The Monday summer rain bathed me in little droplets of steam as I got out my car and headed into the office. I rode the elevator to my floor, pinning my access card onto my shirt then checking my phone as soon as I was in wi-fi range. Nothing.
This is what I call the online silent period.
The online silent period is the time between when you have agreed to meet a guy you’re talking to online and when you actually meet him. One day, you are having the best conversation—you’re on your game, he’s on his. You’re trading genius barbs, witty lines, and subtle flirtatious comments.
The next day, you agree to meet. Either he brings it up, or you do, or you’re both suggesting something and then you’re checking your schedules. You find a date and time that works. And then, there’s no conversation. At all.
As I’m writing this, I’ve been in the silent period for almost a day now, with 2 or 3 more days to go. As a woman who’s prone to brief moments of insecurity, this is an unnerving time for me. Part of me is constantly anxious. I wonder how he feels about meeting me. Are his nerves going to kick in? Is he going to look at my pics a second or third time then realize he isn’t attracted to me? And depending on how planned out the meet cute is, I could be worried that he’ll make an excuse and back out. Or maybe he’s realized he’s gone down a rabbit hole and the only way to get out is to never talk to me again?
There’s also the flipside to the self-worry. I worry if I have just agreed to meet someone who’s all wrong for me, despite our conversations that say otherwise. I wonder what I’m missing with him, and if that missing thing is going to turn me off him.
And then I worry about the date itself. Are we going to get along like we did online? Are things going to go smoothly? Are people going to stare (The answer to this is always, “yes, so get over it.”)
So, why the silent period, anyway? Here’s my practical common sense answer to this. Once a couple conversing online decides to meet, they want to save conversation for the actual date. No need to get to know each other any more right now because you’ll find out more when you meet. And that makes complete sense for someone who’s not a worrywart.
But since I am, I’ve found ways not to dwell during these times:
- Make every date prep appointment imaginable ( see “Now I have to date?” post.)
- Talk to someone else. It can be friends you haven’t talked to in a while, family, it can even be other prospects…I mean you haven’t even met the guy yet, you don’t have to be exclusive (unless you told him you were going to be, which is weird. Why would you say that?)
- Chill the heck out, and live life. This is hard for me to do. But it’s really not a big deal. Say “hi” to the guy, then leave it alone. Go do the mountain of work that piled up while you spent time chatting up the guy in the first place.
- Appreciate the fact that a guy wants to go out with you and revel in that warm glow of appreciation.