Meeting someone who you communicate with online in real life sounds like an exciting new adventure. Oftentimes, we feel so excited that we often forget the most important considerations for first encounters. Here are six things to keep in mind when meeting an internet love interest face-to-face for the first time:
1. Ensure your safety.
Meet in a public place. Try to avoid meeting at your home or anywhere isolating. Also, make sure someone else knows all the details. Share where you’ll be, when you’re meeting, and how long you plan to stay.
2. Check them out before meeting.
Make sure the person is who they say they are. Try video chatting and phone calls weeks before your first face-to-face meeting. Also, scope the person out on multiple social media platforms to see just how they appear in everyday life.
3. Remain open, but stick to your guns.
Understand that everyone is different in real life than they often appear online. However, set strict limits for yourself about what you will or will not accept. They may not meet your impossibly high standards or expectations, and that’s OK. But if you get a bad vibe, know where to draw the line and walk away if things don’t feel safe. Also prepare yourself to let them down gently if you find that they aren’t what you’re looking for in a relationship.
4. Plan ways to spark conversation.
Pick a location that’s suitable for a first date and will allow the two of you to interact. For example, seeing a movie isn’t the best way to spend a first date. Also, prepare some conversation starters for those moments where neither of you feels sure what to say.
5. Be accommodating, but authentic.
Obviously, you should show up on time and put your best foot forward. However, don’t forget to be your genuine self and allow the person to see the same version of you that they would see any other time. Don’t create a phony persona just to score points. The truth will come out in time, so it’s best to be authentic from the start.
6. Enjoy yourself!
You may feel nervous, and that’s perfectly OK. But don’t forget to enjoy your time and have a little fun!
Dates with a person you met online can be a fun experience! Just consider all the possibilities that may arise so you’re not caught off guard or disappointed.