Texting With Your Date Long Before Meeting IRL Could Be A Mistake

You've been chatting with this really cool person for a few weeks or so, and it's clear there's some chemistry there. You both enjoy the same things, laugh at all the same jokes, and even have similar goals for the future. The only problem is that you've never met them before. Well, at least not in person anyway. 

This is a common situation for anyone who's looking for love online. You typically begin the relationship through texts before speaking on the phone. The next step is meeting IRL, but that's usually the scariest one. A million thoughts are probably racing through your mind about the situation: What if there's zero chemistry between us when we meet? What are the best conversation starters so things don't get awkward?

These thoughts and other concerns could even make you decide to postpone the meetup. After all, it's so much easier to just text back and forth without a care in the world. But communicating this way for too long before meeting in person could be a big mistake — one that will have you sinking time into a relationship that's heading nowhere. 

You need to see if you're really compatible

Online dating has plenty of perks, but one major downside is that anonymity makes it easy for people to catfish others. In fact, a survey cited by Psychology Today discovered that 53% of people who use online dating apps have lied on their profiles. Catfishing can be any little stretch of the truth, such as an edited, dated, or even stolen selfie that someone's claiming is an accurate representation of how they look. 

But it can also involve outright lying about your occupation, age, or even whether you're in a relationship or not. Online, people are free to shape themselves into whoever they like. If they're predatory, potential dates could even pretend to share your interests just to get close to you. That's why it's important to get to know your date in person before texting them for so long that you fall head over heels. 

You'll get a glimpse of what your love interest is really like. You'll also see how they treat the people around them and what truly makes them tick. Most importantly, you'll find out for sure whether the two of you are still attracted to one another when there are no screens to hide behind. 

Only meet up if you feel comfortable

The natural progression of any online relationship is to find a date and time for you to meet up IRL (in a place that's well-lit and crowded, of course). If you are really clicking with this person, you'll want to be around them physically, too. It's normal to feel nervous about meeting up in person since your online date is still virtually a stranger. 

However, if your love interest is giving off weird vibes that are making you hesitant to say yes to ever meeting them, you're better off trusting your gut, saying no, and moving on. In an interview with Zoosk, dating consultant Shannon Tebb warned online daters to always gauge their own comfort level before agreeing to meet up in person. 

Pay close attention to how your online match treats you during your text conversations. If they act pushy about meeting up and are constantly ticking off texting red flags, Tebb recommends cutting off communication and not wasting any more time on them. After all, the right person will respect your boundaries and be glad to go at your pace.