Perhaps you’ve met someone interesting online, and you’d like to meet them. Let’s assume that you have invested time emailing with each other, first on the dating site and then through your personal email. If this has taken place all in one night, stop! Go back to the post titled Are You Kidding before proceeding!
Once you have confidently exchanged meaningful emails, and bravely entertained a few phone conversations, you may finally be ready to meet face to face.
So let’s talk about safety guidelines. Remember, crazy people exist out there who can adeptly charm with written words or maneuver conversations to create breathless wonder. Try to recognize and avoid rather than meet them. We want our internet dating experiences to remain sincerely pleasant if at all possible!
First, call upon a trusted friend to help you discern the character of your matches. I cannot highlight this enough! If it weren’t for my dear friends, I could have ended up stalked (nearly happened!) or flying off to another state to meet a naked man—thank goodness my friend confirmed my suspicions that men describing their state of undress while talking with me on the phone would not share my particular values even if they desired to share my bed! So, if your friends concur that this person you hope to meet seems safe and worthy of your attention, you have passed level one.
Secondly, you MUST heed any waving red flags. You know those prodding little question marks that keep floating up during your conversations? Don’t swat them away. Look at them. Listen to them. What are they saying to you about this other person? Sometimes those alerts in our heart warn us about potential danger emotionally or spiritually, but they can also point to situations needing further examination. For example, a friend of mine met someone she really liked, but he had some chronic, long-term health issues. She wrestled with the impact that may have on her life and implications for the future. After some careful consideration, prayer and discussion (with me of course), she decided that he would be worth it. They married and are thrilled they did, even with the challenges his health has presented!
Finally, take some common sense precautions: Meet in public for the first time preferably during the day. If possible, have the person meet you at a neutral place rather than your home, especially if you live alone. Believe it or not, I even went with a friend when she met her date! I hung out at a nearby coffee shop. It ended up that he was a great guy, and after their date, we all enjoyed a wonderful time of conversation together! And, I took my twenty-year-old daughter with me when I went to Australia to meet my internet boyfriend(now my husband) for the first time. I knew she would instantly discern if something wasn’t as it should be!
At the very least, you should walk away from your meeting feeling safe and satisfied with a greater understanding of your online suitor. At best, you will know the moment you see him or her that they actually are the one you have waited for your whole life. At least, that’s how it happened for me.