Better Late Than Never
Should you respond to someone months after they’ve messaged you, or is it pointless? Molly explains how to handle messages after a dating app hiatus.
Q. I just re-downloaded Hinge after a several-months long dating app hiatus, and now I have all these messages in my inbox. I want to message some of these people, but is it weird to do that? Like, “Hey, here I am, four months after the fact!”
Lauren, 29, Miami, FL
A. In a word — no! It’s definitely not weird to message people you connected with months ago. In fact, in some cases, it might actually be better to wait.
How is this possible, you ask? I’ll lay it out for you: in general, it is best to message within the first 24 hours, as you have a 60 percent chance of having a full conversation, and an almost 11 percent chance of exchanging a phone number. This means that if you’re having a full conversation within the first 24 hours of connecting with someone, you have an 18 percent chance of securing a date.
Compare that to what our data scientists discovered. They took a look at conversations in which the responder (in this case, you) waited more than two months to send a reply to the initial message. In these cases, there was a 46 percent chance of having a full conversation (so, 14 percent lower than if you had started the conversation with the first 24 hours of connecting), but, you still have a nine percent chance of exchanging phone numbers. This means if you’ve waited two months to respond, but do end up having a full conversation, you have a 20 percent chance of securing a date.
Amazing odds, huh? Human behavior is strange!
All that being said, go ahead and message those old connections. There’s no downside to reaching out.
Still, if you’re back on the app for awhile, I do advise responding in the timely manner to your new connections. It’s important to follow dating app etiquette 101, and from a numbers standpoint, you do have a much higher chance at a full conversation with someone you might really click with.
*June 2017 Hinge data analysis
Molly Fedick is the Editor-in-Chief of IRL. She has written extensively on the role of technology in modern dating for publications including Glamour, NBC, the Chicago Tribune, Elite Daily, and Huffington Post. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @mylifeasmolly. Send Molly questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.