"Take care" meaning from a girl: An attractive Asian girl in a black shirt smiles as she messages someone on her smartphone.

Decoding ‘Take Care’: What the Text Means From a Girl or Guy

So, you’ve had an amazing time at the rodeo, the fine diner, the bookstore, or the skating rink with your new Tinder match, right up until now! As the date is winding down, both of you are figuring out how to exit, and at the same time, subtly signaling whether you’re interested in taking the relationship to the next level.

“If they bid you a quick ‘Goodbye!’ or ‘Thanks!’ as they drop you off, these signals can be a bit challenging to decipher. In such cases, they might resort to texting a more formal farewell. If, after the date, they’ve texted you ‘Take care‘—whether it’s a girl or guy—here’s a guide to help you understand what it means and what they’re really saying!”

‘Take Care’ Meaning From a Girl: Understanding What the Text Message Truly Means

A board with "Take care of yourself" on it lies on a cloth table with flowers around it.

‘Take care’ sounds pretty simple, thoughtful, and confusing at the same time. As I’ve advised my previous clients as a dating app texting coach, the context is always highly crucial when dealing with such conversations. The fact that you are new to each other may give way to awful misunderstandings which can have terrible consequences later on.

When you hear the term ‘take care’, it can mean a dozen different things according to urban dating dictionaries. They could be friend-zoning you, blocking you, ghosting or soft ghosting you, or just responding to your OkCupid icebreaker in a pretty cunning manner! ‘Take care’ is a tricky term that may only be seemingly innocent but taunting or may seem like a dry conversation cue while being a gesture of genuine concern.

Like I said, context matters. This term fits a conversation when their texts are getting shorter, or when you are the one replying late, or when you’ve had a horrible day, and they want to be by your side as you pour your heart out in text messaging on your mutual dating app!

For starters, here are some common themes that may give you an idea of what they mean:

1. You’re In a Bad Mood

Are you mad about something that may or may not be relevant to your date? Do they know you’re mad, but they don’t know why? If this is the case, then saying take care is perhaps the safest exit cue in dating. They don’t want a fight, so they let you have some space while they try to figure out this bitter spell.

A text conversation where someone apologizes, expressing that they never meant to upset the other person.

This text here, for instance, is a fine example of a ‘take care’ DM to someone who may be upset over something. It shows concern, but it also doesn’t build the other person’s hopes up too high!

2. They are Confused

Even though you feel like your date went well, they may not be feeling the same for whatever reason. They may be thinking of their ex, they may be wondering if they can make time and effort for someone they’ve met through an online dating site, or they may simply be confused about your compatibility with them!

What’s worse, a confused person may not always use the same words because they keep changing their mind!

A text conversation where someone asks the other what they want for Christmas, and the other replies, "to be with you," with the other thinking they are joking.

The conversation above is a great example of this. It’s showing someone saying something caring in this way, indicating that they’ve friendzoned you even though that may not have been their intention!

3. They are Tired

They probably spent a little too much while dating, so none of your post-date conversations may be enough to raise their spirits. They’re just not up for being chatty right now, so it looks like a dying conversation in your PMs! In reality, though, they have no energy left to say anything long and cheesy, so they use a straightforward ‘Take care!’, and they mean it until they see you again!

When a Girl Says Take Care After a Date

A sad couple embraces, saying goodbye before one leaves for the train.

Girls are often — and sometimes wrongly — thought of as the more confusing ones when it comes to dating. They find it harder to trust the person they’re dating, which is why they may not want to give you a direct signal until they’re sure about how they feel. So, when a girl says ‘take care’ after a date, here’s what it could mean:

1. She is Overthinking

Overthinking in your dating life may look something like this:

A text conversation where someone asks if the other person has plans, and they respond that they're going to a football game. They admit they might be overthinking, but they feel the other person is not interested in them.

Or it may be in the form of more subtle prompts, such as mild flirting or saying ‘take care’ when the girl wants you to leave her alone!

2. She’s Being Nice

You may feel like a lost cause when someone you dated is being ‘nice’, but if you pair this niceness with the first reason, there’s nothing too wrong! She’s most probably overthinking and doesn’t want to lose you, either so she’s asking you to look after yourself until she has sorted herself out. In a nutshell, she doesn’t want to hurt you!

What Does Take Care Mean From a Girl?

Ideally, it’s supposed to be a positive, wholesome text message. Someone genuinely interested in you won’t only tease you in online dating but will also show their more affectionate side in the form of care and concern.

If you feel like this girl has taken much time to text you how she feels or if she’s into dating on Bumble, then her asking you to take care isn’t a source of too much worry or caution! Instead, it’s respectful texting etiquette! She has taken her time to process her feelings, craft her words, and is showing signs of care for you.

In my perspective, this could very well indicate that she doesn’t want to lose you! However, if you still find yourself concerned about the context in which she asked you to take care, I can assist by rewriting your dating bio. This could help gauge whether you’re inviting her to flirt, risking the friend zone, or potentially facing rejection!

When a Guy Says Take Care at The End Of a Conversation

A man and woman outside, holding hands, looking at each other, and smiling.

Okay, let’s delve into what guys really mean when they ask you to take care! Deciphering the exact meaning of the phrase hinges heavily on the context, and considering body language can provide valuable insights. Paying attention to subtle clues in a guy’s behavior is key. A guy might say “take care” in different situations, and here are a couple of scenarios:

1. You’re Leaving for Home

In situations like leaving for home, when a guy says “take care,” it essentially carries a meaning akin to ‘stay safe!’—especially if it’s late and dark, or if you live alone, or if there’s any other reason requiring genuine worry!

Imagine this: as you part ways, his body language may reveal subtle signs of concern. Perhaps there’s a slight furrow in his brow, indicating genuine worry, or his eyes linger on you a moment longer, conveying a desire for you to stay safe—especially if it’s late and dark, or if you live alone. These clues in his expression and gaze can offer a deeper understanding of his intentions.

2. He Has Nothing Else to Say

Now, envision this scenario: if he’s a straightforward guy, his body language might reflect simplicity, especially in a face-to-face conversation. He may not go out of his way to craft elaborate messages every time. If “take care” slips out at the end of a date, his demeanor may suggest that he means it for that specific moment only—clues in his casual tone, relaxed posture, and perhaps a subtle display of affection might indicate this.

If you’re still pondering the meaning behind a guy’s “take care,” take a moment to consider the context, paying attention to subtle clues in his body language and behavior during your face-to-face conversation. The interpretation can vary, ranging from a simple courtesy to a genuine expression of concern about your well-being, or even just a friendly farewell with a touch of affection.

How To Reply When Someone Says Take Care?

Alright. There are quite a few ways to respond to this phrase that you can use to get an exact idea of any hidden meanings! Keep in mind that this will depend on your relationship, how long you have known each other, and the form of communication—whether it be text messages, phone calls, e-mail, or in-person. Here are some example sentences and phrases that you can potentially use.

1. ‘You Too’

There’s nothing wrong with reciprocating their concern, right? If they asked you to take care, for the time being, this phrase may raise no alarm. But if they sound slightly off after you said ‘You too’, then that could mean that they may have been trying to mean something else.

2. ‘Thanks!’

This is another simple response to a straightforward phrase. It helps you play it safe, but it’ll also close this conversation! Besides dates, it can be used for just about anyone, including close friends or family members. If you want to add a sense of warmth, you can include “honey” at the end if you are feeling extra bold.

3. ‘Did You Have a Good Time?’

This is a bit riskier, but it’ll help you get a final answer without reading too much into things. It conveys warmth and shows that you care about the person’s well-being and whether they enjoyed themselves.

A text conversation where someone thanks the other for dropping them at the airport, and the other replies, 'Sure, take care.'

This conversation is a great example of how to reply to take care when you want to see the person again.

4. ‘I Had a Good Time. When Can We Meet Again?’

Again, this one’s risky, but it’s also a lifesaver! If their text doesn’t clear the air first, your response definitely will. It’ll also help you understand if something went wrong during the date. This conveys your gratitude, interest, and anticipation of future interactions with them.


As you can see, ‘take care” can mean numerous things depending on the person, your relationship, and the situation. Besides the advice and examples offered in the post, the best thing for you to do is to see things from the other person’s perspective. This will give you a better idea of how to respond.

Dating life is a whirlwind of miscommunication, especially when you’re new to it! If you’re having trouble deciphering the code words your partner uses, feel free to drop a message in my inbox or explore the range of services I offer, including online dating profile writing and feedback on dating app texts. I’m here to help you navigate the dating world.

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