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terran631 04-02-2010 09:03 PM

So I've decided to give and online dating a try. I was wondering if any of you ladies can give me some advice on how to proceed? I've enrolled for a month just to try it out and so far it's been ok. Can anyone tell me how you go from the emailing stuff, to phone numbers, to meeting? I'll be honest, I am very wary about meeting people online just because of all of those horror stories you hear about. I mean, I've decided in advance that I am going to meet a guy at a very public place and make sure people know where I am, as well as making sure I have someone check in with me by cell phone sometime in the evening. (I know I sound paranoid).

But I'll give you an example. I had this guy wink at me, I read his profile and was interested so I winked back. He emailed me. Well, in his first email he offered me his phone number. Are things usually so quick? I mean, should I be cautious or is this a normal thing? I'm not desperate to jump into the whole dating thing. I am crazy busy with two kids and running my business, but I do want to give it a try.

Anyway, long story any of you ladies who tried online dating have rules about a timeline for meeting new friends?

grisandole 04-03-2010 04:10 PM

Subbing because I'm interested in what people do, too! I know that eharmony (two of my friends have used it and successfully found marriage partners) has a "safe call" thing where you can call but your info isn't given out....

Laedi 04-03-2010 05:14 PM

It's been so, so long since I dated, online or otherwise. I met my husband online but not through a service. I used dating services for quite a while. I think they are fun and a great way to meet new people.

I would say a lot of people like to talk on the phone so you receiving a phone number right off the bat doesn't sound so weird to me. But if it is uncomfortable to you I would just let him know that you want to take things slow and just chat with them online for a while (or whatever). Be yourself and be honest about what you want and/or are looking for. If they can't accept it then move on. You make the rules. Move at your own pace. Move from email to phone to meeting when you feel like doing so.

There was no timeline rule for me. Sometimes I would chat with people for a few days or even weeks and then meet them - sometimes I would talk to people for a while and never met with them at all.

About the meeting. You don't sound paranoid! Do what you need to do to make yourself feel safe and comfortable.

I almost always met people in public. A restaurant or whatnot. Sometimes I would bring my best friend with me for the first meeting (remember, my rules - meeting on my terms. If they weren't okay with that I would move on) and then I would go on a date alone if I felt like continuing to see that person. She didn't always go with me, but more often than not I felt much more comfortable having her with me. When she wasn't with me I would have people call and check in on me and my family and/or friends always knew where I was going.

Ultimately, just don't do anything you're uncomfortable with and have fun! =)

CanidFL 04-04-2010 10:54 AM

I have been doing online dating for about 5 months now. It took me a while to get the hang of it.

I think most people move quickly because they have wasted so much time with the email chat only to find there is no real chemistry when they meet in person.

There were many guys the I chatted with for a few weeks and we never ended up meeting or when we did I was not attracted to them at all.

Since I am used to "the game" now, here is how I typically do it. I narrow my search to people I'm interested in. I only message guys that I think I have a real interest in meeting. The first message goes something like "hey, you seem like my type of guy. Check out my profile and see what you think". If they respond and I am happy with the response, I normally go right to "you want to hang out sometime? Chatting online is fun but it's so much easier to determine if there is a connection face to face".

I normally meet for something short like coffee in a public place.

So far it's working for me. Hope that helps.

Eaglevoice 04-06-2010 04:43 AM

I was pretty weary about giving my number out too quickly. But then I realized that there really was no reason to hold back. I mean, I'm on there to find out if I connect with anyone on a personal level and the only way to do that is to meet face to face. That being said, I only give my number out to the men that honestly seem to have qualities that I am attracted to. I usually would wait at least a couple of messages before the number goes out.

I am currently in a relationship with a man I met on back in December. I gave him my number after a week of emails, then we talked a couple of times, texted a lot, then started talking for hours at a time at night! We finally met in person at the end of January and we've been together ever since. So I can personally say that it works!

MsChatsAlot 04-06-2010 10:51 AM

I think you really have to listen to your instincts here and do what feels right for you. I have emailed back and forth for weeks before meeting someone and I have talked to someone on the phone after the first or second email. For me, I just went with what felt right with that person and in that moment.

Also, if they give you their number, you can call and block your number when you call to give yourself more of a safety net until you've spoken with them.

A lot of people say they don't want to waste time getting to know someone if there's no chemistry. I used to find my friends would go on a lot of first dates (which I couldn't do and wasn't interested in) because they didn't really know anything about the person. Spending a little time asking a few questions and getting a feel for a person makes a first meeting more comfortable and also prevents people from finding out they have nothing in common.

There are benefits and downsides to either go with your gut and have fun and enjoy the journey of it all.

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