You have probably flirted enough with that hot person you met on a dating site and are about to meet in person. Right now, you probably feel like you’re ready to walk down a dark alley, totally unaware of what awaits you. Don’t worry; here are helpful tips on how to proceed with the meetup.
It is normal for first encounters to be filled with concerns either about yourself or the other party. Whenever we are supposed to choose between two options with high uncertainties, our first instinct is often to run away.
Courtesy of a mix of anxiety and fear, most folks tend to overthink how their first encounters will go. While overthinking is only natural, it is always okay to plan how the interaction can be spiced up and take any necessary precautions beforehand.
That said, let’s dive into the list of things to do before your first encounter.
Conduct your Research and Verify their Identity
It is obvious why being safe in online dating is better than sorry. This is particularly so during the first encounter with a new person. Before the first date, it is prudent to confirm the identity of the person you’re about to meet. It is common practice on most dating sites for users to fake their personas. In many cases, people use pseudo accounts to look more appealing and attract other daters.
While not everyone who uses a pseudo account does so with malice, dating sites harbor some very dangerous people. By now, everyone should know a thing or two about conducting identity verification. Nuwber is a go-to identity verification tool for many people, especially in the U.S. By simply typing the potential date’s name or number you will be able to see if they really are who they claim to be. Make sure that the info that comes up on the website matches the details provided by the date. Verifying someone’s identity doesn’t mean that you’re a stalker; it only means you’re extra careful. And if they gave you their phone number, verify it on PhoneHistory.
Inform a Trustworthy Person about Your Meetup
While social platforms are intended to connect people who like each other, criminals tend to take advantage of such platforms to prey on desperate users. Before agreeing to meet up with anyone, inform a trustworthy person. eHarmony advocates for this move in their top safe pointers for initial dates. The importance of informing somebody about the date is that if anything goes wrong during the interaction, they can respond promptly and come to your aid.
If you feel that merely informing someone about the meetup is not enough, you can always request a trustworthy buddy to call you or check on your GPS location from time to time. Setting a timeline for when you either expect the meeting to end or return home is always advisable. Should the date proceed smoothly and you end up spending more time together than anticipated, call your trusted person and warn them.
Don’t Freak Out about Who Takes Care of the Bill
Gender equality is now the highlight of the decade, and old societal norms that once took center stage are slowly eroding. Unlike in the past, where a man had to take care of the bill, gender norms are now fluid, and anyone can pick up the tab if they feel like it. For a female seeking male especially, there’s absolutely nothing holding you back from picking up the bill if the guy doesn’t insist on paying. Doing what makes you comfortable boosts your self-esteem while allowing you to stay within your values.
When meeting up with a new person, it’s normal for anxiety to kick in. Any action or suggestion that could be made to make the interaction more comfortable should be taken. If you’re okay settling or splitting the bill, then go for it and make it clear to your date that you’re okay doing it. These days, almost anyone would appreciate such a kind gesture.
Feel Free to Suggest or Select the Venue
First encounters are often filled with plenty of anxiety about how to proceed with almost everything. When selecting a meetup place, most people prefer for their dates to suggest an ideal location and time. Since most people have a challenge with planning, why not take advantage of this opportunity? What’s the point of having an exciting idea in mind and keeping it all to yourself?
Selecting a familiar setting for your initial meetup will serve you well. Besides enjoying an experience of a place you fancy, you will feel safer and more confident. When you choose a diner or restaurant you’re familiar with, you will likely go into the meeting more relaxed. Your date will also likely appreciate the effort because you will have taken the pressure of choosing a location off of them.
Set Information Boundaries
The biggest mistake most folks make on an initial encounter is being too excited about the meetup and end up unknowingly revealing sensitive information about themselves. Going into a date and being all quiet is not good either because such a move will likely kill the vibe. The goal of an initial encounter is to get to know each other better. Before the date, try to decide what information is okay to reveal and what you would rather want to remain confidential. Sensitive information about the places you frequently visit, where you live, and essential details about your job should remain confidential.
Naturally, first dates will always have some tension surrounding them. While meeting someone new could be a delightful experience, the importance of taking precautions cannot be overstated. Despite chatting and video calling for extended periods with the people you meet online, you should be careful not to trust everyone. In the past, women were the main victims of bad dates, but these days men are too.
Nevertheless, approaching a romantic date with a defensive attitude will likely suck all the fun out of your interaction. The best mindset for a first encounter is acknowledging that you’re about to meet an exciting person. However, be smart enough to leave when obvious red flags start to show.