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Just How Long Should You Talk/Text Online before Meeting in Person

A favorite question with my clients after I’ve helped them write their online dating profile, vet their photos, chosen the highest potential dating apps/sites for their demographic….and voila, they are online and ready to roll.

Just due to the nature of online dating (yep, it’s online) versus being fixed up by a friend or meeting someone at a networking event (yep, in real life), singles tend to take too long to meet in person and to hide behind their online persona.

Why? There can be a deluge of reasons: shyness, more comfortable texting, afraid to make the first move, fear of rejection. But, when we examine the facts about online dating such as 1 in 3 singles last year met the person they are currently dating online, versus a friends’ fix up success rate of 12%, the odds are really with online dating. One more time: 33% chance online vs 12% chance via a friend.

Online dating is like going to Vegas and playing the slots---the more you spend, the more potential winnings. (Though we know the odds are always against us in Vegas!)

Back to the subject at hand. How much time do you invest before a real date in person? 4-5! Four to Five is the magic number and here’s how it works:

1. You reach out to someone with a warm, friendly, personalized message/text that should be no longer than 4 sentences and one question. * (Text 1)

2. One of three outcomes:

· The other person never responds. (Move on, delete)

· The other person sends a generic “Hey, what’s up beauty” (Move on, delete)

· A friendly, interested light message comes back. (Text 2) (You respond back within 24 hours---no games, no 3-day rule, etc.) (Text 3)**

3. Now we are on Text 4-5: You’ve texted 2-3 times, your potential date has texted 2-3 times.

4. Time to take it to a ten minute…. yes, that’s a maximum of 10-minute video call. The purpose of this is to make sure photos match the video, you like the smile, mannerisms. Any call longer than 10 minutes just increases the expectation on the date----and you’re online to meet in real life, right? Not looking for a text/video buddy.

You could spend 2 hours on a video chat and find out in real life, you have zero chemistry. This 10-minute call is just confirmation that you like him/her enough to want to meet for a drink on Friday or Sunday brunch!

Then, off you go on your date! As you chat with more and more singles, it will become evident who you want to meet (and some you don’t). Always remember to treat others as you’d like to be treated---if you are not interested it’s honest and virtually acceptable to just say “It was a pleasure talking with you. And I wish you the best dating. Thanks for chatting”.

*Please read our blog on how to write a good message to a potential date!


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