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Dating Expert Tips on Phone & Text Etiquette for Online Dating

Dating Expert Tips on Phone and Texting Etiquette for Online Dating


All the Etiquette books out there, I think of wonderful experts like Emily Post and Miss Manners, provide tips, guidelines, and suggestions about how to engage with people socially.  When you’re single and dating, remember to use good manners and not your schleppist manners possible to attract lasting love with other singles.


One topic for etiquette for Dating is:  Phone Etiquette for Online Dating


What are the phone rules and guidelines to use when you are contacting someone you have just “met” via an online dating site?


When your prospective date gives you their phone number, are there some common courtesy and social etiquette guidelines which singles should keep in mind?


And what about texting?  Maybe you don’t phone after a certain hour of night, however, it’s just a text message, right?


I have observed that this is something which in particular the Millenials my not yet even know about.  And some of the GenY and GenX folks are ok about, but generally weak.  I never hear complaints or comments about this from the Baby Boomers, so it seems the Boomer Generation got inculcated on Phone Etiquette guidelines, certainly in relation to work and their career.  So they are already strong in this.


Dating Etiquette Tip #1:  How Late Is Too Late to Phone a New Contact You Met Online?


Online Dating Phone Etiquette

Online Dating Phone Etiquette

Perfectly Safe Phoning and Text Etiquette Dating Rule:

As a general guideline, don’t phone someone you do not know very well after 9 pm.  That is the super safe, gracious, well-mannered guideline.


However, we are all so very busy these days.


Perhaps you wanted to phone your new contact you met online at the end of your day when you are relaxed, not frazzled and about to do 5 other chores and tasks, after the dishes are washed and put away, and the pots and pans are scrubbed and clean.


Generally Safe Phoning and Text Etiquette Dating Rule:

And oh my, where did the evening go?  It’s 9:30 pm!  Couldn’t I just phone them now?  Yes, you can.  9:30 pm really is fine as well.  While the “proper” guideline is 9 pm, by which you cannot go wrong.  However, with someone of the current age, phoning up until about 9:50 is pretty much fine.  Think in terms of being off the phone before 10 pm.  So to initiate a phone call at 9:45 pm or 9:50 pm is still good.


Just know that if you phone after 9:30 pm, you might risk disturbing someone’s sleep who is an early riser.  You run that risk with phone a little later at night.


Warning Cautionary Safe Phoning and Text Etiquette Dating Rule:

If you phone after 10 pm, you border on being rude.  After 10:30 pm is rude with a new person/stranger.  Unless they told you in an email, “It’s ok to phone as late at 11 pm….” Otherwise, just refrain from calling that late until you have met, are better acquainted and know each other a bit.


Some of the Millenials and GenX folks who grew up with MySpace and have been Facebook friends with thousands since middle school, have been inculcated to have a very casual approach to their social life.  This is both kinda great and kinda a problem.  It’s great not to be restricted by too many formalities and to create connection and relationships with others in your peer group and beyond all around the world.  I mean, that’s cool, right?


However, sometimes when we are being very casual in our conversations with someone who is, yes, still, even though you “feel” you know them from the Social Networking and Online Dating site, a stranger.  Asking very personal questions of a stranger when you first talk on the phone or first meet in person for a First Date, is rude.  It also reflects poorly on you that you have  a weakness in conversational skills.


Dating Etiquette Tip #2:  How Late Is Too Late for Texting a New Contact You Met Online?

Much like the guidelines for phoning, so follows the guideline for sending text messages.  However, the text message, you might be feeling, really isn’t the same as a phone call.  You’re right.  A text message you can ignore more readily than someone phoning you.


However, something which not everyone thinks of is, many people use their cell phone (“mobile” if you’re in the UK or the EU) as their alarm clock.  So, it is right by their head on the bedside table. And here you are thinking of something quick you just wanted to say to them, and it is 11:45 pm, 12:30 am, 12:45 am… or later.  And you send your text message over… And “buzz, buzz, buzz.” Their phone is vibrating or text message ringing next to them while they are sleeping.  And your texting them wakes them up.

Not only is that inadvertently rude.  You just disturbed their sleep.  They are now feeling at least irritated by you, and think you lack many of the social graces.  And this is all before they have actually met you.  Your anchor in their emotional nonconscious mind is with the irritation of being awoken in the middle of the night.  Your anchor is now:  irritation.  That is not what you want to trigger at the very beginning.


Dating Etiquette Tip#3:  Cell Phone Text Spam

While I am on the topic of text messaging, many people collect wonderful inspirational quotes or favorite Bible verses.  These are a wonderful thing to intersperse into your Tweetstream at Twitter or in your update box at Facebook or MySpace.


However, do not start sending these out on a daily basis to your new Prospective Dates who have graciously given you their phone number.  It’s spamming.


They gave you their phone number to arrange to meet for a First Date.  Use it only for that purpose.


They are not your new best friend.  Nor are they a subscriber to your personal newsletter.  Let them choose to connect and follow you at the Social Networking sites only after you two have met and established a level of acquaintance after a few dates before you do.


When you follow and incorporate these Phone and Textetiquette Tips into your dating and relationships habits, then you are geared up for Great First Dates and increasing your chances for more Second Dates and beyond!  And that’s how you successfully start great long lasting love relationships!


Happy Dating and Relationships,


April Braswell

Las Vegas Baby Boomer Dating Expert


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{ 34 comments… add one }
  • Vick October 17, 2009, 9:35 AM

    I agree about the younger generation phoning/texting…late at nite. I see it alot. But for some one new I definitely wouldn’t go there. Once you get to know someone you also know their schedule.
    Vicki http://www.bridal-threads.com

  • April Braswell October 17, 2009, 9:59 AM

    Hi Vick,

    thanks for stopping by and commenting at my blog. Certainly with all the teens you see for the Prom Dress and Bridal Gown biz, I’m sure you see all the texting going on. Totally normal.


  • Jim October 17, 2009, 12:39 PM

    In some businesses, contacting subcontractors up until 10:00 can be ok…

    Either way, you should know the contractor or person better, before calling after 9:00pm.

    Just ask before hand… it can’t hurt to know.


  • James Mason October 17, 2009, 12:31 PM

    Well, since I am on the tail end of the boomer crowd, I’d say your right about the 9:00 safe time.

    Although, this last month or so, with a special project I’v been working on, midnight would have been ok.

  • Keri Eagan October 17, 2009, 1:31 PM

    I HATE late night texts so I’m really glad you mentioned that. Not the sleep disturbance that bothers me I just find it rude. Mind you, I had a father who stood when women entered the room (the few men who do this really stand out for me). The least someone could do is respect my time boundaries. I have to leave my phone on for emergencies, so if it rings I am primed for disaster.

    Keri Eagan

  • Lisa October 17, 2009, 3:01 PM

    I use my cell phone as an alarm clock, and I couldn’t agree more!

    It’s an interesting point you mention about formalities of social interactions lessening due to online social networks. Nothing is more embarrassing then when you reveal you have “stalked” someone online . One time, I called my ex-bf’s new girlfriend by her name. He was very surprised I knew since he hadn’t mentioned it. That led to a couple of awkward seconds.


  • Martin Wright October 17, 2009, 2:39 PM

    I’d agree, 9pm is just right, after 10pm is pushing it unless you know the person reasonably well.

    My bank used to send me routine texts at 4am every Monday morning….not for long!! They now come at 8am (probably something most first daters would wish for…think about it!!).

  • Lynn Lane October 17, 2009, 8:03 PM


    You have some very good advice here on phone etiquette. Amazing and true, different generations will take a different approach.

    Only friends and family call me after 10:00pm and only when very important.

    Lynn Lane —>
    The Warrior Of Success

  • Jose Escalante October 17, 2009, 9:24 PM

    Excellent advise just because your up does not mean they are

    Jose Escalante

  • Steve Chambers October 17, 2009, 10:54 PM

    Excellent advice on using the phone properly while dating. This is great stuff.

    Steve Chambers
    Sales Training Speaker

  • Martin O'Connor October 18, 2009, 12:17 PM

    Well, since my only interest in the communication developments of the last 20 years is in their business applications I’m not too interested in most of the social dimensions.

    If I want to talk to you I’ll call and please do the same in return. E-mail kind of works but I miss some mailings I should get when they get lost in the pile.

    Call me any time. I’m glad to have the attention.

    Martin O’Connor

  • John Ho October 18, 2009, 2:45 PM


    Things change over time.

    Great to see you, the Dating Expert, spills the bean to tell the singles the appropriate ways in phone & text etiquette.

    John Ho

  • Lisa McLellan October 18, 2009, 4:23 PM

    This is great phone etiquette for anyone even if it isn’t a first date. Last night my phone rang at 11:30 p.m. It was my 13 yr old’s friend calling. They had apparently been on the phone for a couple of hours and her friend hung up to do something rather than have my daughter hang on for a few minutes. I wasn’t happy!

    Lisa McLellan
    Babysitting Services – Babysitter in your area

  • Rob Northrup October 19, 2009, 8:16 AM

    Spam is always bad. People want to hear real communications from you to them.

    Thanks for the reminder.


  • Pam Schulz October 20, 2009, 8:01 PM

    Wow – so many different ways to connect. Great etiquette guidelines from the dating expert!


  • JJ Jalopy October 21, 2009, 2:54 PM

    I’ve been guilty of sending drunken 4am text messages far too many times.

    All phones should be equipped with breathalysers.

  • Robert Martin October 21, 2009, 3:13 PM

    I am glad I am married. I couldn’t keep all these rules straight.

    Robert Martin

  • Darryl Pace October 27, 2009, 1:58 PM

    Good phone etiquette guidelines, April. I agree that phoning after 9 p.m. is a no-no unless you know the person very well and/or you have their permission to call after that time.

    Health, Fitness for Working People — Darryl Pace

  • Daniella Stephenson December 17, 2010, 2:35 AM

    I avoid giving guys online my phone number too early in emails.

  • Ari February 23, 2011, 11:48 PM

    This is a good point and dating tip reminder. I think the more mature after 40 single may know that phone manners tip but people have gotten really lazy when it comes to modern manners. Your reminder is timely with all the cell phone out there now. Guys especially need to hear this dating tip for that internet dating first phone call or they’ll blow it, right?

  • Laney February 24, 2011, 2:13 AM

    Hi April. Excellent point for online dating. I wish more of the single guys would read your blog and this reminder and be more courteous gentlemen while dating!

  • Chase Ryans March 4, 2011, 6:08 PM

    Yeah girls who start texting early morning have got to get real and stop doing that.

  • Lorraine March 16, 2011, 3:56 AM

    Yeah some guys think just because you give them your cell number it’s ok to send all those whole address book messages. Why do they do that, April? What are they thinking?

  • Ajay March 17, 2011, 1:41 PM

    Pretty revealing reminder. I just stumbled upon your dating weblog and in accession capital to assert that I get actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I will be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently fast.

  • Bella March 18, 2011, 10:03 PM

    I wish more people would think of phone manners once I give them my phone number. Some people phone so late at night. So rude.

  • Christina March 19, 2011, 4:09 PM

    I reckon something really special in your dating tips website .

  • Desi March 20, 2011, 12:53 PM

    Some girls will text just any time of day and don’t get that I’m at work and busy.

  • Rosemary March 20, 2011, 9:59 PM

    I ACTUALLY appeared to be happy to discover that I could be guilty of phoning too late. Thanks for the reminder

  • Connie Dally March 23, 2011, 9:53 PM

    Yeah it can get really bad with guys texting at odd hours. Like I need to give them a manners list when I give them my cell number.

  • Vaughn Tarner May 21, 2011, 10:13 PM

    This really is my very first time i visit here. I discovered so numerous fascinating stuff in your weblog particularly this discussion about texting. From the plenty of comments on your content articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment right here! keep up the great work April!

  • Gretta October 13, 2011, 4:12 PM

    I have found that texting rules apply for time constraints the same way phone calls do however, I think a text after ten that wonders whether or not it is too late to call and actually speak is alright. A simple text that says something like “is it too late to talk?” is alright. If it is indeed too late the person will simply not respond or reply “yes.” Anything after ten o’clock whether via text or phone call is (unless previously agreed upon as a reasonable hour) considered a booty call. Watch out.

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