How Long Should I Wait To Text a Potential Friend?
February 23, 2013 6:01 PM   Subscribe

So I know it's suggested that when you're beginning to date someone, you wait awhile afterwards before you text them. Does that wait also apply when you're trying to make new friends?

Saturday, I met a guy at a meetup in a bar where it was too loud to really get to know anyone, but he took pity on my poor, out-of-place soul and engaged me in conversation. I only stayed a couple of hours and didn't get a chance to say goodbye, so I sent him a message asking if he'd be willing to meet up and hang out one-on-one. He said yes, but specified that he only wanted to do it as friends (which was fine by me, since our interaction was so brief and the thought of dating a random person just doesn't work for me).

Tuesday--We met for coffee and had a nice time. I know that, at least at that time, he was interested in hanging out once more because he paid for both of our drinks and and told me I could pay for his the next time. I invited him along to a concert I was planning on going to Saturday. He said he'd listen to the band first and get back to me.

Wednesday--He texted me to say it was good meeting me and says we should do something Saturday. I ask what he'd like to do, in case he didn't like the band, but he didn't respond directly and just asked what the name of the band was so that he could check their music out.

Friday--He texted me saying the music isn't his thing. I didn't ask him if he'd rather do something else, because I already had stressed twice in previous texts that we could do something during the day or meet up for dinner beforehand. And I figured for whatever weird reason he either wanted to see the group or just not meet up at all--which, to my perspective, is a bit strange, but whatever. Different strokes for different folks...right? Or is this a bit strange?

That same night, I sent him an email with some other suggestions for music to check out. I would like to hang out with him again this week, but since he didn't mention meeting up again the last time we texted I wonder if I should just wait a few days first? I don't know if I'd come off as too strong or desperate if I ask him to hang out again so soon, since I just sent him that email too.
posted by dean_deen to Human Relations (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
And just to clarify, I sent him that email because he'd mentioned in conversation wanting to expand his musical horizons and expressed interest in a band I'd mentioned--I didn't send it out of the blue.
posted by dean_deen at 6:03 PM on February 23, 2013

I don't think there's much point in trying to game your interaction with this person. In my experience, reaction to someone's response time (among other things) is a function of how one already feels about that person anyway. That is, if someone I'm not really feeling messages me immediately after doing something, it can feel overbearing, while if someone I'm excited about does the same, it's great. Clingers gonna cling, keepers gonna keep.
posted by threeants at 6:15 PM on February 23, 2013 [8 favorites]

Everyone is different so I could be totally wrong and this could be completely the wrong thing to do. But in this situation if I were the guy I would be kind of worried that I was headed for being your only friend and you would start to have all these expectations on me for how much we would hang out. So I think maybe you should not suggest hanging out at all for a while and wait for him to. Maybe just text or email him once or twice a week if you want to share something with him, but hold off on the invites for a couple weeks.
posted by cairdeas at 7:08 PM on February 23, 2013 [4 favorites]

This sounds like a dating thing- how do the genders/sexual orientations match up?

if everyone involved is absolutely clear it's platonic, (which I am not so sure about since the level of attention you are giving this suggests it's not) I would say that there really are no rules. I mean, platonic friendships should happen naturally. If one person is less involved, then the other can thing about scaling back or disengaging, but people usually don't focus much on the details of interactions (as in, the back and forth of calls and waiting times, etc) of platonic relationships- that's one of the advantages of them, i think.
posted by bearette at 7:14 PM on February 23, 2013 [5 favorites]

Okay, my very loose rule of thumb is: invitations should follow a pattern of reciprocity. So, I'll extend an invitation, then whether they accept my invitation or not, the ball is in the other person's court to extend the next one. Its not a strict thing: I'll invite a new friend twice without them reciprocating, but probably not three times.

You extended the first coffee invitation and you were first to suggest the Saturday night thing. Thus, I think it might be wise to step back a little. Leave the ball in his court. He sounds as if he genuinely is into the friendship, but don't kill it with overenthusiasm, y'know?

Also, he's been very decent about telling you upfront that he's not interested in romance. Make sure you're not in subconscious denial about that.
posted by Salamander at 7:32 PM on February 23, 2013 [3 favorites]

Reading your responses, I realize I have been denial. I am attracted to this guy. I didn't think that was true, since I was drawn to his openness and intelligence but other than that I actually know very little about him. I don't even know what I would text or email him about besides hanging out, especially because he doesn't seem that big on "How are you?" sorts of texts.

So admitting this is great for stopping me from reaching out. Would it be better if I dropped pursuing any connection altogether?
posted by dean_deen at 8:08 PM on February 23, 2013 [5 favorites]

Yeah, he specified he only wants to be friends. You want to date him, and he probably senses that. You should back off and move on.
posted by J. Wilson at 9:03 PM on February 23, 2013 [4 favorites]

Yes, stop. He specifically said "friends only", and you want more. You're both going to be unhappy with the outcome.
posted by taff at 9:05 PM on February 23, 2013 [3 favorites]

One more email/text next Friday.
posted by whitewall at 2:19 AM on February 24, 2013

If in the future you really are interested in hanging out w/a new person just as friends, then an appropriate response to "that music's not my thing" is "ok name the time/place and let's get together soon" and you go to the concert anyway.
posted by headnsouth at 11:50 AM on February 24, 2013

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