Online dating is one of the top ways to meet somebody new these days. In fact, many happily married couples actually met for the first time on apps like Bumble and Tinder. Unlike a few years ago when meeting somebody online was frowned upon – or something that you had a cover story for if you did end up meeting the ‘the one’ online – these days, it’s a perfectly acceptable way to try and find your life partner.
But meeting somebody for the first time when you’ve only spoken to them online can be nerve-wracking, even if you have been sending messages back and forth for weeks and seem to be getting on quite well.
We’ve put together some top tips to keep in mind when you go on a date with somebody you matched online.
Put Safety First
First of all, remember that you are meeting with a total stranger, so it’s better to be safe than sorry and be a little more cautious than usual when it comes to planning your date. Even if you’ve been messaging online for quite a while and seem to know them well already, remember that online dating can be used by many people to pretend that they’re someone they’re not – just watch a few episodes of the TV show, Catfish!
If you want to be extra safe, you might want to use a site like PublicRecordsReviews.com to double-check some details before you meet up with your match. Online dating records are a good place to start; you just need basic details like their name to use this record platform to find out which other dating apps and websites your match is using. They may often be connected to social media, and you can dig a little deeper too and find out if there’s anything you should probably know about before you go on a date with them like past arrests.
And, always meet in a public place and tell somebody else where you are going.
Keep it Casual
Your first date doesn’t need to be super lengthy or extravagant to be good. In fact, keeping things low-key can be a good way to get a better sense of what your connection with your match is like in-person. Choose something casual that you can do together and get to know them by talking about their life and experiences. Casual restaurants are a good idea or if it’s a nice day, you could go for a picnic and a walk through a park. Choose something with a fairly low noise level, so that the conversation can flow smoothly and easily.
Ask Some Searching Questions
Since online dating is all about finding the right match for you, it’s not uncommon for somebody to have a few dates with different people they’ve met online; this is totally fine and there’s no reason to only focus on one person at a time, as long as nobody thinks that they are exclusive!
Don’t spend your whole first date making small talk; try and dig a little deeper and ask some searching questions that will help you get to know your date and what they want from a relationship better. Find out who they are as a person, what their goals are, what you have in common with them, and what’s important to them. The last thing that you want is to walk away realizing that you actually know nothing about them after their date, other than they don’t like the rain.
Think About Your Wants and Needs, Too
Finally, put yourself first. It can be easy to get caught up with trying to impress your date, but the main question you should ask yourself is whether or not they are impressing you! After all, it doesn’t matter if you completely blew your date away; if they didn’t really impress you much or you didn’t feel that connection with them, you probably won’t want to see them another time.
People tend to want to be likable when they go on a first date and spend so much time trying to make a good impression, that they forget to consider whether they think the other person is actually a good match for them. Don’t end up trying to pitch yourself to the other person; just be yourself and if they are right for you, they will like you!
And, always uphold your personal boundaries, especially when you are meeting somebody online for the first time. For example, you could say that you are only meeting in a public place for the first few dates, which is completely reasonable. If you feel pressured to violate your boundaries at any point, it’s a red flag. You’ve got every right to feel safe and respected while dating; a good match will understand this.
Share your own online dating tips with us in the comments!