But the simple truth is that messaging on the internet is nothing more than a fact-finding mission.You can gather information about the other person, but until you meet them you won’t know if ‘I love to laugh’ means Fawlty Towers or fart jokes. It’s easy to think you know a person better than you really do.Because it just isn’t a real relationship until you’re sat opposite each other, drinking lattes.(And I’d always recommend a coffee date – you can always excuse yourself if the going isn’t great, and you don’t spend oodles of cash on expensive dinners with duds).
No, according to American researchers, the tipping point comes between 17 and 23 days after the first message is sent.
You can tell more about a person in half an hour, than weeks of emailing. “It's always better to meet an online date sooner than later - it's too easy to message endlessly, and you need to find out whether you have chemistry off-screen before you down a flirty emoticon rabbit hole that could last for weeks or months,” she explains.
“Try not to message for more than two weeks, and if you're nervous, you could always speak on the phone first.
What’s more, a study by dating site e Harmony, estimated that seven in ten couples will have done so by 2040 – with 55 to 64-year-olds experiencing the biggest boom (an expected 30 per cent rise between 20).
Of course, exchanging a barrage of emails – even phone calls or Skyping– can seem more secure.
They conducted a survey of 433 online daters and found that the longer they waited to meet a match in person, the more likely they were to feel let down.