We’ve officially reached a point where dating apps are a standard way to meet people. Much like CD’s replaced the cassette and the record before that, technology is changing and making things more convenient, which your grandma will argue makes them less worthwhile. Can I live, Nana? In the case of dating apps vs meeting people IRL, you’re still talking about yourself to people and judging their ability to make you happy for life. We’ve just gone from watching their dance moves at the sock hop or whatever to swiping through vacation photos and judging their ability to write a short witty bio and wondering why so many guys pose with dead fish.
But no matter how witty someone is on Tinder, they still don’t matter until you’ve met them in person. I mean, remember Smarterchild? You can talk with a bot on AIM for hours, but that bot will never care how your day went. So obvs the goal of dating apps is to actually meet someone in person to decide if you’re into them or not. How long should you actually talk before meeting up? Here is our definitive guide to when you should and shouldn’t meet up with someone.
You’ve been talking for about week constantly but you haven’t exchanged numbers yet: So if you and a guy are hitting it off, you should make a plan to hang out within the week you matched. That means you probably have had time to figure out the basics like job, location, whether he can reply to texts on time or not, and how likely he is to murder you and wear your skin. Plus by then Facebook will have decided he’s your soulmate and start putting him in Suggested Friends. You know he’s seeing the same thing on his profile. If you don’t make plans to meet and he’s already worked his way into your algorithm, you’ve waited too long.
It’s best to make a plan for that weekend or the next week, because anything later means you’ll probably just cancel on each other. Once you make plans, instead of simmering on the dating app, you should give him your number so you can text each other in the day leading up to meeting IRL. Switching from dating app messaging to texting a few days before the date will make it feel like you’re building to something. You’ll be able to have longer conversations that won’t feel like you’re talking to ten other people at the same time.
You’ve been talking on and off for almost a month, and neither of you have made plans to meet up: I mean, he sees that you’re witty and hot and still hasn’t asked you out? Then he’s probably in a relationship and def just using Tinder to power play his way out of feeling trapped. If he hasn’t asked you out yet but you’re also not that into it, you’re probably both keeping each other as backburners for when you’re both bored. You should unmatch him because your time is precious and why waste perfect conversation on a mediocre match?
He asks you to get drinks as soon as you match: If he asks you to meet up on the first conversation you have, he’s just trying to fuck. Like, this guy doesn’t even know that you have a job or that your hobbies don’t include arson, and he’s already trying to meet up? Only reason he’d risk that is for the pussy. He’s not trying to get to know you. So unless you’re one day post-breakup territory, him pushing to get drinks right away is usually a red flag. If that’s not what you’re into, just unmatch him. Don’t even bother giving an excuse.
He asked you for your number after talking to you for a few days: He probably does want to meet up with you but is intimidated. I mean, why wouldn’t he be? If he’s already asked for your number, he is interested. Ask him if he wants to get drinks—if he made the move to get your number he’ll appreciate you taking the lead on setting a plan.
He says things like “We should get drinks sometime” but doesn’t actually make a plan and sometimes takes weeks to respond: Fuck this guy. He wants to keep you on his radar for a hookup in the very distant—and I mean distant—future. I mean, if you’re into that and need to add a new guy to your rotation, then by all means entertain this fuckery. But you’re not a priority to this dude and in reality you’re more likely to meet John Stamos on a plane and have him tell you you’re pretty than actually get drinks with the Tinder dude. It’s like he’s already gone out on dates and came back around and found you and thought, “oh yeah… her.” You don’t want to be a sweater he found while cleaning out his closet that he decides to try on for fun. Block that bro.
He makes a plan for two weeks from now: He is either going to cancel on you, or you’re going to cancel on him. Neither of you really care that much about each other or you’d try harder to hang out. In the back of your mind you think he could be the love of your life if you just met him, but deep down you know that’s def not true. Like, you probably enjoyed 3 out of 5 of his photos, and he may have said something politically insensitive that makes you think you are not going to enjoy talking to him. Unmatch him and move on, you don’t need new friends.