Moving Beyond Online Chatting
So you’ve more than likely been chatting it up online with a potential dating prospect that you’ve met through your personals ad and perhaps even progressed to talking a bit on the telephone. It is generally best practice to gradually move from email correspondence or online chatting to actually speaking “live” on the telephone before meeting in-person for the first time. This gets the acquaintanceship started at a reasonably good pace and allows you to learn more about each other through written and verbal words before taking the plunge to meet face-to-face, which for most people is the more vulnerable and nerve-wracking scenario. Take time to glean the information you receive about this new man through all your modes of communication you’ve had with each other before deciding whether he meets your compatibility criteria to even proceed with a physical meeting. This will help to save much time and energy in your quest for a good first date material.
Prepping for the Big Moment
It’s also important before segueing from phone conversation to direct face-to-face contact that you define for yourself the parameters of what this first encounter with your personals ad match means. It is generally helpful to view this first physical approach with each other as a “first meeting” as opposed to a “first date.” Labeling it as a “first date” can conjure up all sorts of anxiety, anticipation, and expectation that can be quite sabotaging and distracting. “The first meeting” is intended to be a brief and casual get-together to see if you and your personals match can build-upon the momentum of what has been achieved in your prior contacts and to determine if there is enough compatibility and chemistry to warrant pursuing a “first date” with each other as the next progression.
Approaching “the first meeting” without any anticipation of outcome is an important key to staying in control of your dating life and to avoid any unnecessary disappointments and unrealistic expectations. You’re meeting a new person for the first time for some fun and captivating conversation, and if anything else materializes from that…bonus! Keep it grounded.
So you’ve scheduled a time to meet up with this new prospect. What the heck to do you talk about? Communicating with someone online or on the telephone can be a lot different and less anxiety-provoking because of the sense of removal and space that exists between the two of you. Sitting face-to-face with a stranger that you’ve only just begun to develop an affiliation with through online methods can really be quite daunting for some people. Here are some tips for how to dialogue most effectively on your “first meeting” to make the experience satisfying and pleasurable for both of you.
- To emphasize again, keep the focus on the fact that there is no expectation of outcome. This will help you to be more casual, relaxed, and to stay fully present and engaged with your prospect rather than be “stuck in your head” with worries about how you’re “performing” or whether this guy perceives you favorably.
- Remember to keep the meeting short, time-limited and structured for the first time. It’s also advantageous to do something activity-oriented like going to a zoo or taking a short hike in a nature preserve. This gives you a built-in conversation piece by being able to talk about the cues in your immediate environment and surroundings rather than sitting there staring at each other in uncomfortable silence across a coffee shop table if you happen to freeze during a lull in the conversation.
- Absolutely do not talk about anything negative! This means no talk about ex-boyfriends, past relationship baggage and scars, family problems, health or financial issues, etc. This is about putting your best foot forward and creating a climate of positive energy and attraction. DO talk about your dreams, goals, fantasies, passions, talents, work, vacations, etc.
- This meeting is an opportunity for you to discover if this man across from you would be a potential goodness-of-fit with your personal requirements for a partner and relationship. Make sure you know what that would be for yourself and then weave these questions in naturally during the course of your conversation so that it doesn’t sound like an interview.
- One of the greatest gifts you can give your prospect is to show curiosity in who he is as a person. Ask him questions about himself, validate the things that he says, and show a genuine interest. One of the secrets to landing a date with someone or to making a good impression is to make sure you leave the encounter with that person feeling good about himself as a result of his interactions with you.
- If you happen to run out of things to talk about or find yourself paralyzed with a mental block, it can be helpful to be appraised of current events so that you may have that news at your disposal to initiate a dialogue and learn more about your prospects views and opinions on various matters.
- Discussions around religion, politics, and sex may be better postponed for later contacts due to the heaviness and potential controversy that exists in these topics. The “first meeting” should be light, fun, and positive. While it’s important to learn about each other’s sexual tastes and preferences, bringing this subject out in the first contact could send mixed signals that this is more of a “cruising” situation and that sex is a priority. The relationship-minded single keeps sex into perspective at its appropriate time and context.
* Get your hands on a book called “First Impressions: What You Don’t Know About How Others See You” by Ann Demarais, PhD. This is a great resource that I have my own clients read when it comes to learning how to make a good first impression, whether it’s for a business meeting, a social event, or a dating situation. It’s got great information for getting through the “first meeting” with a dating prospect. You can purchase it here at Amazon for your convenience if you prefer: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0553382012/?tag=thegaylovecoa-20
* Before your meeting, make a list of all the possible topics you could talk about when you guys get together. Obviously, spontaneous conversations will come across more naturally and flow better, but just in case you need a back-up plan, having some conversation-starters in your back pocket can help ease your mind. Remember to include questions about your own personal requirements for a partner and relationship, and if you don’t know what these are, spend some time creating this very important list that ultimately becomes your dating screening tool.
Enjoy your “first meeting!” Have a blast!