So you met online or over the phone and you’ve started a fun, exciting relationship. An online friendship brimming with exciting possibilities. And you want to talk in person now?
Fantastic! When you begin a partnership at a distance, I am all about meeting in person as soon as possible. But I’m still a firm believer in doing everything possible to practice before meeting in person for the first time so that the first meeting goes as well as possible.
Along those lines, here are six topics you can consider and discuss before boarding a plane, bus, or train.
1. Does Anybody Need a Visa?
If you’re off on an overseas trip, find out if you need a visa. And seasoned travellers get swept up in this trap from time to time. I once failed to obtain a visa for the Czech Republic and was denied boarding a flight in Germany. Worse, there was no chance I could GET the visa in Germany in a week, so I had to cancel the conference I had planned to attend.
Men, please Google this topic and double-check! Overall, it will be heartbreaking to arrive at the airport to be unable to attend the first meeting.
2. Who is Responsible for What?
Travelling is costly, particularly if you have to pay for lodging. So, who would foot the bill for airline fares and hotel accommodations?
If you’ve read this article on long-distance relationship fraud, you’re aware of how dangerous it is to submit money to someone you’ve never met. On the other side, there are certain cases in which it appears reasonable to share the travel costs.
If cost-sharing to help make a visit possible sounds necessary, consider how you might do so in ways that reduce the chances of getting scammed. Perhaps you should inform them that you would cost-share, however, that you will pay your portion in cash when you see them.
If you are the one travelling to meet someone, you will have to trust them to hand over some money. This ensures you can never fly to see anyone unless you have enough resources to remain anywhere else overnight and only get home if anything goes wrong.
3. Where Would The Visitor Stay?
I encourage you not to remain with each other on this first visit for a variety of purposes, but we all know that often it seems like the most practical (and affordable) thing to do.
If you want to remain at their home or have them stay with you, make sure that anyone else concerned (e.g., relatives you reside with, roommates) is aware of the visit, where it will take place, and that they are happy with your intentions.
4. What Makes You More at Ease When it Comes to Kissing
You can at least address the above questions about yourself, and if you’ve been long distance for a while and consider yourself in a partnership, it’s a smart idea to explore them before you meet in person for the first time
- Do you feel at ease living in the same house?
- What if they were in the same room?
- What about sleeping in the same bed?
- If you want to kiss at the terminal, or do you want to avoid it?
- Can you have sex during this visit, or not?
Whether you have any reservations or boundaries over physical presence, express them before meeting face to face. Be forthright and truthful.
It may sound uncomfortable to hold such discussions ahead of time, but it is much less awkward to establish the limits before you meet than it is to arrive and discover that you have completely different expectations about where the visit is going, physically.
And don’t feel obligated to do it right away. You could just have a few days together this time. However, hopefully, this is just the first of several visits. You don’t want to spend your life with any remorse on this front.
5. What are You Going to Do as a Group?
You don’t have to schedule out the whole weekend, but do chat about all kinds of activities you’d like to do over the stay and make a plan. If you’re at a loss for inspiration, read our Complete Guide To Meeting For The First Time In Long Distance Relationships–there’s the whole chapter on activities you should do together during the first meeting.
6. What is Your Backup Plan?
What if the visit would not go as planned? Maybe you encounter someone and they look entirely different in person than they do online. Perhaps you’ve seen any truly repulsive “deal-breakers” for you. Maybe you just have a gut feeling that they’re not the best person for you.
It can happen. Hopefully, this would not happen to you, but it does happen from time to time, so think about your Plan B before meeting in person.
You have a few choices here. The first step is to maintain a positive outlook during the tour. Sure, things aren’t going as planned, but that doesn’t mean the whole vacation has to be ruined. And if you feel there’s no chance of something else in the partnership, you can always have fun in a new city (or be a gracious host) and spend time with a new mate.
The second choice is to shorten the visit. If you want to do so, be willing to be forthright and truthful regarding the circumstances that lead to your choice. Don’t just disappear and leave town; act like a grownup, even though it’s inconvenient and awkward.