If you meet someone interesting online, you’re going to have to decide at some point when you want to take the relationship offline and meet in the real world. So when is it best to meet for the first time in person? As quickly as possible? Or after you’ve allowed time for the connection to deepen and strengthen?
Every situation and relationship is unique, so there’s not a one-size-fits-all answer to this. But in general, my answer to this question is: As soon as reasonably possible.
In my case, that was three months. In yours, it might be three weeks or a year. Don’t push things along too fast-there’s no reason to jump on a plane to meet someone you met in a chat room last weekend. But, assuming you can afford it and you’re out of school, there’s generally no reason to go longer than six months without meeting in person at least once.
So why is it so important to meet face to face as soon as you reasonably can? Here are three reasons:
1. It will help you know for sure you’re not being catfished (or scammed)
Most people will turn out to be more or less who they say they are. Most people have generally good intentions. Most, however, is not everyone.
It’s a sad reality that long distance romance scams are on the rise. You might think you’d never fall for a scammer, but don’t underestimate how good these people are at stirring up emotions and making intense connections. If you haven’t met in mousemingle nederland person yet, you really should read this piece on 5 common long distance scams and how you can protect yourself.
2. When you meet for the first time it will help you take off the rose-colored glasses you are wearing
In the early stages of a relationship, everyone is prone to seeing the object of their budding affections through rose-colored glasses. Psychologists call this the “ halo effect.” In practice, it means thatduring the first months (sometimes years) of getting to know someone we find attractive, we tend to assume that they are wonderful in all sorts of other ways as well.
In other words, when we are drawn to someone’s bright smile, shiny hair, or pithy text messages, we tend to assume that he or she also smart, kind, and interesting.
This sort of rosy idealization happens when we start dating someone who lives just down the street. However, it’s even easier to idealize someone when they live far away and we have only letters, texts, and phone calls to help us get to know them.
It is easy to idealize someone when they live far away and we have only letters, texts, and phone calls to help us get to know them. Lisa McKay
In long distance situations, our idealized vision of someone usually lies even further from reality. It can also take a lot longer before we start to see the differences between the person we imagine them to be and the person they actually are in real life.
It’s virtually impossible to take off these rose-colored glasses completely during the early stages of a relationship, but meeting in person definitely helps.
When you meet someone in person you learn so much about how they look, move, act, smell… and much more. All of that builds a firmer picture of who they are in your mind. Before you meet in person, your brain will fill in the gaps on this sort of stuff by imagining all sorts of good things. Meeting will help move your ideas about this person closer to the reality of this person, and that’s always a good thing.