The Internet has changed how people meet, and that includes meeting someone for potential long-term relationships. However, meeting your online date face-to-face is like going through a blind date, even if you have exchanged e-mails and called numerous times. Read on so you would know how to improve the chances to successfully turn a virtual date into a real date.
Be at your best, but still yourself – Just like how honest you are when you describe yourself in the online dating profile, you should also relax your style and be yourself. However, you should not forget to look your best. Men should get a haircut and a clean shave (if needed), while women should have their hair done, nails manicured, and nicely made-up. After all, your first meeting with your online date creates a new set of first impressions. Choose comfortable clothes that suits your style.
Choose a public place – Make sure that your first meetings should always be on a public place such as a park, coffee shop, or at a quiet bar. Public places somehow make you feel secured.
Keep your date short – Your first date with your online fling should not necessarily begin with a dinner or a movie. A brief lunch break or a short coffee stop (up to an hour) is long enough to know more about your online date in the “real world” setting, as well as judge for yourself on each other’s chemistry.
Mind your language – Not only you are judged according on how you look and what you say, but also on how you say it. Be aware of your use of words, as well as your non-verbal communication such as posture and manners.
Anticipate for the unexpected – Even if you have exchanged e-mails or talked over the phone several times, chances are you might end up disappointed towards your online date once you meet him or her in the flesh. You might realize that you do not have the chemistry or connection that you are seeking towards your date. In case this happens, tell your date that you won’t stay long. Make up an excuse if you have to. However, be honest to your date that you do not feel that connection (but be cordial and friendly about it).
Maintain good eye contact – Keep your eyes set towards your date. Glancing about the room gives the impression that you are not really interested.
Ask and listen – Take your time to understand what your date is saying before asking an appropriate follow-up question. The most interesting people are those who are interested in you.
Call the person by their name – Leave each other’s chat nicknames on the Net. In real life, you are supposed to call your date by his or her name. It shows some respect to your date.
Be enthusiastic – Stay positive throughout the date and have a sense of humor. Don’t take things too seriously. Remember that this date is supposed to be relaxed, taking your date to a friendship level before considering other possibilities.
Follow-through after the date – Whether or not the date is a success, you need to send a thank you e-mail to your date. If you’re certain that the person has zero chance of going out with you in the future, just say thanks and tell that you are not interested with him or her. If the date went well, say thanks and that you are looking forward for another date.