If you've ever watched an episode of Catfish , you know how treacherous the texting waters can be. Texting builds an almost intimate bond that can sometimes make it harder to meet face-to-face, because now your meeting is fraught and full of high stakes. That being said, you should do some pre-date texting to check for deal-breakers, and more importantly, for safety reasons. So, the question is, how long to text before having a first date is the right amount of time? Is it better to move quickly into the first date, or should you take it slow and really get to know as much as you can about the person via text before meeting face to face? To help figure out what the "right" amount of time to text is before going on a date, I reached out to online dating experts. They explain why the timeline between digital and real life contact may be shorter than you think, and how to know when and if you're ready to take that next step.