10/4/2012 5:12 PM
The other night, I was supposed to grab a drink with an online-dating match. I had given this man my telephone number early in the day (before lunch), and it wasn't until almost midnight that night that I heard back. I immediately decided that I wouldn't get a drink with him after all, which leads me to my question—how late is too late for someone you haven't yet met to contact you?
I knew I had made the right choice when, the following night, as I was sound asleep, that same man sent me a text message at 2 a.m., asking if I had gotten his first text message (the one from almost-midnight that I hadn't responded to out of principle).
While I realize that this is 2012 and that dating norms are different now than they were when my mom was dating (or heck, from when I dated in college, less than 10 years ago), but to me, contacting someone after 10 o'clock on a weeknight is inconsiderate—especially if you've never met or gone out with them. Rules for close friends and people you see on a regular basis are obviously different, but for someone you're potentially trying to date, it signals a lack of consideration for the other person's schedule.
For example, when the near-midnight text came through, I was laying down ready to go to sleep. Work comes early in the morning for many of us, and we're not 21 anymore—most adults keep slightly more sane hours than we did when we were younger. When the 2 a.m. text came through, I was sound asleep. If I had been woken up by that text message, I'd have been pretty angry.
Growing up, I was taught that the only reason to contact someone past "bedtime hours," (or in my family's case, 10 p.m.) was for an emergency. Now, of course, most people don't adhere to that nowadays, what with most nighttime outings not even starting until after 10, but during the week when people have to work, it's best to keep your contact—especially, especially if you haven't even met the person yet— to hours they'll be awake...even if they go to bed "early."