Should the man or woman initiate a first date after meeting online?

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Should the man or woman initiate a first date after meeting online?

Oct 29, 2012 |Candice Watters
Question

A man and I "met" through a mutual acquaintance three years ago on her Christian blog. Since that time he and I have exchanged the occasional email. We've never met in person. Over the past several weeks we have begun exchanging email more frequently and have even chatted online for extended periods of time. He has mentioned three times that we should meet face to face, which I am open to, but the invitation was open-ended.

My company is sending me on a business trip, and wouldn't you know it, I am traveling to his city. I mentioned it to him nearly two weeks ago (to see if he would step up and ask to see me at a specific time and location) and he said we should make definite plans closer to the date. The date has come. Two weeks ago we were exchanging emails back and forth talking about a host of subjects and now for the last week I have not heard anything.

I am writing because I feel I should not be the one to propose meeting up. It is his city, and he is the man. Not a single one of my friends agrees with me on this. I feel pretty staunchly that as the man he should come up with a game plan, and I would then be able to accept or turn down the invitation. My friends tell me he has asked to see me enough times, and since I never jumped on it he thinks I am not interested. I think he left it open ended for me to do the work. I also think that since I am leaving on my trip in three days his window for inviting me is starting to close. I have other friends there who have made a point to make plans with me. I could certainly make time for him, but I don't want to seem too eager, nor reward him for his lack of consideration on my part. What do you think?

Answer

I think you're right and your friends (who I'm sure are normally fonts of wisdom) are (sadly, in this one instance) wrong. There are several reasons not to push for a meeting including setting the precedent that you're the take-charge one in the relationship and the possibility that an alone meeting would be less than secure. (I'm just never a fan of one-on-one dates when it's the first time you're meeting after an online connection.)

Since you've never met in person and this potential meeting would take place far away from your home turf that the best scenario would be to meet him along with other people you already know. Go ahead and make plans with them and then if he does come around and ask you out, let him know that you were hoping he would and that you'd like to suggest meeting for the first time in a group setting. Return his invitation with one of your own: to join the group. He may resist. If so, let him know that since you hadn't heard anything and your trip was fast approaching, rather than usurp his role as the initiator, you figured, based on his silence, that he didn't want to get together and so you made other plans. Then reassure him that you're so glad he did initiate and express how much you'd like for him to join you in your outing with friends. It's a completely honest answer, as well as affirming of his masculinity and leadership.

And don't forget the issue of safety and prudence. Since you've never met him before, you're much better off if your first outing is "chaperoned" with friends. It will give you cover if you need it (be it an awkward start, an uncomfortable situation or even, heaven forbid, a compromising one).

I hope you have a good trip and a promising meeting.

Blessings,
CANDICE WATTERS

Copyright 2009 Candice Watters. All rights reserved.

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