Unlike older generations, younger people nowadays consider online dating as one of the best ways to find a romantic partner. While this option of meeting someone new has its disadvantages and risks, it also presents several advantages and opportunities that have helped many people finally write their own love story.
There are successes and failures in online dating and what determines whether the relationship can work or not are often revealed when they finally meet for the first time, on their first date.
If you’re currently interested in someone you just met online and you both decided to finally meet in person, what are the things that you should know about before, during and after your first date?
The following tips will help you out.
1. Make sure that you’re ready to finally meet them in person.
Being emotionally ready to finally meet them in person should be your first concern. The decision to at last see each other and interact in the real world is the same as officially letting them in your life.
Remember that while they are still the same person you met online, it can be a totally different thing from when they were just a small part of your online social circle.
2. Plan activity and a venue that interests both of you.
It’s your first meeting, so make sure that both of you will have a great time. How? Perhaps all your conversations online have revealed several things about you and the other person: your common interests, hobbies, favorite food, and activities, etc.
Use the information that you have gathered from your online interaction and find the most suitable venue and the perfect activity that can fit the definition of an ideal first day together.
3. Be punctual and respect their schedule.
Never be late on your first date – because doing the opposite will leave the impression that you’re not really sincere about your efforts to be close to them.
Your first date is very important and the very first steps that you take on your way to this moment will determine whether you pass or fail, so you have to do everything in your power to show up ready and on time.
4. Make them feel safe and comfortable.
Your date’s safety and comfort should always be your priority – especially if they’re not the extroverted type of person. Make sure that the activities that you’re planning to do are based on their preferences, too. You can go somewhere familiar and do something that won’t be too overwhelming.
Moreover, you have to consult your date about the venue of your first day together. Be open to make a compromise as long as both of you agree with it.
5. Start your conversation with something positive.
Perhaps your conversations online have already covered the basics in your “getting-to-know” phase. Therefore, on your first date, establish a positive atmosphere by talking about the things that can bring out both of your optimistic sides. It can be about your personal goals and how you’re planning to achieve them, the things that make you happy or the people who inspire you.
Talking about something that brings out the best in you makes the experience desirable and more importantly, unforgettable.
6. Keep your table manners in check.
Leave good impression just by simply observing the right table manners – especially if it’s a lunch or a dinner date. Give them a nice memory to look back to by presenting an impression that you’re not just attractive but you also know your table etiquette.
You don’t have to act and pretend to be sophisticated. If you’re a guy, for instance, keeping your table manners in check can be as simple as letting your date order first.
7. Be polite and respect their personal space.
This is your first date and while this is a chance to finally spend time with them in person, you have to make sure that you know your limits – especially when it comes to personal space.
Give them the freedom to stay comfortable and they’ll appreciate it. Your goal to get close to this new person in your life doesn’t have to be taken literally – you can bring them closer to you through engaging conversations and more importantly, by treating them right.
8. Learn when to talk and when to listen.
Don’t dominate the conversation no matter how interesting you think your ideas are. Give them also the chance to express their thoughts. In other words, the conversation should be as interactive as possible.
More importantly, know which topics are appropriate and which are not. Some people will feel attacked if you immediately ask personal and intimate details about them, especially on a first date. Don’t be in a rush. You’ll get there.
9. Ask the right questions – it’ll make a huge difference.
In connection with what was said earlier, you have to ask the right questions if you want to know more about them. Avoid small talk. Instead, talk about ideas, cultures, food, history, or anything that can initiate an organic and interesting conversation.
10. Take it slow and take all the time you need.
Take all the time you need to get to know each other. While first dates are important in determining whether or not you truly like them, it’s important that you don’t make this decision right away. Perhaps, a second date will redeem the shortcomings from your first meeting? Or a third date can finally clear out the awkwardness you felt during your first two dates?
11. Be honest about how you feel after finally meeting them.
You’ve waited for that moment to finally meet them in person – what’s next? This is the stage when you have to ask yourself several questions about whether or not you’re going to take your relationship to the next level or you will decide to just be friends with them.
As mentioned in the previous section, maybe you can give it another go and try something different? If it’s not really working out, then you’re allowed to decide what will happen. If you think that your meeting was something special, then you know what to do.
Remember that how people portray themselves online can be totally different from how they actually are in person. That’s why your experience on your first date with someone you just met online can easily make or break your budding relationship – so if you don’t want to lose this person, make sure you do everything you can to make a good impression.
Finally, make sure that your online date is a person whom you can trust. Hence, you may also want to check these 10 signs to know that your online date can be trusted.