Internet dating is completely different than meeting in person – for more than just the obvious reasons. Internet dating is the prejudging before you get to the ‘meet in person’ phase. Most people know the phases of dating – First date, seeing each other, dating exclusively, a committed relationship and onward. With internet dating, the phases begin long before you even get to the first date.
1) The Messaging Phase: Someone messages you. You view their profile. Not only are they cute, but they can spell most big words and their first message was something more clever and captivating than ‘nice turd cutter’ (an actual message that Smokie once received). The length of the messaging phase can vary, depending on the person, how often they log on, whether or not they have Facebook, etc. Don’t let this drag on too long though, because one person is bound to find someone else to message. Tip: If they can’t carry a conversation via a message, how do you expect them to in real life?
2) The Facebook Phase: Adding each other to Facebook is important for many reasons – you get to see how many friends you have in common, at which point you can ask set friend about how big of a creep the other person is, and you can creep their pictures to figure out whether or not they actually look like the pictures they put on POF. Let’s face it, most people are shallow. And they have the right to be. Attraction is one of the most important things in a relationship! Creep them as much as you can – find out every detail of their life! Creep their pictures! Creep their status updates! Creep their ex-girlfriends! This is someone you could end up marrying, so you don’t want there to be secrets do you? OMG! In 2006, Johnny smoked a cigar when he was in Cuba with the boys. Totes not meeting him now. This phase tends to last the longest, until one person decides to delete the other during their yearly friend culling session. Tip: If they don’t have Facebook don’t automatically assume they are sketchy, it probably means that they are actually a really cool, normal person. Google them instead.
3) The Texting Phase: After allowing someone to do their research and find out every single detail of your life, you might be ready to give them your phone number. To call them and talk to them? No. Who does that anymore?! To spend day after day texting each other to ask all of the questions could have been asked them in a five minute phone conversation. Much like messaging, don’t let this phase go on too long. Tip: Don’t accidentally send dirty texts to the person that are meant for someone else (a true story that probably deserves its own entire blog post).
4) The Interview Phase: This is not the same thing as a first date. This is usually a quick cup of coffee or a beer where you can gauge the conversation, attraction level, etc. If a first date is evident, it usually occurs simultaneously. Coffee was great, so you go for a walk. Or to dinner. Or move to another bar for a drink. If things don’t go well, never have to see the person again and can say that you never even went on a date with them. Tip: Never commit to something more than an hour for the interview phase. Dinners can be awkward, keep it simple so that you always have an out.
5) The First Date: Dinner, a walk, bowling, whatever. A date is a date. You have most likely been on one before, so it doesn’t need to be described to you. This is where internet dating ends, and real dating begins.
If you can’t pick up on the huge amounts of sarcasm in this post, you probably shouldn’t be allowed to walk and chew gum at the same time.
That being said, these phases are a pretty accurate description of the progression of meeting someone on the internet!