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Friday, 4 February 2011

The Best Tips For Online Dating-Meeting For The First Time

It may be exciting exchanging messages and getting to know new people online but sooner or later the issue of meeting that person ‘for real’ is going to rear its head. According to how long the online contact has been going, meeting somebody in the real world can be quite a nerve-wracking time, especially for anyone who lacks confidence. There are some key areas to think about to ensure that the meeting goes really well.
Keep It Simple
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Always plan a meeting when there is plenty of time to prepare and when there are no pressures to be somewhere else at a certain time. Meeting someone for an hour just before another appointment can be a real disaster. When meeting somebody for the first time, the last pressure that anybody wants is to have limited time and it is important to be able to relax. Try and pick something that is enjoyed by most people – drinks and a meal are always a good place to start. Anything more complex adds the pressure of planning and neither party should need to worry about these things. Even if you both share a fairly extreme pastime, go for something less onerous for the first meeting and work up to something bigger once you know the individual better.
Pampering Is Essential
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For a first meeting, it is critical to look one’s best. Book some time the day before to have a haircut, maybe a facial or whatever else it is that you enjoy (and that applies to men and women). Think about a new outfit or a favourite outfit that exudes confidence. Hopefully, both parties will already have seen photos of each other, but this isn’t always the case, so it is important to remember that first impressions last.
Try To Put Prejudices To One Side
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Many people are disappointed when they meet online dating friends for the first time, simply because they had such a strong pre-conceived idea of what they would like or how they would be. Through emails and messages, both parties should have got to know each other well, but this doesn’t always translate into real life. Be open and receptive to the other person. Listen to them, ask questions and make an effort to get to know them, even if you are a little disappointed to start with.
Consider Personal Safety
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In the rush of excitement and enthusiasm, people have made some silly mistakes when it comes to online dating and personal safety should always be a consideration. Always meet in a busy, public place and don’t agree to go somewhere quiet or secluded until both parties know each other quite well. Both parties should ensure that somebody knows where they are and, ideally, some kind of quick contact (a text message or a quick call) just to say that you got home safely will be reassuring to friends or family. Don’t rely on other people to get to/from the date. Make sure that things like the time for the last train or where to get a taxi are known well in advance. Never have too much to drink either, as this will impair judgment.
Breaking Down Barriers
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It’s quite normal to be shy when going for online dating to meet somebody for the first time and it can be a mistake to try and overcompensate this. Make lots of conversation and show an interest in the other party. Try and inject gentle humour into the conversation but try not to get into contentious or overtly political chat to start with. Think about the things that were revealed in online conversations and refer back to those. Many people think that they are ‘professional conversationalists’. They rarely are. A stock list of unnatural questions is unsettling and uncomfortable. Conversation should flow naturally. It won’t be possible to predict or plan for the topics in advance – and that’s fine.
End Things On The Right Note
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It might be that the couple didn’t hit it off or that they got on a like a house on fire. Don’t be afraid to talk about meeting again, but go with an instinct around whether the other party is interested. Always ‘be nice’. It’s an old adage but even if it feels as though nothing will come of this, compliment each other, say how good it was to see each other and ask what the other person is up to that weekend or week. Always try and finish every meeting feeling as though a new friendship has been made. If the feeling is stronger, don’t get too carried away. Don’t be frightened to say, “I had a really great time and would love to see you again” but don’t back the other person into a corner. Instinct should generally help both parties read the signs and decide what might happen next.
A lot of pressure is applied when meeting somebody for the first time, such that sometimes it can be difficult to remember just to have a good time. Be confident, be fun and be nice. On that basis, it’s hard to go wrong.
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