How Long Should You Keep the Relationship Online?

When you first enter into the world of online dating, it can feel awkward communicating with people you’ve never met in real life. Pretty soon, though, it becomes second nature. You might even find that you prefer online dating to meeting people in real life because of the safety of having a literal screen between you and this person you are getting to know. Eventually, though, you’ll want to take it offline and meet in real life.

So when is the right time?

The right time to meet in real life is when you both feel comfortable with it. Some couples might be ready to meet the day after they connect online, while others might takes months to work up to that first meeting. There is no right or wrong answer to this situation, and it’s best to go with your instincts. Be honest and patient with each other. If one of you is ready and the other isn’t, give them some more time. If they continue to dodge your efforts to meet in real life, though, you’ll need to take this as a warning sign you could be getting scammed.

How to Keep it Comfortable

Don’t put a lot of pressure on the first meeting. In fact, you might not want to consider it a date, just a meetup to make sure you are comfortable in real life and want to continue to pursue a relationship with each other. Put these tips into action for this first meet and greet:

Stay in a public location.

You might feel like you know this person better than you know yourself, especially if you’ve been chatting for a long period of time online. It’s better to play it safe than sorry, though, so stick to a public location for now.

Keep it under an hour.

Agree to keep this first meeting under an hour. Putting a time limit on it takes some of the pressure off of yourselves, so even if it’s horribly awkward, you’ll know you only have so much longer left. Have somewhere you need to be afterwards.

Make it casual.

Have a coffee at the local coffee shop or a beer in your local bar. Don’t agree to dinner or an activity for this first meeting. A simple chat over a cup of something good will give you an idea about whether this is something you want to pursue.

Avoid Putting Pressure On Yourself

Don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself--or the person you are talking to online--to meet right away. Some of the best relationships grow from taking time getting to know each other within the safety of the internet. It provides a space for open and honest communication, and many people are better at communicating their inner thoughts online than they are in a face-to-face conversation.

Enjoy those early conversations and that period of getting to know each other. When you are ready to meet, know that no matter how well you know each other online, it could be different in real life. Interacting with someone out in the real world can be much different than the relationship you’ve experienced online. Be patient with each other as you explore this new facet of your relationship. It’s an exciting next step in the journey towards finding the love of your life!

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