The "right time" to transition from online to face-to-face dating depends on each person's level of comfort. "You can start by playfully testing the water with the person you are virtually communicating with," couples therapist Alicia Muñoz, LPC, told mbg. Tell them where you would like to meet and ask them where they would like to meet in the future.
“By playing around with different ideas, you can learn more about this person,” she says. "Depending on how this conversation goes, you will either be more (or possibly less) comfortable planning an actual IRL date."
It is also important to consider what motivates the transition. "Does your desire to bond with this person feel like it is about them?" Says Muñoz. "Or about something else that has nothing to do with you? Are you lonely, restless, anxious, or bored?" If those feelings are stronger than your interest in the date, it may not be worth risking the exposure. "When you go on a date to deal with anxiety, grief, or boredom, it can compromise a satisfactory bond for both of you," she adds. However, if the interest is there, it is possible to find ways to meet safely.