As mentioned earlier in this blog, physical dates are still necessary for making real connections. When everyone is bragging about how many people they met online, the real measure of whether your dating game is on point – is how many such dates were in real life.
After seeing an awesome profile with the best profile picture, you may think you found the ONE. However, it is just a very narrow perspective of who he or she is. The smallest things can put you off – a really annoying laugh, a funky cologne or being self absorbed into constantly taking perfect selfies. You will really know for sure by having a coffee or a cocktail together.
It is easy to hide behind a keyboard or a mobile phone screen as an anonymous casanova – flirting back and forth with emojis or snappy comebacks. How does one navigate beyond just electronic communication to getting a meet-up?
Here are 6 quick tips:
1) Keep it friendly – don’t commit to too much or promise too much. Most dates, especially first dates, will not be the best night of your life. Say something classic like “Do you like coffee? I know a nice cafe.” or “This chat has been great ;D You know what would make it better? Doing this over a beer.” Nothing too romantic, rather focus on your mutual interests and chat like you would with a new friend. After all – that’s all they are, for now at least…
2) Stick to the facts – without body-language or tone, all anyone can go by with online dating is through your words. Even with emojis, it is notoriously hard to express emotions through text (don’t feel bad, the best poets get misread too). Also, while it may crystal clear to you, the recipient of your texts may misinterpret your well-intentions. The safest way to protect yourself against misinterpretation is to keep things short and sweet and focus on mutual likes rather than more emotive topics.
3) Meet up soon – after making contact and establishing that you two can get along digitally – don’t wait too long to ask them out. Draggy long conversations that go nowhere will likely lead nowhere as well. The truth is that after 24 hours of chatting you would have gotten to know enough about a person to warrant a date or give up. Be casual but firm in asking “maybe we can do something sometime next week?”
4) Don’t say ‘date’ – of course, its a date. But saying so, puts pressure on everyone – it may put some people off already. You guys met on a dating site to have dates, so it is implied. Hence, use alternatives like “catching up”, “meeting for a drink” or “grabbing a quick bite”.
5) The where and when – If you want to keep things uncomplicated to start, consider meeting in the day. Though as busy professionals, you only be free to meet in the evening, avoid going to a fancy restaurant. Instead, take a chance on a cosy bar or venue.
6) Hope for the best, plan for the worst – Sometimes dates can go bad, real bad. The person sitting across you could be bland, sketchy, uncouth and more. There are times where you just need to break free. Hence, plan an appointment after the date so you can choose to honour it if things turn sour. Here are a few other tips to keeping the date safe.
In this era of Catfish, there are horror stories of how the picture does not match up the profile. It may be scary to take a leap of faith in making an invitation but for #bettermatchesbettertimes – you’ve got to give it a try. So don’t just swipe and chat, use these tips to get a meet!