How long should you talk before meeting in person?

How long should you write or talk on the phone with someone you met online before actually going to meet IN PERSON?

When we surveyed online daters earlier this month, the response to our question about how long one should wait before moving from online relationship to offline relationship varied wildly.  Some respondents thought a day or two of email/phone was fine before meeting in person, and others wanted up to a month or more of contact before meeting in person.

Here at Meet Your Match Online we advise about a week of email contact (3-4 emails each), and a week of phone contact (2-3 phone calls), before meeting in person.  We find that this is a good amount of time in each medium to determine whether you want to proceed to the next.  For example, if the person can’t string a few sentences together in an email, you’re probably not going to click.  If they can’t hold down their end of a 10 minute phone call, it’s probably going to be an awkward first date.

We don’t recommend waiting more than two weeks before meeting the person because you just don’t want to spend that long on someone you’re not going to click with.

Real Life Example: One of our clients was corresponding with a private pilot over email and the phone for nearly 6 weeks before they met in person.  Although she said he seemed like a great guy, this sent up several red flags. (E.g. Why did it take so long for him to ask her out?  If he was that busy, would he have time for a relationship?)  When they finally met in person, it turned out he was a nice guy, but that was it.  The spark just wasn’t there.  She’d thus “wasted” about 6 weeks on someone she knew in ten minutes wasn’t going to be The One for her.

Don’t make the same mistake.  If you’re doing well on the phone and email, arrange for a first date!  If you can’t stand each other over phone and email, move on!  Just keep things moving – keep sorting – and eventually you’ll get there!

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