So you've met a super special person online, someone who makes your butterflies go nuts. You guys have been talking for a long time now, spend hours texting, calling and video calling with each other. You really feel a connection with this person and decide it is time to finally meet each other in real life.
Does this sound familiar to you? Many of the people we talk to are in the situation where they want to meet that special one on the other side of the digital highway, but don't really know what the right approach is. Especially if you're a bit younger this can show to be quite difficult compared to a fully independent adult. Although the love for that person makes you feel lighter than a feather, to arrange a meeting with someone who you've never met in person comes with its less romantic sides. You may want to dismiss the safety measurements altogether because 'it feels right', but you can only know someone so much until you are standing right in front of them, looking straight in their eyes and see what they are truly about. Besides that you've got to take care of the logistics of it all. Do you go visit them, are they coming to you, or are you meeting in the middle somewhere? Down we've outlined some points to take in consideration to make this plan succeed in the best way possible!
One of THE most important things to do is a proper background check. Call me skeptical, pessimistic or simply a stalker, but I am not meeting someone I don't know without checking online if this is no criminal, pervert or worse, especially when crossing half the globe to meet them. I can't stress it enough: safety first! We've written down a couple of ways you can do a proper background check without having the need for a degree in IT.
Google is the first place to go to if you are planning to do a basic background check. Just google the person's name inside quotation marks (the quotation marks allow for specific word searches exactly as is written down between the quotation marks) and without and see what comes along. If you can't find the person, as some names may be very common, add some extra information to it like their hometown to narrow it down. I may safely assume you know their hometown if you are in the stage of wanting to meet each other. For example: “Anna App”, or ""Anna App" New York" and see what pops up. There are some cities or places in the world that will provide extra information about legal cases for example whether someone is a sex offender. This may sound all very serious, but better safe than sorry.
Second place to search are social media accounts the person has. This will usually pop up through a google search, but if not you can go to the specific social media websites and search for them over there. Check his activity, comments and what types of friends they usually hang out with. This is a good way to get a general idea of the person and see if they are as they proclaim themselves to be.
One last tool is handy when trying to catch a catfish. When someone posts an image (or sends you one) you can use the image to search on google to see if and where it has been posted on the web. If someone is using pictures from another person, they will likely pop up as a result on other profiles. When you're on google, click "Images" and then on the little camera icon that shows up in the search bar (when hovering over it it'll say "Search by image"). Mind you that although it is a good way to check, this option does not always have access to all websites. Now that the mandatory stalking has been talked about, we can continue with the fun stuff!
The first thing to discuss together is the plan of action and how to make it happen. Are we talking about a short car ride to another city or a flight to another continent or country? This can greatly influence how much time in advance you have to start organizing everything, as hotels and plane tickets are much more expensive the closer you are to your wanted date of departure. Make sure you buy your ticket at least 3 to 4 months in advance and if possible outside of vacation periods, as tickets are much more expensive during those times as well. Preferably be a bit flexible on the date as well, as a difference of 2 or 3 days can already make hundreds of dollars difference in price.
Same goes for the place you are staying. High season means more expensive. It is important though to have a place to stay of your own. I wouldn’t recommend staying at the same place or planning to stay at your special person's place before meeting them in person. Always have a back up plan if it doesn’t work out as people are different in person than they are over the internet. If you are comfortable after the meeting and sharing time together then feel free to stay together, just get a feel for the person first. However if you are still at the age where your parents are responsible for you they will obviously have the final say about it.
Along with that a little side note for those of us who are younger: discuss any of these plans with your parents or guardians. Some of our followers are in their (early) teens and want to meet their love, but they are also more vulnerable, especially the girls. Discuss and ask (at least) one of your parents to come along with you when going far away from home. It may sound overdone, but if you're going to an unknown place to meet someone you have never seen in person it is wise to just have someone with you that you can trust and who can help you if necessary.
It's recommended to meet the first time in a public setting. So a park, coffee shop and café are good options. If you are not comfortable to go alone you can always bring someone with you the first couple of times until you feel comfortable and you know that the person can be trusted. Choosing what kind of place to meet is a matter of interest. Find something you both enjoy doing and it could even help break the ice if it were necessary. You could also meet at the airport and welcome them, but this might not be the ideal idea for the first meetup, as they could be exhausted. If you know they traveled from far give them some time to rest up and recharge, so that they can be just as enthusiastic as you are when you finally do meet.
The moment has finally come.....You are actually going to see each other for the first time! Your hands are sweating, you're super nervous and can't think of anything to say when they arrive. First of all calm down, you've come this far and done very well if you made it to this point. Just be yourself when you meet, welcome the person with a big smile and maybe with with a small gift. You might want to hold off on the kissing/make out session at that moment. It can be really awkward if the other person its not ready for it. Let things flow and just feel and see how the other person reacts. The most important thing is to be yourself. Nothing is more attractive than a person who is comfortable with themself.
After all....that special person fell in love with the real you.