Seventh rule: Facebook really isn’t ideal for setting people up.
I had a friend who tried to set me up with a previous coworker of hers. She gave him my facebook name and we “friended” each other and corresponded via message for awhile. He seemed nice enough, but a facebook message chain really isn’t the way to go. In fact, it was pretty lame after a few weeks. And if we were going to message back and forth for as long as we did, it would have made sense to just go have coffee since we do live in the same area. Which leads me into my next rule…
Eighth rule: If you are in the same area, move the communications from online or by phone to in person sooner rather than later.
Hey, lots of set ups start with a phone call or email or something. But there is no reason to not go have coffee with a person if you are even remotely interested in them or in finding out if you could be interested in them. No one assumes after one coffee date that you’re going to propose, or “go steady”, or… it’s coffee! It’s a chance to have a face to face conversation. I think the coffee date is seriously under-utilized, especially in Christian / Catholic circles. Sometimes it seems like the expectation is the discern if you would marry the person or not before taking them on a date, which is ridiculous. Heck, I have no intention of discerning marriage on a first date! Get to know the person a bit before making that decision.
If you are not in the same area, it can be harder to meet right away, but I still recommend doing it as soon as you can arrange it. I have several friends who married men from the internet, and I think it is really helpful to meet in person sooner rather than later. Even if it ends up not working out, better to do that sooner than to be investing months in a relationship or person that ends once you meet in person.