After weeks of emailing, instant messaging, and telephoning each other, it’s time to finally meet your Internet date. Bravo! But take some time to think about what happens now, in order to maximize your odds of success on the next step.
Popular safety “rules” advice approaching your first meeting with a heightened state of suspicion. It’s as though you have to assume and plan for the worst. Not a good way to start.
All the same, a few precautionary measures are okay. These include letting someone know where you are and about how long you will be out and keeping an eye on your drink.
An exit plan is also in order, in case of extreme disappointment or things going wrong. Yes, anything can still happen, and even the best laid plans can go wrong.
While your personal safety can never be left to chance, your date is supposed to be fun. Meet at a place that ensures privacy, but is also quiet and comfortable. And yes, you can meet your date for a romantic dinner, with subdued light, candles and all. There are no hard rules. It all depends on your level of comfort, your guts, personality, and how long the two of you have been communicating.
It would help to plan on how to ID each other. You may not recognize your date from a picture alone. And you don’t want to be tapping on strangers’ shoulders only to find they are not there for a date; or with you anyway. A good identifier is to tell each other what you’ll be wearing.
And oh, please don’t haul your friends along (women especially are known to do this).
Dress for success. Looking good and well-groomed shows you took time to prepare. It also shows respect and interest. All the same, do dress appropriately as far as time and place are concerned. Look good without appearing to be trying too hard. Men, try not to clash scents, as far as aftershave and cologne are concerned.
For you ladies; unless the date originates from an adult dating site, don’t be too revealing. You don’t want to send out the wrong signals, or scare away a guy looking for Ms Right.
This is for you men out there; don’t bring flowers. Some women say they find this embarrassing. Your date could be one of them.
Meeting during the day is not a bad idea for first dates. But contrary to the “rules” being peddled out there, meeting for coffee may not be the best idea. Why? Well, nothing’s worse than meeting for coffee and then staring each other across the table, neither one knowing what to say.
A better way is to meet at a place where you can do an activity that you both enjoy (with your cloths on!). Examples are Rollerblading, bowling and hiking. But I don’t recommend ladies to hike in the woods with your new date just yet.
Be prepared for a picture surprise. Most people don’t really look like their pictures. Unless the person was obviously deceptive, don’t judge him/her too harshly on this one aspect.
You also don’t want to over-think what you plan to say, but you should have some idea. Spontaneity is great, but it leaves things to chance. Having a few questions in mind, or one or two interesting tales to tell, can help you get past that initial discomfort zone. But please, don’t date-interrogate.
Also, do not to talk about your problems. Save those for conversations with your friends or your therapist.
Show interest. Listen to the other person. Smile. Comment or ask about past correspondence, your common and not so common interests, life’s outlook etc. End the first meeting on a positive note.
Be polite, even if the date was a flop. If you’re sure you like the guy or gal, ask for another meeting or tell him/her to expect your call. If not sure, sleep over it and then look at it again with a fresh mind.