Online dating has changed the way that we meet people in so many ways. It used to be that the first impression you made on someone was always that first in-person meeting. If you’re not prepared, it can be hard to get past that first date! Online dating does mitigate this situation somewhat by letting you communicate with prospective partners online first — even so, the first time you meet in-person is still significant. Here are some things you need to do to get ready for that first face-to-face meeting after you’ve met someone via online dating:
- Make sure you’re emotionally ready. Just because you’ve taken the plunge and started talking with some people online doesn’t mean you’re really ready to date again. Be certain you’re over your exes, and that you’re ready to invest in a new relationship.
- Visualize what you want. It may sound cheesy, but you should have some idea about what you want the outcome of the date to be. Psych yourself up! If you’re hoping that you’ll have dinner and then part ways in order to develop the relationship over the long term, that’s fine. If you’re hoping for a lot more, recognize that you may wind up disappointed. You’ve already communicated with your date, so you should have an idea of what he/she wants, too. And even if you have certain expectations, be respectful of what your date wants.
- Look your best. It should go without saying, but you need to look your best. If you’re a guy, get a haircut, preferably a week ahead of time. Ladies, do your thing ahead of time, too. Make sure your clothes are clean, ironed, and appropriate for the date setting. For tips, check out my What To Wear series — First Date Tips for Guys and First Date Tips for Women.
- Be confident. Remind yourself before you ever get in the car to go on the date that you’re a valuable person, and that even if this date doesn’t work out there are plenty more options out there. Remind yourself of your personality strengths, and that you’re a likable person.
- Be ready to have a good time. A date should be fun! That doesn’t mean you need to do something over-the-top, but it does mean that you should try to relax and just have a good time. If you’re going to see a movie or listen to a band, try to enjoy those things for what they are, rather than stressing about what your date thinks of you.
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