8/17/2012 4:28 PM
Connecting with singles on an online dating site means that the way you get to know each other will follow a different pattern than it will for people who meet through other means. While there are a lot of advantages – for instance, on a dating site, you know that everyone you chat with is there to meet someone – there are also a few areas that can feel a little forced, intimidating and unnatural. The first in-person meeting is one of those areas where a bit of initial awkwardness is inevitable. However, there are a few things you can do to ease those first-meeting jitters.
- Consider some webcam chat before meeting in person. This can give you a better idea what the single you are chatting with looks like in motion. You’ll get a look at his or her body language; how he smiles in response to something you have to say, or how relaxed her posture is. Seeing one another live can give you more of a feeling that you know one another.
- Go in with no expectations beyond a pleasant time meeting someone new. If you consider every new person you meet on a site your potential soul-mate, it can over-emphasize the importance of this first meet-up. Instead, just be open to spending time with someone who you did not know before. The lack of pressure will make for a more pleasant date.
- Don’t think of your initial meeting as a date. Instead, think of it as an initial getting-to-know-you session where you decide whether there is sufficient chemistry to go on a more formal date. Keep the first meeting brief and low-key. Head out for coffee or a walk in a scenic area like a park or beach.
- Remember that the person you are meeting is probably as nervous as you are. They are another person, with the same set of insecurities, flaws and social anxieties you have. Concentrate on the privilege of getting to spend time with someone who found you interesting enough for some online chats. If things seem to go well, you can head on from there.