The Digital Leap

Transitioning from Online Friend to Lover

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We’re not all looking for love on the internet, but even if you exchange emails with someone because you’re both members of the same niche community, your correspondence could develop into something more intimate, more spellbinding … something leading to the bedroom, not a chat room.

If intelligence is a turn on, you can tell if someone passes your test from their comments on blogs and their posts on your wall. Add to that a few pictures in their profile of choice, and you’ve already got a mean recipe for a romantic dish. While messaging each other, it hits you one afternoon: “Why aren’t I dating this interesting guy? Why aren’t I asking this wonderful woman out to dinner?”

The fact remains: you may have never met each other in person. All you know about one another is some details typed into a profile page and perhaps a few conversations you’ve shared about what you’re studying and where you work. No, you met online … and now you’re making half-playful, half-serious comments about dating, maybe even knocking boots. What happens when an online friendship starts turning romantic and you have never met in the flesh?

  • Recognize the signals. Is he hinting at exchanging pictures, jokingly mentioning some revealing poses? (Guess what? He’s not joking!) Is she asking how long your previous relationships lasted and how they ended? (Really, she wants to know what a relationship with you might feel like.) Do you wonder if you would hit it off in your favorite places or if you can walk around together at the zoo laughing, without pulling out your hair in frustration?
  • Make a move. Whatever the reason — maybe you dug her comments about Japanese subculture, or you saw a picture of his tattoos and felt the ping of attraction — the friendship soon reaches critical mass, and somebody has to make a move, or risk the fire fizzling out. Flirty emails can escalate to chats about your previous lovers (and maybe some hints about sexual fantasies). From chats, text messages and phone calls come more frequently, and in a matter of a few weeks, you’re both hinting at a meeting for a drink or coffee.

Don’t let the fact that you met each other online stop you from converting an engaging dialogue in cyberspace into a reality check for two. You may live happily-ever-after, or you may just become f-buddies who visit each other’s cities every now and again. Whatever happens, you’ll kick yourself later if you don’t turn off the computer and turn on the charm at your first date. Same person, just a different place.

Comment below: Have you found love on the internet even though you weren’t looking for it?

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