How soon to reply online dating

I don't want to overwhelm people. I sometimes feel overwhelmed when people respond too quickly.

It's a tricky situation and I don't know all the correct answers. I had even toyed with the idea of asking a similar question to yours to get a general consensus of whether I'm following online dating etiquette. Also, I've had women on okcupid reply back to me months after my last message. Don't sweat it, there are more of them out there.

You're overthinking the problem. She'll reply sometime later if she wants to, and she already responded to you once so clearly she's not completely uninterested. Perhaps she saw the new message notification, went to read it, and is planning to reply later?


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That's pretty common I would imagine. Treat it like you would any other type of communication. Replying 30 seconds later looks desperate, but anywhere in the later that day to the few days later range is just fine until you know each better. I get email notice that I have new okc messages and will sometimes use the mobile site to read a new message. OKC shows that I've logged on, but I never write responses from my phone - that happens on the weekend when I can log into my home computer. But I want to check the inbox in case a date cancelled, etc.

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Please don't write a response to a message you haven't seen yet. Otherwise, everything you're saying sounds good. Hopefully you feel better now you've got a load of near-instant askme responses. But I wouldn't worry about this one message. Because, you know, it's You happened to be by the computer, so you responded promptly. It would be silly to hold this against you. If I had to make up a rule, I'd say: As a disclaimer, this is just my speculation based on my experience as a straight man who uses OKCupid.

Not being a woman, I obviously could be wrong about how women perceive these things. Straight women generally have more luxury than straight men to filter people out based on trivial factors, so, as you know, one can't assume that straight-male thinking is the same as straight-female thinking when it comes to online dating. But really, I just respond when I get a chance. I assume people realize that there are random fluctuations with this kind of thing.

As long as I respond within 24 hours, I don't worry about it. If I find myself taking days to respond to someone's message, I take it as a sign that I'm not actually that interested. C As long as you feel like it. Look, you don't want to send off a bad email because you wrote it quickly and sent it without thinking. But waiting extra time just to not seem too eager or available or whatever is absurd. No one who's interested in you is going to stop and say "crap, morganw is interested in me and wrote back too soon, fuck that guy," and certainly no one you want to date is going to have that reaction.

I really don't think that appropriate response time is tied to gender so much as it's tied to personality. So framing this as "will women think this" or "men think that" is misleading. Some people like to reply to things right away, as soon as they see them. They are not the type to overthink and ponder perfect messages.

Online Dating: How Long to Wait Before You Respond?

They're likely to be the type to agree to meeting up as soon as possible, perhaps even that same day. There's likely a variable of interest that factors in too--if they like your profile, they'll be more likely to respond quickly. This is the kind of dater I am when I'm on OkCupid. Some people don't like to appear too eager and prefer to take time to compose a thoughtful message that digs deeper in to someone's psyche.

It IS you - why the longer it takes someone to reply to a text, the less they like you

These are the people who are likely to have more extensive contact before meeting someone and will plan things out far in advance. If someone appeals to them, they may spend even more time planning out their response. Obviously, there are types in between these two ends of the spectrum.

And when people match in their styles, communication is easy and trying to mindread the other person is minimized. When there's a mismatch, there can be a lot of confusion and angst on both ends. In the end, do what you're comfortable doing.


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  • If the other person responds well to it, great! If not, then who knows, it might be an indicator that there were fundamental differences in communication there to begin with, and you just saved yourself the time and trouble of finding that out some other way. If you did this 4 times in a row, I might think it was a little eager. I just figured you happened to be online when you get the message.

    Don't over think it. I know we all do it, but I constantly forget to respond for several days or just can't think of anything clever to say or am too tired to write any kind of vaguely interesting reply. It doesn't mean I'm not interested. Some people log into dating website once a week or less. Especially on a free site like OKcupid where you have nothing to lose by being a very casual user. If you had waited longer and she hadn't responded by now, you'd be asking us if you waited too long. There's no way to know what she's thinking. Writing back within the hour is not gross.

    Formulating a well-thought-out response is not gross. Someone wandering away after just one interaction for whatever reason is unfortunately normal, online and in real life.


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    One more piece of advice: This has the potential to distort your frame of mind. You do not want to lapse into thinking, "So! She has the time to log on to OKCupid to check out other guys, but apparently she can't be bothered to Don't you have some websites bookmarked that you check so often it's reflexive? At any given moment when I'm online, I'm likely to head to nytimes.

    Sometimes it's just "I have this computer with internet access in front of me and I'm bored, so I guess I'll go to one of my default sites. You have no way of knowing, so try not to stress about this at all. I have no idea if she's waited a couple days because she's not interested or because she wants to take some extra time to write a good message.

    If it's the latter, she might still intentionally log in for any number of reasons that have nothing to do with you. Since you haven't even gotten to the first-date stage yet, it's entirely possible she's actively interested in someone else Or maybe she just got an email alert with a preview of a message from some random guy, and it's so horribly written that she wants to log in to read the message for a good laugh.

    Maybe she just quit smoking and logged in purely to change the smoking field in her profile to "no. It would take a pattern of instant enthusiastic responses for me to be freaked out by a short response turnaround time. For example, this would be both classic and alarming: Him, 7am - Hi you seem neat Me, 8pm - blah blah blah Him, 8: I am easily smothered.

    And I mostly get creepy, non-thought-out booty call messages on OKCupid. And I'm not a "you seem neat, let's go out this weekend, person I don't really know" girl. Think about it, but don't over think it. But first, let me clarify: It's not like girls will lose interest if you reply right away. It's not like they'll become more interested if you take a long time to answer either. Their level of interest will mainly be determined by how attractive your profile is, exactly like it is for you.

    When I recommend waiting, it's because it's because it's better for efficiency.