You'll want to quickly take things further and go on
actual dates as well. At what point should you do this with a
potential partner? The sooner the better, as long as you're
feeling comfortable about it. You want to avoid building up a
whole fantasy world about someone just for it to crumble in
the face of reality when you finally meet. The faster you
meet, the less of a chance your brain will get to make up a
dream personality for your date, so a seemingly wasted
journey early on is far preferable to a long stretch of
daydreams followed by a nasty anticlimax.
Not sure whether or not you like someone enough to go on a date?
On the whole, it's best to err on the side of meeting people.
You may be surprised to know that many of our happiest
success stories involve people who took a chance on someone
they weren't that sure about. While we're not suggesting you
waste your time meeting people you know for sure are not for
you, if you find yourself thinking "uuuuh maybe", then go for
it. The time and money you may lose on one bad date is
nothing compared to what you will gain if things work
So where and how to meet? By now you probably know where you
like to go on dates and what you like to do on them so we
won't bore you with too many details. Just remember that a
first date with someone you met online is not the same as a
date with someone you've already met in person. Even if
you've been exchanging pictures and speaking for a while,
it's still more like a blind date, as you never know who's
going to turn up to meet you. People can see surprisingly different
in person, as we all know.
So to save yourself and your date any awkwardness, make things
casual. Skip the romantic dinner and a movie setting and meet
for a quick lunch or brunch, a coffee or an after work drink.
You could also go to something you could just as easily enjoy
with a friend such as a market or a gallery. Also, while most
people assume the majority of stalking cases involve men
stalking women, sticking to some basic safety rules won't
hurt, at least until you've met your date in person and can
form a more educated opinion.
Basically, this means keeping your first date to a public and
busy place and maybe letting a friend or family member know
you're out on an Internet date. Nowadays, it's quite common
for people to ignore these rules, but having a wingman or
woman call you up during the date to check on you be a
lifesaver in the social sense as well, rather than just the
literal sense. You never know when you may need an excuse to
leave. Something else you can do that works is set a time
limit for the date in advance and say you have other plans.
Your wingman can always call you and "cancel" if you indicate
things are going well.