Your First In Person Meeting and How to Make the Most of It.
If you've dated with someone after an online start, you know the first time you meet may very well be the last time. And, sometimes, this is a good thing. But other times, you'll have wished things had gone a little better.
As you prepare for your first in person meeting, here are some tips to make the most of the first meeting date.
Dating Appearance Do's and Don'ts
1. Don't wear anything super fancy, dressy or baggy. Try and look casual, but like you cared enough to wear something flattering, clean and appropriate.
2. Perform a basic hygiene check. Are your nails ragged and dirty? (I don't care what your profession, there's no excuse for dirty nails.) Do you have dandruff on your shirt? Have you checked your breath? And lastly, about the body odor. Remember, you may be used to you, and your friends may be used to you, but this person has never met you before. Little cues are going to mean a lot, especially if you really like this person and want to see them again.
3. On PerfectMatch.com, ensure you've accurately stated your height, weight (within 10 pounds) and your picture is recent. If not, people don't just get disinterested, they get ticked off. Better to charm your way in with the true you, then to fight an uphill battle against someone's previous perceptions. Of course, you may consider yourself fit and they want someone anorexic. If this is the case, there's nothing you can do.
Dating Conversation Do's and Don'ts
1. Don't hog all the air time. Make sure, even if you are nervous, to ask them questions and find out about the other person. If you find you are talking too much, apologize and then stop. I've actually seen people apologize, and then keep talking!
2. Be open, warm and interesting. Before the date, think about some good stories which might give this new person insight about who you are. Think of the things which distinguish you from other people: your hobbies, trips or family history, for example.
3. Tell this person something, but don't try and tell everything. And especially don't tell bad things. You do not, repeat do not, have to tell about your fascination with drugs in college. If you care about this person, get to know them before you scare the hell out of them with your past history and flaws...all while waiting for the coffee to be served.
4. Please don't talk about your nasty divorce, insensitive ex or stories about anything dealing with this past history. It's acceptable to briefly mention your children (if you have them). If you're compelled to mention the reason you're single again, or what a brut your ex was, then say something about them, make it brief and make it nice. No one really admires someone who shows their nasty side even if there was just provocation for it. This can be a much later in the relationship conversation. And while you love your kids, and will want someone who loves them, too, do you really have to figure this out at the first coffee?
Dating Environment Do's and Don'ts
1. Don't pick a place which is odd, fancy or in anyway a statement. A coffee house, nice restaurant or bookstore cafe is perfect. Remember, you don't want to spend too much time the first time you meet. Pick some place which has a little positive ambiance, but also where people don't stay for too long. If you meet the right person, know you'll have plenty of other times to enjoy various locations. If you meet someone who isn't going to work out, you want to be able to time it so it's not insultingly short…or oppressively long.
2. Make your first date take place in a bright, safe and public place. Even if you know you're not a mugger or stalker, this new person may not be so sure. Give yourself an advantage and pick someplace they can relax.
3. Always pick someplace where you can clearly hear each other, so it's conducive for talking. If the place is noisy, it can create an unpleasant atmosphere.
Dating Exit Lines
1. Tell the person it's been really nice meeting them, even if you aren't positive you want to see them again. Everyone should be treated with respect, regardless of whether or not you see each other in the future.
2. If you say you are going to call, and decide not to, at least email the person. For example, you can say you enjoyed the meeting, but have decided it's not quite right for you to continue. This is a gentler letdown, with less sting to it and, after all, you'd want the same courtesy.
3. Use your own judgment about how encouraging you want to be if you really do want to see this person again. Some people don't like a big come on. For example, saying "Well, shall we see each other again? How about tomorrow?" might spook them. Other people need encouragement and want to hear, "This was great. I'd like to call you again soon". While times and gender roles have changed, if you're a woman, the safest plan is still wait and see if you are called. When the relationship begins maturing, he probably won't mind you sharing the initiative. If you're a man, it'll probably be up to you to make the next move if you want to see someone again. Remember, it's whatever works for both of you.
If you do want to see someone after the first "coffee", think of something interesting to suggest for the second meeting. If someone is on the fence, suggesting something interesting (i.e., a wine tasting, a great movie, a dinner train, etc.) might be enough to exhibit your creativeness and persuade them to take another look.
The beginning of a relationship has to start somewhere, and you should have fun doing it. After you've found your real love on PerfectMatch.com, you'll have something to talk about for years to come!
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