Online dating & ‘when to meet’

Bonnie made this comment on my last post where I said that meeting someone from online quickly is not a thing I normally do.

“I’m always curious about why people would rather incessantly text than meet. You’ve talked a lot about your energy for socializing and I understand that as a reason. I want to meet as soon as possible bc if there is no spark, I don’t want to waste my 2-3 good lines that come to me every month or so on someone who won’t last past the first date!”

This is absolutely fair (especially about the ‘2-3 good lines’ :P).

I think everyone weighs up ‘return on investment’ with these things.

If meeting someone is a small mental/emotional investment (i.e. those for whom meeting people is ‘yay fun!’ or neutral), it makes sense that you’d want to do that as soon as possible for the reasons you say.

For me, though, meeting is a large mental/emotional investment, so I mostly want to do the small investment (of vetting first (via email, not text, never text)) to assess whether it’s worth my while.

I also don’t feel a connection with most people, so not only is meeting a large investment for me, I loathe doing the inevitable ‘yeah, nah’ thing afterwards, when we had a perfectly nice time (and mostly we will because I’m socially skilled and will do the work, but that’s NOT connection).

The times I’ve moved to a meeting quickly, I’ve sat there going ‘I should NOT have done this’.

By contrast, if I move slowly, the ones who make it to a meeting are already men I’m excited about. Not that that means it will work out (I wish!), but it means I know already that there is ‘something’ there: Not just that they are good people, fun and awesome (though they are), but that I’m not going to be wasting my time sitting across a table making superficial chit chat over which I’d really rather just stay home and stick knitting needles in my eyes.

I have ALSO never been stood up. Ever. And I think that’s due in no small part to the ‘taking it slow’ approach. The ‘quicksters’ will bail on this approach because ‘gimme now or gtfo’, and to them I’m just a picture on a screen: A non-person. No-shows are sooo common. Going slow weeds them out, those who will take the time to engage with me that way are already invested, and think of me as an actual real decent human being (gasp!) and treat me as such.

There’s also something else, something more:

People who are good at communicating in a way I enjoy are skilled with words, are stellar at expressing themselves, can fire lasers into my brain to light me up, and they have an inner life that is full of glory and wonder. The written word gives them a chance to show me that, to get their tendrils around those parts of me that sit up and pay attention, and THAT is not something that is easy to demonstrate in person, and certainly not at a first meeting of strangers. I want to give them a chance to show me that (and to see that in me, if it’s there).

Case in point: My last submissive was shy, a quiet, thoughtful, nervous type. But his written words: Oh my. He threw the beauty of his inner life at me like some waterfall of original intensity, all open and raw and terrifying. Had I met him after a couple of cute exchanges, I would NEVER have seen that. Our meeting would have been awkward and strained and he would have been full of anxiety and fear. I doubt, truly, that I would have seen his potential, and I’d probably have walked away. But by the time we met, I *knew* this about him already, I knew it was there under the surface, so I was already in and ready to fight to make him give me that.

So yeah, this approach of ‘the quick meet’ is very unusual for me, and I don’t think it gives men who might fit with me the best chance of success. But it is easier in a lot of ways, so while I’m momentarily and inexplicably feeling like it’s a low investment (I really have no idea why, but I have to say it’s eye-opening to feel how I imagine non-introverts feel all the time), I’m happy to run with it and see what drops out.

Loves: 13
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2 Comments

  1. Well…that’s the best explanation of how I feel I’ve ever come across. In terms of energy investment, giving that energy to people we’ve already developed “something” with and who we see “something” in—and that last part…
    “He threw the beauty of his inner life at me like some waterfall of original intensity”, my goodness.

    I would also add, and you’ve touched on it with the “gimme now or gtfo” quicksters. We’re living in a different “dating” environment than when I was dating a decade and a half ago. When speaking to people who are used to swiping through partners on dating apps, and who are charming and attractive enough to experience plentiful opportunities, I’ve noticed there’s somewhat of resistance depth barrier that comes from extensively putting in in-person time on dates with new people and being successful at minimal effort levels. When someone becomes accustomed to the dating small talk formula that develops when dates are prolific and partners dispensable, it can be difficult to break through the facade and connect in person when they’re going through the “steps”.
    When I’ve waited, I’ve already gotten through that barrier of emotional distance and found the juicy warm person underneath, so when we meet we actually connect.
    Those who haven’t been prepared to put in the effort, have ultimately always wound up messaging again once they’ve been around the scene long enough to realize the pool of potential candidates in this world makes partners with potential far less dispensable. By then it’s too late, my excitement for someone who didn’t value me enough to invest in getting to know me from the onset, is none.

    1. Thank you: Glad you could relate.

      And you are so right about the different dating environment: The very design of dating sites and apps is to quickly do ‘yes’ or ‘no’ based on nothing much, but wait, here’s the NEXT one already. Endless choice, endless ‘better’ choices, endless ‘next-next-next’.

      Ferns

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