Don’t become Penpals

Sunday, August 27th, 2017

Online dating is meant to be a way to meet someone with whom you have a connection and to start dating them. However, lots of people find themselves engaged in long strings of messages without ever meeting up with the people whom they are talking to.

Why do we end up as virtual Penpals?

The thrill of the chase – Some people enjoy being pursued by others and feel flattered by ‘harmless’ flirting. Sadly (and in spite of measures put in place to prevent it) some people who join dating websites are already in a relationship and just want to find out if they are still attractive to others. If you are aware that someone is in a relationship, let the website administrator know.

Being scared of rejection – If sending messages to someone is going really well, you can get locked into a state where you feel safe chatting to the person virtually, but become scared that it will all fall apart when you meet in real life. As great as flirting is, nothing beats being able to hug someone, or hold their hand. Ask the person to meet up with you and if it doesn’t work out, you can get chatting to other people. If it does work out, please let us know by emailing us so that we can celebrate your success.

How long should you chat for online?

Ideally you should ask to meet the other person within two, or three messages. You could even suggest a date idea in your first message as a way to introduce a common interest. For example, you could say: ‘I see that you also love [insert hobby, or interest], I’m heading to [insert relevant event] and wondered if you’d fancy meeting up there?’

If you are a long distance away from the person whom you are interested in, or if you are very busy with work, or family commitments, you might wish to speak via online messaging for longer until you are able to meet up with one another. Another option is to speak via video calling such as Skype, or FaceTime, whereby you can see each other’s body language when you are getting to know one another. You can set up a specific account just for online dating to mean that you can separate it from other aspects of your life.