Love

The Biggest Mistake People Make When Meeting Someone In Person After Talking Online

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You’ve been talking over Snapchat, a dating app, FaceTime or any other technology. Things have been fun and flirty and you’re feeling the chemistry.

You’re starting to feel like you two know each other. It’s easy to think that this relationship has legs. The next step is meeting for the first time in person.

Meeting for the first time in person is different when you’ve already spent time getting to know each other online. You believe you’re meeting with someone you know and not a total stranger.

But that's where the biggest mistake people make when meeting online comes in — you may be tempted to rush it. 

RELATED: 10 Reasons The Guys You Meet Online Are Such Disappointments In Real Life

Without knowing it, you probably feel more hopeful because you’ve already created a connection and want it to work out between the two of you.

However, meeting via video technology has certain limitations that you must be aware of particularly if you’re looking for soul-satisfying, long-lasting love.

Here are 7 mistakes to avoid when you meet in person for the first time:

1. Don’t jump in too quickly

Don't go exclusive before meeting for the first time. The connection you feel via your phone may not translate to real life. Don't plan a long romantic date or weekend when meeting for the first time in person.

The truth is, you don’t know if that chemistry will be present. So much of attraction is chemical, so it requires all of your senses.

The spark of attraction only truly exists when you’ve shared the same physical space together. You cannot forego this important ingredient for lasting love.

Down the road as a couple, you’ll have challenges to face and without that chemistry in the beginning there is no glue to hold the relationship together.

When meeting for the first time, see if your budding friendship includes the desire for something more.

2. Nothing is real until you meet in-person.

Several years ago, we had a client who did not heed our warnings about online chemistry. He developed a relationship with a woman who lived in another country over Skype.

He was convinced this was true love. They planned a two-week trip together in her country and he was so sure she was his soulmate.

As soon as he saw her at the airport, he knew he’d made a mistake — and now they had two weeks to spend together. It turned out to be an expensive fantasy, not just monetarily, but also with time and effort.

It was a difficult experience for him because he longed to share his life with someone.

Even if you’ve spent hours video chatting, have shared your sacred secrets, and convinced yourself you two are in it to win it, you still don’t know if you’re going to have that spark of attraction when the two of you are together in person.

When meeting for the first time, treat it as an opportunity to see if the rush of feelings and chemistry translates to real life. Then you can plan a romantic date together and begin to discover if the two of you are a values match.

RELATED: 10 Online Dating Tips For A Successful First Date

3. Beware of filling in the blanks.

Your brain is wired for your survival and it takes a shortcut guiding you toward what's familiar. It utilizes the Law of Association, clumping things together and deciding, "This is like that." 

This allows you to make quick decisions without gathering a ton of information.

The longing and desire for a life partner — a soulmate — will drive your mind to fill in the blanks in a positive fashion.

This process is unavoidable because it's a function of your survival. 

However, you can bring this process into your conscious awareness and heed our warning: Nothing is real until you meet in person.

Set yourself up with little to no emotional investment through video connections and hold off on any future plans of a relationship until you know what it’s like to be in the same room with a potential match.

4. Stop dating backwards.

Dating backwards is when you give a stranger the benefit of the doubt. Despite your desire for a real connection and the delusion of online chemistry, don’t put your lovability in the hands of a stranger.

Whether or not you're worthy of love is not up to this other person. Ultimately, it's up to you to know you're worth loving.

You don’t get love from another person; you share love with them. The love you seek is inside of you.

When meeting for the first time, stay open and curious about your inner dialog and check-in to see if you’re twisting into a pretzel to earn love. This is always important, but especially so due to the temptation to rush a relationship when you felt a connection online. 

You don’t have to prove your lovability. You are worthy of love exactly as you are.

When dating backwards, you end up excusing bad behavior and justifying red flags because you are blinded by hope. Instead, give them the space to prove that they are worthy of your heart.

Ultimately, all the great conversations you’ve been having over video chat are just hypothetical. Actions in real life reveal character and whether you two share the same values is revealed over time.3

RELATED: 5 Traits Of Sweet, Committed Men — That Seem Like Relationship Red Flags At First

5. Meeting for the first time isn’t a do-or-die situation. 

Putting too much expectation on the first meeting can kill a budding relationship. Don’t plan an elaborate date. Don’t invite them over for a romantic home-cooked meal. And definitely don’t leave it open-ended.

A 24-hour whirlwind date may sound exciting and magical but it’s more likely an indication that you’re making risky decisions.

Make your first meeting short, 60-90 minutes max. Use it to see if the chemistry you felt over video translates into real life.

Who knows? They may smell funny to you or be a lot bigger or smaller than you had anticipated. You may have an intellectual connection but not a physical one.

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Having a timeframe gives you an out if things don’t go well. If things do go well, you can always schedule another date and plan something more elaborate.

Taking smaller steps will help you make wiser decisions and putting off romance and intimacy can help create a stronger attraction. There is something to be said for creating anticipation through the dating process.

6. Don’t bail out a sinking ship.

What if all that chemistry online doesn’t translate into real life? Or what if the conversation is stilted in person and the date becomes excruciating?

It’s not your responsibility to make sure the date goes smoothly. Don’t be afraid to speak up if something upsetting happens.

You don’t have to tiptoe around uncomfortable subjects or go along to get along.

How the two of you handle conflict will reveal a lot about the possibility of a relationship. So have the uncomfortable conversation if you need to. It’s better to find out now whether you can navigate disagreements together.

When meeting for the first time, allow conflict to reveal the truth about your compatibility. This doesn’t mean that you should manufacture a disagreement. But don’t avoid the uncomfortable conversations; they can be very revealing.

You won’t spend your life with a partner and never have a disagreement or an argument. It’s better to let the bud die on the vine.

Speak up and allow any bumps or conflicts through the dating process shows you if the two of you can reconnect when things go sideways.

7. Don't change the plan.

What if the online chemistry is real, everything goes perfectly, and the two of you really hit it off? Does that mean that you should extend the date and see where things go?

It can feel tempting to act impulsively and have a spontaneous, romantic adventure. You’ll have plenty of time for that. Instead, stick to the plan and you’ll both be left wanting more (which will help create more anticipation and romance for your next date).

When meeting for the first time the desire for it to be special should not get in the way of taking things slowly.

It takes time to know who someone really is. By taking your time you allow the space for true intimacy to blossom.

Chemistry from online can fool you into thinking you’ve found the one before you meet for the first time in person.

These simple steps will help you avoid turning your budding romance into yet another dating horror story.

RELATED: 14 Warning Signs Your Prince Charming Is Actually A Catfish & Scammer

Orna and Matthew Walters are Soulmate Coaches who have been featured guest experts on Bravo’s "The Millionaire Matchmaker." They're the authors of the free report, "7 Steps To Soulmating," which can be found on their website

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This article was originally published at https://www.creatingloveonpurpose.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.