How You Can Avoid
Ruining a First Date
A first date when you meet someone through an online dating
service isn't like a traditional first date. It isn't, in
effect a blind date. The reason why it isn't a blind date
is because you should by that stage already feel that you
know the other person pretty well.
Of course you can never know someone online as well as you
would know someone in the offline world. People seem to only
present one side of themselves online, or perhaps the side
they want you to see. Offline it is much harder for people
to conceal their true selves.
However, in a first date with someone you have met online,
you already have a head start and the words 'blind date' don't
come into the equation.
By then you will have been chatting online for a while and,
naturally, exchanging emails. You should also have had lengthy
phone conversations. This is important because you can tell
much about a person by talking to him or her on the phone.
Don't however judge someone's looks by their voice - you can't
learn very much by how someone's voice-type sounds on the
phone. However, you should be able to find out if the other
person is who they say they are as well as what their background
is by holding a phone conversation. Once you feel that you
know the person pretty well you should be ready for the first
But feeling ready for the first date doesn't mean you shouldn't
be overlooking safety. Despite all your hard work getting
to know someone online they could still turn out to be different
from expected on the first date.
For example, have you only been given a cell phone number
or a place of work number? This could suggest that the other
person is not single and unattached. Perhaps you're not yet
ready for that first date.
But if you are ready for the first date here are some guidelines
to help smooth the way and make you both feel less awkward.
For the first date agree to meet in a public place that is
both well-lit and where there will be lots of people around
- a basic safety measure. Also familiarize yourself with the
area beforehand. Where is the nearest policestation, for example.
To worry about such things may even seem a little extreme,
however it costs you nothing to cover yourself in this way
and you never know when you will be glad you did.
Before you go on the first date arrange with a friend to
have them call you on your cell phone a few minutes after
the meeting is to take place. Apart from other safety issues
this gives you the chance to opt out of the date early on
if things are going really badly.
Aim to spend most of the first date in a dimly-lit location
so that you can both concentrate on what the other is saying
rather than their appearance.
Keep the first date on the short side. Look upon it as a
try out date. If you don't hit it off, you and your date will
both be uncomfortable if the date still has several hours
to run. But there is always the second date if you do hit
On a more general note, one of the most important pieces
of advice you can use when going on a first date - all else
being well - is to be yourself. If you don't start off on
the right foot with someone, if you are not honest and genuine
with them, then the relationship isn't going to go far, is
Honesty - or rather dishonesty - is certainly up at the top
of the reasons why relationships don't last. Presumably you
are going on a first date because you do want a relationship
that lasts longer than that first date? Then you have to begin
in the right way.
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