It happens to all of us. We match with someone who looks amazing, and then life gets in the way. Whether ‘life’ is a 60-hour work week or a few too many drinks after an early finish, it’s still the same issue.

You surface from whatever has been distracting you, remember that match, and think ‘crap, have I blown it?

How long do you have to respond on Hinge?’ Warily, you get out your phone.

Has Alice, the curly haired, hilarious barista who works in a coffee shop too cool for you ever to actually have visited, disappeared from your matches? If you’re using Hinge, no! You’re all good!

You have all the time in the world to respond on Hinge – matches stick around indefinitely unless they unmatch you or delete their profiles.

After 14 days of inactivity, however (so, no messaging between you) a match will be hidden to free up space on your Matches list.

You can unhide them whenever you want, maybe to explain why you’ve been ghosting them for two full weeks?

How Long Do You Have to Reply on Hinge - woman waiting
Because no matter how long a match sticks around, you should probably still act like a normal human being and message them vaguely promptly.

Or get an excuse ready if it takes a while – even if it was the after work drinks thing, you can probably just tell them you had a really busy week at your super important job.

I mean, I’m all for honesty, but you should be putting your best foot forward to start with at least.

Does Hinge have a time limit?

Some apps have a specific time limit for messaging a match, while others will get rid of matches that you don’t interact with for a while.

If you mean a Bumble-esque time limit on messaging a new match, no, there’s no time limit on Hinge. As I mentioned above, if there’s no activity between matches then they will be hidden for both parties but can be unhidden easily.

Of course, you should think about whether you actually want to message a match if you’ve waited days to do it.

Some Bumble users claim that users on the app are slower to respond than on other apps, but I still feel a little bummed out if I match with someone and get nothing but a ‘hey’ four days later!

If you’re interested, show your match as much by sending a vaguely thoughtful message within a couple days max. But more on that below…

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How long should you wait to respond on Hinge?

So, you matched with somebody who, quite frankly, seems out of your league. Or at least at the very top of your league. And you want to make contact as soon as that match flashes up on your screen. But should you?

How long should you wait to respond on Hinge? As discussed, you have all the time in the world, but what’s the correct amount of time to wait?

I have to say, this is kind of a philosophical question. How long is a piece of string… how big is a tree that falls in a forest (yeah, I took a single philosophy class at college and almost failed it)…

Serious answer, though? You do you. Unless you are super weird and either an ice queen or mad keen. If you really want a timescale of what is ‘normal’ in terms of sending the first message I would say you should respond to an initial match within 24 hours if you’re interested.

You should reply to messages within that time frame too – but really sooner is better once the conversation is up and running.

The only potentially creepy moves are badgering someone who isn’t responding, or messaging a match within two minutes of matching.

How Long Do You Have to Reply on Hinge - invitation to chat
I know you’re actively swiping right now, but if it feels like you full on pounced as soon as we matched I might be a little alarmed.

Overall, just try to remember that the rules of Hinge are a lot like the rules of life. You know how to talk to other human beings, right? Well, dating apps are just like that except through a screen, and with sneaky UX design.

Of course, some people try to play games on Hinge but it rarely works and also sounds a) exhausting and b) sort of tragic tbh.

How often should you respond on Hinge?

Online dating can feel like it has its own rules, and to a certain extent that’s true, but they are pretty similar to the rules of polite society really!

That being said, when you’re having a slower conversation with a match it can be confusing trying to work out when you should respond on Hinge.

As with most dating apps, you should respond to messages on Hinge as promptly as it feels polite. Ballpark, you have 24 hours to reply to a message before you’re dipping a toe into ghosting territory.

At the other end of the scale, if you’re having a fun, active conversation with a match then it’s totally fine to respond immediately.

How Long Do You Have to Reply on Hinge - fun Hinge conversation

I mean, if you met someone you liked in a bar and you were getting along great you wouldn’t suddenly walk away mid conversation, leave the bar, and then text them the answer to their last question the next day just to keep them keen would you?

(If your answer to this is yes, I don’t know if I can help you, you may need more than an online dating coach!)

Your matches on Hinge are real people – keep that in mind. So you can use the social skills you hopefully already have to navigate the choppy waters of online dating!

And if you’re actually really shy in person and you aren’t sure how to act online, then check out my guide to the best dating apps for introverts.

Hopefully one of them will fit the bill and get you flirting like a champ!

Getting back to Hinge – we’ve established that you have all the time you like to respond to messages and to new matches, but you have to use your initiative a little.

Don’t leave anyone hanging too long, or you don’t look like a great prospect! It doesn’t matter how hot you are if you seem like you play games, or like you would be awful company.

Do also keep that 14-days and matches are hidden rule. If a match disappears, that may well be what’s happened.

How Long Do You Have to Reply on Hinge - hinge app

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