After meeting someone online, it can be difficult to take that leap from to meeting them offline. It is such a massive step that it has become the one place most potential dates fail at as the first hurdle. The reason it is a hurdle is because it requires courage. You have to let yourself be vulnerable and take a risk.It also requires commitment, albeit a fairly small amount.
If you are interested in the person, you should have a pretty good idea after messaging back and forth several times. Build up your message length and slowly reveal more and more personal things about yourself. Anyone can seem cute and interesting when hiding behind short sentences and smiley faces, but the first real test of your compatibility is opening up to one another online via text. Based on your feeling surrounding this, make the call on whether or not you should proceed to offline communication from there.
If you aren’t feeling it and the other person is insistent that you give it a go, be honest and straight forward with them. Don’t give up your control of the situation by agreeing to take things offline when you’re not ready.
After some initial messages, try and connect with the person on another social media service, such as Instagram or Facebook. After the initial mystery of meeting someone online, this will give you a whole new set of information about who the person is and better insight on how they conduct themselves.
The next obvious step is to organize a phone call. Many dating services offer a anonymous phone call service so you can protect the privacy of your phone number and get a feeling for the person. A slow escalation of contact is the best way to safely and securely advance your relationship.
At all stages of the conversation, it’s worth mentioning that you should resist the urge to say anything too creepy. For example, avoid statements referring to how hot they look in their profile picture or any rude daydreams you may have had regarding them – fairly rudimentary stuff, really. Having said, if the other person is flirting hard and you feel comfortable with it, then by all means, indulge in a bit of cheeky banter.
The big date
After a phone call, the next obvious step is to ask the person out on a first date!
This is the big step. Use whatever information you can gather from their profiles to make a fitting suggestion. If you notice that a lot of their pictures involve them in outdoor settings, ask them to go on a walk with you. If their Instagram account primarily consists of images of their dinners before demolition, suggest a nice restaurant as your first venue. For more information on choosing the perfect setting for your first date after meeting someone online, check out our other articles that cover first date ideas and how to leave the perfect first impression. One last thing try not to overthink it – when you first meet, online dating will be a great talking point!
Sex and relationship advice columnist here to help you find the love story you've been dreaming of.