Online dating - standard procedures?

Okay so I have recently started talking to a couple of really nice guys on Match.com. I am completely new at this, so I don't have any idea how this stuff usually progresses.

Do we email back and forth and then he asks if I would like to go out on a date?

Any safety tips I should know about? I mean I know I should always take my own car to wherever we go, just in case I need an out.

If we meet at a restaurant with plenty of people around...is that safe enough?

Updates:
For those of you who have dated online...how long did the entire process take...that is from first starting to email to the actual date? Are we talking weeks or months? I really do not want to "develop" anything until I have actually met someone...
Also, do guys pay for the first date...generally speaking with this kind of thing? Or is this different?

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Most Helpful Guy

  • There's really no standard procedures. But here are my rules-of-thumb.

    -Don't get wrapped up in lengthy, on-line relationships. If it seems like you and a guy have a connection, try to transition to real-world contact within 1 month. This will protect you on several fronts: some people don't want to meet real-world; some people aren't really single and will try to string you along; and on-line relationships are a bit of a fantasy so it's not difficult to idealize someone before you meet 'em. If someone doesn't want to meet within a month, they're probably jerking you around.

    -Sometimes people use internet dating because they're a bit shy. So don't be afraid to suggest a real-world conversation or meeting before he does.

    -Be twice as careful as normal. People can say anything about themselves online, and it can be more difficult to verify. Don't be paranoid, but proceed slowly with every step of the way.

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What Guys Said 7

  • There are several things to keep in mind.

    First, it is nearly impossible to really get to know someone online. So don't let your feelings get out of hand before meeting someone in person. I am not saying that everyone lies, although there are plenty of people who do not tell the truth. If you are honest with yourself, you might even recall something that you might have put a positive spin on that was less than the truth.

    Second, meeting in a public place might not be "enough". Be sure not to over ride any "red flags" that you get. If you feel a concern, change your plans and move on. Women have a great intuition and usually after a bad experience they say they had a bad feeling. Trust your inner feelings and don't take risks. After meeting in person and in public, if they are scary, then make sure you get away and that they do not follow you.

    Third, of course protect your full identity until after you know them. It would not hurt to ask for a reference, know where they work, and some background that you can verify.

    Fourth, keep it fun, friendly and casual. There is plenty of time to give you heart if everything lines up in person.

    Good Luck

    James

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  • You basically e-mail back and forth while he tries to convince you to go out on a date with him. First time, meet somewhere public. Maybe try a Dave and Busters or something. Give yourselves something to do. Of course you should take your own car. Just try to have a good time. Online you pretty much decide you might like each other... then you meet up and find out. Take it from there. You might date, you might be friends, you might decide you wasted a Friday night. You should at least be pretty sure that you can show up and have a good time. Otherwise, stay home and eat ice cream.

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  • (This is my second response to this question, and I am replying to the update)

    I use to meet a lot of online friends and I always paid for dinner or a cup of coffee, ect. Over a five year period, I must have met over a 1000 women. I still have some good friends from that period of my life.

    Obviously I was searching for something/someone, but ironically I married a woman who I did not meet online. But it was through one of my online friends that we met.

    Good Luck,

    James

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    • So, you met about 4 girls per week for 5 years from meeting them online? No offense, but I think you're trying a LITTLE too hard....

  • Keep emailing back and forth, then eventually exchange phone numbers and talk over the phone and text. When you meet, its definitely best to meet in a public place. When I did it, we first met in person in a theme parks parking lot. It worked out well for both of us.

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  • First e-mail each other over and over for like a few months.

    If you can and if you have use webcam more often,then e-mail.

    if ur looking to date,just start thinking about after you met in person and just do it normally and when ur ready ur ready.

    I met online friends and we all pay equally.

    Peace!

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  • Best to do a worthwhile effort of getting to know one another through emails. If he seems legit enough, suggest a date. Make sure it's public and not somewhere secluded.

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  • yes a public place is diffently a way to go and don't give your personal info out till you know him.

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What Girls Said 6

  • Take time e-mailing on the dating site first. If the guy is responsive to your questions and doesn't say or do anything odd during that time, you will start connecting off the website through regular e-mail but don't jump to that until you've exchanged several e-mails. Once you go to regular e-mail if he still is acting cool, then you should talk on the phone. I would never arrange to meet someone until I talked on the phone. A guy who sounds great by e-mail may not sound so great on the phone. He may struggle to carry a conversation or say things that put you off.

    At some point he should ask you for a date and you need to keep the first date simple. Either meet for coffee, a drink (if you are old enough), or some other simple daytime activity that will end in an hour.

    Online dating can be tricky because we can add a lot from our own minds into e-mail communications and pictures and then be surprised when we meet the person that something significant doesn't line up with our expectations. Take it slow, and you will have a better experience.

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  • i would definitely get to know them first in person and gradually work towards a face to face meeting in a public place perferrably and take it slow. sometimes their profiles don't match up to who they are and the guy could have MULTIPLE accounts with different names so... I would take time to trust someone I met online. that's the smartest thing I think

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  • I think that sounds legit and safe. I met my boyfriend online and at first I was scared. But we started talking on the phone and texting then we planned on meeting. When I picked him up from the airport I had my brother come with me just to be safe and make sure everything was alright. And you know what? It worked. He was actually everything he said he was, and we had a great time and I'm even more in love with him then I was before. So good luck with u!

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  • It depends - if you are unsure take a friend.

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  • just meet in a public place first

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  • I did match.com for awhile, and at first I was clueless on what to do. Normally, you e-mail each other back and forth, and usually the guy will ask for a screen name..then when you talk on AIM and you have the convo going you have a better sense if you click or not, if you click, the guy will normally ask for your # or give you his..it depends on the guy, but the guys that I talked to wanted to meet me THAT weekend...i know it sounds stalkrish, but I DID look the 2 guys up(that I went on dates with) on Facebook/MySpace just to see if they were legit and get a feel of who they were lol..normally the guy will let you pick where you want to go or what you want to do..so my advice is take your own car..and meet him at a restaurant or bar...it is DEF safe enough if you stay in a public place...overall, I felt these guys out while we were talking so I wasn't that uncomfortable when I met up with them..obviously your not going to go to his apt/house the first time you meet because you don't usually do that the first time anyway..both of the guys I met actaully turned out to no the same people in our areas..so I def felt more comfy.

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    • Well from the time I started talking to the guys up until the first time we met was btw 1-2weeks...one guy I met a week later because I really liked him..and the other guy I was wishy washy with so I wasn't that eager to meet him right away...yes, normally the guy does pay for the date, you can always offer, and I'm sure they will say no...one thing that you should be EXTRA careful about, is that many of these guys are on rebound..i picked that up right away!

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