Ask Jagger: How Long Should I Wait Before Meeting Someone Off the Internet?

Dear Jagger,

When do you think you’ve sufficiently emailed someone enough or learned enough to want to meet the picture on the internet in person?  I’ve never done the internet dating thing and I’m 23 years old.  I guess it just seems a little unfamiliar.  Have you ever met up with someone and they were not what you expected?  Good or bad?



Dear Curious,

There are certain steps that need to be adhered to when getting to know someone online.  It’s important to know that when you both agree to meet in person that you’re essentially meeting them for the first time and therefore starting from scratch.  You don’t want to take the getting to know them online too seriously.  To avoid any surprises it’s also important that as you’re engaging back and forth online that you’re both very clear about what your intentions are.  If you’re simply looking at this person as someone you just want to sleep with then you need to be clear about that.

There is a lot more to meeting someone than just sifting through their endless array of pictures to see if you’re attracted.  Physical attraction gets thrown out in the end if you don’t have similar communication styles and interests.  Not to mention that not everyone looks like their photos.  The average person looks like their photos, but not exactly.  Now you’ve got this person in front of you and in 3D!  Sometimes they’re more attractive than you anticipated and sometimes its taken down a few notches.  All their quirks and nuances are now in front of you.  You want to avoid idealizing them too much into a fantasy that goes crumbling down if you meet them.  Before you agree to meet after chatting and emailing back and forth, you want to talk on the phone.  If you’re both unable to carry a conversation on the phone, then how are you going to carry one in person?

You want to keep the first in-person meeting at a public place and no longer than an hour.  If there is a spark from both ends, then you’ll know whether or not to meet up again and can run with it at that point.  The first meeting should have zero expectations and should be extremely casual.

If you immediately want to see how they look in person and are basing it on a purely superficial level, then you’re also wasting your time.  There are cases where some immediately want to meet after exchanging one or two emails.  THIS is a waste of time also.  You’re rushing something that can’t be rushed and aren’t taking it seriously enough and therefore not ready.

The timing on how long you should wait varies.  You’ll both be at a place where you’re comfortable and anxious enough to both want to meet.  You don’t want to pressure the other person too quickly, but you also don’t want to wait forever either.  The longer you wait to a degree, then the more likely it is you’ll both have a successful in-person meeting.  The reason is by that point, you’ve both spent enough time engaging and getting to know one another that it already feels like you’ve met them.  If you feel like you’ve already met them and know them in person, then its time to really meet.  You’re not jumping into dating or a relationship after you meet no matter how intimate your emails and phone conversations are.  You’re now moving your connection into the real world and seeing how you can both hang in one another’s presence.  You’re basically starting over when you meet them in person for the first time.  Anywhere from one to three months is a decent amount of time to wait.

If you have a question you’d like answered specifically around dating, relationships and love then shoot an email to “Ask Jagger” at  Be sure to leave certain information that applies to your case including your age.  Your name will not be used unless you approve.

Jagger is featured in the books “Jagger’s Revolution” about his journey to finding his current relationship and his dating hand guide, “Dude 101“. Jagger is the dark alter ego of writer Kevin Hunter. All advice and information is intended as a general guide and for entertainment purposes only. 

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Copyright © 2012 Kevin Hunter

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Posted on August 18, 2012, in Advice Column, Ask Jagger, Ask Kevin Hunter, Dude Lit, Kevin Hunter Author Writer and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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