Written by Writer’s Corps member Katie Moino
Ding! Your phone goes off. It’s a message from that person you’ve been talking to on a dating app. They want to know if you want to get dinner sometime this week. You hesitate. You’ve been talking with this person for about a week, and they seem nice, but are you ready to meet up? While dating apps make it super convenient to meet people, it can be hard to know from messaging alone if someone is a good fit.
This is why meeting up is so important! Meeting up is the only way to really know if someone will be a good fit for you. But you also don’t want to waste your time and meet up with someone that leads to a dead end. So how do we deal with this dilemma? How do you really know if you’re ready to meet up with someone?
Here are 7 questions you can ask yourself to decide if you’re ready to meet up with someone in person.
1. Do you feel like your best self when you’re speaking to them?
One of the most important things in any relationship is that you feel like you can be yourself when you’re with that person. Even in the early stages of messaging someone, you should be able to tell if this is a safe space for you to relax and be yourself. Your feelings about your conversations are a good indicator of this. Are they belittling you in any way? Saying things that make you feel bad about yourself or that give you a bad feeling? If so, this is a sign that this person is not a good fit. But, if you can let loose and express yourself and you feel safe doing so, this is a good sign that this is a positive connection.
2. Are you engaged in the conversation?
Are you putting in equal effort? We all know that person on dating apps that only responds with one-word answers and couldn’t seem more uninterested. So ask yourself, is the conversation going both ways? Does this person have interesting things to say? If the conversation is flowing and the vibes are good, this is, of course, a big sign that you’re ready to meet up!
3. Are you moving at a comfortable pace?
Is the conversation moving at a pace that you’re comfortable with? If so, this is a good sign that you’re both in sync and will get along great in person too. Also, if the conversation seems to be moving faster than what you’re comfortable with, communicate that you would like to slow things down. For example, if they’re asking things that you’re not comfortable answering yet or asking to meet up and it feels too early, tell them that you’d like to slow things down.
4. Do you share things in common?
Does it seem like you have some things in common? It’s always good to know a little bit about a person before the date to make sure you have some common ground to talk about. This is also a good sign that there might be potential there. It’s always more fun when you’re with someone who has some common interests so you can talk about and do those things together!
5. Are there red flags?
Have you detected any red flags or behaviors that are deal breakers? If there is anything at all that they’ve said that raises suspicion or makes you uncomfortable, trust your gut and don’t ignore it. Remember, you want to feel like you can be yourself with this person.
Check out the 10 Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship here to learn what red flags to look out for. Some examples are intensity (for example: messaging too frequently), volatility (For example: clashing on opposing views that cause extreme conflict), and belittling (for example: they put you down for your interests).
6. Do they respect your boundaries?
It is important to know what your boundaries are going in so that you don’t feel pressured into doing anything you don’t want to do. To learn more about boundaries — what they are and how to set them — check out this helpful guide.
Communicate boundaries before meeting up so that you and your date know what to expect and are on the same page. If they push back on your boundaries and try to get you to do something that you’re not comfortable with doing, this is a big red flag. In any relationship, it is essential to respect each other’s boundaries. If this is difficult for them this early on it could be indicative of more unhealthy behaviors to come. But if they respect your boundaries, this is a great sign that you’re ready to meet IRL!
7. What is your intuition telling you?
Above all, what is your gut telling you? Do you have a good feeling about this person from your conversations? Have you been talking long enough to where you feel comfortable meeting up? Or you might be the type of person who would prefer cutting to the chase and you don’t need a lot of time talking online before meeting in person. Either is totally fine, just make sure that you’re listening to YOU.
Dating isn’t always easy. It can be hard to put yourself out there, even on dating apps. Listen to your gut and be true to yourself, and I know in time you will all find exactly what you’re looking for!