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You can ‘get to know’ someone from behind the safety of a screen.
But a recent study by the University of South Florida suggests that – while a short period of messaging is fine – we actually shouldn’t wait too long to arrange a meeting.
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.
You can tell more about a person in half an hour, than weeks of emailing. “It's always better to meet an online date sooner than later - it's too easy to message endlessly, and you need to find out whether you have chemistry off-screen before you down a flirty emoticon rabbit hole that could last for weeks or months,” she explains.
“Try not to message for more than two weeks, and if you're nervous, you could always speak on the phone first.
But the simple truth is that messaging on the internet is nothing more than a fact-finding mission.
Studies have suggested that anything between 35 and 50 per cent of all couples in the UK, now meet via the web.It feels a bit more intimate.” Of course, if you’re nervous, there are other things you can do to speed up the getting-to-know-you process.One friend tells me that, if she has a positive feeling about someone, she gives them the details of her Facebook account and switches to messaging them away from the dating site.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?
Published in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, it explains that there’s a ‘tipping point’ when it comes to online dating.