From Email to Phone Calls When Online Dating
After you have been emailing a potential date that you met on an online dating site, you may be asked for phone number. Before you respond, take the following points into consideration.
Are you really ready to take another step toward meeting this person? Often, people met online will try to pressure you into a meeting because they want to see if there is “chemistry” or for worse intentions. Has this person reliably and thoughtfully answered your emails? If you are emailing several potential dates, you might want to review the emails from this particular person as it is easy to get facts confused.
Another point to consider is whether you would even consider adding yet another person to your dating roster. If you are seeing several people that interest you already, this may not be the time to meet yet another person. If you like them, are you going to drop one of your other dates, or just try to squeeze them into your hectic schedule?
If you really do want to meet this person, decide what phone number to provide. Remember that a land line can be traced to your address, so this is absolutely not a good option with the number of weirdos to be found in dating land. A cell phone is better, but again, if this person starts “phone stalking you,” you may not want to have to switch phone numbers. Another option is an internet phone service such as Skype where the service is very cheap, your address can't be traced, and the phone number can be changed easily. You might want to get a Skype number to use exclusively for your online dating activities. You also won't want to give out a work phone number, as someone with bad intentions could potentially track you down at your workplace.
Once you have given your phone number and are talking with your potential date, pay attention to more than just the words spoken. Some nervousness is to be expected, but watch for “paranoid behavior” like the person is trying to hide the fact that he or she is talking to you., maybe from their spouse. Does what the person says on the phone correlate with what you were told in emails? Let the other person do much of the talking, as people will often reveal important information if you let them talk long enough. Pay particular attention to stories that don't add up. Check your gut, and see if you truly feel comfortable with what you are hearing.
You will probably be asked during the phone conversation for meeting in person. If this interests you, pick a public location such as a bookstore or coffee shop. Describe how you look or what you will be wearing rather than your vehicle, as it is preferable that they don't see your vehicle and especially, your license number, so they can't track you down.
If you aren't interested, then gently let the person know that you don't think you would be compatible. If you aren't sure, suggest another phone call before you decide whether or not you want to meet the person. Again, if you aren't ready to meet, don't let the person pressure you into something you don't want. If you are feeling pressured, take this as a good sign to move on to another online dating partner.
By trusting your intuition and taking sensible precautions, you can make good decisions about moving to the next step in an online dating relationship.