The purpose of online dating is to take the conversation off the computer and into a face-to-face encounter. Soon the website won’t be needed and it’ll be up to you to keep the relationship afloat. It may be going well and everything seems hunkle-dunkle till you’re at an art exhibit with your date and you hear her say, “It looks like a fruit basket,” but she’s not looking at a painting, she’s looking at you! It can happen that fast people. The things you do and say on the first date will determine if there is a second date, and a third and a fourth and a fifth. Here are some general guidelines.
Dating Your Matches:
DO: Most importantly, say yes when a match (who you’ve been communicating with consistently) asks to meet you in person. Like I said in the post about communication, there’s no point in joining a website to find dates if you never go out on dates.
DON’T: Deny every single date offer because you’re waiting for “The One”. The old wise quote comes to mind, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you always got.” So take a chance.
DO: Plan activities you both will enjoy, and do those together. Whether it’s Mexican food for dinner, or just dessert, find something that keeps you comfortable so you can really show off who you are.
DON’T: Agree to go somewhere you know you don’t like. If you don’t drink coffee, Starbucks is not a good idea.
DO: As a gentleman, offer to pick them up on the first date.
DON’T: Insist on picking her up. If she declines your first offer, she’s probably playing hard to get, right? Wrong, creep! Offer to pick her up once, then if/when she declines just meet her at the date location.
DO: Show up to the first date.
DON’T: Sit in a booth near the kitchen. Nothing kills the mood like glasses clinking and odd smells. Which reminds me, don’t sit near the restroom either.
DO: Men, be assertive. One person will be the leader in this relationship, make sure it’s you.
DON’T: Pretend you’re perfect by saying all the right things. Second to sitting next to the kitchen or restroom, it’s the behavior that smells the fishiest. For more on this, research Jake Pavelka of Bachelor fame, most notably his cat fight with ex-girlfriend Vienna. I’m sure it’s on YouTube.
DO: Come into a relationship with your flaws. There are no perfect people, so if your date expects that from you, run away.
DON’T: When the date’s over, a kiss on the cheek is very acceptable, but limit yourself to applying one kiss to said cheek. Going in for a second cheek kiss? Think twice. If there’s still time, divert it to a whisper in her ear then spend your car ride home accepting that you will probably never hear from her again because you just whispered in her ear on the first date.
DON’T: Immediately check your date’s online activity when you return home after a date. If it says “active in the last 24 hours” it may begin to mess with your head. Just remember, it doesn’t mean your date is not interested. Afterall, your online activity probably has the same status message.
Thanks for reading through these last four posts! This last one is shorter than the others, on purpose. When you’re with your date, there’s something more than a list of dos and don’ts that gives you a sense of yes or no. An assurance in your gut that guides you. Your date could do all the wrong things, but you fall in love. Your date could say all the right things, but you are totally uncomfortable. Relationships are more than what to do and what not to do, they’re about chemistry. When the sparks are there, you’ll know it. So here’s my last bit of advice.
DO: Go out on dates. Enjoy exploring the city you live in. Try new food.
DON’T: Don’t, for any reason ever, give up on finding the one that will fall asleep holding your hand on a long car trip to the coast.