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 AUTHOR
 forFavorites
Joined: 7/6/2013
Msg: 1
Typical Progression to Meeting in PersonPage 1 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
Hi, I am wondering what your typical progression from the time of first contact by messaging at POF to meeting in person looks like?

I had hoped we would exchange about say 10 short-ish POF messages and then arrange to meet in person. Not really writing a lot in the messages about ourselves etc, more just organizing the meet up. I think you can learn a lot about a person just by organizing a date. I was opposed to phoning because how do I know if the phone and the photo match? And how do I know what he is doing on the other end of the phone? And I do I really know my caller ID is hidden? Plus, for me, I can just get a much more accurate handle on the person if I speak to them in person, it would take maybe 2 minutes.

But I am finding that most of the men want to talk on the phone right away. They seem to hate messaging, as if it is degrading for them, or a waste of time. I have met one man directly from messaging like I wanted and it went quite well. But another man insists on talking on the phone first so he does not waste his time going on an in-person date. He claims he can tell a lot over the phone and can eliminate a lot of women this way. Hahah, crazy, I am about to phone him, but I feel strange doing this.

So back to my question. I would just like to know how it works. When in Rome, ok, I will do as the Romans. So if talking on the phone prior to the date is normal, I would like to know. I would like to know about how many messages do you exchange before talking on the phone? And how long do you talk on the phone for before meeting in person? And don't you feel very odd talking on the phone to a complete stranger who you have not idea who he is?

thanks :)
 forFavorites
Joined: 7/6/2013
Msg: 2
Typical Progression to Meeting in Person
Posted: 7/19/2013 9:38:15 PM
well I had told him I would call at 9:30pm and so I did and it was his voicemail..... So I left a message. Gee. Not a good sign. Is he previewing my voice, making sure it is ok? I guess I should have added "voicemail preview" to the list of steps above.
 Ladyinred4755
Joined: 1/30/2012
Msg: 3
Typical Progression to Meeting in Person
Posted: 7/19/2013 10:03:32 PM
There is no tried and true method. You will soon learn there are differing opinions. If you take the time, to do a little research, here in the Forums, you will find that generally, the majority will advise you to----- A. Communicate by messages in POF for a few days, asking questions to determine if there is any mutual interest.------- B. Give/get a phone number and talk (don't text). ------C. Make plans to meet in person, in a public place, for a short time period. Later, if things go well, you can make plans for a real first date. All of the above, should ideally, take no more than a week. Two weeks tops, allowing for work schedules, vacations, or prior commitments. Anything longer than this, one takes the risk of becoming a "pen pal", the victim of a "time vampire", or even the victim of some teenager just playin' around. You have no idea who's sitting behind the key pad. If you are uncomfortable using your own phone, buy a pre-paid phone, to use just for "Date calls". You have NOT met someone until you MEET in person! GOOD LUCK!
 forFavorites
Joined: 7/6/2013
Msg: 4
Typical Progression to Meeting in Person
Posted: 7/19/2013 11:52:23 PM
hey, what happened to the lady's reply? It was a blond woman talking about spending 4hrs on the phone, her reply is no longer here! And I now see I have the ability to delete posts? I did not delete her post.


Anyway, no I am not treating it like a business conference! I just feel odd "talking" to a man I have never met, without being able to see him. He could be anyone. Why would I spend hours on the phone with someone I don't know and haven't met?

Yes, I need to loosen up I guess. Everyone else is doing it,so I guess that is how it works. That is why I came here and posted my questions. Organizing is not an evil activity. We have to agree upon a time and a place. Is he polite? Is he friendly? Is he open? Can he fit in a joke? Is he willing to go even a tiny bit out of his way?
 forFavorites
Joined: 7/6/2013
Msg: 5
Typical Progression to Meeting in Person
Posted: 7/20/2013 12:00:20 AM
Thank you very much for your friendly and helpful reply Ladyinred :)

One thing that really stands out is that we should meet within a week! I am not sure how to do that, I can only meet one man per week at best. But I have a whole bunch of messages to go through and I want to at least tell them yes, I am interested, but at the rate of one man a week, I will have to leave them dangling for more than a week?

How long do you usually talk to them on the phone for? Again, I rather not go into our life stories with someone I have never met before. Why? I would like to meet them first. See if I even like their company. Then, if I do, I can open up, but why open up with someone I don't even know if I like?

re the phone, I am ok with hiding my "caller id"- I tested it with a friend. And at this point, I don't think anyone will harass me, I feel ok with that.
 Walts
Joined: 5/7/2005
Msg: 6
Typical Progression to Meeting in Person
Posted: 7/20/2013 4:26:08 AM

One thing that really stands out is that we should meet within a week! I am not sure how to do that, I can only meet one man per week at best. But I have a whole bunch of messages to go through and I want to at least tell them yes, I am interested, but at the rate of one man a week, I will have to leave them dangling for more than a week?


Well, if you are gonna date like it's a smorgasbord buffet, there really is no need to "know" much about the guy(s) you wanna go "out" with. Just explain to them,politely of course, that they will have to wait their turn. Just make sure you buy a good day planner, and use a pencil(for cancelations and such),that way you don't double book yourself.
I know you just joined these waters but,may I suggest that you take a deep breath and don't get too excited about what seems to be a multitude of amazing "choices". You seem to be setting yourself for a world of hurt, and empty evenings. Good luck.
 DragonBits
Joined: 1/6/2012
Msg: 7
Typical Progression to Meeting in Person
Posted: 7/20/2013 4:47:55 AM

Just explain to them,politely of course, that they will have to wait their turn. Just make sure you buy a good day planner, and use a pencil(for cancelations and such),that way you don't double book yourself.


I used a spread sheet at times. Contact info, personal data, etc. Some dating sites like eharmony keep a pretty good record so it wasn't necessary. I thought about getting something like a sales contact database. I am not good at keeping things organized, so I needed extra help.
 DragonBits
Joined: 1/6/2012
Msg: 8
Typical Progression to Meeting in Person
Posted: 7/20/2013 4:53:32 AM
OP, to me it is situational. Depends on the circumstance.

Although I am 61 this year, I have had email longer than nearly everyone on PoF no matter their age. Because I was part of the project that created the Internet and email, I have had email since 1981.

So email is second nature to me, and Skype is convenient if distance is a factor.

If there is any inconvenience to the date, meaning I have to drive an hour, then I want a phone contact. For a variety of reasons.

But I have met people in other countries that I only communicated with via email and instant MSGs. I like SMS instant MSGing using a computer keyboard. But I was going to that country regardless of that particular date, and had arranged more than one date, so if they were a no show or weren't what they portrayed themselves to be, it wouldn’t have bothered me at all.

I like SMS instant msgs with either Skype or MSN, not PoF or some other dating service, I don't like their interface, but have used this on a dating service from time to time. People on PoF call this chat.

BTW, SMS is the more technical term for TXT msgs on a cell phone, mobile device or computer.

I wouldn't like so much cell phone txt, though I have used that also. Cell phones are more intrusive of my time and it's harder to use the keypad, but for some situations it's ideal.

There was often a long time lag between meeting the person and first contact even locally. Didn't bother me because I was in contact with many women via various methods, so either one individual works out or they don't, a few dropping out didn't matter. My schedule is usually very open,but a lot of women seemed pretty busy, but with multiple contacts it doesn't matter.

I have been pretty astute at spotting flakes / fakes, so I hadn't been surprised at a poor first meeting. I didn't meet nearly as many people as most on a place like PoF report since most got eliminated before meeting.

When meeting people I suspected wouldn't work out, I liked to pick a place where you could have coffee or a drink at a bar kind of setting, that had some sort of entertainment like a pool hall, and you could have dinner. But likely only drinks if it didn't work out. I mostly met them out of curiosity, like to see if I was right.

I think you will find that different people are comfortable with different styles of meeting. I was pretty easy going about this, so whatever style suited the person I was in communications with was OK with me.

You seem like one of the busy women I mentioned, so keeping me “dangling” wouldn't have mattered to me as long as we had some way of continued communication via whatever method. But I guess if you hadn't communicated in a few weeks it wouldn't have bothered me either.

EDIT: At first when online dating, I would only focus on a few contacts, for me this seemed to create too much pressure, I would get too involved before meeting. Having a large number of contacts was much better and made me more easy going about any one contact.
 moonchildmn
Joined: 4/1/2013
Msg: 9
Typical Progression to Meeting in Person
Posted: 7/20/2013 6:59:44 AM
I can't meet a guy that wants to talk on the phone...they all want to text.


Anyway, I'll talk on the phone after a few emails but not straight up, it's weird to talk to someone on the phone for too long if you don't know anything about them. I'm more inclined to talk call them for a few minutes, say hi, etc but I won't sit through a phone interview.
If they push to quick to talk on the phone, just move on, you get to decide who you want to date too.

Personally, I like 3 or 4 emails, MAYBE a phone call, then meet. No sense in dragging it on any longer. I'm with you, meeting in person is the only way to know for sure.

If my life is busy with other things and I know I won't have time to meet anyone knew, I stop contact. Carrying on a fantasy relationship causes nothing but trouble.
 Tippi_Hedren
Joined: 4/6/2013
Msg: 10
Typical Progression to Meeting in Person
Posted: 7/20/2013 8:20:49 AM
Your post reads like a parody/prank. But I prefer to screen heavily on the front end. Since all kinds of things (dumbness, immaturity, overmaturity, craziness) are easier to mask in typing than in speaking, I ask for at least one phone call before the meet... not sure if I'd take a hard line if refused (so far I haven't been refused) but I certainly would wonder why he'd make a big deal about something so simple.

If you meet and don't like him, how do you plan to end it in "2 minutes?"
 moonchildmn
Joined: 4/1/2013
Msg: 11
Typical Progression to Meeting in Person
Posted: 7/20/2013 8:21:52 AM

Why not Skype?


I'd never Skype.

I've said this before, I'm a different cat. I love meeting people and I enjoy the company of a man, even if it's just for a few hours over coffee/dinner/drinks.

Have I met players? Yes, who cares, they can still be a fun date and they pay for my dinner and drinks. It's a win-win.

I like to meet in person, it's way easy to pick up on their vibe.

There's no perfect/absolute way to date, the only way that is right is the one that is right for you.
 moonchildmn
Joined: 4/1/2013
Msg: 12
Typical Progression to Meeting in Person
Posted: 7/20/2013 9:17:34 AM
no :) I pay sometimes.

You know as well as I do who the "players" are. They aren't bad dates, they are quite fun and they, for the most part, always want to pay. Who am I do say no and hurt their feelings :)
 Ladyinred4755
Joined: 1/30/2012
Msg: 13
Typical Progression to Meeting in Person
Posted: 7/20/2013 9:26:19 AM

hey, what happened to the lady's reply? It was a blond woman talking about spending 4hrs on the phone, her reply is no longer here! And I now see I have the ability to delete posts? I did not delete her post.
Hey OP,Very good question! I saw and read her reply to you also. Now poof it's gone!......BTW, You're welcome .
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 14
view profile
History
Typical Progression to Meeting in Person
Posted: 7/20/2013 9:40:28 AM
A couple of big picture things I've observed about this subject, whenever it comes up:

* Lots of people seem to have decided that there is a science to this, and that like baking a cake, they have to follow a preset process in order to get positive results. Since it appears to me that people are not all identical (unlike pre-selected cake recipe ingredients), it makes no sense at all that ONE way of doing things will be optimum for everyone.

* Lots of people who determinedly and earnestly advocate for a set process, fail to realize that the results they will get, will be CAUSED by their process. For example, if you decide that you will only continue contact with people who move to phone calls after two or three messages, you will make certain that you only interact seriously with the more aggressive people, and those in a hurry to get into activities. If that's what you want, fine, but too many people who subscribe to the formulaic approach, also complain that they keep getting pushed for a rapid move to sex as well. Sort of a "I'm in a great hurry to take my time to get to know people" approach to dating.

* The act of discussing this sort of thing, often seems to take on a life of it's own, with people keying off of each other, and vying to be the one who declares the most self-serving and superior approach they can manage. It's common for several people to pontificate about "chat vampires," as though the act of talking for more than a few messages either causes people NOT to meet, or prevents the one conversing from developing a link with another person. I'd point out that unless you insist on composing huge messages back and forth, and/or are only willing to talk to one person at a time, that allowing THIS relationship to move slowly even as you act more quickly on THAT one, is rather easy to do.

Bottom line, it's not as though there is a Dating God, who steps in and tells you in stentorian tones that "you have failed to move at the right pace to develop your relationship. You must return to the beginning and start again."
 activemelaney
Joined: 9/8/2012
Msg: 15
view profile
History
Typical Progression to Meeting in Person
Posted: 7/20/2013 10:19:42 AM
I only responded to men with full, literate profiles with a couple of photos and who sent an articulate message that somehow addressed my profile. In my return message I was friendly and included a couple of questions....just casual things to see if they actually were genuine and attentive. I also suggested it might be nice to meet for a coffee or whatever. I was usually asked out and, if I felt safe and comfortable, met the next day at lunch or in the evening.

Anyways, meet sooner than later. Next day if convenient. As a woman keep absolute control of where and when you meet. It's your choice to talk on phone or not. Any slightest push back from a man and I wouldn't meet. A man with any chivalry is aware that contact and meeting a strange male can be a bit daunting and anxious for a woman.
 CynthiaSM
Joined: 2/24/2012
Msg: 16
Typical Progression to Meeting in Person
Posted: 7/20/2013 11:14:36 AM
There is no standard or average pattern.

I, personally, prefer to meet in person without too many messages or phone. I adjust according to the distance between us.

Re phone: I do not like to talk on the phone (have to do it for HOURS at work so avoid it when off work), but will have a brief call before meeting if I'm interested enough in the man from his profile and initial email. If there must be a phone call I prefer they call me. I don't mind giving out my cell phone # because it isn't tied to my home address, if he turns into a freak I can block him and/or have a record of the incoming calls for documentation under my state's electronic stalker law (as I had to do with one guy some years ago).

Only problem I've had with the man making the first call is he called much earlier than he said he would and caught me in the middle of cutting onions (for French onion soup) and I was crying so hard my voice was not normal and I was not in the best mood. The call lasted about 2 minutes and for some reason he still wanted to meet. At the first meet he made jokes about my voice and how short the call was. I should have taken that as an indicator.

Re emails: I prefer to not email too long before meeting but unlike OP I prefer whatever emails that are exchanged to be substantive rather than logistical. I don't see a few emails (over the course of about a week) as a waste of time, though, because there are often 'red flags' that come up in these exchanges. If I'm not interested in meeting then I make some form of decline in the email (i.e. 'we're not a match', or 'good luck with your search').

The greater the distance between us, the longer I'm willing to email or phone to be sure I want to invest the time and money to meet. Even that's a balancing act though. I emailed/skyped/chatted with one man for 6 months (we were 3,000 miles apart) only to find when we met there were a number of personal idiosyncrasies that made us incompatible. Another man we had 1 4-hour phone call, emailed and IM'd almost non-stop for 4 days, and I flew 3,000 miles to meet him and it was 'love at first sight' for both of us.

Go with whatever works for you and don't let the other person push you to some exchange pattern you're uncomfortable with.

[Edit] Just read OP's profile and must say it is one of the weirdest I've ever read. While OP may be getting swamped with emails because she's a newbie I'm curious how it will work in a month or so.
 PittsburghVixen
Joined: 12/9/2012
Msg: 17
Typical Progression to Meeting in Person
Posted: 7/20/2013 2:44:43 PM
I think she's experiencing "new meat" phenomenon, and thinking that all those men truly are interested in her as a particular person...when without pics and a real profile, they're just sniffing around to see if they can get a response.

OP - it will be amazing if you continue to have a pictureless, personality-less profile and manage to have some of these men actually show up for a date/meet. If you do have real-life success with that, kudos to you.
 Deadliest_Snatch
Joined: 10/25/2012
Msg: 18
Typical Progression to Meeting in Person
Posted: 7/20/2013 3:46:57 PM
At 51, you should realize that if someone else has requirements with which you do not feel comfortable, there is little point in moving forward, because it appears THE TWO OF YOU ARE NOT COMPATIBLE.

Posting a poll is not likely to sway people to your way of thinking.
I require a phone call before meeting. Most people will.

If the other party is not compliant, WE ARE NOT COMPATIBLE.
 forFavorites
Joined: 7/6/2013
Msg: 19
Typical Progression to Meeting in Person
Posted: 7/20/2013 7:09:14 PM
Thank you all very much for the replies, they have really helped me figure out what I will do. I guess I am now in agreement with short phone calls, for sure. Fewer messages. And meeting sooner, so I will not respond to a message until I am prepared to meet that week. And play it somewhat by ear.


One question left is why you suggest having a second phone just for dating? Why not just change the call settings on your cell phone to a hidden caller ID just before calling.? That works, right?


re my profile- well I started with a normal, full profile with 8 current, accurate photos of me on rollerblades etc. I got 65 responses in 2 days. I am not a beautiful woman, just decent I guess. But 65 was way too much, maybe the fresh meat thing you refer to. I got a lot of messages calling me rollergirl etc. One of my favorites said in his second message something like "why don't we cut out all the endless emailing BS and just talk on the phone" and he included his number. His first message was not very long either. I was hesitant and so I tried to talk(write) to him about it and he blocked me! Another man gave me his phone number and when I hesitated he wrote that he could be "discreet" and I was like, what, are you married? He said no. I think he wanted phone sex.

Anyway, so I took the photos off that profile and no one bothers me anymore. I am still working my way through the original 65, of which I'd say 10 are really pretty good matches. This current profile is a dud. I am just going to keep track of favorites by hand, in a notebook, from now on.

I posted this question last night because the current man I am checking out told me honestly that he needs to pre screen by phone. He also said he wants to have a "quackfest", which to me means an hour long call, which I am opposed to doing with someone I don't know. I still feel bad about the man who blocked me and now that I know phoning is normal, I can sort of see why he blocked me. Too bad, he kept coming up as my number one Top Prospect. I don't really want to make a similar mistake with this one.

So I came here to get some help and I really appreciate all your input!!!!!
 *mae* flowers
Joined: 1/15/2006
Msg: 20
Typical Progression to Meeting in Person
Posted: 7/20/2013 7:26:13 PM

Go with whatever works for you and don't let the other person push you to some exchange pattern you're uncomfortable with.


Yes, above all, pay attention to your gut instinct. Spend a little time getting to know them before the first meet.


I'm onside with the folks that do 3 or 4 emails, maybe one phone call to set up a first "meet" (which should be a short meet up for coffee or a drink). I want all this done within a week at most. If we like each other and decide to make a date - then it's a "date". I'm not wasting my time with days/weeks on end of emails or phone calls. Yes, you can find out a few things by a few emails or phone calls but it means nothing until you can look them in the eye.


That sounds about right to me as well. Some men seem to enjoy the never ending chat, and have no intention of ever meeting. I've encountered that a few times.
As for phone calls... I do like to have a quick chat on the phone....if for nothing else, to hear the sound of his voice. Very important :)

You will soon figure out what works for you.

Good luck to you OP


...mae
 Sapphireeyes100
Joined: 5/30/2013
Msg: 21
Typical Progression to Meeting in Person
Posted: 7/20/2013 8:09:37 PM
Op, several things you need to be aware of, the guy gave you his number and then blocked you is manipulative, you have to call him to continue to talk with him...do you want to date someone that is manipulative?

Your journey in life is yours, and while 65 responses seem a large number to go thru remember on thing--you only need one; however, you do need the right one.

See what so many don't realize is the person who is right in your life, is right in your life, their style will be one you are comfortable with, one where you are showing them respect and they are showing you respect. Now some men do not type well and they have very short emails cause they seriously have to hunt each letter of the word they want to spell--you can imagine how quickly that will get old. So they will press for phone conversations, and out of respect for them if you are interested then you will feel comfortable doing it.

Other men love to text, some cause they can sit right beside their wife or girlfriend while they are texting someone else. Give yourself credit for gut instinct, if it doesnt feel right don't try and make it work, you owe no one anything at all. I kept trying to make myself like someone and the bottom line is some people just wont like you and others you wont like--it isnt an indication of either of you being right or wrong or better or worse, it is simply life.

Conforming to group standards on how to date means that the natural elimination process is left out and so you find a ton more people in your life that you seriously wont be interested in and have to go thru them and while you are doing that the right person can slide unnoticed cause they didnt want to jump thru hoops to conform but rather live their life their way.
 Silver_Sparks
Joined: 6/24/2013
Msg: 22
Typical Progression to Meeting in Person
Posted: 7/20/2013 11:34:18 PM
I suggest that you put a message restriction (minimum 100+ words) on your profile
to avoid any fruitless "hi rollergirl" messages.
Be sure to add age and distance limitations to decrease the volume of responses.
This should whittle down the amount of response you receive to a reasonable level.

I don't understand...why can't you meet more than 1 man per week ?
I think that you are confusing the initial meet-n-greet with an actual first date.
A first meeting should be casual with a brief (1/2 hour) time limit.
Really just long enough to confirm their looks, and decide if there is any chemistry.
If all goes well you can linger, but if not at least you have an exit strategy.

Oddly enough, most of my meetings are scheduled thru messages or via text.
Only one guy has insisted upon speaking to me on the phone prior to meeting me-- but I have yet to meet him!
Don't get caught up in weeks of endless emails, texts, or telephone conversations.
Keep focused. You want a date....not a penpal or chat buddy.
Lots of guys will string you along for as long as they can.
Others may try to create a relationship with you before agreeing to meet.
Remember....nothing is real until it is.
Online chemistry doesn't automatically translate to real life situations.
So the guy who seemed so charming, smart and witty online may not actually be!

There seems to be a higher men:women ratio on PoF.
Yes, it is a sausage-fest and it's easy to get overwhelmed by all of the messages you receive.
But you have to understand that you'll disqualify 50% of these men for being outside of your preferences.
Too old...too young....lives too far away....wants an intimate encouter...no mutual interests....blah, blah, blah.
Slice that fraction in half and you'll correspond with 25% and may only be truly interested in 10%.
Suddenly 60 is reduced to 6 and of those only 2-3 will decide to meet you.
If you don't wanna play the numbers racket, try being proactive and messaging men who interest you.
That way you can control the responses and avoid receiving junk mail.
 curviest
Joined: 5/28/2010
Msg: 23
view profile
History
Typical Progression to Meeting in Person
Posted: 7/21/2013 6:23:52 AM
^^^ very sound advice from Silver Sparks.

Same thing has happened to me on other sites -- overwhelmed with interest after I first joined, but only 1% turned out to be viable prospects.

("sausage-fest" ROFLMAO)
 forFavorites
Joined: 7/6/2013
Msg: 24
Typical Progression to Meeting in Person
Posted: 7/21/2013 6:45:44 AM
Thank you for the replies :)

I have an android phone. I just go to "call settings", and then choose "additional settings", then "Caller ID", and select "Hide Number". I tested it with a friend and she could not see my phone number. Just wondering if someone tech savvy would be able to see it somehow. Though, I am worrying less and less about it now.

I can really only meet one man a week because I am really busy right now. I only have 2 evenings free a week. I have to get ready and get to the date. Get psyched up. I will have more time in August. Also, to be honest, I want to sort of digest the experience with each meetup before going on to the next. Sounds weird, and hard to explain but I don't want to speed date. It's been so long since I even dated, the idea of multiple meetups a day is just daunting. Plus, I don't see exiting on anyone in under 30 minutes, even if I don't see potential. I agree how 65 response dwindles down to only a couple of viables. I have plenty of restrictions. Being proactive is the reason I created this current 'forfavorites" profile- for my favorites- some people like it but some people seem to take offense.

Just btw, this current man who wants to pre-screen on the phone and have a "quackfest", well I have been trying to hook up by phone with him since Wednesday and I now really think he is just jerking my chain or just plain ditsy at best. The first man I met had no problem meeting me without a phone call. When he met me, he said "thank God you look like your photos"! We had a lot in common and we made a date to meet again the following week. 2 days before we were to meet, he took down his profile here and disappeared. He had only been on POF for 3 weeks and had told me he wanted to "get off POF asap". Weird!

I think POF is going to be a LONG process!
 PittsburghVixen
Joined: 12/9/2012
Msg: 25
Typical Progression to Meeting in Person
Posted: 7/21/2013 9:14:51 AM

It's been so long since I even dated, the idea of multiple meetups a day is just daunting.

Trust me, you won't have this happen, as you learn what to look for and how to screen out the guys in whom you really have no interest.

I don't like to drag out the pre-meeting process but I have found that a few messages back and forth on here, and maybe a phone call or two or some texting (or all three) is very useful for allowing guys to filter themselves out, as it doesn't take long for the weirdos and creeps to wave their red flags. The crude dudes will start pretty early with the over-the-top sexual come-ons - so unless you are looking only for hookups, you can pull those weeds out of the dating garden right quick
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