These days, it’s not uncommon to know a couple whose wedding you’re about to attend met online on a dating app, social networking site, or anywhere in between. With the world moving at a faster pace than ever before, it’s harder and harder to meet people “the old-fashioned way.” So, what do you do when you’re single? You download a few apps and get to swiping. And, sometimes, it turns out to be a match!
These digital avenues for finding love have become a societal norm, reshaping the landscape of modern relationships. Beyond the mainstream platforms, specialized dating sites for heavier singles or sites for specific hobbies have emerged, providing even more tailored opportunities for connection.
You talk initially on the app and, after a bit, exchange phone numbers and transition to texting throughout the day. When you finally decide to meet up varies by individuals and their preference, or maybe by distance. Some people prefer to get to know someone a little better via texting, talking on the phone, or even video chatting. Others prefer to rip the band-aid off, so to speak, and meet sooner than later, especially if they’re in the same city. It’s normal to be nervous about meeting someone for the first time after possibly developing feelings for them, and it’s also normal to wonder whether or not the emotions are even real. So, before you start fantasizing about your future wedding, honeymoon, and shopping for a changing pad for the first child you’ll have together, let’s talk about meeting for the first time “offline.”
No, we’re not talking about changing your relationship status on Facebook. When you meet for the first time, no matter how well you think you know someone, it’s generally considered a good idea to air on the side of caution and meet in a public setting. This way, there are people around if your presumed Mr. or Ms. Right turns out to be anything but! Equally, you want to let trusted friends and family members know where you’re going and who you will be meeting there. It’s also a good idea to shoot them a text a little into your first date to let them know that things are alright, and if they’re not, ask them to call, and you’ve got an easy out!
Short And Sweet
Sometimes, it’s best to keep the first day short and sweet, and to the point. This is, after all, the first time you’ll be meeting, and it’s a good idea to feel out chemistry and leave them or yourself wanting more. So, you can go with a super casual coffee date or just a quick drink. Of course, if you’re having the time of your life, there’s no rule that says you have to end the date after an hour, but it’s a good idea to make plans for a shorter first-time meet-up. Make sure that you ask questions about things you already know about them through your previous chatting, and come prepared with good questions to get to know someone.
Trust Your Instincts
When it comes to your first impression of meeting your online love interest in real life, go with your gut. Don’t romanticize a situation if it’s not a good fit for you or just because you may be feeling lonely. It can be easy to fall into the negative thinking that you’re going to be alone forever, but the old adage is true – there really are plenty of fish in the sea. If you don’t feel a connection in person with your date, don’t ghost, send a polite “it was so nice getting to know you, but I don’t think we’re a good fit” text to follow up, so you don’t leave them hanging. Additionally, be prepared to get the same type of text for them, and the same way it’s not personal if you’re not feeling them, don’t take it personally if they’re not feeling you.
On the flip side of the coin, if you had a great time, don’t be shy to reach out after your date and let them know how much you would enjoy getting together again. Chances are, if you were feeling sparks, the feeling was mutual, which could be the start of a great romance. Statistically speaking, online dating is the most popular way couples meet, so they could definitely be the one.
Just remember, play it safe and look for love in healthy and meaningful ways, and it’s sure to find you. And in case no one told you yet today, you are enough, and you are worthy of love!