General Question

casheroo's avatar

How long, if ever, would you have to talk to someone online before you met them in person?

Asked by casheroo (18026 points ) March 26th, 2009

Would you ever meet someone off the internet? platonically or romantically?
How long would you have to talk to them online before you felt comfortable with meeting them?
Have you ever met anyone from online? Do you view it as a normal way to meet friends?

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35 Answers

RedPowerLady's avatar

I used to think this was an odd thing because my grandmother of all people went on a across the US trip to meet her internet buddies. But it turned out well.
I have met some online buddies. But they knew other people I knew in real life so I knew they weren’t “freaks”. I think this is something everyone should be very careful with especially to protect your safety. Definitely do not meet someone at their house.
But I also think that it is okay to embrace this new age and use it to our advantage. You just have to practice safety when doing so.

asmonet's avatar

I’ll probably meet one in a year, that I’ve known for a year, I would do it sooner, but money is in the way. Probably no sooner than six months no matter who it is.

Just be safe, feel it out. I don’t think there should be a set time, really.

I know this is just your sneaky way of asking me out, we can play your little game cash baby.

Allie's avatar

If I felt comfortable enough with meeting them, then yeah. For example, I’ve talked to some jellies on the phone and I absolutely love them. (They know who they are.) If I ever had the chance to, I think it would be a blast to hang out with them. PnL, omfgtali, and I: Triple threat.

casheroo's avatar

@asmonet darn it! you caught on!

I’ve met quite a few friends from the internet. Women from a mom site. We do gift exhanges still, and have been talking since early 2007. I’ve met about 4 of the ladies from the site, all over the US. I was nervous the first time, but it was great. I’ve never had a bad experience.
I knew them all over a year before meeting them, but I trusted who they were. I’d invite them into my house any time.

jrpowell's avatar

I have met three from Fluther. They were normal people. Two of them live down the street. I didn’t know them very well but it was cool, drink beer and eat.

VzzBzz's avatar

I talked to man living in the same city as me for about 4 months before we got around to meeting and dating. We met separately at a restaurant for lunch and I brought a friend with me.

My last bf and I had talked on the computer in little snippets for almost a year and a half, always making plans to meet and then bailing. We finally met, decided to run away across country together and then stuff happened.

DesireeCassandra's avatar

I have met a lot of people online. The most recent is my gf. We live together and are very happy. We were talking online for like a week, then moved to the phone. We were just talking for about a month before we met.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@asmonet the gift exchanges sound fun :)

MacBean's avatar

I’ve had a couple of long-distance relationships with people I met on the internet that lasted longer and worked better than relationships with local people. I know a handful of married couples who met online. I’ve gone on vacations with people I’ve met on the internet, meeting them face-to-face for the first time when we meet up at our destination. I’ve gone on vacations by myself and met up with or even stayed in the homes of people that I’d only spoken to online. Several internet friends have also crashed at my place while traveling. I lived for six weeks with a family that I’d never spoken to at all when their daughter who I’d only spoken to via the internet moved out and there was an empty room. My next planned roommate is someone I met online, too.

I’m not exactly positive how long I’d been talking to any of them before meeting them. I’m pretty sure it was at least more than a year in every case, though.

augustlan's avatar

There is a Jelly that lives about 20/25 minutes away from me, whose town I pass at least twice a week. We’ve been trying to ‘do lunch’ for a couple of months, but my crazy life keeps interfering. :(

To be safe, I’d meet in a public place and have my own transportation.

Amoebic's avatar

It totally depends on the people and circumstances.

I’ve met people I’ve only chatted with once or twice to meet in public places for gaming sessions (I’m part of a gaming community site), whereas I’ve traveled to meet people from other social networking sites, as well. I’m not sure I’d want to set an arbitrary time frame on that one.

timeand_distance's avatar

I’ve met looooads of people from the internets, and they’ve all been pretty normal people. I met cage after talking to him for just under two months, but I would’ve been ready to meet him after a week or two.

asmonet's avatar

@augustlan: Add me to the list. I will meet you halfway. :)

aprilsimnel's avatar

I’ve done it before. I’m about to do it again tonight. It’s just meeting people, to me.

nebule's avatar

I’d rely on my intuition

ubersiren's avatar

I met my husband online! We talked for about a month before he asked me out. We’ve been joined at the hip ever since.

I mean… be cautious, kids!

P.S. It wasn’t a dating site.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

I know several people who I’m close to from AV that I’d meet in a heart beat. I know them well enough to trust them. But yes, the first time would be in a public place.

Jack79's avatar

anywhere between a day and a year. I think it has to do with the volume of the communication, as well as the quality. How much do you know about that person? Do you trust that they told you the truth? I’ve had various experiences, but most have been overall positive. And apart from one case (where someone I had barely spoken to asked me to host him at my place), I have just happened to talk to the person online for several months before meeting.

SuperMouse's avatar

I have met four or five people I knew online. We had belonged to the same community for a couple of years before we met in person. They were all women and all turned out to be exactly who/what they said they were. It was of course in public places and I was careful.

VS's avatar

I have met several people on line after spending months on a site similar to Fluther. One really nice lady and her Russian husband came through my town on their way to their vacation in Florida. They arranged to spend a day and night here, and my husband and I took them to the local zoo and then out for a nice dinner. They must have liked us okay because they came back again last year, and we took them to Copper River Grill for seafood and a few bottles of vino. I am expecting them again this May, and hope at some point in time, I will be able to visit them, but Fort Wayne, IN does not seem like a destination to me, so it will have to be on my way to somewhere else.
I think meeting people on the internet in this day and time is not much different than meeting them anywhere else.

wundayatta's avatar

I’ve met a few people over the years. I think context is everything. If you meet for a game of ultimate frisbee at a field nearby it doesn’t seem like a big deal. If you connect with a support group that meets nearby, it’s not a big deal. Science fiction cons are the same. In all these examples, you are meeting with a group of people.

When it comes to individuals, it’s a little harder. Maybe you trust your sense of who someone is – after all, you’ve been communicating with them for long enough that you have a pretty clear idea of who they are, and you can tell they aren’t trying to snow you.

However, for me, there was an additional factor that made it seem dangerous. I kept asking, “why does she want to see me?” I just could not fully imagine anyone actually wanting to meet me, especially for romantic purposes, especially in my situation. That seemed crazy to me.

Several women said they wanted to meet me, but I only actually met one. I was scared that she would drag me into her basement and lock me up, like some kind of crazed serial killer. She is now higly amused at this, because she is, as she said, a harmless woman.

I have never even gotten close with anyone I’ve met on fluther. Maybe one or two email addresses, but we don’t even use them. Certainly no phone calls, much less visits. I’d like to meet people, but it would cause too much trouble at home, so it’s not worth it.

mattbrowne's avatar

For about a year I had known someone from wis.dm. He lives in the US. When he came over to Germany on a business trip I invited him and we met at our house. It was wonderful!

ronski's avatar

I would never meet anyone from the internet…hands down. haha.

VS's avatar

@daloon Why would you have trouble with the idea of a woman wanting to meet YOU? Some women still find the greatest sex organ to be one between a man’s ears and you obviously have a good one!!

phoenyx's avatar

Huh.

There are people I know only online and only by their nicknames. I may never meet them in person and I suddenly realize that doesn’t really bother me.

SherlockPoems's avatar

Seems to me it depends very much on the people involved… the ‘reason’ for meeting in person. I think if people have no ‘romantic’ interest but have interests in common, it makes sense to want to further the friendship. Honesty is the key here. I don’t think the ‘time’ is as important as the ‘openness’. If one was to meet a friend-stranger one should be sure to meet in a public place. Like an airport or restaurant AND definitely bring a good friend or relative along. I think this is true for both men and women. I’ve met quite a few peeps I sing with on different programs. Most I talked to for well over 2 years and ‘seen’ via webcam. We had a great time singing duets and making some recordings to memorialize the event. Definitely fun and worth doing. Actually I still sing, talk and write back and forth with these peeps. Some I’ve visited at their home and visa versa, since the first meeting. I think it is up to the individuals and how comfortable they feel about meeting in person.

YARNLADY's avatar

I have hosted and attended many meet-up events for internet groups I belong to and met dozens of people that way. Some of them I had been in contact over a year, and others were new to me. In the 60’s and 70’s I was a professional event planner/tour guide, and run a booth at Charity fairs so I am used to meeting new people.

ShauneP82's avatar

As far as my online dating career went. If they didn’t want to meet to hang out after, at most, 2 hours of chatting they were not worth my time and chances were good I would forget about them shortly after. The shortest time it took for me was about 5 minutes.

Granted, I was not looking for anything serious and was just trying to get a date so I could have something to do. No pun intended.

mushisquishi's avatar

It depends on the context. I’d talk to someone professionally once or twice before meeting them. Dating, I think it would be much longer. Once the background check came back clean, haha…

timeand_distance's avatar

@ShauneP82 whoa. people met you in person after only 2 hours of talking? jebus, i would never do that.

ShauneP82's avatar

@timeand_distance Wow…I am not sure how I should take that. Do I offend? : (

Am I weird looking? sniff sniff. I smell okay to me. Is there something you are not telling me?

timeand_distance's avatar

@ShauneP82 lol, no no, im just really surprised. usually i cant tell if someone is a decent person online for a couple of weeks, and I personally would be extremely hesitant to meet them straight away. Just personal preference is all.

mammal's avatar

4 years appx

augustlan's avatar

I just met Fluther’s own mcbealer yesterday! (may take a moment to load)

We’ve known each other on line for about a year. :)

justus2's avatar

depends on the person and how much we talk and my overall feeling about them, and in most cases if it was soon after meeting them online if I were to meet them in person it would be in a public place with my fiance there with me, yes i have met someone who I talked to for about 3 yrs on the phone before we met in person when him and my dad and I went bowling together, just saw him a couple weeks ago and he visited me in vegas a couple yrs ago and we are still friends, he lives in LA and we live in vegas, good friend that my friend angel originally met online, so that worked out very well, so yes you can meet good friends online. Unfortunately I met my ex boyfriend online and then in person and our relationship was the worst experience I ever had in my life because of what a low life manipulative piece of dirt he was, so like anywhere with anyone be careful, you meet good and bad people everywhere you go whether it is online or in a grocery store.

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