So you’ve met someone online who seems like they have real potential.
After a few back and forth messages on the dating service, they get your phone number, communicate regularly, and you can’t wait to finally meet them.
“This person is great!” you think.
Then days turn into weeks. They still seem excited to talk to you, they still text and call regularly. They really seem like they want to meet up but each time you hint (or outright suggest) about seeing them in person, they stall.
Now if this has ever happened to you, you know how downright frustrating it can be.
So why do people who seem like they genuinely like you stall on meeting you?
1. 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 have to leave the house.
2. 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 dolling 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 to progress to 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 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 to leave all online dating in the online realm until the day they suddenly *go poof* and drop all communication.
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.”
Do they go all hushed?
Call you at certain times but take a reeeeaaalllly long time to respond other times?
Have and easy time getting back to you during weekdays but fall off the face of the planet on weekends?
Not a good sign.
5. You’re being catfished.
There’s always the potential that they aren’t at all who they say they are. This is more rare than the other options, but it definitely happens. Beware of anyone who doesn’t have sufficient photos, is really vague, or your b.s. meter goes off. ESPECIALLY if they stall on setting up a date.
So What Do You Do About This?
Get Them In Front of You
Avoid waiting more than a relatively short time (1-2 weeks) to see someone in person who you met online. 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 goopy romantic texts about how you might be soulmates before even seeing them. An honest dater won’t want to waste either of your time or energy on getting too attached at this point. If you aren’t getting an idea that there’s a plan, MAKE A PLAN. Then:
If They Dodge, Run
Don’t entertain people who seem to not entertain your suggestions about meeting up. 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, I might be 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 meetup, if they flake on you, be super careful about giving them the benefit of the doubt and scheduling another meetup. They’re likely not to ever respect your time. Past behavior strongly indicates future behavior, so don’t be so liberal about giving them the benefit of the doubt.
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 live AFTER you meet them. Meeting someone online and talking too much has a weird way of moving at lightning speed emotionally but leaving you awkward and ill prepared when they’re actually in front of you and you find out about their donkey laugh and how their photos must have been from their college graduation.