This Is How Long You Should Wait For Your Date To Turn Up, According To Experts

by Alice Broster
Lauren Naefe/Stocksy

Lateness is a sign of bad manners, right? Most of us have messaged friends saying you are five minutes away when you are still picking out an eye shadow pallet in a towel, and dancing around your bedroom to Billie Eillish. But does etiquette change when you are going to meet a date? It's awkward sitting in a bar waiting for someone who may or may not show. So, how long should you wait for a date to turn up? The official cut-off point for first-date tardiness is 19 minutes, according to elite dating app The Inner Circle. There was consensus that allowing your date to be a little bit late wasn’t too bad. However, many were not willing to wait past the 19 minute mark. The Inner Circle even created a perfect 19 minute Spotify playlist to really capture your mood in those tense 19 minutes before your date turns up.

Dating app The Inner Circle questioned 1,006 active daters across the UK about how long they think is acceptable to wait for your date to turn up. 27 percent of daters said their cut off point is ten minutes. A more lenient 11 percent said they would be willing to wait for up to one hour. They have far more patience than I do. The app revealed that most singles considered 19 minutes to be the absolute cut-off time for waiting for your date to turn up.

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There isn’t much dating protocol for what you are supposed to do if your date is late. While some people feel happy to go into the venue and order a drink, others opt for loitering outside so not to be seen alone. All in all, it can be a little awkward. So, to keep you company next time you are waiting for that special someone to turn up, The Inner Circle has created a 19 minute playlist to get you in the mood for love and keep the faith alive that your date will actually turn up. Songs include:

  • “Waiting For Love” by Avicii (3:50)
  • “You can’t hurry love” by The Supremes (2:47)
  • “Get here” by Oleta Adams (4:32)
  • “Waiting for tonight” by Jennifer Lopez (4:06)
  • “Believe” by Cher (3:59)

With those tunes playing in my ears, I think I would be more inclined to run away from my date, put my dancing shoes on, and go out with my friends.

Speaking about the playlist, CEO and founder of The Inner Circle, David Vermeulen said, “our playlist is to entertain and inspire daters. Once it finishes, however, we strongly suggest you move onto the next match.”

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There were huge differences between how long male and female daters said they would wait for their crush. While 32 percent of women said they would wait no more than 10 minutes, 33 percent of men said they would give their date 30 minutes before throwing in the towel.

In practice, 30 minutes feels like a seriously long time to be sat waiting for someone so I think I am with those who set that as their maximum waiting time. For the daters who were OK with sticking it out for the extra 11 minutes The Inner Circle have added more songs to the playlist, just to keep you covered:

  • “I’ll be waiting” by Adele (4:01)
  • “I’m still standing” by Elton John (3:03)
  • “Finally” by CeCe Peniston (4:09)

Dating is about showing your true self and getting to know someone. Valuing your own time is crucial and while being fashionably late is completely acceptable, keeping someone waiting for ages with no explanation might give off the wrong impression. As Vermeulen said: "Timing is everything, especially when it comes to love. Your time is valuable, so make sure the way you choose to allocate it counts."