Since I am knee-deep in finishing up part two of my book The Grid: Lessons from the Men of Grindr, I thought I’d share a snippet (since it is hard for me to write about anything else at the moment!) Here is a section on deciding when to meet someone in real life from an app. In this case, I met Michael (a guy you’ll discover in book 2) the same night we started talking on Grindr. Needless to say, it was an interesting night! Here are my thoughts on when to potentially meet that guy from an app…
“…All of this begs the question, when is it appropriate to officially meet someone from an app in person? Am I rushing or doing things wrong? Well, to keep it absolutely real, I have no idea. But I will try to offer a helpful way to think about it. For one, meeting on the same day you connect online comes with a lot of risks. Sure, there are scenarios where the spontaneity of a same-day meeting outweighs the risks of it potentially going bad. Perhaps you are on vacation and only in town for a short period of time, or vice versa for someone in your area from out of town. Here, you might be missing out on a rare opportunity to meet this person you’re vibing with, so it might make sense to take it. Also, you might have more of a casual vibe that takes the pressure off of the “first date.” Maybe you’re both just looking for a hook-up with slightly more substance than just hopping in bed. Maybe you’re using an app to meet friends, maybe you use apps almost as a buffer for meeting someone in a bar. Hell, you might even be using an app in a bar to see if anyone else in the bar is approachable (is that a scene?) Regardless, there are clearly scenarios where meeting someone right away isn’t the end of the world.
On the other end of the spectrum are situations similar to Michael and me. You both live in the same city, you are looking to date or open to meeting someone for a serious relationship, and you have this instant attraction. While I can’t preach and tell you not to do what I did, I would caution you to try to delay gratification. Even though this person seems amazing and fleeting, if this is something that is genuinely going to last, it will be there tomorrow, the next day, and next week. If one of you is more eager than the other, try to explain this reasoning to bring the other person on the same page. “This is going so well and I really enjoy talking, let’s continue for a few days and see how things go.” Sure, it might sound a little cold initially, but it really gives you a chance to experience more angles of the person you’re talking to.
Chatting online can often serve as a microscopic honeymoon period – you are going to ultimately have differences with this person, but they might be hard to come across in the first few hours of amazing conversation. Without being a complete killjoy, there are a lot of benefits to delayed gratification – mostly by giving you time to assess your potential match with your brain, and not just going off of blind initial excitement.
Of course, after that initial date, I think it is completely up to both parties to figure out how often to meet up. Again, I caution against constantly being together too soon (which is often an early instinct). Conflict rarely appears early on and it’s exciting to have a new person in your life, so why wouldn’t you want to be with them? But based on my experience, a little patience is beneficial. Most of us have been single for a minute, what are a few more days, weeks, or months before officially committing to someone and spending extensive time together? It’s always best when things happen organically, which gives you time to more maturely assess your potential compatibility and issues with a person, and whether those work in a way that makes sense for you to be together. Rush into things too soon, and you may be faced with unexpected compatibility issues in the awkward predicament of already being in an official and committed relationship. Use your commitment grace period – it makes things a lot less awkward should you need to walk away from the relationship…”
Look out for more updates on #TheGrid2 soon. If you haven’t already, please check out part 1 – The Grid: Lessons from the Men of Grindr.