Let’s be honest, nobody likes a first date. It’s full of stress and a little awkward meeting someone for the first time even if you’ve been chatting online and talking on the phone a few times. So here are some tips to get your first date off the starting blocks and across the finish line.
If you’ve been following Online Profile Pros you know that we always suggest the 5-3-1 approach to online dating: 5 emails- 2 phone calls – 1 quick meet up (like for coffee) before investing your time on a full blown first date. So take a quick read and see what you think about our tips and make sure to leave a comment below if you’ve got any suggestions on how to improve them!
Make a Good Impression With Your Online Dating Profile
When you decide to get into the world of online dating, you should take time to proofread and check your online profile for grammatical errors. And remember: before someone even gets to the part of the profile where you describe yourself, they often have to look at your online dating photos, your username, and your headline first.
You have several chances to catch someone’s eye and entice them to read further so you need to think carefully about each element of your dating profile.
Online dating photos:
- Make sure that your photos are fairly recent.
- Try to make sure that you are the most important part of the photo. Pictures where you are surrounded by a number of people or objects can be distracting
- Try not to use photos where you need to rip off or cut out part of the image since these do not make the best first impression.
- On a number of dating sites, people are first introduced to you through your username, so you want it to be something accessible.
- It’s okay to be clever…but don’t be too clever. If your username refers to an inside joke or a nickname that you use with friends, that may turn people off rather than excite curiosity.
- Be careful with usernames that are provocative. Oprah.com consulted a dating expert who said, “Using something like ‘legsfordays’ as a username is probably not the impression you want to give if you’re looking for a serious relationship.”
- Some people use their headline to describe themselves while others use it to tell online daters what they want in a date.
- An attention-grabbing headline won’t be too long. It can be short, however, if it says just enough to draw someone in.
- You shouldn’t agonize over your headline, but take some time to think about what would make someone click to know more.
- If possible, ask a friend for help in composing your headline.
- If you need help getting started then check this out to get started: Exclusive Offers
Be Flexible When Setting Up That First Date
When you have met someone you would like to date through your online dating profile you may find that in some cases deciding the details of your firs date can be trickier than you imagined. If you’re lucky, one of you can propose an outing, the other accepts, and you are ready to meet. If that does not happen for any number of reasons, remember to be flexible and not to get frustrated.
When Setting Up a First Date Offer More Than One Option
There is nothing wrong with proposing one outing on a certain day at a certain time, but keep in mind that people are busy with work and previous social obligations. If you get the idea that your date is an active person after reading your date’s profile and corresponding online, you may be able to make setting up that first date easier if you offer more than one option. That way you seem more flexible and you may be able to avoid some of the back and forth of trying to manage schedules that can make dating seem like a chore before you have even really begun.
If, however, you find that there is a lot of back and forth without the two of you reaching an agreement, you may want to reconsider. If you have demonstrated flexibility and your online interest does not seem to be trying to suggest alternatives or seems unwilling to make an effort, you may want to move on. Since you are one of the many singles out there who are willing to meet people after initial contact online, do not feel as if you are obligated to try to make it work if it seems one-sided. There are a lot of people out there who would be willing to take the time to get to know you.
Is a Bad First Date Worth a Second Chance?
In an ideal world, your first meet up with someone you’ve met on an online dating site would be the kind that inspires love songs. The chemistry would be electric and your compatibility connection would be off the charts. It’s a nice fantasy, but the perfect synergy of chemistry and compatibility rarely happens on first dates. In most first-date situations, daters usually feel more of one than the other. Even more confusing, you and your online dating partner may not experience the date in the same way.
You might be immediately attracted to your date and experience mind-blowing chemistry, but your date could be majorly turned off by your over-enthusiastic tongue action during the good-night kiss and give your dating chemistry a “slime toad” rating.
The unequal balance between chemistry and compatibility is what keeps most first dates from becoming second dates and third dates and maybe developing into something more. Fragile egos, dating insecurity, and unhappy previous experiences can keep us from seeing the possible partner potential in someone we’ve met online and are meeting for the first time. An embarrassing fumbled kiss doesn’t mean there isn’t a chemical spark there.
Maybe you got an awkward peck on the cheek instead of the full-body kiss you were hoping for because your date is so overwhelmed by your beauty and personality that he’s embarrassed he won’t measure up. Dating insecurity not lack of chemistry made him fumble the kiss. If you never say “yes” to a second date, you’ll never discover your strong mutual attraction.
Unless the date is a total bust, chemistry alone shouldn’t preclude a second date. Give your online sweetie another chance and see what happens. Don’t be shy about giving your date a few tips before your second date. If your date is moving too fast (lizard tongue), tell him you want to slow down until you know each other better. If your date is moving too slow (launch failure), take the initiative and plant one square on his lips!
Top 5 First Date Tips for Online Daters
Lady Antebellum sings soulful duets about first dates. Caustic comedienne Chelsea Handler shreds them with razor-sharp wit. Everyone who’s been on a first date knows that the first face-to-face meeting with someone you’ve been dating online can run the gamut from magical to a nightmare; although most fall closer to the middle, somewhere between nice and awkward.
Truth be told, when online dating moves offline, your first meeting is apt to be both kind of nice and a little awkward. If love wins out, those initial moments of nervous awkwardness will turn into endearing chuckles when you look back at how you met — but first you have to make it through that first date!
The following first date tips and those from our previous post will help you and your online sweetie transition successfully from online to offline dating:
- Even if you and your new squeeze feel comfortable with each other online, you need to put safety first. When meeting someone new for the first time, always meet in a well-lit public place where there will be plenty of other people around. Restaurants, coffee houses, and neighborhood taverns are safe meeting places. You want to meet where help is at hand if something goes wrong.
- Arrive at a first meeting IRL prepared with a few conversation starters you can use if the conversation comes to an embarrassing pause. A funny comment you heard, something interesting you saw on the internet or a question about something she said in a recent message are good ways to keep the conversation going. On a first date, you want to keep it light and fun. Steer clear of controversial topics; you’re looking for ways to connect not disagree.
- Review our best conversation starters to get some great ideas about what to talk about!
- Don’t let the date linger too long, it’s better to keep them wanting more. If you let the date drag on it takes some of the fun out of it.
- If you had fun, let them know it. Feedback is important so you know if you should ask for or expect an invitation for another rendezvous. Just follow your “gut” and you’ll be just fine
Have fun and keep it light, it’s just a first meeting for you two decide if there is a spark worth pursuing and its good not to get too hung up on a single date. After all if your following all of our advice you’ll want to go out on many dates to find the perfect match for you!
Moving Online Dating Offline
When you hit it off with someone you met online, the moment eventually comes when you’re ready to move your relationship offline. Even if you’ve become comfortable chatting with each other online, you’re apt to feel a few butterflies in your stomach when it’s time for your first in-person meet up. It’s normal to be nervous about getting up close and personal with someone you’ve only known at the safe distance afforded by online dating. Many people find it much easier to be charming and self-assured online. In-person, self-doubt can make people feel embarrassingly awkward. A first date needs to get you and your crush past that initial crisis in self-confidence so you can relax and get to know each other.
The following first date tips can help you transition smoothly from online to offline dating:
- Wait to schedule your first meeting until you’re both ready for a face-to-face meeting. Spend time getting to know each other before agreeing to meet in person. You don’t need to know your date well enough to write his life history – save some mystery for the first date! – but don’t let yourself be pressured into meeting before you’re ready. Beware of online daters who try to pressure you into meeting right away.
- Before agreeing to meet someone you’ve met online, it’s smart to do a little research to protect yourself from predators and scammers. (This goes for guys as well as gals.) Do a Google search and look up the person on Facebook and LinkedIn. You can also use a people-search site such as 123 people.com which conducts simultaneous searches of popular internet and social sites. There’s no need to be paranoid, but exercise a healthy dose of suspicion. If something about the person seems off, pass on the next meeting.
So there you have it. If you’d like to read more check out some of our other online profile tips
About the Author:
Claire Bahn has over 15 years of working as a personal branding expert helping clients build authority and influence through their online profiles and social media accounts.
Her background includes branding, public relations, Social Media, and marketing, as well as, entrepreneurship. She has a passion to help executives, entrepreneurs, and influencers strategize and create their best personal brand.
She is currently the CEO and Co-founder of Online Profile Pros and Stratus Branding. Ms. Bahn recognizes that first impressions are made online and the fastest way to achieving your goals is by taking command of your personal brand through your online profiles and social media. She started Online Profile Pros and Stratus Branding to help individuals create, maintain and protect their personal brands so that they achieve the authority, influence, and trust the need to succeed at online dating or their job search.
She’s been featured in numerous publications and news outlets including Forbes and Entrepreneur magazines.
Ms. Bahn is a former model and actress, appearing in national ad campaigns for major retailers. An avid fashion/lifestyle blogger she’s a recognized influencer. Ms. Bahn holds a BA from the University of Texas at Austin and currently lives in the Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles, CA with her 2 red miniature pinchers, Beau and Trixie.