How Long Should You Online Date Before A Real-Life Meetup?

The world of online dating can feel like swimming in a shark tank. While people say there are a lot of fish in the sea, trying to find your perfect match after multiple dead ends can become exhausting. Plus, constantly trying to present your best self to a new potential match is mentally and emotionally draining.

Initially, you may have been eager to plan dates immediately after finding someone with potential online. However, over time, the hesitancy to meet someone in person after matching virtually can grow. It's normal for your hopes of success to be diminished when your high expectations continue to not be met.

Therefore, spending some extra time communicating over the phone or on Facetime can be an amazing way to truly get to know your compatibility level with a partner. Asking the tough questions regarding major lifestyle choices like raising children, political ideologies, or where you want to settle down can lay the groundwork for a successful relationship and help you decide if meeting up in person is worth your time. Although, stronger connections are often made when two people communicate face-to-face. There's a reason why you should put your phone down for a more successful date night. So, finding your ideal timeline for an in-person meetup is essential.

Ignore the rules and follow your gut

There are a million rules when it comes to the world of dating. Many of them have to do with how soon you should text someone back, when you should ask for a second date, or how transparent you should be with your feelings. However, with the prevalence of online dating, deciding how soon you should schedule an in-person meetup with an online match also has some guidelines.

According to The Hour, the timeframe between meeting someone online and meeting them in person is actually quite crucial. While some people choose to wait over a month before going out on a real date, that's actually not recommended at all. Dating expert Hayley Quinn explains that time is of the essence once you match with someone online. Apparently, only a week or two is ideal for online communication because you want to capitalize on your initial connection.

Waiting too long to meet up in person may cause you to lose interest or start doubting your compatibility before it's truly explored. Of course, you have to stick with what you feel comfortable with. Some people may feel ready after a few days of texting while others may want multiple Facetime calls before agreeing to a real date.

Don't overthink the process

When you're eager to find your perfect match, it's normal to create a checklist of qualities that you are looking for. This makes it easy to decipher which matches have real potential. However, this can create problems when there's excessive online questioning before any meetup in real life.

Oftentimes, online communication can leave a lot of room for interpretation because you don't know that person's humor, communication style, or quirks. There's a reason why some first date awkwardness is actually a green flag. Unfortunately, without meeting in person, you may fall for the idea of someone instead of who they truly are. While you may assume that someone who checks off all of your boxes will be perfect in person, there will still be a lot to learn, and getting emotionally attached too soon can be painful. This is also why it's important to schedule something early and limit the amount of messaging before a meetup.

Marriage and family therapist Anita Chlipala explained to Elite Daily that it only takes a few days of texting communication to know if you should meet in person. Beyond that, the vulnerable, intimate conversations should be face-to-face. Since the nature of texting allows you to feign intimacy, many divulge things that would normally take more time and trust in real life. So, while meeting someone in person is important and should be prioritized, you will ultimately know the best timeline if you trust yourself and don't overthink it.