The Online Dating Timeline: Chat, Speak, Meet

Dear Michele,
I have been chatting and private chatting with someone for two and a half months on this site. He does not want telephone conversation with me yet. He claims we are friends, but does not initiate private chat with me unless I begin first.

I am wondering if I should continue to wait for this person to decide he is ready for more than a virtual friendship? I understand the issues that may be holding him back, but cannot make an informed decision if we truly are friends with only virtual chat.

Do you think I should renew my membership for three more months in order to give him time to come to terms with his issues, or should I give up on him?

How Much Time Chatting?

Dear How Much Time Chatting,

I hear you saying that you are aware of the “issues” that may be holding him back from wanting a live person-to-person conversation. I am assuming that the “issues” are not currently being married or involved with someone else. Of course not, I imagine you are saying. But here’s the problem, you simply just do not know.

Let’s assume his issues are related to not being ready to be in a relationship right now. Then why do you believe waiting would change anything? Do you have very good reason to know that he will receive healing from his emotional or physical wounds that are currently preventing him from talking on the phone?

Online chatting is a great way to get to know someone, as a precursor to an in-person relationship. The danger is when the online communication takes the place of a real relationship. In reality, you are pen pals, not even yet friends. Friends spend time together, give each other emotional support, and do fun things together. So you are right, you cannot make an informed decision because you really do not know him yet.

My suggestion would be to stop initiating the private chat, unless you want to initiate the entire (potential) relationship. Do you want to ask him for the first phone call And then be the one who calls? Do you want to ask for and pay for the first date? Do you want to open the door for him? Do you want to get down on one knee and ask for his hand in marriage? There isn’t a problem with a woman doing the pursuing – as long as you are clear that is what you want.

I do not know any of the reasons he may not be ready to talk. I do know a man that is interested, wants to get to know you better, and wants to find out if there is a potential for a close, intimate relationship will want to talk to you. And see you. And ask you questions about yourself. And, above all else, that is what you deserve.

This is a great site for meeting available men. If you feel like you do want to continue to chat with him, just be sure you are not limiting your options. I would suggest continuing on the site, but not just to chat with him; rather, to find the type of friendship or romantic relationship that can one day fulfill your heart’s desire.

God Bless,

Michele Fleming, M.A.