So, you’ve been chatting with someone online for a while now and you’re at the point where you need to make a decision: do you meet up with them offline or not? Taking the relationship from the online world to the offline world, especially if it’s your first offline meet up, can be intimidating. We get that, but we also know that hundreds of people do it every single day – so we’ve gathered a few ways to help yourself figure out whether it’s time to take that step or not.
Ask yourself the following questions and try your best to answer honestly. Remember, there’s no right or wrong response – it all comes down to how you feel.
Question One: Do you get excited and happy when you see they’ve messaged you?
When you’re at work or hanging out with a friend and see a message come through from your online match, do you get butterflies in your stomach and immediately feel excited? If so, that’s a strong indicator that there’s some chemistry between you two. If you feel annoyed or disinterested when he/she sends you a message, that’s a strong sign that you’re probably not feeling the connection. If the idea of meeting in-person doesn’t excite you in the slightest, don’t bother wasting your time – or theirs.
Question Two: Looking at both your online profiles, do you really feel you’re compatible?
If the person you’re thinking of meeting up with has severely opposite values, beliefs and future goals – is there still a reason to meet up? It’s important to understand that moving a relationship offline is a step towards a relationship, albeit a small step that you shouldn’t be too nervous about. But, if you are polar opposites online, stop and take a moment to think about how that would work out in the offline world.
Question Three: Have there been any “red flags” in your communication so far?
The big red flags you should look for in any online communication are: requests for money, long-winded excuses for not being able to meet, and inconsistencies in stories and background information. Unfortunately, there are questionable people in the world – online and offline. It’s important to protect yourself, especially in more vulnerable situations such as those involving romance. Malicious people sometimes prey on online daters and use the victim’s emotions to their advantage – don’t let yourself be fooled. Stay vigilant and always be on the lookout for red flags. You can read more safe online dating tips here.
Question Four: Are they willing to meet in a safe, public and well-lit place?
A smart online dater is a safe online dater. When it comes to meeting offline, you should always meet in a public, neutral and well-lit area. Think: coffee shop, busy restaurant or mall. If the person you’re thinking of meeting up with is pressuring you to meet in any other place, be weary. It’s never a good idea to meet someone for the first time at their home or yours. While there are many great people in the world with very good intentions, there are also people who aren’t so good. Keep yourself safe by meeting in a public place. If the other person doesn’t understand, then they don’t deserve to meet you in the first place!
Question Five: Are you willing to accept that there may be no spark when you meet in person?
It can be easy to get your hopes up high before meeting someone in-person. Be careful not to put too much pressure on yourself, the other person, or the possibility of your meet leading to something more serious. Just like any first date, you should head into the situation looking for a fun time and great conversation. If there’s a spark, pursue it! If not, don’t worry – there are TONS more people online.
Question Six: Do you get nervous at the idea of meeting up in person?
If you don’t feel ready to meet in person, then don’t! Never feel pressured to move faster than you’re ready to move. Feeling a little nervous is totally normal, however. Just as you’d be nervous to meet up on a blind date or go out with your crush for the first time, you’ll probably get a case of the butterflies before your first offline date with someone you’ve been chatting with online.
Question Seven: What’s your ideal outcome that would come out of meeting in person?
Knowing what you’re hoping to get out of your online dating experience is important, especially as you start to meet your matches offline. If your end goal is different from theirs, it’s important to be upfront about that in the beginning. If you’re on the rebound and just want to have a good time, you probably wouldn’t be best to meet up with someone who’s looking to find their future spouse and get married as soon as possible. Ask yourself what you’re hoping to accomplish by moving the relationship offline, and try your best to understand what the other person is hoping to get out of it, too.
Question Eight: Have you talked on the phone?
Before you decide to meet online, it’s important to talk over the phone! You could place a call over Skype or Google Talk to keep your contact details private, or you could exchange phone numbers if you feel comfortable doing so. It’s up to you. We always recommend messaging first, moving onto the telephone and then meeting in-person. It will help you screen your matches even further and really decide if there’s flirtatious chemistry or not – helping you meet up with only the best potential matches, and avoid any lackluster dates.
Have you ever met up with someone you met online? How did it go?