While online dating moves in small progressive steps (from sending the first message to regularly video chatting via a web cam), the switch from online dating to meeting in the real world still feels like a big step. In this article I hope to provide some advice for men looking to take the plunge and meeting an online date in the real world for the first time.
So, you have met a woman on an online dating website (such as eHarmony.com) that you are interested in getting to know better in the real world. The first problem that you are likely to come up against is convincing her that meeting up in person is a good idea. While you may have come across as a really nice guy online, many women are still apprehensive about meeting in person for the first time. While a reluctance to meet up may be down to her playing hard to get and gauging just how serious you are, it may also be that she has some genuine fears about meeting someone that she has met over the internet in the real world.
Many women are apprehensive about meeting up for the first time due to the news stories of women being assaulted or worse after meeting an online friend in person for the first time. Its therefore really important to convince her that meeting up is a good idea. Reassure her by trying to arrange a daytime meetup in a fairly crowded place, such as a busy coffee shop, or happy hour at a bar. Try saying something like “I was really enjoying our conversation the other day about ….. and I would like to continue it sometime. Would you like to meet up at ……… coffee shop on Saturday afternoon for half an hour or so?”. I certainly don’t recommend suggesting meeting up anywhere remote, especially at night. This will set her alarm bells ringing big time.
So you have convinced her to meet you in person for a daytime coffee or a couple of early evening drinks and she should be feeling reassured that meeting you will be safe. The next step is to prepare for the date. This is where you need to switch from using your online dating skill to using your real world dating skills. You need to try and gauge the situation by using what you already know about her from your online contact with her. For example if she works on a farm, dressing up in a suit to meet for coffee at the weekend certainly isn’t necessary or appropriate. If you really have no idea about what to wear, I suggest smart but casual. Show that you have made an effort, but again try to match the level of effort to the type of woman that you are meeting.
En route to the date you will likely begin to feel the overwhelming sense of dread and nervousness associated with meeting a stranger with romantic intentions. You only know a little bit about her, and what you do know consists of her good qualities that she has decided to tell you about. Try to relax and gain perspective, and look at the experience as fun and exciting.
While you may have felt relaxed and at ease chatting online and via a webcam, talking to women in person can be daunting. In fact, talking in person tends to make many guys really nervous. To combat this you should memorize a few topics to start a conversation about. As you will have been chatting online anyway this will more than likely be fairly easy. I recommend reading “How to talk to women“, “First date conversation topics” and “Date conversation starters” for detailed advice on the subject.
In addition to getting the conversation flowing well, you also want to start building attraction by coming across as an impressive guy, and also by subtly flirting with her. These articles on “How to impress a girl” and “How to flirt with women” will hopefully help, although remember that on a first date you don’t want to flirt too strongly unless she is also obviously flirting with you too.
While on your first real world date you also want to subtly let her know that you really like her and also try to gauge weather or not she is also interested in you. These articles entitled “How to let a girl know you like her” and “How to tell if a girl likes you” will pint you in the right direction.
This should cover you for a first meeting in the real world, although you might want to check out this article on “How to kiss a girl” just in case the two of you really hit it off. Most often though, a first real world coffee or happy hour date will end with just a friendly kiss on the cheek and an arrangement to either meet up again soon, or to chat again online in the near future.