This article is from the Internet Personals: Advice for Gay Men FAQ, by Fred Young firstname.lastname@example.org and Dean Esmay email@example.com with numerous contributions by others.
Sometimes, people will initially be excited about the romantic
nature of an e-mail relationship, but then will get spooked when
the reality hits that they actually have to meet the other party.
Here are a few tips:
1. Don't press for a meeting. Be patient, trade mail with him for
a while, and allow the relationship to develop before you try
2. Don't press for his phone number. If he offers it to you,
great, but I have successfully arranged face-to-face meetings
through e-mail. Though I must admit that it is often better to
speak through the phone before meeting, and I do advise it,
it's not strictly necessary, especially if the other man is
Just remember: use common sense, make sure you know as much as
possible about someone before meeting. If possible, leave a note
to a family member or close friend with information about the
meeting (who you're meeting, where you're going, what time you'll
be home or a time you'll call to check in, etc.). And remember,
if you're harassed, threatened, or whatever, contact the
Chances are very good that nothing horrible will ever happen to
you, so don't get paranoid. Just remember, everything in life
carries risk; the healthy way to react to risk is with common
sense and reasonable precautions, not paranoia.