So you’re chatting online and you meet a guy or girl you like. Get a few of the basics out of the way like where you live, your first name, how old you are; but then what? How do you know they are who they say they are and how do you get to know them without revealing too much? How do you really get know someone and date online?
It is rather simple actually. Treat every chat, conversation and date online like you are meeting a stranger (a good looking stranger) at a bar. You are wary, but you want to have a good time as well. I remember being about 12 and going into chat rooms online. The first message I would receive from someone was “a/s/l”, meaning “age, sex and location.” At 12 it was easy (and beneficial) to lie about these things… we’ve all seen “To Catch a Predator.” But put those thoughts out of your mind. We’re adults here, let’s act like one.
When getting to know someone online, and having a date online, being in a reliable and reputable chat room is advised. If you are part of an online dating website, you’re golden. Aside from slipping too much information about those crazy relatives, you should feel pretty confident in chatting with this person about most topics. Treat your first few chats like a first date. Never reveal too much because you want to keep them guessing a little bit and also not scare that person off.
As you get more comfortable with each other, send a picture or two, but keep it light… save the fireworks for after you two have met once or twice. Also remember that chatting online is like texting. Sarcasm, anger and even humor don’t always translate well, so try to be clear when trying these emotions out while typing. If you don’t want to reveal something or you want to change the topic, say so. The person on the other end can’t read your facial expressions or how you feel.
Lastly, for the sake of getting to know the person, honesty is the best policy. If you are looking just to hook up, say so (and then make sure you brush up on your safe sex techniques!). If you are chatting with this person and you really like them, say that as well. Don’t use the internet to hide yourself in any way.
Now that you have a few tips for chatting and meeting people online, you can get those phalanges flailing and type up a storm!