According to recent statistics, 20% of people currently in committed relationships met online, but it can be hard to make the transition from a dating site to dating someone. How do you go from scrolling profiles to a committed relationship?
1 – Don’t Fall for a Profile
It can be hard. You see that cute profile picture, the witty description before you know it you’re half in love and you haven’t even had a real conversation. It’s ok to message people with profiles that catch your eye, just remember that there is a person behind that profile. Get to know the real person, not just the idyllic self they post online. Use phone calls, skype, and eventually real dates to get to know them, not just their social media.
2 – Avoid the Endless Message Loop
Messages and emails are important, they are the first step to getting to know someone online. Just don’t get caught up in a back-and-forth loop that can last weeks or months. the last thing you want is to develop a rapport with this person via text, only to find that there is no chemistry. If you aren’t comfortable meeting in person, use the phone or your webcam to add a personal aspect to your conversations. It makes your interaction more one-on-one than an email or text because you both have to set aside time just to talk with one another, no message back whenever is convenient.
3 – Don’t Wait too Long to Meet
If you’re like me you had the internet ‘Stranger Danger’ talk with your parents when you were a kid. Don’t talk to strangers, don’t meet anyone you met online, etc. It can be hard to reconcile what risks are acceptable as a child, and what is acceptable as an adult. This can lead to an over-caution when meeting people offline.
Don’t get me wrong, caution is a GOOD thing – just not too much. Meet in a safe public place, tell someone who you are meeting and where you are going, and take precautions. But DO meet. 2 weeks is what I find an acceptable time in the talking stage before an in-person meeting. This should be enough time to judge if you want to go out with this person and talk on the phone/skype at least 1-2 times if that is your preference.
These are just some basic guidelines for taking online dating into the offline world. Every person and situation is different and it’s important to use your own judgment when it comes to your safety and happiness. So get out there and DATE!