2. Gauge time needed between talking online and meeting in-person on the individual and how you feel about them. Don’t go out with someone if you’re not absolutely comfortable with meeting them. If you have a sense of feeling that you’re just not quite ready yet, then you’re just not quite ready yet. You can decline an invitation to go out on a date and continue to talk with them until you are comfortable. Never feel pressured to meet someone face-to-face unless you are absolutely ready.
When meeting face-to-face…
1. Keep in mind that this is a date, not therapy. This is not the time to unload old emotional baggage that you have accumulated in your life that may include family history and troubles. It’s important for you to put your best foot forward.
2. Remember to not only treat your date with respect and kindness but anyone you come into contact with as well. Also, watch how your date treats other people. This is key because we always make sure to treat our dates nicely. Let’s say, however, that you go out to a restaurant and your date is rude to the server. Such behavior is a tell-tale sign that perhaps the person is not as considerate as they should be in terms of the way they treat others.
3. Arrive on time, of course.
4. Be clear about your goals for the evening and the activities you have planned if you are the initiator. I would advise avoiding the movies, or any other activity that requires undivided attention, on your first date. If you do go to a movie, make sure you do something else so that you can have some time to talk with them face-to-face. This will allow you to truly see the characteristics of the person.
5. Refrain from treating the date like a job interview. You want to learn more about the person, but you don’t want to give them the third degree. Make sure that your conversation is very natural and not one of interrogation.
6. Use body language to your advantage. If you want them to keep their distance, then let them know with gestures that imply the need for space. Pay attention to their body language as well because that’s going to tell you whether or not the person is interested in you. Getting in tune with their gestures will spare you of awkward moments down the line.
The second date
My three core values of etiquette are: respect, honesty and consideration. Honesty comes into play here.
I think it’s important, especially for Internet dating, that it’s important to be honest if you feel there won’t be a second date. In my book, Let Crazy Be Crazy, I say to treat candid situations the same way you would a Band-Aid: snatch it off quickly, which means get it done and over with.
You can exchange momentary displeasure for long-term comfort. In this instance, that momentary displeasure is telling a person, “You know what? It was great to be able to go out on a first date with you. I don’t think this is a good fit for me. I would say that this is probably going to be our last date, but I wish you all the best in your search.” The ultimate goal is to let them know that you’re not planning to date them.
Remember that, in the instance of Internet dating, people are searching. Your purpose is to meet someone, go out on a date with them and see if they’re a good fit. Not every single date has to be a love connection. Utilize the ability to date frequently to your advantage. View the date as you would an interview based upon whether or not you’re going to get along with the individual and if you think it’s a good fit. If you don’t believe it to be a good fit, then be honest with the other person and say so. That way the person doesn’t keep calling you, and vice versa.