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How Long to Wait Before You Call Back- Advice for Social and Dating Calls

Updated on August 30, 2016

Before Going Out On a Date, Have an Idea of the Plans Ahead

Whether you are gathering with some friends, going out as a group, or going out on a date, there is nothing wrong with having an idea of what the plans are for the evening.

Especially for the first few dates, let the person that you are going out with know that others will be calling to check in on you, and that you may have to step out to take the call.

Asking a direct question of what the plans for the date are is not rude, it is smart to be informed and cautious. People who avoid the answer with "It's a surprise" or "We'll see" are not respecting your right to feel safe.


When Things Are Going Well on the Date

If you are out with your new friend and things are going well, don't extend the evening past the agreed upon time. It sounds counter-intuitive, I know. You have to realize that the person you are out with may have plans tomorrow that they need to get sleep for. End at the agreed upon time.

If things are going well, and you part ways at the agreed upon time, then logic dictates that the person who you went on a date with will want to see more of you. End the date, and get some rest!

If the person you are out with wants to extend the time, cite work or school as a reason you have to go for, but make it clear that you do want to see them again.


When Things Are NOT Going Well

I once had a date that was nearly one hour late to meet me, with no telephone call letting me know. I was pretty steamed about that, but worse was when we went to the restaurant. He asked the waiter for the lunch specials, even though it was after 8pm.

The final insult was after dinner, when we went to a movie. My date and I got settled into our seats, and he excused himself for a moment. When he came back, he handed me a drink. "What is this?" I asked. "I dunno. People throw them away almost empty, and I refill them."

At that point, I knew that the date was not going to work out. I politely asked him to walk me to my car, which was out in front of the movie theater. He did, wondering what the problem was.

This is where honesty, though brutal, is your friend. I said "I don't appreciate the way that you have devalued me by showing up late without a telephone call or an apology when you arrived. I don't appreciate your asking the waitstaff for the lunch menu when it was supper time, and I won't drink after a complete stranger. This is not going to work out, but thank you for taking me out."

He started to say something, and I interrupted. "I said thank you." Then I started my car and left. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to leave the area. Don't feel as though you have to stay in order to be polite.


First Contact After the Date

When you part ways at the end of the date, one of you may say to the other "Call me when you get home, so that I will know you made it safely home" or something similar. If you are the female and are interested in seeing more of this person, this is an excellent way to show care and concern.

When the call is made, if you are the caller, be brief. Let the other person know that you are home, that you are safe, and that you did have a really good time. Relay something about the evening that you really liked, and then get off the phone.

If you are the person receiving the call, thank them for calling. Let them know that the evening was a success, and then tell them that you will let them go, and that you look forward to hearing from them soon. Hang up the phone. Even if the conversation is going well, get off the phone!

Your next contact should not be for at least 8 hours. If you cannot contain it, send a short email. An example: "I really had a good time with you last night at the restaurant. I have never tasted shrimp with lemon and coconut before. Thanks for showing me a special night. I would like to see you again soon. Bettie "

Don't call, write, text, email, page, or anything else after this for a day or two. No matter what.


If They Contact You

Of course, free will is free will, so if the other person decides to make contact with you, speak to them! Let them know that you had a great time. If they want to set a date, get a calendar and get with it.

The caution here is to not be the person who, in their enthusiasm comes off as being too eager, or in their desire to remain "cool" comes off as too detached. If you had a good time, then let the other person know. Just not right after the date. If you ended the date properly, then one of the last things that you will have said is "I had a really good time."


What if the Date Was Acceptable, But You Don't Want to See Them Again?

If the date was not horrible, but you do not want to go out on a second date, you have two choices here if you want to be an adult about it.

The first one is to tell them at the end of the date. "Thanks for going out with me. I had a really nice time, but I don't feel a connection with you." (This can be very awkward.)

The second is via an email. Example is:

Dear Chris, I was glad to meet and go out with you yesterday. I had a nice time, but I do not feel as though we have enough in common to make a good, lasting connection. I wish you all the very best in your search for that someone special as I am sure you will find them soon! /Bettie

I once sent a letter to a person that I went on a date with to tell him that I did not want to see him again. He responded with an email telling me that he felt the same way and wished me well. If you don't feel a connection, don't force it. There are plenty of people on this earth to meet, and if the one you met is not it, then keep on trying, soon enough, you will meet them.

No matter whether things went well or poorly, I DO encourage a note of thanks for the time, and a message that includes your intent, whether it is or is not in the plans to get together again.

Good Luck!

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