Real Life vs. Online Hopes

Q: I'm falling hard for a guy I met online. We talk daily via text or video chat, but we haven't met in person yet because he lives in a different state. He's coming for a visit next month, but I'm nervous. I'm afraid that the magic won't be there in person, but I'm also afraid that it will! How do I navigate this next step and keep my expectations in check? - Chelsea, 29

Dr. Susan: The beginnings of any relationship are fraught with anxiety. In your case, the worries are multiplied because you haven't yet tested the in-person chemistry between the two of you. Try not to expect magic. Don't even use that word! Expect a bit of awkwardness, at least. Some people are way shy in person but have a whole different personality when online. You've done the video chat thing, though, so he's not a total stranger to you. It's also possible that you'll continue to be nuts about one another for a while, and the relationship might blow up anyway. Living in different states is a huge challenge. Just because it feels like you already know him, don't let yourself be too trusting, too soon.

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