It’s easy to get in over your head when online dating, and for this reason we sometimes become blind to red flags that are easier to ignore than when dating in real life.
Nothing beats the butterfly feeling in your tummy when your phone dings and you know it’s a message from them; this mysterious man you’ve been messaging back and forth for a while now and you just feel like he gets you.
Your relationship may have even progressed to phone calls and video calls, and you’re certain that this is going somewhere. But then slowly but surely the doubt starts to creep in; why doesn’t he want to meet in person?
It’s not smart to always assume the worst. While catfishes and online dating scams do exist, there is sometimes a more positive explanation.
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Everyone is different, and this will all depend on how quickly your relationship develops.
Generally speaking, I would suggest waiting for about a week or two before meeting. If you’re online dating, it’s probable that you’re messaging a few guys on the go, I mean, you want to keep your options open, right? From here it's kind of like a process of elimination until you end up with someone who you can begin to see a future with.
You will naturally take the time to get to know each other; for some, this is sending text messages every single day and for others this is a couple of times a week. You’ll learn more about his schedule, his hobbies and start talking about potential date ideas, teasing and flirting with one another.
This time is crucial for several reasons. Mainly because this development can help you discover if there’s a spark early on and if this man is somebody worth pursuing, and two, to ensure your safety.
I mean, we’ve all heard stories of people getting catfished on the internet and (rightfully so) you can never be too careful.
So, how long is too long? Again, it’s a really hard question to answer as everybody is different. For me, you will know when it’s been too long because this will be when you start to have doubts. Generally speaking, anything over a month or two would be problematic for most people.
So, why won’t he meet me in person?
There could be a number of reasons, depending on his character and the situation you find yourselves in.
The most common reason for avoiding meeting the person you’ve been online dating is down to nerves.
I’m sure we can all admit that dating is scary, especially if it’s a first date and even more so if you’ve never actually laid eyes on this person before.
He could be embarrassed for a number of reasons.
He may be avoiding being seen out publicly with another person, he might have just ended a relationship and doesn’t want to be seen moving on too quickly.
He could be embarrassed about the way he looks, or his financial situation, or he may even just be embarrassed of dating.
Perhaps, your online lover is having trouble mustering up the courage to meet you in person, so he prefers the comfort of hiding behind a camera.
Men sometimes have a hard time admitting that they are shy; instead, they will avoid the situation until they feel confident enough to face you.
Such behavior is hard to let go of, especially if he’s really into you.
Letting him know that you’re equally as shy could also be helpful and may ease the worry for the both of you.
Like being shy, a guy who has insecurities is also likely to hesitate to meet you physically. These insecurities can be anything from his looks to his financial situation. He cannot reveal these things to you for fear of being judged, so it's easier to avoid meeting you in person.
If you are not familiar with the term catfish, it means someone who adopts a false online persona that does not represent who they are in real life.
Sometimes, people do this to target a particular person for financial gains or just provocation. It’s possible your guy is a catfish and might even be someone you know in reality.
There are many ways to avoid being catfished, but the most effective is to meet in person but until then video calls should suffice.
For a number of reasons this guy may not be ready for a physical relationship; he may have experienced trauma, is going through a phase of low libido or has just gotten out of a relationship and isn’t ready to take that physical step.
Meeting only encourages physical intimacy so it’s completely understandable why he may avoid meeting you, even though he’s unknowingly jeopardizing your chances at developing a relationship.
The dreaded reason that crosses all our minds when the guy we’re online dating doesn’t want to meet; he’s in a relationship.
Generally, there are a lot of subtle signs that somebody is in a relationship, it can usually be seen on social media through posting photos or you can begin to gauge this if he messages you at weird times (huge red flag).
Unfortunately, this is one of those things that you have to figure out and decide for yourself if you want to stop or carry on. Messaging a guy in a relationship can be very complex, especially if you developed feelings for him not knowing about his relationship status.
He may try to convince you that he wants to leave his partner, again this is up to you to determine but at this stage I would personally steer clear to avoid further upset for both myself and his current partner.
He probably thinks he’s ready to start dating again and so downloaded a couple of dating apps without much thought.
You could be absolutely perfect for each other, but if deep down he’s not ready to commit then it’s not going to work. He needs to spend time working through his commitment issues and think about what’s best for him.
He could be going through a phase in life where everything is happening simultaneously, and they all hold about the same level of significance, so it is hard for him to sacrifice one for the other.
If you have only been communicating for a few weeks, maybe you should give him the benefit of the doubt to sort things out and create time for your relationship.
Similarly, he might just have a busy schedule generally that doesn’t match with yours.
If he’s playing the field and messaging multiple girls at once, then it’s likely that he’ll avoid meeting most of them other than for casual hookups.
Of course, yours and his connection may be different, but until he dedicates the time to the development of your relationship then it’s not going to work.
If you do eventually meet but assume he’s just there for a hookup, he will likely try and send spicy messages encouraging you to talk dirty, flirt or send nudes.
In person, you’ll be able to gauge his body language, facial expressions and physical contact in just a few minutes and you’ll soon know his intentions.
However, there’s nothing wrong with casually hooking up and it may even lead to the relationship you hoped for after all, you never know.
If a man is feeling unsatisfied in his marriage, he might attempt to escape from this by online dating with no intention of pursuing things further. Again, this isn’t as common as you may think and you should see a bunch of red flags to help you gauge his true intentions if this is the case.
As much as you may hate to face this possibility of him not being into you, it should not be ruled out. I will suggest that you re-evaluate your situation to see if it is worth sticking around or blocking his phone number.
You may think that you know all the details there is to know about each other and you’re now ready for that next step, but he could be looking for a much deeper connection.
A guy may not want to meet you in person because his heart is still hurting from his previous relationship. He’s probably not ready to move on and be with someone new just yet, but instead of saying so, he chooses to string you along.
Trust is very complex, and although you might think you get on really well and you may think that you’re clear on your current feelings towards him, he may still have doubts that you’re not actually into him.
In hindsight, looking at the past couple of months you’ve been getting to know one another you might think why does he keep on putting off meeting me? But, have you actually had an opportunity to meet?
Rejection, avoiding and not finding time are all very different things.
If your schedules don’t match up, you both work different hours and have commitments then it’s understandable that you’ve not had the chance to meet just yet.
If this is the case it’s something to consider in the long run as you may struggle to date overall, not just trying to get him for that first meeting.
Inevitably, when online dating long-distance it’s going to take a lot longer to meet in person.
The distance might not even be that far, but it’s finding time that you can both commit to, alongside any nerves that may be an underlying issue too.
Unfortunately, we live in a society that can judge people by what they do and their financial stance. Men are used to being regarded as the providers, and when they are in situations that deprive them of meeting up with this role, they struggle.
The guy you are communicating with could be living with his parents and is struggling financially.
He might not be able to afford to take you out on a nice date or start a relationship, so he is stalling until he gets his finances together.
Sometimes people prefer to distance themselves when they are uncertain about their feelings. You see, he's torn and debating about his feelings for you. When men are unsure of their feelings, they may come off as hot and cold.
One minute they are all around you, calling and texting frequently, but they are distant the next minute. In essence, he doesn't want to complicate things further by meeting you. He is worried about starting a real relationship in this state of mind.
The possibility that the man you are communicating with does not exist is something no one wants to imagine, but that could be why he is avoiding you. When I say he does not exist, I don't mean you have been chatting to a ghost. I mean, someone out there has created a personality and name that doesn't exist to chat with you.
So, what can I do to prevent this from happening to me? It’s important to communicate your expectations when online dating and sticking to them.
If he doesn’t meet your expectations, don’t bother wasting your time with him.
It’s important that you’re clear about your expectations from the start.
You don’t have to jump straight into the marriage and babies conversation, but you can certainly talk about what you want to gain out of dating.
Are you looking for a bit of fun? Are you looking to meet a new friend? Or are you looking for a potential partner? If your wants don’t match up then it’s likely that this isn’t a good fit for you.
As much as people can change their minds, this isn’t something you want to rely on and then get hurt further down the line when he does exactly what he told you he would.
This is why it’s important to be honest from the start, as it will increase your chances of a happy ending.
Some men have been known to use the excuse “well, you never asked.” For example, if it turns out that he has a girlfriend that you never knew about.
Asking him for honesty shows him where you’re at emotionally. If he’s serious about developing a connection with you, you’ll know. If not, you’ll be able to read the signs to gauge that he’s not serious and he’s probably not being totally honest with you.
Again, you don’t want to jump straight into anything too serious as this can often be off-putting, but being clear about your intentions (casually) is always a good way to go, and this again will show whether you and this one guy match in terms of emotional understanding.
For example, you might say “I’ve always loved the idea of having kids.” You’re not being too forward, it’s conversational, it’s a fact to get to know you better and it shows what you’re looking for in a future relationship.
Taking the time to really get to know each other will help when setting expectations as you don’t want to rush into things and bombard him with information. Gradually, reveal more about yourself and in turn hope the guy likes you and reveals more about himself.
If he does anything you’re not comfortable with, set clear boundaries. For example, you could be harmlessly flirting when he asks you to send a nude picture of yourself. It’s understandable if you would feel uncomfortable in doing so as you’ve never met him.
Rather than brushing it off, be clear about your boundaries and ask him not to cross that line again, this is where showing self-respect is super important.
Another example might be how often he replies to you. If he goes completely off the radar and then starts messaging you like everything is normal it’s important to tell him that that’s not okay. Then, if he repeats it you know that you probably won’t bother to see where things go with this guy.
This isn’t so much about setting expectations, it’s more about making sure that you’re safe.
Asking to speak over a video call helps to eradicate any doubts of being catfished and also sets underlying expectations that you won’t bother to develop a connection with a complete stranger who is revealing nothing about his true self.
Talking about potential dates is a great way to set expectations as it shows that you want to date him.
It’s also fun and is a great way of getting to know someone when online dating.
Out of all the possible reasons he may be avoiding meeting you, it’s likely that if he’s consistently putting it off he probably has a valid one.
If someone is shy or embarrassed it’s likely that they will avoid the situation for a little while but eventually he will overcome this. If this issue is persistent, it’s totally understandable that you’d be concerned. There could be so many reasons, as listed in this article, but ultimately you have to make the decision to put yourself first.
If this is something that is beginning to have an emotional affect on you, it’s time to distance yourself and know your self-worth; he’s missing out at the end of the day!
There could be a number of reasons stemming from commitment issues, embarrassment, he might not think you want to, or it might have just never crossed his mind.
When it comes to dating, men and women generally think differently and it’s not always a priority for a guy to introduce the woman he’s dating to his pals.
The best way to approach the situation is to be honest with him and ask him about it. If he continues to avoid it, then you may have a problem. Or, he might give you a completely justifiable answer. Point is, you won’t know unless you ask.
All in all, there are lots of reasons why a guy might be avoiding meeting you, ultimately it’s how you want to process the signs he’s giving you.
If you truly believe that his heart is in it, there’s no red flags, he’s really taking the time to get to know you and you’re just struggling to find the time to meet up, then this is something that you should try and overcome together and continue to pursue.
If you’re riddled with doubts, then it’s probably time to stop paying this person attention. It doesn’t set a good precedent for a relationship if you’re having worries before you even get to meet up.
As every situation is different, it’s always wise to ask a friend's advice. Show them some messages, explain the situation and see what vibe they get. You could even do some digging to see if there might be another reason as to why he’s avoiding meeting you.
If you have any further advice from your own experience with this then please feel free to comment. As always, share with a friend in need.