Nowadays, "We met online" is a common response from couples who are asked how they got together. Online dating can be a great way to meet people and make romantic connections, whatever your age or circumstances. Though it can be scary to take online dating to the next level, it has to be done if you want to progress the relationship. You can't hide behind the computer forever. Asking a girl for her number doesn't have to be a big deal.
Get the Timing Right
Timing is important when it comes to moving an online relationship offline. You don't want to act too quickly or you come across as desperate. It's best to get to know a girl a little before asking for her number. If you do it straight away, she may think you ask the same of lots of girls on the site. Remember, you want to progress your relationship, and that means making this girl feel special. Equally, waiting too long to ask for her number could come across as disinterest. She may conclude that you just want to be online friends and turn her attention to another online dater. As a general guide, if you have exchanged multiple messages and are getting on well, it's the right time to take the next step.
Test the Waters
If a girl has been giving you mixed signals online, such as appearing really keen then failing to respond to your messages for a couple of days, it makes sense to find out how interested she is before asking for her number. Keep it casual. Ask her what she's up to over the weekend. If she responds saying she's free, ask her if she fancies a coffee. If she says yes, the next step -- exchanging numbers -- should come naturally. She may even ask for yours first. A more subtle approach is to ask her how she's finding the online dating experience. When she asks you the same question, say something like "I enjoy it, and I'm really pleased to have met you. However, it's important for me to meet someone in person to really get to know them." This is an open invitation for her to suggest a meeting, if that's what she wants too.
Take the Direct Approach
If all else fails, there's absolutely nothing wrong with coming right out and asking a girl for her number. One of the perks of online dating is that you're not communicating in person or conversing in the traditional way. All you have to do is type and hit "Send." The hard part is waiting for her response. Be respectful and courteous at all times, and she won't think badly of you even if she doesn't want to give you her number. One way or another, you will know where you stand with her. If she gives you her number, don't wait too long before sending her a text or calling to ask her out. If she doesn't give you her number, give yourself credit for putting yourself out there, and move on to someone else.
Make Her Want Your Number
If you approach online dating in the right way, you might be the one being asked for your number. Be honest and genuine in all your online communications with a girl. Portray yourself in your best light, but don't embellish the truth or mislead her about any aspects of your life such as your career, relationship history or finances. If you do meet offline and start a relationship and she finds out you've been dishonest, you'll have a lot of explaining to do. No matter how much you want to meet the girl of your dreams and settle down, don't bare your soul straight away. Keep it lighthearted and focus on having fun. All the serious stuff can come later.
C. Giles is a writer with an MA (Hons) in English literature and a post-graduate diploma in law. Her work has been published in several publications, both online and offline, including "The Herald," "The Big Issue" and "Daily Record."