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Taking Your Cyber Relationship Offline
 By Toni Coleman

Now that an online personal ad is an essential item in almost every dater’s tool kit, new questions are arising regarding the “right” way to take a cyber interest consisting of winks and emails to that first face to face encounter.

While there is no one right way to accomplish this, the following tips touch on the important things to consider and address some of the most common questions and concerns voiced by virtual daters everywhere.

Carefully read over their profile and email before you agree to talk on the phone.

It’s important not to rush the process because they SOUND good on paper and seem to be what you are looking for. Read between the lines, look for inconsistencies and ask yourself if anything feels “off.”

Then, address your concerns in your next email. It is not necessary to be confrontative or harsh, just open in your questions and observations.

Keep your comments open-ended, which will help to keep things light and flowing between you- yet allow you to get the information you need.

Too often the desire for a relationships overrides a person’s good judgment. If someone has real potential, they will not run away from respectfully voiced questions/concerns.

Don’t wait more than a few weeks before arranging your first meeting (date).

Unless there are very special circumstances, several weeks of emailing and phone calls should give both people enough information to decide whether they want to take the next step.

If one person always has an excuse for why they cannot meet and/or is inconsistent in their communication or virtual availability – this is a red flag that should not be ignored.

If distance is an issue, then this should be discussed upfront, and a plan for that first date (first date tips) should be included. Otherwise, you may find yourself in a holding pattern with someone who may not even be who they say they are and/or may be very different from what you had imagined from afar.

Don’t reveal too much personal information before you have had the chance to meet in person.

All you can be sure of is that SOMEONE is on the other end of these emails and phone calls. It will take time to experience them and evaluate your interactions as you look for inconsistencies and red flags as well as the positive traits/connections that you are looking for.

As your comfort level increases and you begin to build some trust, you can slowly share more personal details. Besides, you need to save some things to talk about on your first date. Agree to meet if everything feels right and you have no big reservations or concerns.

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