How Long Should You Wait Before Meeting Someone Offline?

woman looking through her phone

The ins and outs of online dating communication don’t always come as naturally to us as we might hope.

It might be simple enough for online daters to create a profile and find a potential partner. Maybe you sent that first message to a person you found interesting and things are going well.

Now what?

Online dating communication is complicated for many reasons. But it can be especially daunting to figure out just how to move forward. How do you transition from potential partners to the point of meeting someone in real life?

Bringing romantic relationships offline and into the real world doesn’t have to be so complicated, though. Here are three tools you can use to transition the sometimes murky waters of communication between men and women.

When to give your potential partner a phone call

woman looking through her phone

If you have some experience building friendships in person, you probably know intuitively when it’s appropriate to call a friendly acquaintance you’ve met.

Things can feel a bit different for online daters, though. As if communication between men and women wasn’t already tricky sometimes, online dating sites can add another layer of complication.

If you’re communicating with men or women via words on a screen, it can be hard to gauge whether it’s the right time to initiate a phone call with them.

But if you take a close look at how your conversations on online dating sites or social media tend to go, you can probably tell whether the time is right.

Does this potential partner respond to your messages consistently? Someone who is getting fairly interested in you will probably be eager to respond to any messages you send them and will seem to want to keep the online conversation going.

If they’re not responding at all sometimes, or if they answer you with short, few-word replies that don’t keep the conversation going, they’re probably not very eager to talk on the phone.

As long as this person is responding and carrying the conversation a bit, you might look at whether the two of you have enough in common to visit on the phone.

If this person and you have quite a bit of common background or interests, you might start to feel like there’s more material to talk about than this back-and-forth messaging allows for.

If so, that’s great! Time to give them a ring and see if the conversation really does keep flowing as you suspect it can.

Ways make the most of a phone call

woman calling somebody else through phone

Even if you establish that the two of you would like to talk on the phone, things still don’t always move forward naturally from there.

Some of us aren’t the best conversationalists on the phone. Sometimes the thought of starting a phone call a man or woman we’re interested in can feel pretty intimidating.

Nervousness and feelings of intimidation don’t usually make for a great phone conversation. Combating those nerves ahead of time can go a long way.

Consider what you normally do to face nerves in your everyday life. Some people exercise, while others prefer a warm cup of tea. Maybe you handle stress in some other way.

Whatever helps you relax, try to do it before your phone call to the man or woman you find attractive.

Then try to think of a few ice-breaking topics to pull out if things feel awkward. Even knowing that you have some go-to things to talk about might help you feel more relaxed and confident.

If you’re still feeling nervous as the phone call begins, know that the person on the other end of the line probably feels the same way.

When to move things offline and into real life

meeting someone new

If your end-goal with online dating is to find a long-term relationship, you’ll need to take things to the in-person level eventually. But how can you tell that the time is right to meet up with potential dates?

By this point, it can be pretty obvious that the two of you have some level of chemistry. If you don’t click with one another, that might be obvious too.

But sometimes the phone call phase is not as clear-cut.

If you’re not certain whether the time is right for a meet up, ask yourself how you feel about the phone calls. Does talking to this person excite you? Does it seem like you could talk to them for hours?

If so, do they seem equally excited about talking to you?

If answers to these questions feel a little hazy, try to figure out whether any issues that have made your phone calls less than spectacular are because of things unrelated to the possible chemistry between you two.

For example, if one or both of you are particularly uncomfortable with phone calls in general, it might be truly hard to tell just how much chemistry you have over the phone.

The important thing when deciding whether or not to meet up with someone is whether both of you see at least a possibility for moving farther into a long-term relationship.

You typically can’t form a real, solid relationship with someone until you do meet up in person.

So if it does seem like there’s a possibility that you might have real chemistry with this person, don’t be afraid to take the plunge and arrange to meet up.

Remember that the journey to a real relationship is never easy. Starting one from online can seem more complicated, but it just might be worth it in the long run.

If you’re looking to meet someone online and are looking for a long-term relationship, try Catholic Singles! We’ve been at this since 1997, and every month we welcome thousands of new members.