I’m using a few online dating sites like the average urban 20-something, and two weeks ago I met someone who seemed “normal.” In the first 24-48 hours we did everything seemingly right (messaging, a phone call, and texting), and I was looking forward to our first date set for a week after we met online. Five days later it all came to a screeching halt and we pretty much broke up before we even met.
You can learn from my mistakes, though. Here’s how to avoid ending a budding romance before it even begins:
Related: 5 Great First Text Messages When You Get a Number
1) Pace Your Excitement.
It’s easy to get really psyched at the idea of meeting someone that’s awesome and you’re potentially going to hit it off with. However, just because you met online doesn’t mean you need to use all the online methods of communication to talk every minute of the day until your first date. Ask for the person’s number, and send a few fun texts. Don’t ask for their email, Skype name or Twitter handle. Don’t Gchat them or ask to be friends on Facebook. It’s overwhelming and way too much information upfront. A little mystery is good, and (hopefully) you’ll have plenty of time to Facebook friend each other later.
Related: 5 Ways Facebook is Ruining Your Dating Life
2) Don’t Get Ahead of Yourself.
So you met this amazing person online over the weekend and set up the first date for a few days later. Communication is going well, and you’re not overdoing it. Then all of a sudden your imagination takes over and you start fantasizing about future trips together, what the wedding will be like, and what your children’s first names will be. All before you’ve had your first date? It may sound romantic in your head, but this might be the fastest way to demonstrate that you’re a bit too clingy. Similarly, telling someone that you’ve never left the country and are looking forward to having you show them the world seems a bit forward. You have good intentions, but at least wait to see if there’s a spark in person before you plan intense romantic getaways or hearing wedding bells.
Related: 4 Signs You’re Doing the Crazy Girl Thing3) Don’t Assume They Have the Same Expectations As You.
Hey, guess what. The person you recently met online and are attempting to date probably has a life. Maybe they work a lot, or have a lot of social engagements set up daily, or like to always be on the go with scheduled events and activities. When a new love interest enters into the picture, there’s bound to be some scheduling quirks. If a person is trying to prioritize dating, they’ll make room in their busy schedule and try to make it work. If a few scheduling options don’t seem to fit at first, don’t make the assumption and voice the concern, “So you don’t have time for me then, do you?” Don’t assume, be flexible, and don’t think that the person will drop everything right off the bat. Give it time!
Related: Sh*t Guys Say to Girls When They’re Not Really InterestedJenn Pedde is the community manager for the Masters in Social Work program at the University of Southern California which is known for their virtual MSW degree. She’s also the Co-founder of TheCommunityManager.com & @TheCmgr on Twitter.