Should You Reply to Dating App Messages Immediately?

The dating scene these days is a lot different than it was even a few years ago. With the advent of online dating and swiping apps, it’s easier than ever to find someone to date—unless, of course, you won’t take the time to respond to your matches’ messages.

The question of whether or not to reply to a dating app message immediately is a common one. In general, it’s best to respond as soon as possible if you want to increase the chances of hearing back and ultimately going on that first date.

We’ll go over some reasons you might want to respond sooner rather than later, followed by when you might actually want to wait.

Women on her phone outside by a lake

Reasons You Should Respond Right Away

There are several instances where hitting your match back immediately is a good idea:

They Are a New Match

If they reach out for the first time, you should definitely respond within 24 hours. Alternatively, you can reach out first to show that you’re interested and happy to see that you’ve matched with them. 

This is the time when you want to start a conversation and get it going with someone before they lose interest or get distracted by other matches. Otherwise, the new match might just go stale if neither of you starts a conversation. They might think either that you’re don’t active on the app, or that you already have many matches, so why bother.

They Seem Very Interested

If they seem very interested in you and are making the effort to engage in conversation, it’s good to respond right away. Chances are that if they’re showing signs that they are curious or into you, they would like to hear back soon. After speaking back and forth, this would be the time to try to make plans to meet up.

You Have Plans Together

If you have made plans to meet IRL, it would be good to respond as soon as possible. You don’t want to make them wait around and wonder if you’ll actually end up meeting in person. It’s good to be responsive so that they see you are reliable and would like to follow through with your plans.

You Have Been Chatting

If you’ve been chatting back and forth, responding to their message right away is acceptable. You can ask them for their phone number or Instagram to keep the conversation going or to make plans together.

Reasons You Should Wait to Respond

There aren’t too many reasons where you should wait too long to reply. However, there are times when it might be better to wait until later in the day or the next day:

You Are Busy

If you are busy during the day, it’s okay to wait until later in the day or the next morning to respond. If you’re at work, for instance, it might not be appropriate to respond right away.

They’re Short on Details

If your match just says only says hi and doesn’t volunteer much more than that, you shouldn’t respond right away. Wait to see if they reach out again or ask follow-up questions. If not, it might be a good idea not to waste your time pursuing them. Maybe they are passive or just not that into you, so it’s best just to move on.

You’re Not Interested

This one is pretty obvious, but if you don’t plan on meeting with your match then don’t bother engaging in conversation with her. It can be annoying for your match if you are simply just bored and have zero intention of meeting up with them.

How Long Should I Wait to Respond to a Dating Message?

When it comes to dating apps, you should never wait too long before replying. For the most part, you’ll want to reply as soon as possible when it comes to dating apps like Tinder. You don’t want to end up wasting your time, and you definitely don’t want them to lose interest in you. It’s a good idea to respond within 24 hours of receiving a message. If you’re already chatting, it’s fine to respond right away. If you get too busy, at least make sure to respond within 48 hours.

Is It Rude Not to Respond to a Dating App Message Right Away?

It’s not rude to take a little time before replying, but it is bad if you stop responding completely. Of course, it’s normal to be busy during the workweek, and there’s nothing wrong with not responding right away if you genuinely don’t have much spare time. Waiting a few days is fine as long as you’re still active and using the app. However, if you stop responding for weeks at a time, then your match might think that you’re ghosting and not interested.

Remember, if you don’t try to make plans to meet each other soon, then chances are you will likely never meet up. It’s better to be responsive and try to make some effort before you lose them completely if you want someone more than just a pen pal!

Final Thoughts

These days, playing it cool seems to be the norm. You might think that if you don’t respond right away, you’ll seem more desirable. In a way, that is true. Not replying right away will communicate to your match that you’re busy and in demand, which can be seen as attractive.

However, that doesn’t mean that you should be unresponsive indefinitely. If you wait too long, your match will assume you’re not interested and move on. It’s a delicate balance between taking too long and replying too quickly. Most people would prefer to know where they stand with someone as soon as possible.

Try not to overthink how long you should wait to respond. While you don’t want to come off desperate, making an effort shows a girl that you’re interested. Be responsive and make a point to reply as quickly as you reasonably can without seeming too eager or overbearing.