If you absolutely MUST text after the first date, there’s a right and a wrong way to do it
Do you want a second date, or nah?
My real advice is this: Do not be the first one to text someone after a first date. Ever. Because if you're thinking about texting them it means you've already convinced yourself you like them, even though you've met them literally ONCE, and wouldn't it be nice to wait for them to text you so you can be sure they're at least kind of into it as well?
But we are not creatures of patience and I get that. You probably didn't even read my first paragraph. So if you absolutely must be the first to text following a date, there are some rule you're going to want to follow, to ensure he texts back and doesn't ghost after a single encounter, because that's just embarrassing:
Do NOT follow up right away
No offense, but he clearly does not care if you made it home okay. If he did, he would've messaged already. So the only reason it's ever okay to text first is because you had an amazing time on the date, it's been more than two-and-a-half days, and you haven't heard a single peep on their end. I still advise against it, but if the alternative is never seeing them again, I understand the temptation to at least shoot your shot. What do you have to lose? Plus some guys are just nervous. He could be waiting for you to text. He probably isn't, but he could be…
Inside jokes are key ?
If you must — and I mean MUST — text first following a first date, you need to at least do it right, and doing it "right" means making the first message count. No matter how nervous you were the whole date, chances are you remember something the two of you laughed about — a movie, a song, a similarity. Whatever it is, use it to your advantage. Try something along the lines of, "Still up to try that documentary if you are," or, "I found that song we were talking about!" This will not only lighten the mood, but it'll make them think you cared enough to be specific.
Send them a meme
Okay, this ONLY works if, like I said above, the meme is in reference to something you two already joked about while hanging out. Plus, if you know they are the soft-boy meme type, then you're already a step ahead in winning them over. However, a meme is a risky move, because it could always backfire if they end up thinking you're super weird for it. Choose your meme wisely, my friend.
Say their name
Don't be super weird about it, but repeating someone's name is ~scientifically~ proven to convince them they like you more than they actually do. A person’s name has power, and a lot more power than you probably think. "I had a really nice time, Josh," is a lot sweeter and sexier than, "I had a really nice time." Just don't overuse it, because then it sounds like you're obsessed with them, which you probably are, but they don't need to know that yet. Or ever.
Keep it as brief as humanly possible
There is nothing, and I mean nothing, weirder than receiving a novel from someone after spending 2.5 hours with them. If you wouldn't want it from them, they don't want it from you. Do not pressure this person to put a ton of thought into their answer, and do not start unloading on them like you're exclusive after one night. If you want to see them again say it, but don't start making specific plans for the two of you. Stick to something like, "The other night was fun — we should do it again." That way they won't feel cornered, and you'll seem pretty casual about the whole thing.
Do not angle for a conversation just yet
If they strike up a conversation once you've messaged, fine, but if they respond with anything even close to lukewarm, you only have one chance to save it. Suggest a time you are free and leave it at that. If a guy wants to see you, he will make himself available (barring extreme circumstances). If he doesn't want to see you, nothing you say right now will convince him otherwise, so you might as well cut your losses.
Do not expect a message back
This is a kind of depressing header, but it's important to remember! You have only met this person once, so really, they don't owe you anything. I know you had a really great laugh, and you both ordered the same wine, and it seemed like you were on the same page about everything, but it's easy to pretend for an hour or two. Maybe they just weren't feeling it, and that's fine. It's tempting to cling on to hope — you're tired and you just want something to work for once — but you can't force chemistry.
There are plenty of other fish on Hinge.