So you’re into someone you’ve met while online dating, and now is the time to meet. You’ve been both anticipating and dreading this date for a long time. Even though it’s a blind date, it’s a bit more than that, as you know this person from talking via instant messenger and perhaps the phone, too. It’s a unique situation, to put it mildly—but it’s becoming more common every day.
How do you handle the online blind date? Here are a few ways to make it the best experience:
Always send current pictures. If you have a picture of someone in your head and it turns out that they aren’t like that at all, you will have to rethink your stance on the relationship. That’s why it’s important to send the most current pictures of yourself while online dating. In fact, using a web-cam or sending digital shots that were taken quite recently will go a long way toward eliminating the “what do you really look like” factor.
Have a way out. As with any blind date, you should always have an escape call. Arrange for your friend to call you at one hour into the date, and take the call, no matter what. You can then decide if you want to feign an emergency and get out of there, or if you want to continue getting to know this person you’ve just met.
Have some protection. No, we don’t mean in the sexual sense! We’re talking about protection in the literal sense. Always meet in a public place, and don’t go anywhere private on the first date. If there are any red flags or uneasy feelings, you can always walk away in a public setting. If you decide to stay longer than you had intended, or perhaps even spend the night with your date, schedule a “safe call” with a friend and let them know exactly where you are.
Bring a friend. If you are truly nervous and uncertain about meeting your online blind date, bring a friend along with you. They don’t have to actually sit with you – just ask them to hang out nearby where they can see you at all times. It’s a nice safety precaution that will allow you to get out of there quickly if you need to, and you will have someone to back you up.
Don’t get your hopes up. In most cases, the fantasy is much better than the reality. Give yourself plenty of time to adjust to the fact that this person in front of you is the same person you have been getting to know online and over the phone. The sudden change in perspective can make you wonder what you are getting into! So don’t get your hopes up, and give yourself plenty of time to decide if you want that second date…or the third…or even more.