I have never met him

Good morning. Chat at 1. Also, I had a nice late-night dinner with Tito, our blog designer. We brainstormed some ideas for Love Letters that might make it easier to read, more fun to play with, more user-friendly, etc. Tito has some projects for the newspaper to deal with, but as soon as he's done, he'll give us some bells and whistles. How exciting.
Hi Meredith, Here's my dilemma: I met Brian online about two weeks ago. We've had great conversations lasting hours, we exchange emails during the day just to say "hi," and we've exchanged phone numbers and have begun to graduate from online to on-the-phone. The problem is, we haven't met yet. It's my first time trying online dating, but since I've started, I've been on two dates already. Neither of them has been with Brian. He says that he wants to meet, but that he wants to wait until we're both "totally into it and sure of things," but I don't know how much more sure I can be! We've said we like each other, we've talked about what we'll do on our first date, and we've even talked about more, er, intimate things, if you will. I just don't know where to go from here. I'm afraid that an ultimatum will turn him away, but I feel like at this point that's my only option.

– Suggestions please?, Boston

SP, I get this question a lot. Some online daters want to get the meet-up out of the way to see if there's chemistry. Others prefer to wait, dragging out the communication for as long as possible before seeing what's what in person. My guess is that those daters fear rejection. Or they have such a good imagination that they don't want to ruin it with reality. That's all fine, but really, the whole point of online dating is to meet in person. Making out is much more fun out of the Matrix. You have to set your own rules for this stuff. If you don't want to spend any more time on someone you haven't even met, tell him the time is now, and that if he can't join you offline, it's over. You're not looking for a pen pal. You're not looking for, um, phone intimacy. With all of these online guys … if they stall the meet-up, cut bait. The rules for online dating shouldn't be any different than the rules for dating in real life. Meaning, you shouldn't let someone else call the shots. Readers? Has this happened to you? How much online communication is necessary before a real date? Are there any good rules for this? Share.

– Meredith