Q & A: What Suggestions Do You Have When People First Communicate Online?

I was having a conversation with one of my single friends and she asked me, “What do you say when you first meet someone online other than “How was your weekend?” or “How are you?”

The simple answer is to just ask something about what you read in their profile.  Did they mention they love Mexican food? You can ask if they have a favorite Mexican restaurant that they’d recommend.  Are they avid book lovers?  You can ask if there’s a book they could read over and over and why.

Here are two tips for communicating online:

Imagine yourself with them in person: What would you say to them?  When we communicate with someone online we have too much time to think about what we’re going to say.  I think that’s good and bad.  We can overthink it sometimes!  After reading their profile, pick something you liked and try to imagine what it would look like if you were a part of it, then ask your question.

For example, “I noticed you like to go on hikes on the weekend.  Do you have a favorite trail that you enjoy?  I like to sleep in on the weekends, do you typically go early in the mornings or later in the day?”

Limit the amount of time spent communicating online. This is an important one.  I think one week is more than enough time to screen someone and know if it’s someone you’d like to get to know better.  Don’t waste your time on the guy who emails and emails and never asks you out.  If you want to give him a hint, you could say something like, “Hey, I’ve really enjoyed our email conversations, want to continue this in person?” Matt and I communicated online for about three days straight before he asked me out.  Our emails were pretty long, so we got to know each other well enough to know we wanted to meet.

I know some of you are wary of giving out your phone number right away to someone you don’t really know.  That’s a valid concern and you don’t have to do that right away.  If you need to contact your date to let them know you’re running late, you can always just send it through the dating app.  You can continue communicating there until you feel safe enough to give them your number.

Hope you enjoyed this post!  What are some challenges you have when communicating online?  Comment below.

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