6 Things to Bring when Meeting Your Online Date for the First Time

8. November 2010

Although the prospect of Internet dating can be terrifying, the success stories are overwhelming. What was once a medium reserved for weirdos is now one of the top 5 ways people meet their spouse. Nevertheless, one can never be too careful, which is why you should bring the following things when meeting your online date for the first time.

1. An Escape Route

Although it is less common among some of the bigger, more reputable dating websites, many people still lie in their profiles. Being one or two inches shorter than advertised is one thing, but being one or two feet shorter is another, and if you find out that your online date is far less honest than you were, you may need a way to get out of there quickly.

I … have to go to the bathroom.

Although the movies suggest elaborate back-up plans, such as having a sick sister, dead grandma, sick grandma, dead sister, dead dog, sick dog, or being dog sick (as in you have to get home because you miss your dog). The easiest and most respectable escape plan is the truth. If you can muster your way through a meal (and everybody can), let honesty win the day and tell them that it may just not be working for you. Worst-case scenario, they think you’re a jerk and then you never see them again. No fuss, no muss.

2. Hygiene Essentials

Let’s say you meet the other person for the first time and they actually appear to be better than advertised. The initial feeling may be relief, which may be followed by panic because now you think YOU are the one who lied on your profile.

Cargo pockets will help.

Once again, let honesty win the day. Treat every first date as if it may be with a person you’d like to see again. Look and feel your best, and be sure to have plenty of gum, make-up, hair gel, deodorant, soap, clean underwear and money on you at all times. If you are prepared for the best, you can always hold back if it’s the worst.

3. Topics of Conversation

Although everyone would like to think that they are personable and charming all of the time, the truth is they are not. Even if they are personable and charming, they can find themselves at a loss for words too. The point is, be prepared for awkward silence.

Sign language for “aaaaaawkward”

Nobody can plan how a conversation will go, but by preparing two or three talking points as well as four or five open ended questions, you can ensure that in the event that the bottom falls out, you will be prepared to get the night back on track.

4. Manners

Although this one is mostly for guys, girls can take heed of this advice as well. One of the biggest reasons why relationships fail is because as the couple gets more comfortable with each other; they lose the respect and manners that were present in the beginning of the relationship. If that respect is missing on the legendary first date, then so is the likelihood of a second one.

If in doubt, refer to this chart.

For some people, this means performing chivalrous actions like opening a door or pulling out a chair, for others it could mean simply wearing a shirt. Whatever your definition of “best behavior” is, be on it. Make your mama proud.

5. A Surprise

Everyone loves surprises, and having an ace or two up your sleeve could be an excellent way to start the date off right.

Cliché is just French for “works every time”

Keeping in mind that it is a bad idea to present yourself as aggressive or presumptuous (“Surprise! I got us a hotel room!”), it is always a good idea to show that you listen. If bringing flowers seems too old fashioned, then bring something small and simple that you know the other person likes. Whether you’ve talked about favorite types of candy, favorite movies or favorite food, there are literally dozens of options for a small sweet surprise if you take the time to look for it.

6. An Open Mind

Remember, you’re on a dating website, too. It’s amazing how quickly people forget this fact and proceed to judge everyone they meet as creepy and desperate.

This man practices family medicine from his offices inside a dumpster.

The truth is, for many people, career, family or travel has simply stood in the way of them meeting the right person. Although dating services have almost always had a bad rap, lately the number of success stories is becoming overwhelming. As more people find success on these websites, more people sign onto them, meaning you are just as likely to find the person of your dreams, as you are a total weirdo. Have fun, be open-minded, and don’t be afraid to reserve your judgment until you’ve seen all the facts.

While dating online can be stressful and occasionally traumatic, it can also be very rewarding. By keeping an open mind and remembering many of the basic rules taught to us in kindergarten, we can ensure that we have a pleasant first date, regardless of the outcome.

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