Text dating: How long should you message before finally meeting in person?

Text dating: How long should you message before finally meeting in person?

Posted By: Kelly Seal Date: 03-19-2019 Comments: 0

Our phones are always with us. Texting has become routine in our lives. When you want to get together with friends or share some gossip with your sister, chances are you text, even before you call. It’s an easy and expected way to communicate.

So it makes sense that texting would be a natural part of dating, too. After all, it’s easier to send a message than to make a call, especially with someone you haven’t yet met. However, there’s a unique communication challenge with messaging dates, because building an intimate relationship can’t be done over your phone.

Many of us are guilty of relying on messaging to communicate with potential dates, testing out the chemistry with each other and mistaking online interaction for real-life connection. In the long run, this doesn’t work.

Texting and dating go hand-in-hand

Here’s an example: You swipe right, smitten with the great photos and attractive profile of your latest dating app match. Your match messages you right away. You respond a little flirtatiously. Your match has another quick, witty response.

You are giddy. You spend the next few days flirting back and forth over text, building up your anticipation. The online chemistry is off the charts. You know this person must be someone special because you two are made for each other in the messaging department!

You find yourself sending him photos from your Instagram feed with commentary throughout the day, perhaps ignoring calls from your friends and neglecting a few work emails. You message each other back and forth, until you finally suggest meeting in person and continue your flirty conversation.

Suddenly, he’s indecisive with his schedule, saying he’ll get in touch with you “later this week.” You have that familiar knot in your stomach, wondering if you will in fact hear from her later this week. But you ignore that nagging feeling and hope for the best.

Days go by, you continue messaging each other, but still – no concrete plans are made. After a couple of weeks of indecision, cancellations, and unanswered texts, she goes radio silent on you.

Understandably, this is frustrating. You might wonder, “did I say something wrong?” Or “did he meet someone else?” You might even wonder if she was a real person at all. It’s online dating, so you never know.

Flirty messages don’t always translate into real-life chemistry

Most of us are so conditioned to communicate over text, that sometimes we fall prey to building relationships over our phones. This is where our hearts and emotions mistake flirtatious messaging for real life chemistry. It’s not.

Chemistry happens in person – you don’t know if you’ll hit it off with someone until you’re meeting face-to-face. Sure, it’s romantic to pass messages back and forth, but relationships aren’t solidified this way.

You might find that the person you meet isn’t the same person you pictured in your head when you first started text dating. He might be more shy in person, or have a more assertive communication style. She may have an affectation that completely turns you off.

Wouldn’t you rather know sooner that it wasn’t meant to be, rather than after weeks of texting? Instead of spending valuable time messaging, ask your match out before getting too emotionally invested. If the person you’ve been text dating hesitates or puts off meeting in person, move on to the next and focus on getting to know people in real life, where the magic of chemistry really happens.

Kelly Seal is a freelance writer, dating expert, and author of the book “Date Expectations: A Guide to Changing Your Dating Life and Finding Real Love.” She got her start in the dating industry by hosting speed dating events around southern California and offering advice and encouragement to attendees. She now lives in L.A. and spends her free time hiking in the Santa Monica mountains and blogging at www.kellyseal.com.