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If you're tempted to lie, ask yourself how obvious you think your lie would be if you met someone in person.
The 500 online daters in the study reported more positive outlooks on the relationship's potential when they had talked between 17 and 23 days before meeting up.
As you move past that 17 to 23 day sweet spot and continue talking just online, she says, you might begin to envision someone as friendlier, say, or as having a deeper voice.
Filling in those gaps with your imagination can later lead to disappointment, Sumner says.
That time frame is "the sweet spot," says the study's co-author Art Ramirez, who researches online communication at University of South Florida.
"The longer you wait to meet someone, the more chance you have to form an idealized perceptions of them," says Erin Sumner, who co-authored the paper and studies online communication at Trinity University.
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Anything shorter than 17 days, and feelings of uncertainty might do Granted, the study didn't take into account other reasons those relationships might have ended poorly.