Been Chatting To Someone Online? Here’s What You Should Know Before Meeting Them IRL

It's a big step to take, here's what to remind yourself of

These days, social media is as valid of a place to meet potential romantic interests as the cinema or disco is. We all spend so much of our lives online so it’s natural that our paths will cross with other people.

Chatting with someone online who you don’t know in real life can be fun and exciting to begin with but there will always come a time when you want to move the chatting from online into real life, and that’s when things can get a little tricky.

Of course, most people’s top priority is their own safety and wellbeing, and meeting up with someone you don’t know in person can feel like a risk to that. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of steps you can take to begin your own love story while making the journey an anxiety-free and safe one too.

Before you meet up, ask for more 

More pictures, more social media accounts, ask if you can facetime them before you make the decision to meet up. have outlined on their website that it’s safest to ask for more information before you leave the safety of your home. “If someone is only willing to share one photo they might not be genuine and it’s safer to avoid meeting with them.”

Settle on a location 

Choosing the right location is key to avoiding anxiety. Ideally, you will want to have this decided on before you meet up with them and it’s always advised to choose somewhere that’s busy. Instead of a park, maybe suggest meeting inside a cinema or shopping centre. Settle on a time and place and if you’re not comfortable with the location don’t be afraid to let them know.

Tell someone else 

Before you meet up with someone, whether you know them well or it’s your first time meeting them, it’s always important to let someone else know. Ideally, if you have an open relationship you can tell your parents but if that isn’t the case turn to someone else you can trust. This could be an older sibling or cousin, a friend, or even an adult you trust. Let them know who you’re meeting, where you’re meeting them, and at what time.

Something like Snapchat Maps can also be really handy for situations like this, simply leave your location on so your trusted person can be aware of where you are at all times.

Keep things casual 

There’s no pressure to have an amazing first date. Arrange something you’re both comfortable with, it could be something as simple as grabbing a coffee, or something more adventurous like a ‘escape room’, whatever you decide on make sure you’re both okay with it. As for prep for the actual date, think of some questions you’d like to ask them now that you’re meeting in person, and don’t put too much pressure for you both to have a spark and share a kiss, it might not happen so go in with open expectations.

You can change your mind 

If you’ve both agreed to meet up but you have a sudden change of heart, don’t feel like you’re stuck. You’re under no obligations to anyone ever, and so if you’re gut is telling you no or you simply don’t feel like it’s worth your time, let the other person know. “Don’t feel you need do anything that you’re not 100% happy doing,” says SpunOut.