There are a lot of questions when it comes to online dating, but very few answers as online dating is still new, uncharted territory for many people. Can you fall in love online, or do you need to meet them first? How can you stay safe if you do end up meeting them in person? Here’s what you need to know about love and online dating.
Question: Hi Dan & Jenn, I have an online dating question. I signed up for a dating website last week and a man, two years older than me from California e-mailed me a day later. We’ve been e-mailing each other constantly and texting/talking ever since, and he’s just told me that he wishes to be with me until he grows old- he even mentioned flying me to California whenever I wish to visit. The problem is, is it possible for a man who’s never officially met me to develop such strong feelings for me so quickly? I’m honestly really baffled by this.
Possible But Not Probable
While theoretically it is possible to fall in love online without having met them first, but it’s definitely not probable. There are too many unknowns when it comes to a relationship with someone online to really say for sure if you love them or if they love you. You may really like them and even have strong feelings for them (or vice versa) but is it really love? If someone tells you they love you before you even meet them, take it with a grain of salt. Often, people are unable to accurately express strong feelings for someone and may just be using the word “love” because they don’t have any other way of explaining how they feel.
In Love With The Idea Of You
When using online dating sites, there are lots of things you and your partner don’t know about each other and it’s difficult to say you love someone without knowing these things. For example, your partner may know what your favorite color is and what you like to eat for dinner, but he doesn’t know how you smell or how your hand fits in his. He’s unaware of your mannerisms, how you move and how a hug or kiss from you feels. These are all essential components of a relationship that can’t be obtained over the Internet. Generally, when someone says they love you when they haven’t met you in person it means that they are in love with the “idea” of you. Their imagination has filled in all the blank spots, and naturally they are in love with that person. But that’s not the real you! The way you kiss or hold his hand may be completely different than the way he’s imagined it.
What To Do If You Do Meet
If you do decide to meet in person, it’s important to consider online dating safety first until you’ve met a few times and have gotten to know each other. Meet him in a public place during the day for a short amount of time. A half hour coffee is probably enough to get your feet wet and allow both of you to decide if you want to meet again. At first, pay your own way so you aren’t indebted to him in any way, and make sure a trusted friend knows where you are and when you plan to be back. Take it slow and get to know them before being alone with them.