Meeting someone online used to be a joke — it was the domain of losers who couldn’t get laid in “real life.” But over time, that attitude has changed, and now thousands of people every single day wind up in long-term relationships after meeting online. Online dating is no longer something odd, but something that many people see as a great way to date, especially if your goal is to get to know someone without the pressures of sex.
But how do you know if your online relationship is the real deal? How do you know if the person you are talking with is just pulling your chain, or if the things you are learning about each other — and the feelings you are developing — are real?
You are past the “coy” stage. You might not tell each other everything about your lives, but you tell each other the majority of it. You are privy to the little things about his day, and the details are consistent enough to convince you that he’s telling the truth. You are comfortable with each other, and don’t mind sharing the more personal things.
It has moved to the phone. You are hearing each other’s voice on a regular basis, and you both crave the next time. You are comfortable on the phone, and many of the things you have heard about during your online chats — like his dog’s tendency to bark at the mailman — are now crystal clear, and make you smile.
You have plans to meet. If you are going to meet in person, you have talked about it and planned what will happen when you do. You are comfortable enough with each other that you don’t have to wonder if it will work out — you know it will.
You have exchanged photographs. This is a very big deal. Yes, relationships can be built without having a clue of what someone else looks like, but if you expect to have a relationship after you meet your online lover, you will have to know what the other person looks like. Looks should not matter — but then again, there’s no doubt that they do.
You are exclusive. Whether it is official or not, you aren’t looking around for anyone else, and neither are they. That kind of early commitment bodes well for your long-term relationship!