No longer is the Internet a strange place to meet someone. At least, it shouldn’t be. And while there is an argument to made in that corner, that’s another story. It offers all the same highs and lows of a normal date, but with a special caveat: you’ve never really met.
It would seem to be that however long you analyse a match’ profile, however much you chat back and forth, you probably only know about 15-20% of the person. Thus you meet, which means you could be in store for a date can be awkward, nerve-wracking, and potentially a waste of time.
However, it can also be exciting. The first date can lead to myriad possibilities, and it’s all buoyed in part because you are both on the same page: you’re having a date.
Still, there are a few simple things to keep in mind to ensure a first that date reaches its fullest potential. There is always a chance that their isn’t a connection in the first moment, but if there is, what is to ensure may be boundless. So, for your first date with someone you met online, here are a few simple tips to remember.
Go Some Place You Like
If there is a connection, then the place really won’t matter that much. Don’t over think it: go to a bar or cafe or park that you like. All it really has to be is a public place where you two can talk (so skip the movie). It should be a place with some semblance of atmosphere, and something drink. That’s it, because as you are meeting for the first time, it’s all about the conversation and getting to know each other. Everything else is extra.
Also Go Some Place Convenient
There is nothing wrong with assuming things can go well; really well. Whatever place you pick, make sure it’s somewhere convenient so as to allow for the day or night to continue elsewhere. That can mean bouncing around to another bar to continue the conversation, taking a nice walk to nowhere in particular, or yes, even venturing back to your place for some privacy.
Don’t Lie — About Anything
Obviously it’s important to be honest, but it’s all the more vital to do so on a first date. Lying and misleading only serves to complicate things later, and will inevitably ruin whatever relationship ensue. What’s more, there is no point in being someone else. You can’t force a connection, and you can’t fake one by passing yourself off as something that you’re not. If you two don’t click, it doesn’t have to be personal, that’s just how it is.
When a spark happens though, it’ll be more enjoyable because it was genuine. Now, don’t dress like a slob or chat this person up like they are your best friend; present your better self. Be honest with what you want, what you’ve enjoyed in life, and where you are going. It’ll help in the long run, and it’s also exceptionally simple.
Be Honest About Other dates
Similarly, if you are going on several dates, or seeing people, don’t hide it if asked. Be ready too, because often when put on the spot, it’s so easy to lie and deceive. If you meet on a dating site, it should be understood that it’s likely you’ve both been chatting up other people and going on other dates, probably recently too. There is nothing wrong with dating more than one person early on in the process and being up front about it. You’re both on a dating site, and you’re both looking and people are looking at both you.
Don’t be Shy That You Meant Online
This is important both on the date and when talking about it to friends and family: don’t feel awkward about the fact you’ve meet online. It’s a common, sensible, and exciting way to get to know somebody, and like anything else in life, is up to the user to make the system work. Own the fact you meet online, make jokes about it, and accept that it’s part of life.
This isn’t an SAT test, but it’s also not something to necessarily simply wing. Yes, you want to be natural and let the conversation and evening go in whatever direction it’s heading, but also treat this date as an individual person and have some sort of game plan. One thing might be to check out this New York Times story, where a psychology devised a system of 36 questions to ask someone in the hopes of falling in love. Now, you don’t have to bust out all these in a list on a piece of paper in front of you, but these are certainly the kind of open-ended, thought-provoking questions to lead to fascinating conversations and an electric discourse.
As always, be yourself but be bold. Be willing to give yourself to what is inherently an awkward situation. Acknowledge the world you around and what you’re doing, show your best self, and instead of worrying about what could go wrong, strive for all that can go right.
Anthony Marcusa is a Toronto-based freelance journalist whose writing dabbles in film, TV, music, sports, and relationships – though not necessarily in that order. He’s simultaneously youthfully idealistic and curmudgeonly cynical. You can follow him on Twitter @MrAnthonyWrites.