How to Know if Your Online Crush is Worthy of IRL Time

Learn some clues that can tell you if your URL love interest is looking for the same things you are.

According to PEW research, about 1 in 5 new relationships that begin today start from an app. Thought it would be higher? Us too!

Once thought of as a way to date for “losers” or “desperate” people when online dating started in 1995, now 75% of the population sees online dating as “normal.”

The share of 18- to 24-year-olds who use online dating has roughly tripled from 10% in 2013 to 27% today, according to PEW research.

Based on these statistics, your chances of giving online dating a try in your lifetime are pretty good. So why not learn the right way to sift through the millions of dating app users out there to find the best candidates to meet up with IRL? In this episode, sexologist Shannon Boodram and YouTube star Josh Leyva tell you how to be prepared for meeting up with an online crush and the safest ways to do it.

Believe it or not, one-third of people who used online dating have never actually gone on a date with someone they met on these sites. (So they’re just swiping for the visuals, eh?) If you’re vibing with your love interest, arrange to meet in person!

Tips for the IRL Meet-up:

Sometimes, the person can give you clues about the kind of relationship they’re looking for on the app—so you don’t have to waste time IRL if that’s not what you want. If they mostly make comments about your looks while you’re asking questions about the interests you have in common, your online love interest might just be looking for a F*** Buddy.

Don’t be shy. Ask them what they’re using the app for before you meet. A simple, “What are you looking for with this app?” can help you both have a better understanding of what the other wants so you’re on the same page.

Always arrange to meet your potential bae in a public place.

Ladies, ask what you’ll be doing or where you’re going if the guy is planning. If it’s a walking date, a girl’s gotta know which shoes to wear!

It’s okay to be on more than one app (yes, we’ve spotted our crushes across platforms). Besides Tinder, popular dating apps are Bumble, Happn, OkCupid, Hinge, and Coffee Meets Bagel. See which ones have the types of potential partners you’re looking for and start working those flirt muscles today.

Just because you’re using a dating app, it doesn’t mean you’re going to hook up.

That being said, it’s smart to be prepared in case the chemistry in person is even more en fuego than via text—which is what you’re hoping for, right? Bring a condom. It doesn’t mean you’re promiscuous. It means you’re Responsible AF. Being prepared also doesn’t mean you should feel pressure to have sex. The right time to have sex is when you both are ready.

Use a condom every time. Responsible AF.