I was nice about it when I mentioned to each guy. I'd known Guy #1 longer, so I basically just said that I was curious if he'd like to meet, since we'd been exchanging emails for so long. He actually apologized for not offering sooner, and we made plans (more on that later).
I attempted to draw Guy #2 out a little. I asked him a few questions, and then mentioned that I just wanted to avoid the whole pen-pals, endless email rut. I also asked about his first name.
He replied by listing his interests - which, by the way, are also listed on his profile. Then he said he didn't think it was being pen pals if you're getting to know the person. (I actually agree - but as I've pointed out, neither of us was learning anything new...) Then he signed his email with what is obviously a nickname.
A nickname? Really? Dude - if you walk up to a stranger and start a conversation, it's only polite to offer your name first. I've given you my name, the least you could do is offer yours. Stop behaving like I asked for your social security number and your mother's maiden name, for crying out loud.
If you're that paranoid - why do online dating at all? We've all been burned by people we met online, but you can't just stop trusting the process, or the idea. You can' go through life waiting for the next bad thing.
It seems to me the worst choice anyone can make is to try dating - of any kind - when they don't know how to effectively communicate. True, communication is a very personal thing, and what works with one couple won't always work with another. But there are basics, underlying principles at work, and you should understand them before you even attempt to meet people.
- Know what you want; if you're not clear in your intent, there's no way anyone else will be.
- Be courteous and friendly; manners are not something to be ashamed of.
- Be creative - no one wants to talk about the same old stuff. Ask questions.
- Share - if you ask a question, answer it. No one wants to feel like they're doing all the giving.
For goodness sake - introduce yourself, already. It's dating. It's supposed to be fun.