Once you begin talking with someone you’ve met online it is only a matter of time, if things are going well, before one of you broaches the topic of meeting, and once the wheels of planning are set in motion one of three scenarios is likely to unfold:
1) You make plans that are set to take place within 48 hours after they were first initiated.
2) You make plans for some time during the following week.
3) You try to make plans for the upcoming week but your schedules don’t match up and you are either forced to make them for the following week, or play it by ear until both your schedules open up.
In my opinion the first scenario can often times be the best because you are riding a wave of momentum that you’ve built up through your previous correspondences. However, if an immediate date isn’t possible I think that having one within about a week from when you first tried to make plans is important.
Last month I had a good email rapport going with a woman that I had met online, which culminated in us having a great conversation on a Sunday night that literally lasted for hours. At various points in the night we talked about making plans but as our conversation wound down we hadn’t made any firm arrangements.
She suggested the following night, which would have been perfect since we had so much good mojo going from that night’s interaction, but unfortunately I already had plans with a couple of buddies to watch Monday Night Football. Tuesday and Thursday didn’t work for her, and Wednesday is a bad night for me because we have team dinners after our workouts, which left us in a bit of quandary.
After realizing that the weekend wouldn’t work because we were both busy, we decided to make plans for the following Tuesday; however, I was skeptical that this date would ever come to fruition because I didn’t know how we could keep things moving for another week without meeting. Even though we texted in the few days following our plans, once we hit the weekend the communication ceased and neither of us picked it up the following Monday.
The problem is that people are busy, and things change, so if you don’t have plans within a short window (usually about a week) it is hard to maintain the momentum that got you to the precipice of meeting in the first place. Even though this is sometimes unavoidable I think that it’s important to try to have plans soon after the topic is first broached in order to give the budding relationship the best chance to succeed.