot of articles about what to do when you’ve been ghosted, but what you should NOT do is text the person who ghosted you.

Ghosting is a decision. He is currently making a choice to not talk to you and, like it or not, you have to accept that. Sending him a long, nasty text message may seem tempting, but resist that urge, because you’re almost guaranteed to regret it. Text or no text, you will still be ghosted. You might as well walk away with your head held high.

13. If you have a reason to text him, text him

If you really had an embarrassing moment during your date or you just had something ridiculous happen and you feel you should text him an apology, then by all means, do it. Don’t wait for him to text you first.

Reasons to skip these rules

Not all of these rules have to be followed, and in certain situations, you should actually bypass them altogether. Here’s when you can skip the above rules and text him right away.

1. Something funny reminds you of him

This isn’t the 1800s. If you see something funny on social media and want to text it to him, go for it. Doing this doesn’t require a slew of debate on your part, and he’ll be happy to have reminded you of something. [Read: How to flirt with a guy over text in 11 simple steps]

2. You have urgent news involving him

We all know that there are certain things that can happen on the first date *or even during a one-night stand* that can result in some urgent news. If you have something extremely important to tell him, skip all of the rules above and just text him.  [Read: The texting and followup guide after a great first date]

Don’t feel bad for wanting to text first

Sometimes wanting to text your crush can drive you crazy. This is totally normal. Don’t feel bad or desperate for wanting to talk to someone you like. After all, you like them, of course you want to talk to them! 

But there is a lot to be said for delayed gratification, even with texting. Remember that these early days are often the most exciting ones. Don’t rush the process– instead, try to enjoy the excitement and uncertainty that comes with a new relationship. When you do get that text from him it will be all the more exciting! 

When you’re racking your brain over the question, “should I text him first,” take a minute to get your bearings straight. You don’t have to take these steps EVERY time you want to text the same guy, but these guidelines can help you think through the butterflies.

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Bella Pope LovePanky
Annabel Rodgers
Annabel is a lifestyle writer, cheese enthusiast (Wisconsin native over here) and fantasy adventure author-in-progress who enjoys all things love, dog,...