What Do You Do In The Awkward Time Before You Meet An Online Date?

What Do You Do In The Awkward Time Before You Meet An Online Date?

Online dating is great! You can meet people you otherwise would never encounter that share your interests and just might end up being the one. But the anonymity factor makes it just as easy to flake on someone when it comes to meeting IRL as it is to click on his or her profile to begin with. So how do you keep the digital spark alive long enough make it from arranging the date to the actual date?

Time is an enemy. Admittedly, I’ve cancelled my fair share of OKCupid drinks before they even happened. So first thing’s first: if your schedules allow it, avoid the problem and go ahead and put something on the books sooner rather than later.

Gizmodo’s Kyle Wagner recently met a girl online, and things were going great! They had a date planned for a Friday night, but it was almost a week after they first started talking. By the time it rolled around, she bailed last minute. “I’ve had every manner of crazy circumstance come up in the time from when a date is planed until it happens — spontaneous long-term relationships, returning exes, traumatic life experiences.”

But if scheduling isn’t on your side, make sure you keep the conversation going. At the very least, send a couple of messages. Or even exchange numbers early and say hi. It’s pretty much part of the script to send an SMS saying “hey this is Leslie, I just want to make sure you’re in my phone, etc.”

But don’t overdo it. Too many messages? You are Ted Bundy and you are going to kill me. But also, don’t play it too cool. No contact? What’s your name again, because I have no idea. And keep things light, limited to jokes and uncontroversial topics, rather than the text message Spanish inquisition. You have to walk that very thin line of being interested but not too interested, aloof, but not too aloof. In some ways, it’s the same thing people have been doing since the dawn of time — the game is the same, the rules are just slightly more confusing.

This isn’t to say there are really rules at all! The most important thing? If you’re interested in someone let them know. And from there, hopefully fate will take its course. Or at the very least, you’ll get laid and never have to talk to the person again.

Picture: Shutterstock/Lasse Kristensen

User Manual is Gizmodo’s guide to etiquette.