If there is a serious imbalance, it may mean a potential partner is simply nervous, or it may be a foretaste of how a relationship with them might be. As always, notice not only what the two of you are talking about, but how you relate to each other. Did one person seem uninterested or bored, self-centred or reticent? This helps to avoid the embarrassment of getting different people muddled up. If the answer is yes, then you will probably want to talk with them again.
Six to ten email exchanges (3-5 from each of you) is a good rule of thumb.Plus, as we mentioned, if you think someone you are communicating with online is a real possibility, it’s better to do speak in person sooner rather than later.A phone call will rule out a good number of your possibles – and while this may seem disappointing, it’s much better than spending time getting close to someone but then realising the moment you speak to them they are not for you. It’s courteous in heterosexual relationships for the man to offer the woman his number so that she isn’t revealing hers.If you’re wary, give out your mobile number – which is easier to change than a landline if you then feel nervous about having confided it.(That said, a potential partner who always insists on ringing you may have something to hide – such as a spouse.) Decide a time when you’ll be relaxed, rested, able to concentrate without interruption.
Don’t ring unexpectedly, certainly for the first few calls; everyone needs to be prepared and focused if conversations are to go well. The aim of the call is to build the relationship between you, and to judge whether, and how much, you want to take things further.
(That said, once connection is established, someone who specifies rigid time slots outside of which they are unobtainable may have something to hide.) For the first call in particular, prepare by looking over your potential partner’s profile and your email exchanges and preparing a few starter questions to get the conversation going. One thing to remember with phone calls is that, unlike emails, there is no record of what was said.
Strike a balance between what you’re going to talk about and what you’re going to ask about – there needs to be an equal flow of question and answer, of speaking and listening. If your memory is not good, or you are talking with more than one ‘front-runner’, it can be helpful to jot down some notes.
The fifth stage of the online dating process involves talking to potential partners.
This section explores how to make those conversations work…
After emailing for a while, the next stage is to talk.