When To Meet Online Date In Person
One of the biggest steps in an online relationship is taking that relationship offline! This is always an awkward step though, even if you’ve talked on the phone and used a webcam. There is more to being with a person in the flesh than can possibly be transmitted through a phone or webcam. How do you take this big step?
Danica from Cleveland writes:
“I’ve been dating a guy online for three years now. That’s a long time to know someone and yet never have met him before. I know that sounds weird, but as much as I love him, I am terrified of taking that last step. We never had the money to meet up before, but now we finally do, and suddenly I’m getting cold feet. Can I trust him? What if things fall apart when we finally see each other? What if we peaked on the internet?”
Hello Danica. Don’t worry about your cold feet. That’s very common at this point in a relationship, and a lot of other people have to go through it too. Ten years ago it was still pretty uncommon to hook up with someone online and then take it offline, but nowadays it seems like everyone has a friend or relative or co-worker who met a significant other on the internet.
When is the right time to meet up? That depends on your comfort level and your boyfriend’s comfort level. Many people meet up when they decide that they’ve reached the greatest level of trust they can possibly have online, and want to see if they can move up to the next level offline. Other people actually meet when they are tired of the uncertainty of only knowing someone well enough in a text box or over the phone, and want to see if meeting offline will get them to that degree of trust that they need in a relationship. For some people meeting up is the beginning of a wonderful future together in real life, and for others it is a goodbye. But if you have any intention of getting together offline in the long run, then it’s a step you will have to face together.
If you haven’t already talked on the phone or webcam, that would be a good step to take first. If you decide you feel comfortable on those mediums, there is a better chance you’ll be comfortable with each other offline. If you don’t feel comfortable with someone on the phone, there’s a strong chance you’ll feel uncomfortable with him offline too. The voice can convey a lot about a person a text box can’t. And likewise, in person it’s all the subtext conveyed by gestures and the little nuances that often determine for us whether there’s really going to be a “spark”, trust, and ultimately a lasting relationship or not.
In terms of timing, for some people a week is enough, for others, a year, and for others yet a decade. So if after several years of online dating you do feel it’s time to meet your boyfriend offline and he feels the same, go for it! Whatever happens you’ll have some confirmation of your feelings—either they’ll be validated and your relationship will blossom offline, or you’ll receive some clarity and closure. Many online relationships are successful in person though, so head into your meeting with optimism and an open mind and heart!