Cupid's Pulse Article: Relationship Advice: From Website to First SightCupid's Pulse Article: Relationship Advice: From Website to First Sight

By Lori Zaslow and Jennifer Zucher for Project Soulmate with contributing writer Erin Infelice

Dating in today’s world is complicated since most people choose to make the first move from behind cellphone screens. With dating apps and social media sites that offer personal messaging options, you can reach anyone at any time. But when it comes time to finally meet the man from behind the screen, it can get scary really fast. How can you be so sure that he isn’t faking it? As relationship experts, we understand that this is a nerve-wracking situation, but don’t be too afraid because you might just miss out on a great catch! Follow our relationship advice to make sure you aren’t getting catfished anytime soon.

Relationship Advice For Those Who Want To Meet Their Online Crush

1. Do a thorough background check. Before taking the first leap of faith, you want to make sure you are definitely going to meet the person you think you’re meeting. This might seem crazy, but your first step should be to Google him. See if any links come up for Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn, and take a look at his profiles. This gives you an insight into both his personal and professional lives and gives you the assurance that he actually exists. If his profile says he works at a law firm but his Facebook says he’s a bartender, you might want him to clarify this info before deciding to go on a date night.

2. Look for tagged pictures. Make sure he’s tagged in pictures from friends and family, and that these pictures are from multiple events. If he only has pictures of himself, chances are he stole the pictures from another person and is catfishing you. It’s much easier to copycat pictures that someone uploaded of themselves than it is to take pictures from others’ profiles.

Related Link: Relationship Advice: When to Share Your Passwords

3. Make sure you’re talking to the guy you see in the pictures. Try talking on the phone with him, FaceTiming him, or maybe even using an app like Snapchat to catch a live picture of him before deciding to meet up. The more proof you have that he is the same guy, the more comfortable you’re going to be when it’s time to meet up.

4. Pay attention to your interactions. If he keeps rescheduling your first date or doesn’t actually make any effort to go on a first date, chances are he’s not who he says he is online. Try not to allow too much time between a cancelled and rescheduled date, or else you both may lose interest altogether.

Related Link: Dating Advice Q&A: How Can You Know If Someone is Being Honest Online?

5. Have an escape plan. Just like any date, a date with an online match can easily turn sour quickly. The best dating advice we offer new online daters is to keep your first date short and sweet – maybe grab coffee instead of dinner. And make sure you tell a couple of friends where you will be so that they can keep tabs on the situation if he turns out to be someone other than the guy in the pics. If anything does go wrong, you will be able to remove yourself from the situation quickly.

6. Once you’ve decided that you feel comfortable, go for it. It’s not uncommon for people to choose the online dating route. This means that there is a pretty good chance that the guy you are planning to meet is totally normal. Don’t forget – you found him on a dating site, so if you think it’s weird then maybe that’s not the place for you to be looking for potential dates. If you’ve followed our relationship advice, are comfortable with everything he says and portrays online, then it’s definitely time to try it out.

Happy swiping!

Relationship experts Lori Zaslow and Jennifer Zucher are BRAVO TV’s Love Brokers and founders of Project Soulmate, a high-end New York-based matchmaking company.