Last week we discussed how to avoid common pitfalls when creating an online dating profile and flirting on the net. Now, let’s turn our attention to the first date, when it’s time to leave cyberspace and enter RL (that’s “real life,” for you novices).
Short and Sweet: A first date should be a brief meet-up for coffee or a drink, not a daylong cross-country skiing expedition or road trip to Montréal. If you end up having nothing in common, that’s an awful lot of awkward silence to fill. The purpose of the first date is to assess chemistry and decide whether you want to dedicate more time to growing the romance. Remember to be safe, too: Always plan to meet in a public place and tell a friend or family member where you’re going and who you’re meeting.
Mind Your Manners: Be on your best behavior on a first date. Don’t slurp your drink, and be nice to waitstaff. If you’re footing the bill, be sure to tip at least the customary 20 percent — no one likes a cheapskate. Be mindful of how much time you spend talking about yourself; don’t hog the conversation. And, please, put your cellphone away. If you’re awaiting an extremely important text message, explain this to your date at the beginning of the evening and apologize in advance for the impending interruption. Otherwise, keep the phone out of sight.
Kiss Off: It’s the end of the date, and the sparks are flying — should you kiss? Absolutely! If both parties are into it, there’s nothing wrong with a smooch. Should you take it further? Follow your gut. If the moment is right, and you’re both hot to trot, sex on the first date isn’t wrong. However, you have to be ready to deal with the consequences — you might never get a call for a second date, or one partner may prematurely become emotionally attached. Remember, anticipation is one of the most powerful aphrodisiacs, so why squander it? I say, wait until at least the second or third date (if not the sixth) to do the deed.
Follow the steps above, and you’ll be clicking in person instead of just clicking your mouse.