A couple on a coffee date drinking coffee & eating pasteries

How Do I Move A New Online Relationship Offline?

by Jeannie Assimos - February 28, 2013

Congratulations! You’ve met someone you’re interested in online, but now you’re perhaps a tad frustrated that your budding relationship is seeming more pen pal than love interest — which, of course, begs the question: How do I move a new online relationship offline?

Do you find yourself writing someone or multiple someones online daily but haven’t actually met any of them? Are you developing a crush based on his emails and sharing the intimate details of his life? Have the one-or two-liners turned into novellas you read and reread again and again? If so, you’re likely headed deep into the throes of a pseudo-relationship unless you move quickly!

Technology, although enticing, simply cannot replace a real meeting (or a real relationship).

Taking a relationship offline is important. It has to be done soon after you meet someone whom you’re actually interested in if it has any chance of becoming something real. Dating with Dignity has compiled a few tips for you to get a guy to move a digital relationship offline.

1. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. If you’ve exchanged multiple messages or emails with a new interest online and he hasn’t asked you out yet, throw him a “softball.” A softball is your letting him know, indirectly, that if he asks you out he can be assured of a yes. For example, tell him you love to explore new cafes or coffee houses. Then pause and wait for his response. Let him suggest the coffee date.

For a man, it’s a casual, no pressure, budget-friendly, really nice way to find out if someone is a match for you. Hopefully he suggests something similar without the prompt; but if he seems interested yet doesn’t initiate, feel free to say, “I enjoy online dating but know, for me, that meeting in person is an important step. What about you?” Let him respond.

Give him the hint! But ultimately, if he doesn’t go for the coffee invite, it’s time to move on. After all, you want a guy to pursue you. And if he doesn’t have the time or inclination, it’s important you clear your inbox to make room for someone new.

2. Can I get your number? If you feel comfortable or if he asks, offer your phone number as a way to reach you to start to take it offline. Often guys feel much more comfortable asking you out via text or a phone call versus asking you in an email. It makes it more real for them and also feels more personal!

If he tells you to “call him sometime” and leaves his number, Dating With Dignity recommends you go “old school” and let him know that while you’re flattered, you “don’t call men.” Tell him you’re happy to give him your number though. Remember to allow men to be chivalrous. Even though you’re dating 21st century style, you don’t have to do the asking or be the one who pursues. Stay in your feminine zone and encourage him to man up!

3. Don’t stay on the phone for too long! While it can be tempting to have long, intimate phone conversations with someone you really find yourself liking, a phone call before meeting in person is much different than talking on the phone after you’ve started dating someone. Chatting until the sun comes up seems romantic until you realize that you really have NO IDEA WHO YOU’RE TALKING TO. Keep phone calls short and sweet, and let him ask you out.

Using the phone is a brilliant idea to allow him the space to ask to meet you. You can put him at ease by letting him know up front when you’re free to talk. And when you answer, let him know that you’re so happy he called but you have only about 10 minutes or so. That way he knows he doesn’t have to stay on the phone forever (ahhh…sweet relief!) and that he has an invitation deadline! Even if it gets awkward, allow him to take the lead and invite you on a date!

4. If geographically undesirable, make a real plan to meet up. There’s a  chance you’re going to meet someone who’s compatible with you who lives in a different zip code. In the event that you click, exchange a few emails, some short phone calls and a video chat or two. Then make a firm plan to meet up. Plan to meet in a public place and let friends know where you’re going and when to expect you home.

Remember, talking to someone online and meeting him in real life are completely different. Getting him to move a digital relationship offline is an important step in your quest to find love, so follow the steps above and you should be on your way.

Learn more about Marni Battista!