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But in all likelihood, you’re probably going to have a drink with someone who just doesn’t do it for you. I recall a friend excitedly going off for a first date with a chap - ‘I just have a good feeling about this one, he’s an academic you know’ - only to discover he was a librarian who spent the entire meal talking about dust jackets.
The sooner you can assess whether those online sparks translate into real-life chemistry, the better.
That way, you can mutually scout each other’s profiles and get a clearer impression of whether you’d get along socially. But if they don’t have anything to hide (and assuming you don’t) it’s one way to let someone in, before taking the step to meet them – especially if you don’t live particularly near one another. I’m not advising that you throw caution to the wind and arrange a date for every day of the week (although if you feel confident enough to do so, then go for it.
Many macchiatos maketh the match and not all of us are great in writing). Which of your needs did you think they might fulfil?
Baldly, without meeting someone, there’s only so much information you can glean about them – knowing someone’s taste in films, music, food does not a personality make. There’s a danger of idealising them and imagining your future together before you’ve exchanged a single smile.
What’s more, you have no way of telling which bits of information are true.
Published in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, it explains that there’s a ‘tipping point’ when it comes to online dating.
Put simply, how soon you meet will have a direct effect on your chemistry. You could be consigning yourself to a disappointing date.
After all, if someone is keen to arrange a date with you, they won’t keep fighting for someone they don’t really know forever. Many match-making websites now have their own blogs, or guides advising you how and when to meet – among other tips – that you might find useful.
Thankfully, the window isn’t too terrifying (no one is saying that you have to slurp coffee in the first 24 hours).
No, according to American researchers, the tipping point comes between 17 and 23 days after the first message is sent.
What’s more, a study by dating site e Harmony, estimated that seven in ten couples will have done so by 2040 – with 55 to 64-year-olds experiencing the biggest boom (an expected 30 per cent rise between 20).
Of course, exchanging a barrage of emails – even phone calls or Skyping– can seem more secure.