How long should I take to respond to an online dating Message?

Respond to message quickly or wait?

Some people are uncertain about the etiquette of responding to online dating messages. How soon to respond depends on the situation. Just try to be polite, but don’t feel pressured. Generally, if you are clearly online / visibly using the app and have been messaging with the person recently, then just to be polite I’d suggest giving them some sort of response within 5 minutes or so.

Generally I would not advise succumbing to any sort of mind games and think that replying too quickly might suggest you are keener than you are. How you word the reply message should take care of that! If you just aim to be polite you can generally be a brief as necessary. If they have sent you the short works of Shakespeare, then just pick one, maybe two maximum, thing to reply about. Don’t feel that you have to reply in kind within the next few minutes!

However, if you have received a message from someone you have not been corresponding with and, say, you are not logged into the dating app, then a reply the next day would be fine – or whenever you happen to next go online. It would be unreasonable for them to expect someone to instantly respond. If you are in the middle of a messaging conversation with someone, perhaps having exchanged perhaps half a dozen messages within 5 or 10 minutes of receipt, and you need to break off to do something else (or stop for the evening), then just tell them so (rather than leaving them hanging).

If it is the middle of the day and you are working, then leave it until lunch or when you get home. The person on the other end of the dating message should understand. In fact, how THEY react is a useful part of figuring out what sort of a personality they have. If someone is very impatient or takes offence at less than immediate attention from you, well that should tell you a lot: they are either quite needy or controlling. If that’s OK with you, then fine, but otherwise.. you just learnt something useful before you spent too much time on them.

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