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Tech Dating 101: Rules For Meeting in Real Life

Tech Dating 101: Meeting IRL For the First Time

I have two close friends who met online. Not through a dating service, but through mutual friends, blog posts, and Twitter accounts. If you've ever tried it, you'll probably agree that flirting online can be a lot easier than flirting in person, especially in the beginning stages of a relationship. This explains why he might act differently online than in real life.

I'm all for IRL meetings with a friend/potential significant other you've met online. I've heard many dating success stories (including the aforementioned friends, whose relationship is going strong years later). That is, assuming you've done your research (a little bit of virtual stalking is OK in this case). There are some rules I think you should follow, beyond the obvious keep-you-safe variety. To see what they are,


  • Do your research. I know I just said that, but it's the most important. I'm assuming as a savvy geek girl, you'd be able to figure out whether or not your potential date was, say, an ax murderer. Do you have mutual friends — even mutual Facebook friends?
  • Manage expectations. You know that profile photo you agonized over for hours before posting it on the dating site? Or the profile you so carefully created? Or even the emails you meticulously composed? Right. He did the same. And real conversation doesn't always move at digital conversation pace. Meaning: neither of you have the chance to preview, proofread, and thesaurus the crap out of every sentence you write. Understand this, and behave accordingly.
  • Meeting on the Internet is not taboo. I know a lot of couples are wary of disclosing to others that they met on the Internet for fear of judgment. But it's already so much a part of our day-to-day life that there's no way it's taboo. If anything, it's the opposite — and completely resourceful.
  • Keep it light, at least at first. Once you've clicked online, it might seem natural to dive right into an in-person friendship, relationship, whatever. But no matter how much you've talked, don't forget that you're still technically in the beginning stages of getting to know each other. Moving too fast might leave one — or both — of you freaked out.
  • Please, someone, agree to meet your Internet "friend" while holding a red rose. And then please write and tell me about it, photos optional.

Do you have a Love 2.0 questioned you want answered? Create a PopSugar account or log in to your account. Then join the Tech Dating 101 group, because we understand that love and dating are stressful and the Internet and social networking sites can just make things worse. You never know, your question could be featured on GeekSugar! Here's a detailed guide to posting questions or posts to groups if you are new to the PopSugar Community.

dexaholic dexaholic 7 years
My neighbour and I have been following each other on twitter and shared our blogs, and have recently started hanging out IRL (after my boyfriend and I broke up). We have a lot in common and have really good conversations, and while I'm not exactly sure where it's headed, starting out as 'virtual friends' has really help us get to know each other.
gigiwin gigiwin 7 years
Been there, done that. I am now happily married to my husband whom I met in the net. And yes you can meet your soul mates in the net promise! But if I were you seekers, follow the Tech 101 and you'll be ok. ;-)
Kiyoha Kiyoha 7 years
Wouldn't meeting someone online also be fate? And if not why would meeting someone online be any less fate than meeting someone IRL? Dating sites are NOT the only ways to meet someone, as was already said. So you don't necessarily have to pay for anything. I know of couples who've gotten together through blogging sites, and there are a lot of couples that form via online gaming. Where ever people congregate to share their interests, there will be people who will meet and "click."
dit-dah-dit dit-dah-dit 7 years
You know Anne, not all sires are pay sites.
le-romantique le-romantique 7 years
I agree with the above post. I "met" my current boyfriend via the internet, I've met friends through it half my life, its helpful when you're just starting college and find people via facebook or something, then meet 'IRL' or through friends at school anyway... thats how I met most of my best friends in college.
Anne26 Anne26 7 years
I don't agree with online dating at all. First, you pay for an online site. Second, you are practically paying to date men and go out with them and they are too. It's like prostitution but in a fancier term. Not what I call the best way to meet someone. Then some women met the men they marry and it was not from online. Yeah, stick with the traditional way of things called FATE!!
starofsorrow starofsorrow 7 years
I usually have a notebook and a pen with me for when I meet my internet friends offline if they're not's just common sense for me, and much easier that way!
Lyv Lyv 7 years
I must be a goddamn alien. All my friends say it's easier to flirt or make friends online, that it's less pressure or whatever but for me it's the complete opposite. Talking online means 0% body language... Which means everything you say may not come across as accurately... Plus you gotta double the effort of coming up with clever things to say... All this scares me. :)
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