Group Chat is In The Know’s advice column, where our editors respond to your questions about dating, friendships, family, social media, wellness, shopping, beauty and beyond. Have a question for the chat? Submit it here anonymously and we’ll do our best to reply.
Hey, Group Chat,
I’ve been talking to this guy I met online on Discord and I think I’m falling for him. At first, we were just playing Minecraft, but it unexpectedly turned into something more. We chat on the phone for hours, stream movies together and just vibe. It feels like we can’t get tired of talking to each other. We’ve talked about meeting up during Spring Break in 2021 — what do you think?
Jamé Jackson, who cannot condone your panorama traveling, says… Girlllll, first of all, I have to ask: Where are y’all going during a pandemic?! Spring Break WHERE, baby? Seriously, nothing about this screams “great idea” to me. First of all, you’re basing your chemistry off of how you’re virtually vibing with someone, and that’s a recipe for disaster. People lie on these green pastures of the internet.
Also, you really only share a love of Minecraft and movies with this guy; for all you know, he could howl at night, wear his boxers backward and brush his teeth only for special occasions. Right now, just enjoy the virtual experience and don’t rush it. And if you DO decide to meet up at a later time (once we are out of this parallelogram), take a few friends with you. That way, you are safe but, in the event that he turns out to be a complete weirdo, you can also have a friends-cation. The best of both worlds!
Jonathan Lee, who still wistfully remembers when he had to use mIRC to find Counter-Strike scrims, says… You already know the answer to this. We’re in a global pandemic which means you shouldn’t be meeting with any strangers at all. I think it’s great that you two have been vibing so well over Discord (truly a zoomer love story!), but as someone in his 30s, I can tell you that you’ll date lots of people you have a great connection with. Unfortunately, you’re going to break up with most of them.
Chemistry isn’t everything. You may find that your values and expectations are too different to reconcile. This isn’t me telling you to end things — my own parents have known each other since the sixth grade! Enjoying one another’s company for hours is a good sign but it’s not a reliable foundation. You can start a relationship on vibes, but if you want to build something substantial, you’ll have to talk about the big things like your priorities and goals in life.
Chase Hill, who isn’t traveling because of covid, so you aren’t either!, says… This just in: We’re in a global pandemic and Spring Break 2021 is canceled, but nice try, ma’am!
I feel you though. I also met someone on Twitch and though we have already met, we’ve been apart throughout the entire pandemic which has been really tough. I know it’s easy when you’re falling for someone to forget about what’s going on with the rest of the world, but this is one of those times when I really think you’ll just have to wait. I’m no stranger to Discord dates and long phone calls, so my advice is to keep doing just that. Get to know one another better, make a solid connection and continue to cultivate your relationship.
Also, don’t forget, this is the internet we’re talking about here, and the 70 episodes of Catfish under my belt wants me to make sure you’ve been video chatting with not only them but also their friends — just to make sure I don’t end up seeing you on the next post-pandemic episode (or a Lifetime TV movie that goes wrong). Be safe! If you are going to throw caution to the wind, make sure you drop a pin, let everyone know where you are, who you’re meeting and give out your date’s information and photo — all the things that keep you safe!
Dylan Tuba, who is the Long John Silver of being catfished, says…
I’m assuming you’ve already heeded the advice of Catfish King Nev Schulman and done a reverse-image search on this guy’s profile pic, talked on video chat and enlisted your Uncle Dan to stand in a nearby window with his trusty shotgun. Even though you have all of your bases covered in terms of safety, it’s still not a great idea to be out in public because of… *motions to the raging dumpster fire that is this country’s botched pandemic response.* And during Spring Break, no less!
Since you’ve already proved you’ve got a firm grasp on anything tech-related, why not take that to the next level? Try defiling every block your characters can get their randy little hands-on during a Minecraft date. Hop into a private video channel on your Discord server and really get to know each other. If you get really antsy, why not rent a telepresence robot — basically an iPad on wheels — to go to Havasu Falls on your behalf? The price might be a little steep, but it’s cheaper than an ER bill after getting intubated!
Dani Sklarz, who has only met up with strangers to buy used furniture on Facebook Marketplace says… I am ALL for a romantic connection but I’m not sure this is the time to elevate your passion to in-person hangouts. For one, what’s the deal with this man? You’re streaming movies together and calling for hours — but have you seen his face? Or is this just a sexy voice on your screen?
While you might think you’re “falling” for him, I am of the belief that you can’t commit to love unless you know what a person smells like. Pheromones aren’t fake. If you’re willing to deal with whatever the b.o. situation might be — then I say take some SERIOUS PRECAUTION before connecting with a stranger IRL.
That means tell five friends and your parent/guardian where you’re going and share your location with all those people. Make sure this dude knows that multiple people know where you’re going and are tracking your location. ONLY meet up in a very public place, in broad daylight and make sure to wear five masks for extra protection. You do you, but don’t be stupid.
TL;DR… We’ve all seen Megan Is Missing, girl. Don’t travel to meet your Minecraft boo unless you can see some serious receipts that they are who they claim to be! Especially amid a global Panera Bread!
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