Here’s How Long You Should Wait for a Response to That First Text Message

At what point do you stop staring at your phone and realize that you probably won't be hearing back? It might be sooner than you think.

cellphoneLDprod/ShutterstockWe’re all familiar with the jittery feeling of having that cute guy or girl’s phone number and trying to decide what to say (or, rather, type) to break the ice. When we finally get up the courage, we type our message, hit send, and wait. And wait. And wait.

However, maybe we shouldn’t be doing quite so much waiting. Research from Hinge, a dating app, has revealed that the likelihood that you’ll receive a response to your first text plummets after just a half hour. (No matter how tempting it might be, you should never do these nine things over text message.)

Hinge tackled this research in response to a query about double texting. The user wanted to know whether sending a second message to an unresponsive potential love interest was more likely to get a response than simply letting the first message be. So the Hinge team assessed 300,000 conversations from their app. They then made a chart showing what percent of both double-texters and single-texters got a response within the same 24 hours, and when that response came.

chartCourtesy Hinge And the results showed that, after hitting send, you may not need to stay in that limbo of suspense for very long. Within the first half hour, chances of getting a text back after sending a single message plummeted from 55 percent to 38 percent, before decreasing more gradually over the next several hours. So yes, there’s still a chance that they’ll text back after a half hour, but unfortunately, the odds are not in your favor.

(As to Hinge’s verdict on double texting, the data shows that, if done at the right time, it’s actually not a turn-off! Right around the four-hour mark, the likelihood that they’ll text back after a double text actually becomes higher than after only one text. Who knew?!) Here are some texting habits people do find annoying.

Hinge did assess only data from its own app, so it’s safe to conclude that this only applies to a potential romantic interest. When you’re texting your mom, or your best buddy, you can probably disregard the half-hour rule. Next, learn the scientific reason you should be calling your mom more often.


Meghan Jones
Meghan Jones is a word nerd who has been writing for since 2017. You can find her byline on pieces about grammar, fun facts, the meanings of various head-scratching words and phrases, and more. Meghan graduated from Marist College with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 2017; her creative nonfiction piece “Anticipation” was published in the Spring 2017 issue of Angles literary magazine.