Some women and men meet via email and then go on a date right away. That way they have not wasted a lot of time talking and can meet and learn the particulars firsthand. Some people take their time in getting to know newfound acquaintance, so whatever feels right to you is important. Hopefully, you might figure out that you have some friends in common and you can learn more from them about the person you are about to meet before going on a real date.
GUESTS' ANSWER: Yvette Walker, night news director at The Oklahoman and media ethics chair at the University of Central Oklahoma: In my younger years, I thought it best to chat for a long time, getting to know the person via email or talking on the phone (I'm not much into text conversations). I now realize that a long-term virtual relationship can lead to unfounded fantasies and disappointment. Chat long enough to see if you have something in common with the person, then schedule a date.
As much as we don't like to believe it, physical attraction and chemistry is as important as sense of humor, intelligence and other psychological aspects of a relationship. If you've been chatting for months and you meet the person and you (or he or she) don't like what you see, you've both wasted your time.
Callie Gordon is 20-something, Lillie-Beth Brinkman is in her 40s, and social columnist Helen Ford Wallace is 60-plus. To ask an etiquette question, email firstname.lastname@example.org.