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.