It usually goes like this: You meet someone online who seems to have real potential. After a few back-and-forth messages on the online dating service, you give them your phone number. They communicate regularly, and you can’t wait to meet them. You think this person is GREAT!
Then days turn into weeks. They still seem excited to talk to you — they still text and call regularly and seem interested in meeting. But each time you hint (or outright suggest) seeing them in person, they STALL.
What’s up with that? SO frustrating. Here are the five potential reasons WHY this happens:
1. Their online admirers are an ego boost.
The feeling of being desired is a real pick-me-up. As long as you keep dishing out the compliments and worship (as many do in the flirtatious beginning phase), they recognize that you’re someone who they can come to anytime they need a little boost. They don’t even need to leave the house.
2. They want emotional support.
It’s really convenient to have emotional support on call from strangers at the drop of a hat. Free therapy is pretty awesome, and women are particularly prone to doling it out to people who haven’t exactly earned it. It’s luxury to have your emotional needs stroked without actually having to do the work involved in having a real relationship.
3. They never actually intended to meet anyone in the first place.
They put up a photo and took the time to write a profile, except they don’t really intend to do anything except flirt. This is weird since you’d figure that if they went to the trouble to do all of this work, why not go the next step, right? Not for them. They’re content leaving online dating in the online realm until the day they suddenly disappear.
4. They’re attached to someone else already.
Heading up the “More Crappy Things Cheaters Do” category are online daters who create emotional affairs with strangers while continuing to tell themselves (erroneously) that they’re not “actually cheating.”
5. They’re “catfishing” you.
There’s always the potential that they aren’t at all who they say they are. This is slightly more rare than the other options, but it definitely happens. Beware of anyone who doesn’t have sufficient photos, is really vague, or is making your B.S. meter go off.
Sound familiar? Don’t panic — here’s what to do:
Get Them In Front Of You
Avoid waiting more than 1-2 weeks to see someone in person. When they initially get your phone number, it should be because you’re moving quickly toward a meet up. (Not so they can send you sappy romantic texts before you even meet.) An honest dater won’t want to waste your time or energy on getting too attached — make a plan to meet.
If They Dodge, Run
Don’t entertain people who don’t want to meet you. They might feed you platitudes like, “I don’t like to rush things.” (What? You aren’t proposing marriage, you’re suggesting an informal coffee date). Or, “Work is just so swamped right now, but maybe I’m available … next June.” If they’re too busy to see you in public for 30 minutes, just imagine what your life together will look like.
Banish Them If They Flake
Once you finally schedule a meet-up, if they flake on you, be super careful about giving them the benefit of the doubt and re-scheduling. They’re not likely to EVER respect your time.
Do Not Create A Fantasy Relationship In Your Mind
Don’t fall for goodnight texts, daily calls and romantic emails. A real relationship will happen AFTER you meet the person. Meeting someone online and talking too much has a weird way of moving you emotionally but leaving you awkward and ill-prepared when you’re face-to-face. (And finding who they really are.)