In this guide you will learn all about how to do online dating successfully, especially with all the changes and trends that come and go which can intimidate or frustrate some single people not used to things like creating their online profiles.
You will learn the steps and some solid strategies on how to use online dating sites to finally achieve your dream of finding someone who meets all of your emotional and physical needs.
You may have even tried a dating site before, but your results flopped.
That’s typical for people who don’t understand how it works – and like anything else that’s new to you – you have to educate yourself to get the best results!
When it comes to creating their personal profile pages, most people simply fill in their name, maybe stick a picture on the site, and list “walks along the beach” as their favorite activity.
That won’t get you anywhere!
In this guide, we’re going to cover the Internet dating scene and at the end of each section I’ll give you a couple of little tasks you can tackle to put the lessons into practice. Ready to start?
Online dating isn’t simply having a long distance relationship on the ‘net.
Many people do meet that way – maybe in a music or TV fan chat room (not necessarily a dating site) – but it’s also meant as a bridge to connect local individuals to one another if a match within the system is found.
The online dating scene can be a little intimidating.
There are so many people there – some seem to be absolute pros at maneuvering the dating sites and some look like they put up a shell of a profile page and ran away scared.
Some online dating sites connect groups of individuals to communicate with one another for friendships.
It’s more than just a one on one romantic connection – many solid friendships are made on Internet dating sites today!
You might find a friend to have an occasional lunch with, or someone worthy of proposal – and everything in between.
The online dating services doesn’t hand pick (by a human reviewer) the perfect person for you. It’s not a match-making service in that regard.
What it is, is a place where you can make connections via the computer.
And sometimes that evolves into a phone or in-person meeting if everything goes smoothly initially.
Most online dating sites have some semblance of free service available, but you really can’t participate to any real degree unless you give it a test drive and become an official member.
What information are they going to want to know?
Well here’s a sample list – but keep in mind that you often retain control over what you share and what details you choose to give out.
· Body type
Many people leave out certain profile items that they don’t want to disclose – like salary, for example.
Or maybe body shape – those are all optional for you to fill in on most sites.
The reason these criteria are listed is so that the computer system can easily match up people who fit your needs and the needs of others.
For example, perhaps your age bracket is strictly listed as hoping to meet someone who is 18-25.
If you’ve chosen this, then it wouldn’t present you with anyone over age 25.
Each site allows you to include a profile picture.
Some people stress unnecessarily about this. Online dating has become a spot for people to weed out the individuals whose entire personalities don’t match theirs – and believe it or not, looks are often not the #1 priority!
An online dating site doesn’t just have profiles with an email contact system, either.
It includes features members can use like chat rooms, web cam hang outs, and even message boards where you can post questions and help others who are just learning to navigate the process of online dating.
The free services most sites allow are just enough of a tease to entice you to sign up. For example, you can post a profile.
But when someone contacts you on the site, you have to sign up as a member to able to read or reply to the message.
Decide ahead of time what type of online dating site you’re seeking.
Do you want one that encompasses all levels of connections – from friendships to lifetime partners?
Or are you looking for a fast hookup with someone and don’t care if it develops into something more?
I know how awful it is to spend every night sitting there alone, wishing you had someone to talk to.
Once you get past the party scene, it isn’t fun to have to go to a bar and hang out in order to meet someone single, either!
Workplaces are good for meeting people – but not always – and you really can’t rely on friends and family to set you up with blind dates time and time again.
So that leaves online dating sites as the most reliable method for helping you make the most important connection of your life.
Not All Dating Sites Are Created Equally
Never, ever just join a dating site that you see in some random ad. You want honest recommendations.
Sites are creates differently – and some have more stable reputations than others.
You want real reviews by members who have had a great experience using the site.
What Does Online Dating Cost?
Initially, you can sign up as a free user of the Internet dating site. It won’t open you up to all of the features, but it’ll get you closer to your goals.
My advice is that you sign up as a free member at several sites and then decide which one seems like the kind of dating site you’d most prefer to use.
As a free user, you might be able to browse profiles, but not initiate contact, or it might be more restrictive to seeing profile pictures only.
How Is a Connection Made to Someone?
The dating sites offer a two-way street. You can contact others, or wait to be contacted by someone else!
The system will do its part by running your interests and preferences through the system, sending you matches it finds in the process.
Once you get the list, you can go through and whittle down the list to those you feel have potential.
Then you might send out an introductory email to see if there’s a mutual interest.
What’s the Best Way to Make a Profile?
Our next lesson is going to really teach you how to make an amazing profile, but for now, you can sign up for a free profile on a few sites and add your picture and basic information.
It’s not advisable to be extremely detailed with your profile information until you’re sure this is someone who you want to know.
Feel free to list hobbies and interests, because this is where initial connections are made.
Tasks for You to Accomplish For This Lesson:
I want you to take out a piece of paper (or do this on your computer). Write down the following and answer the questions:
1. By joining an online dating site, I hope to ___________________________________________________
2. For communication with others, I want to use the following (check all that apply): ___ Email ___ Site/Online Chat ___ Phone ___ Web Cam Hang Out ___ In person meeting
3. I want to find (check all that applies): ___ friendship ___ companionship ___ long term relationship
Those three questions will help you determine a path for your online dating journey so that you stick to meeting your goals and don’t get sidetracked with something you really don’t want for yourself.
If you’re new to online dating (or feel you failed miserably at it before so you need some guidance), then this lesson will help you start off on the right foot – choosing the type of dating site that works best for your needs.
You’re going to hear a bunch of success stories as well as a bunch of horror stories from people all over the web about almost every site.
The key is to remember that this is your journey – not theirs. You may have a wonderful experience or a less than stellar one. Just don’t be scared off by someone else’s tale of woe.
New Sites Versus Established Ones
Every day, it seems, a brand new dating site pops up on the Internet.
That’s because the demand is so overwhelming and many people belong to more than one (or two or three) sites – maximizing their chances to find the right person.
You can’t simply take a site’s word for it that they’re the one you need to use.
They’re blatantly self-promoting, so you need the word of someone who isn’t an employee of the site.
One of the best indicators that the site is reputable is their longevity in the business.
Because online dating is such a hot topic, entrepreneurs launch new domains on the fly regularly – but you want someone committed to your dating success – someone who will help grow the site so that you have a large database of prospects to choose from.
You may want to go ahead and get on some sites that have a high amount of traffic already flowing to them.
But don’t discount new sites completely – because you get in on the ground floor and become one of the premiere members when you join a freshly built site.
Make it one of your possibilities, but ensure larger success with high traffic dating sites, too.
Another reason new sites can be good is that some of the older sites have thousands of unused, stale profiles sitting in them.
So while the member count may show a high number, the active members looking for a connection could be significantly lower.
Don’t Limit Yourself to Just One Site
The reason I say it’s wise to use the free option initially is that I want you to try out a few different sites.
I don’t want you locked into just one where you’re not quite happy with the results.
What should you look for in the ones you choose?
· The angle of the site – some promote random sexual hook-ups, some tout Christian members, others are for seniors only, or for the gay community. You want to pick sites that cater to YOUR needs.
· Is the navigation menu overly complicated? You may not want it too simplistic, but if there’s an in home visit required, you’ll know they’re a little over-zealous in what they should be asking from you.
· What is their approval process? Some sites let anyone in, and some have parameters that must be met before you get the key to a membership.
· Is the pricing right? Some sites are very affordable for any budget while others cater to a high-end clientele.
Don’t rush it in the next five minutes. Allow yourself some time to glance around and navigate each site – do you like what you see?
No site will be 100% perfect for everyone, but you’ll be able to recognize which ones are a no-go right off the bat.
When it comes to pricing, free is within your budget, but it might also be full of people who aren’t serious or who aren’t willing to pay for the very best.
Just a small monthly payment signals that person is seriously seeking a connection – and willing to pay for the opportunity!
Check Out a Sample Profile
Most sites, even when they give you a free user option, will let you see a sample profile so that you know what you’ll be able to find out about people when browsing the profiles database.
If it’s bare-boned (like age, name, location and picture only) – then you know it won’t be enough to offer you the deep kind of connection you’re searching for.
You need to put the anxiety about creating your profile to rest. Here’s the good news – it can always be tweaked for improvement!
You’re going to be nervous initially. Maybe wonder who would like what you have to say!?
But the fact is, there’s someone for everyone – and you just need to be you in your profile without coming across as boring.
Since there’s no face-to-face interaction, it’s important to review some of the other profiles to see what makes you interested in them.
Did they have a witty subject line for their profile?
Were they open and honest and amazing with how they painted a picture of their life?
Did the humor come across so loud and clear that you wished you could go have a cup of coffee with this person right then and there?
You want to emulate the types of profiles that make you tick – without creating a false identity that doesn’t truly represent you.
What Type of Interaction Is Available?
Remember in Lesson 1, I asked you, as one of your tasks, to jot down what types of communication you wanted to work with.
Does this site have what you were looking for?
If there’s a chat feature, that’s a good sign – because you can talk in real time without having to meet in person and meet before you know if you’re ready for that connection yet.
This is a perfect setting for people who work odd or long hours.
It’s also beneficial for single parents who want to get to know someone pretty well before having an in-person meeting.
And if you’re in a rural area, it works well because you don’t have to travel long distances to meet everyone in person.
Tasks for You to Complete for this Lesson:
There are some sites that are great for beginners to use with online dating.
The male to female ratio is nicely balanced, and you have a good chance of meeting someone right for you.
All you need to do for your tasks today are go visit these sites and enter your:
That’s it! You’re not going to hand over a credit card number for any later fees.
You won’t have to give out sensitive personal information.
This just lets you cross the threshold and enter into the site to have a quick look around.
The ones who usually end up very pleased with their results are the ones who took the time to simultaneously sign up at a few online dating sites.
Don’t use one, wait for it to flop, and then move on to another one.
You’ll quickly realize that each site has a different diverse population, and you want a broad selection to choose from
Okay here we are again – working on making the most of your online dating journey.
I want to discuss the profile set up with you. It’s so important to maximize your profile space.
No two sites are exactly the same, so it won’t be an exact step-by-step lesson but rather an analysis of what you can do to make your profile POP in comparison to other men and women in the membership.
Your profile is going to convey to others what you’re hoping to get out of the online dating process, which is why early on, I had you write down what you wanted from this.
Common Mistakes People Make With Their Profiles
It’s very easy to get to a site, sign up and have no idea what to fill in on the options or parts where you have the ability to free-style your comments.
You might even feel like quitting and signing out if you’re not prepared.
You do want to expand on some things that are important to you. For example, let’s say that you love outdoor activities.
Don’t just check that option. Instead, expand on it!
Tell the other members if you’re the type who just likes to feed the ducks at your local pond or if you prefer to strap on some rock climbing gear and reach the highest peak in your community.
Things like religion can be expanded on as well. Don’t just say you’re a Christian if four out of seven days of your week are spent on church related activities.
You’ll want to find someone equally enthusiastic, so express your involvement in a detailed manner.
The last thing you want to do is lie in your profile.
So many people feel inadequate when they read about the real description they made of themselves, but someone will love you for who you are.
There’s no need to boost your profile with falsities.
If you lie, one of two things might happen:
1. You meet the wrong kind of people because the system is matching you with other members based on things that aren’t true.
2. You’ll meet Mr. or Mrs. Right – but then have to start your relationship off with an, “I’m sorry for lying” speech – that’s no fun!
And it’s not just the little things people lie about out of fear, either.
Some people say they want kids – even when they know they don’t – because they feel they won’t be able to find a date if they tell the truth!
The sad thing is, you’ll be filtering out the right kind of people when you tell a tall tale like this on an online dating site.
And don’t get all freaked out about your profile picture.
Yes, make sure you put your best foot forward – but don’t beat yourself up about how you look.
Even if looks aren’t important to someone, they’ll still want to put a face to the name and know who it is they’re dealing with on the dating site.
When it comes to pictures, the biggest lies are those who put completely fake photos up – or those who use pictures from a time long ago in their past – like a decade ago when they were more youthful looking.
Don’t wait until you lose 50 pounds to take a new profile picture. You can always update it later.
Just post it the way you really look today – besides, you want someone to love you for who you are!
Whipping Up a Profile When You’re Not a Good Writer
You don’t have to be some award-winning author to develop a great profile that attracts the right kind of people.
Initially, it might seem like a tedious process to get all of this stuff filled out – but once the profile is put together, you’ll be able to enjoy the interaction process and getting to know others!
The bad thing is, the profile set up is the first thing you do when you join an online dating site – and it comes at a time when you’re nervous and prone to make mistakes.
So take a deep breath and slow down when you tackle this step.
There’s no big rush (even if It feels like you want to hurry up and find a romantic partner).
Before, I had you go through and look through other members’ profiles.
But what I do not want you to do is cut and paste someone else’s profile information into yours – even if the information is relevant to you, too.
Consider it legally their property – not yours for the taking.
It is okay to emulate someone else’s style if it’s similar to you and you just feel like you need some guidance.
Firstly, you’ll probably be prompted to choose a screen name.
This is for people who don’t want their real name used on the online dating site – it lets you choose when to reveal your name to potential suitors.
Be careful when you choose your username. Choosing “hotsexkitten” as your screen name will evoke a response from men who are only out for one thing.
Likewise, if you’re searching profiles – look to see what someone’s using for their screen name because it says lot about how they view themselves.
Any time you’re allowed to expand on your profile choices, try to do it. If it asks if you have any pets, for example, don’t just check “dog.”
Explain it further if you rescue greyhounds and foster animals until they’re adopted out.
The more you write and expand on your profile answers, the more your profile visitors will stay to see what you’re all about.
They won’t just click out to find someone else.
When you expand, it’s important that you don’t come across as egotistical or as someone with an extremely low self esteem. Both can be viewed negatively.
Try to showcase your personality, but read what you just wrote to see if you look like you’re showering yourself with praise – or looking pathetic and unlovable.
Writing should be done in a natural and conversational tone.
Don’t try to write an essay like you’re submitting it to a college professor.
It’s okay to use slang, be goofy with emoticons and talk in a non-traditional manner with an online dating site.
Online Dating Profiles – Men Versus Women
Both sexes want the other to find them attractive. Women are primarily concerned about weight and age, while men want to project muscles.
But your vanity could prevent the right kind of person from finding you.
Men, keep in mind that if you put extremes into your “wants” list – like under 25 years old, no more than 115 pounds, women will not contact you even if they fall slightly out of range.
And it may be tempting to use a profile pic of your six pack abs, but if you’re seeking a woman to potentially be your wife, she may be more interested in the whole you rather than one physical aspect of your body.
Women have a tendency to dwell on the past in their profiles.
If you read some of them, you’ll see that they say more about what they don’t want than they do about what they do desire!
They’re harboring anger or hurt over past failed relationships, and they want to make sure that they don’t run into Mr. Wrong anytime soon on the dating site.
Unfortunately, all this does is make men view you as a negative Nelly – and they’ll pass over your profile because it reads so gloomily.
Whether you’re a man or woman, make sure you work on tidying up your profile content a bit before it goes live.
Check spelling at the very least – it doesn’t have to have perfect grammar, but you also don’t want to appear uneducated.
Once you create your profile, make a note of where it resides so that you can freshen it up if and when you have something change.
Some people forget where they posted it and never return to check and see if it’s still up to date.
Tasks for You to Complete for This Lesson:
Now that you’ve read about what should (and shouldn’t) go into your profile, I want you to visit the sites you signed up with and flesh out your profile a bit.
It should include a recent picture of you, along with expanded commentary on as many choices you’re given as possible.
The worst thing you can do is set up a profile and then sit back and wait for the magic to happen.
This is a database that’s readily available to you, so I want to show you how to make the most out of it.
Why You Have to Reach Out on a Dating Site
Everyone is shy to a certain degree. You may have the perfect match waiting in the wings, but he or she just isn’t going to make the first move.
Do you really want to miss out on a soul mate because you weren’t proactive enough to play cupid for yourself?
You want communication to work both ways – you want to reach out to people and have some members trying to connect to you, also.
Some people may have simply given up hope, so they stopped searching and just keep an active profile in case someone like you came along to find them.
Plus, you want to get out of your comfort zone.
Chances are, you’ve become too content sitting at home alone – and the interaction between other singles can be a welcomes addition to your social life once it gets going.
Freshen Up Your Profile and Picture
You might create your profile and expect a flood of responses that very same night. Give people time to find you!
Some people check in periodically. Or, you could find someone inquiring about you mere minutes into the process.
Some online dating sites actually boost member exposure based on who logged into the site most recently.
So continuing to sign in and freshen up your profile will work in your favor and gain you additional coverage.
Let’s talk a little bit about making a good profile pic – since many of you will freeze in terror at the very thought of it.
Here are some good tips to help you make an awesome profile image to represent you to prospective suitors:
· Don’t use shoddy equipment. If your lens on your camera is smudged, wipe it off so that your picture is crystal clear. Don’t use an old cell phone to shoot it with if your digital camera is much better at presenting a sharper image.
· See which is your “best side” and go with that – you want to feel confident about your profile picture. Take it from an above the head angle, even, right, left, front, etc.
· Use natural lighting. Don’t make the picture too dark and creepy – and avoid having a bright light shining right on your face for the shoot.
· Watch what’s in the background of your photo. Are you holding a 20-ounce beer in your hand? Is that the image you want to project?
· Don’t dress like it’s the prom. There’s no need for a tuxedo or evening dress. You should dress like you do normally, every day – except maybe if you work from home in your pajamas.
· Smile! Unless you want to project a very serious side of yourself, smile for the camera. It makes your profile more welcoming to others who might be interesting in you. A serious picture can seem intimidating.
· Make sure they can actually see your face. You wouldn’t believe how many people use a profile of them with a scuba diving mask on or post a pic with something like their toes showing. People want to connect a face to the personality.
Browse Profiles and Make Connections
Every single day someone just like you is signing up as a newcomer to an online dating site – and some sites have hundreds of sign ups each day!
You want to log in regularly and scour the database to see what types of matches there are for you.
Some sites will automatically email those to you, but some have you do it manually.
If you’re a woman from a generation where men did all the asking, keep in mind that online dating is a two-way street.
You should be active in contacting your possible romantic interests – don’t sit back and wait for them to introduce themselves to you.
Avoid Being Too “Friendly” Right Away
Some people find someone they’re attracted to.
They see that they’re online and immediately start flirting with the person in a way that scares them off within minutes.
Most people want to get to know you a little bit before engaging in overt flirty conversation or sexual discussions.
Ease into it if that’s what you’re there for – and make it clear on your profile, too – so that some unsuspecting innocent member doesn’t stumble onto you and get shocked with something they weren’t prepared for.
Don’t Ignore the Possibility of Valuable Friendships
Even if you didn’t list “friendships” as one of your desires on your profile, it’s okay to reach out and befriend someone who you feel may not make a good romantic partner, but could be a great friend.
In fact, you might be somewhat similar, but not enough for a perfect match – and you could help each other find the people who would be a good match for each other.
It’s a little different when you have a friend from an online dating site helping you find potential matches because they know what you’re going through.
Unlike well-meaning family members who are clueless about setting you up with someone they would like to see you with.
Watch for Who’s Online at That Time
If you’re anxious to start connecting with people, you’ll be happy to know that most online dating sites have special notification systems that indicate who’s logged into the site at that time.
Most also have a “hide me” feature that lets you browse through the site unnoticed.
But making yourself available on the site can be a wonderful thing, if you’re prepared for it.
You might get invited to a chat. Or someone might send you an email or message right there to see if you react positively.
Remember, they’re often nervous too – and they don’t want to send a message and wait days or weeks to get a reply.
Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket
I don’t care if you think you’ve found “the one” on your first day on the site. Make sure you don’t limit yourself – find more than one or two acceptable matches for your profile.
You want to put your membership (even if it is free initially) to good use, maximizing it to the best of your abilities.
Continue using your online dating site until a perfect match is made and the two of you decide to become exclusive in your relationship.
Utilize All of the Features on Your Dating Site
Chat is one of the best features your dating site can offer. If you’re in the mood to interact with others, make sure your profile states that you’re currently available so that people can invite you to hang out online.
This is great for those of you who are shy or intimidated about getting to know people in this setting because it doesn’t have to be one-on-one. It can be a group setting.
Or, if it is one-on-one, it will be easy for you to leave the conversation without it being embarrassing like it would be if you had to excuse yourself from an in-person date.
What to Do If Your Contact Disappears
One of the hardest situations to deal with is when you find someone amazing on an online dating site, you’re communicating with them, and suddenly the interaction is over!
You don’t know what happened! Was it something you said?
Realize that this happens to just about everyone online at some point – try not to take it personally. It could be a blessing in disguise.
Maybe they were married and got busted talking to you on the site.
Or perhaps they were communicating with more than one person and simply found the other contact to be more suitable for a match.
Some members even practice having communication with some members just to feel more confident – they may not have had any intention of following through in the first place.
When this type of situation occurs, just move on and continue seeking out the right kind of individual.
There will never usually be a bulls-eye the first time you throw a dart – you have to throw a few to get closer to the center of the circle, and it’s no different with online dating – or dating in the offline world, for that matter!
Tasks for You to Do For This Lesson:
I want you to seek out someone for friendship on the site first. Contact them and just let them know it’s not a romantic connection, but you’re interested in knowing more members.
Next, browse the profiles and find at least 3 possible members who you would like to make a connection with to see if there’s anything worth pursuing.
Online dating is scary for some people who are shy or new to the dating scene after a long time away from it.
And eventually, there comes a time when communicating online isn’t enough – and the other person (or you) wants to meet offline.
You want it to go smoothly, but there are some things you can do to ensure safety, a good time, and a positive experience.
How Soon Should You Meet Offline?
Everyone will have a different comfort level when it comes to moving from online chat or email to an in-person date.
And the man or woman you’re communicating with could be moving at a must faster or slower speed than you want them to.
You’ll need to be patient with this (and make sure they’re patient with you) because pressuring someone into a meeting is never a good thing. It will probably end badly.
Some people are going to find a match and immediately want to meet up for a casual, light date to talk in person and see if there’s a connection there.
Others will want to develop a deep connection before they plan to meet in person.
Have you ever seen the movie, “You’ve Got Mail” with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan?
They were chatting online and dragging out the in person meeting until there were substantial feelings involved.
And this can happen to you, too.
Some people (especially those new to online dating) may think that it’s impossible to develop true feelings for someone you’ve never met.
But many people begin sharing things and forming a strong bond with each other just through text, and possibly phone conversations.
Do you want to just meet quickly (kind of like tearing off a band-aid), or give yourself time to see if an in-person meeting will even be worth it.
Be honest with the person you’re communicating with.
Don’t ridicule them if they’re shy about meeting.
At the same time, try to analyze the situation to see if perhaps you’re being played (maybe someone’s married and just messing around online with no intention of pursuing a romantic relationship).
When the time comes that you feel right about initiating in person communication, just ask casually, like this: “Hey it would be great if we could meet up sometimes offline – are you cool with that, or do you prefer to take a little more time?”
Don’t start demanding things, like, “I MUST meet you in person by he end of the week – I can’t STAND being away from you any longer.”
This can be creepy and startling to the other person.
Safety Is Your #1 Priority – for Men and Women!
When you do decide to meet off of the site, never ever have the person come to your home to meet you.
Now you men may be reading this and laughing, but don’t discount the fact that there are women in the world who will drug your drink and steal your possessions.
So meet in a public place, like a restaurant or high traffic public park or other destination.
It’s not just your address that you don’t want to give out, either.
Don’t meet them at their home – even if their first date idea involves cooking for you.
Make sure someone knows where you’re going and who you’re meeting (from which online dating site).
If you want to, jot a note down next to your computer so that if anything did happen, police would know where to look.
Never get intoxicated during your first date with the person you’re meeting.
Keep an eye on your drink – don’t leave it to go to the bathroom.
If you do, have the bartender get you a new one.
Also take your purse or wallet with you if you go anywhere so that your date can’t look up your driver’s license address or take things from you without you knowing about it.
After the date, don’t let them drive you home – even if it went well.
You still don’t know this person well enough to be showing them your home address, so take a cab or drive yourself and make sure you aren’t being followed.
Some of these tips may seem a bit paranoid, but it’s better to be overly cautious than take a risk.
The people on the dating site know you’re single – and you don’t want to dangle yourself out there like bait if there happens to be a savvy shark in the dating waters, do you?
The most important thing is to trust your intuition.
If you feel creepy about this person, end the date right then and there.
Don’t prolong it and wait to see if something might happen.
Perfect First Date Ideas
The first date is going to depend on the two of you to a big degree.
There is no “one size fits all.”
There are some common places you can choose for a first date, but there are also some neat special first date ideas that could suit your style even more!
If you want to meet for a quick date, then try your local coffee shop.
Some people like to meet for a Frappachino and to have a little discussion over iced coffee before moving on to a date that lasts longer than 30 minutes.
You may even want to see if your local Barnes and Noble has a Starbucks in it so that you can meet to find a new book and have something to discuss on your date, too!
If you’re already determined to have a romantic date, then by all means go all out with a romantic restaurant meal.
Italian restaurants often have a nice ambiance.
If you’d like to keep conversation to a minimum, try going to see a movie together!
This way you’ll meet and chat for a little before it starts, and then get to chat a little when it’s over (maybe even go for ice cream afterwards if you want the conversation to continue).
If you’re both the outdoorsy type, then meet at a local outdoor activity like a public park or nature center.
See if your area has a botanic garden for a beautiful setting.
If the arts are a big part of your lives, check out the museum showings.
Or pick up a free magazine usually found in your grocery store entrance, to see what music activities are happening that week.
If you both have dogs, see if there’s a dog park in your area.
If there’s not, just plan to take your pets to a park and meet up.
Make sure you feel safe having your dog around their dog, if either happens to be an aggressive animal.
If you each have friends who know about the meeting, why not suggest a double date?
Or even a platonic group setting?
You don’t want too many people there who might start having fun with your situation.
Just one wingman each would do the trick is anxiety levels are high.
If you’re both daredevils, see if you can schedule something amazing – like a hot air balloon ride, rock climbing, or even a jump out of an airplane!
Breaking the Ice When Conversation Stalls
Now sometimes there can be a drawback to waiting too long to meet your online dating match in person.
If you keep the conversation going via chat and phone for too many weeks or months, you wind up with little to say in person when you finally do have that first date!
Some of the dates will automatically inspire conversation.
For example, if you go to a museum together, you can provide your commentary on the exhibit pieces you’re seeing.
Make sure you don’t make all of the conversation about you.
You show someone you care by asking about them, too.
But don’t take it too personally if they don’t extend the same courtesy.
Some people are just so nervous on a first date that they blurt out things without thinking.
You can ask questions about the other person – their favorite things, for example.
But don’t get too intimate and ask something embarrassing or something they may want to keep private.
This may be a time when you’re sizing up a future together, but you don’t want to interrogate them with questions like, “How many kids do you want? What kind of money do you make? Do you want to meet my parents?”
It’s okay to be nervous (and to admit that) but just try to take a deep breath and maintain that happy balance between being too shy and reserved and overly hyper and demanding.
Ending a first date should never be decided ahead of time.
You never want to say that you have to be home by 10 because that prevents you from leaving at 9 if you want to.
Don’t have a friend text you with an emergency or tell them you’re going to the restroom, only to disappear.
Be a grown up and respectful about it and just kindly say something like, “I don’t know if it’s just me, but I’m feeling like maybe we ought to go ahead and say goodbye tonight because it appears we aren’t a great match.”
When you meet your online dating contacts, some will be absolutely fantastic matches, some will be nightmares, and some in between.
You will have an easy time deciding about the horror stories, but if the date was just “okay,” you’ll need to decide If there should be another on the horizon.
You may want to give it one more shot if you feel there could be something there.
First dates are made fun of because they’re often awkward, so a second attempt could prove more fruitful.
On the other hand, if there’s no spark and you feel like it would be pointless, don’t drag it out and make them suffer.
Most online dating sites have some semblance of free service available, but you really can’t participate to any real degree unless you give it a test drive and become an official member.
Online dating is a wonderful thing that connects people all over the world to like-minded individuals.
Like offline dating, you have to try new things and step out of your comfort zone, but it puts in place a barrier of protection for you initially that the offline world can’t provide and allows you to analyze a prospective partner based on more than looks!
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