Your Life with Matthew W. Gelber — Is On-line Dating For You?

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Dear Dr. Matt:

Recently I started dating some guys I meet on-line but I sometimes feel weird meeting them for the first time and I want to be really safe about it. Do you have some advice on how to go about this the right way? C. From Paoli

One of the most important aspects of on-line dating is the safety. Safety begins with your first communication or email to someone you are interested in. I would tell you never to include personal information straight off. Information like your phone number, address or even where you work. Until you feel that this person is someone real and interested in you, then I think it would be alright to ask for their phone number and play it safe. Once you feel it is time to meet in person, I would recommend meeting in a very public, yet fun location. Maybe the local Starbucks or Barnes and Noble. Meeting someplace busy and lively will not only make you feel safer but can add vitality to your conversation since you two won’t be alone in a quiet restaurant where conversation could get stale if the face to face meeting is not what you expected. Be safe and smart and like any kind of dating, go with your gut, if it feels wrong or odd, get up and walk away.

Dear Dr. Matt:

I’ve meet a great girl on an on-line dating site. We had spoken on-line for over a month then meet in person and it went great. We have been dating for over seven weeks and she has totally changed her personality. I’m really turned off by her now. Can I break up with her through an email? L. In Wynnewood

I would not recommend an email break up. In my private practice work, I have seen the good and bad aspects of email. Email makes our lives much easier in ways of communication, but with the good comes the bad. The reader of an email can’t tell what tone or mood the writer is in. If you send an email to break up, the odds are she will be very upset. I believe the best way to do this is the old fashioned way, talk, in person, face to face. If you feel that things are not going well, address it with her, you both will then understand it is not working out. If you feel for an other reason you can’t do this, please contact me and we can discuss it further.

Matthew W. Gelber MS MFT is a psychotherapist that practices at The Weldon Center in Malvern. Please feel free to email him at or call 610-310-5898 with any questions, comments or issues you are experiencing in your life.

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