Internet dating goes beyond the simple pleasure of getting to know another human being. While a normal first date may have the burden of unrealistic expectations and the baggage of previous relationships, internet first dates have additional concerns.
Here are some tips to consider when dating someone you met on the internet:
- No matter how glamorous or exciting your date may appear in cyberspace, the first meeting should be arranged to simply "feel out" the situation. Nothing fancy, just a brief encounter in a coffee shop, or even something simple such as a park. Treat this as your introduction and, if you have good feelings about the other person, it's an opportunity, if you wish, to arrange a "real date". This is the pre-launch phase.
If you go ahead with a real date, consider:
- Women sometimes crank up the pressure because of the hope that this guy is "the One". Slow down; it's just a date. Internet dating doesn't limit you to just one introduction.
- Have realistic expectations about a first internet date. Some people start planning their wedding and others expect the worst.
- If the internet date is a dud don't make any promises you won't keep. Don't be encouraging if you feel no interest in further socializing. Do be honest and say you feel there is not a basis for anything other than friendship and let your date take it from there.
Pick yourself up and move on. There are 110 million single adults in the United States alone.
- Give your internet date a chance. Take the time to listen and look for their special qualities.
- Have a specific plan. Do not leave things up to chance. Flexibility is nice but it reduces anxiety to know what to expect in terms of activity and how to dress.
- If the internet date goes well don't hang on until the wee hours of the morning. There will likely be a next time.
- No matter how wonderful your date is compared with the schmucks you've been seeing (or married to) don't tell him that he is a nice guy.
- A shared sense of humor is important. Try to bring laughter to the date. Try to get a laugh out of the guy. That way you know you've got something. If he doesn't get your jokes what else is he going to "get" about you? Humor is something that's difficult to convey on the internet. Now's your chance to shine!
- Be yourself.
People sometimes try too hard to impress. If they just relax a little, the date will go better and they will not have to worry about any of those little embellishments backfiring later on.
- The worst thing people do on first internet dates is lie. They are trying to improve their status so you will be interested in them. Stock room clerks become stock brokers. Para-legals suddenly emerge as fully-fledged lawyers.
- Do not give up.
But if things don't go well, be prepared. Take your cell phone along on the date. A discreet call to a friend can help you engineer an early end to the date.
- Worth mentioning again - if you are meeting someone you know only through a personal ad or an online dating service be sure to go to a place with plenty of other people around. And do not blab out your whole life story on the first date. Keep it general: music, books, movies.
- There is a difference between first dates and the first face-to-face contact with someone you connect with through an internet dating service or ad. That is a meeting to assess each other, not a date.
- Look for something creative and make sure it allows you to interact. It will help if the activity relates to a shared interest, such as art or music.
- Doing something you enjoy takes the pressure off.
- If you are comfortable with your first encounter, and seem to be compatible, set up a date to spend more time together.
- Remember that the first date is supposed to be fun. You are getting to know this person and he is getting to know you. It should not be something that feels like a meeting with your boss, or a job interview.
Perhaps the Number One Mistake people make on first internet dates is to judge the other person too quickly and harshly. Always keep an open mind. There is so much to discover about a person.
By Kevin Lynch