Q: I can never figure out how long to wait before calling after the first date. Help?

A: Your wait time should be indirectly proportional to how well the date went. The better the date, the shorter the wait. If you think she was really into you? Awesome. Here’s how to proceed immediately: “The new norm is to text an hour after the date,” says Match.com dating and relationship expert Whitney Casey. “Keep it casual, mentioning something you laughed about together or just expressing how much you enjoyed hanging out.” Then, do not wait too long before asking for a second date. Trust your instinct and act on it. The girl will be giddy.

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But…if you’re not sure? Be really honest with yourself about how that date went. Ignore “I had a great time”—it does not necessarily mean she is itching to go out with you again. Women? Say what we mean? Psssh… admittedly, not all the time, no. But we will almost certainly tell how we felt about the date through non-verbal cues, which will eventually reveal the magical post-date-call timetable you seek. So ask yourself: Did she smile a lot and act a little nervous, or did she hold back a bit? Did she give you a hug? Was the hug of the side-armed persuasion, or was it legit? (I know you know the difference.) Did you kiss? Was it a good kiss?

If those answers leave you unsure, she’s probably unsure too. She’s still feeling things out and may need a breather to think. Maybe she’s wondering if there’s enough of a spark, thinks you could be a bad boy or just dealt with a nasty breakup—whatever the case, you probably still have a shot. Just not if you come on too strong. When we’re still thinking the situation over, overzealous behavior freaks.us.out. Those super-eager phone calls, emails and texts? We’ll just write you off.


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So, take it slow. Wait a couple days (not minutes) or so to really reach out again. Give her a bit of space, and then work on her heart slowly. A simple text after the date to tell us you had a great time? Works. A call a couple days later to chat? Perfect. We’re suckers for guys who let us ease in. Persistence + patience = best method ever. Any reservations will evaporate.

But one final word of caution: Don’t mess with our heads, or give us room to think you are. If you start toying with the three-day rule, start acting completely apathetic… personally, I’d be over it in a hot minute.

Be genuine. The right type of woman will like you a whole lot for it.

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About the author: Claire Austen is a 20-something freelance writer, sports enthusiast, and polka-dot-lovin’ everygirl trying to bridge the gap between what men know about women and what women wish men knew. She gives smart, super-honest advice about your biggest dating and relationship conundrums.