You’ve been messaging someone for a while, and have maybe already made plans for a date. It’s clear that you’re ready to move your conversation to a different medium — after all, a dating site is a place to find people to go on dates with, not a messaging service.

So how should you make the jump? Easy.

If You’re Planning To Meet Up, Exchange Numbers

Exchanging phone numbers may seem daunting and less casual than emails to some people, but it’s actually the perfect step after messaging on a site. If you have each other’s number, you can easily text or contact each other to exchange pertinent information (“I’m running late!” “I’m sitting at the bar!”), but it’s still relatively anonymous. If the date goes poorly, just delete the number from your phone. (Unlike, say, Gmail, where a long email exchange can automatically add someone to your Chat list forever and ever and ever…)

If The Date Goes Well, Exchange Email

If you had a good first date and want to see the person again, you’re ready to exchange email addresses (and learn each other’s last names, and GChat handles, etc.) At this point, you can afford to know a little more about your date, maybe casually email him/her during the work day, etc. (Though we definitely don’t advise GChat early on in the relationship.)