Online dating apps have revolutionized the dating world. We often find people asking us for tips for a first date after meeting online. And if you’ve ever been on a first date before, you know the rush it brings. The first face-to-face meeting after online dating is both exciting and nerve-racking.
First dates are always characterized by anticipation, excitement, a little bit of doubt and anxiety. You have several questions and scenarios playing out in your head on a loop. These feelings are probably heightened even more when you meet someone after online dating. This is because even though you’ve established a connection with them online, meeting them in person is a completely different ball game altogether.
You may have been chatting for a long time, and virtually know each other quite well, but the first face-to-face meeting is bound to be a new experience. While online dating apps have opened up a world of virtual dating, it is only when you meet each other face-to-face that you can actually know whether there is a connection.
Now that you’re finally going to meet them IRL, you want to match their expectations or even exceed them! It’s normal to be nervous and excited before meeting this person since this first date can make or break your chances with them. But fret not, we are here to help you out with these tips for a first date after meeting online.
20 Tips To Keep In Mind For The First Face-To-Face Meeting After Online Dating
Meeting someone offline for the first time can be awkward. You no longer have the luxury to think of well-thought out replies and witty one-liners. This is when you have to strike a real connection with them if you want to take things forward. We’ve all heard stories from friends about how their date was great while they were texting online, but the real date turned out to be absolutely dreadful.
However, if you think you’ve established a real connection online, you should be able to connect and relate to each other in person as well. So, we’re here to calm those first-date nerves with a few tips that you should keep in mind for your first face-to-face meeting after online dating.
1. Pick a place you both like
This is an important tip for your first offline meeting after online dating. Settling on a place that you both like can be challenging. But trust us, this has the potential to make your first date after meeting online a huge success. Just make sure you pick a public place for your first meeting.
A romantic dinner and drinks go a long way in setting the mood and helping you in striking the connection when meeting face-to-face for the first time. However, if you feel there’s a more appropriate first date idea for the two of you, go for it! Don’t be afraid to do something out of the box if you think your date will enjoy it.
Related Reading: 30 Amazing First Date Ideas You Will Just Love
2. Dress to impress
You’re meeting this person for the first time. They have probably seen the best of you through the pictures you uploaded on the app. Needless to say, you’re competing with yourself in good lighting and flattering angles. You obviously need to dress well! First impressions (irl) are very important.
But at the same time, don’t overdress because that makes it look like you’re trying too hard. Consider your place of meeting and dress as per the setting. If it’s a bar or café, keep it lowkey with warm tones. A movie date warrants stylish casuals, whereas a date at a fine-dining restaurant calls for your sleekest outfit ideas for that first date.
3. Keep a few conversation starters ready
You find yourself wondering what to say when you first meet your date. This can be even more of a problem if you’re shy. Meeting someone offline for the first time can be awkward. This is why, instead of stuttering and stumbling upon your words, it’s best to keep a few icebreaker questions and conversation starters ready. Asking them about their favorite movies, TV shows, travel destinations etc. can be a good way to begin the date. Meeting a date for the first time need not be awkward!
4. Don’t be afraid to compliment them
Just like you, they probably put in some effort into their appearance as well. Don’t be afraid to appreciate that. After all, who doesn’t like being noticed? Compliments for men might seem like unchartered territory, but ladies, please appreciate your date if he’s winning your heart.
However, be sure that your compliments are appropriate and genuine. Don’t make sexual remarks because it is an instant deal-breaker. This is one of the most useful tips for a first date after meeting online.
5. Meeting someone for the first time after knowing them online? Be punctual
We cannot emphasize this enough! Please be punctual. No one likes waiting on someone for prolonged periods of time. If you have a genuine emergency, make sure you let them know you are running late. Other than that, if you’re just late because you didn’t get ready on time, you need to dig a hole and sit in it to reflect. Being late can totally ruin your date by killing the mood; it is also a sign of disrespect.
Related Reading: How To Ask A Girl Out On A Date – 18 Tips To Make Her Say Yes
6. Greeting them appropriately
A very common question on a lot of people’s minds is “How should I act when I first meet my date?” Should you hug when you greet them? What if they don’t like hugs? Lean in for a cheek kiss maybe? Cheek kisses to greet people isn’t a very common phenomenon in India so we suggest you avoid that. Unless your date is European.
Well, jokes apart, we have found that the most appropriate way to greet your date is by saying hi and leaning in for a brief hug. Remember that you’re not absolute strangers and have shared endless conversations online. Evaluate your comfort level with this person based on those interactions to pick your style of greeting. The key here is to go with the flow and not get awkward.
7. Talk about topics you both enjoy
You have been talking to this person online for a while now and you probably share common interests with them. This is how you connected with them in the first place. You have had innumerable discussions on text. Dive into those topics as you know that you can both hold conversations on them for long. Besides, these interest you both so you will genuinely enjoy talking to each other. Never control the conversation, because that’s bad dating etiquette.
8. Ask them for their preferences and keep these in mind
This is one of the more important tips for a first date after meeting online. If you’re out for dinner, ask them what they would like to order. If they picked the restaurant, make sure you ask for their suggestions. This is just a thoughtful gesture that will make your date feel valued. Being mindful of their needs is non-negotiable.
9. Show genuine interest in them
It is important that you actually listen to what your date is saying. Don’t just hear the words but listen! Ask them follow up questions related to their anecdotes so they know you’re paying attention. If you act disinterested, there is no way you’re making it to a second date. If you want to make it to the wonderful third date, then hang on to every word uttered.
10. The correct body language is important
Our body language says a lot about us. It is important for you to pick up on your date’s body language and also conduct yourself smartly. Lean in to show your interest in them and what they are saying. If you find them leaning in too, it’s a sign of mutual attraction.
Mirroring your date’s body language, speech, gestures etc. can help show your interest. This is a psychological phenomenon that can, if done correctly, be used to build a strong connection with your date. When you’re meeting someone for the first time after knowing them online, body language plays a vital role in the dynamics of attraction.
11. A little humor goes a long way
Everyone likes someone that can make them smile. After all, more than anything else, you both came out to have a good time. So make sure you lighten the mood with some wit and humor on your first date after meeting online. Just don’t make offensive jokes that might backfire. In case you need to, look up some good jokes on the internet. But if you are a natural, then you are all set with a few wisecracks up your sleeve.
Related Reading: The Ultimate Funny Online Dating Questions
12. Don’t breach boundaries when you’re meeting a date for the first time
This is vital to the success of your first date after meeting online. Give your date their space and be mindful of their physical and emotional boundaries. Don’t get too close to them if they seem uncomfortable, or talk about topics that make them feel visibly awkward. Wrapping your arms around their waist or resting your hands on their thighs are strict no-nos. In a nutshell, don’t take too much liberty.
13. Keep the drinking in check
This is something that people don’t talk about. While it is good to have a few drinks to relax, it’s important to not lose control. You’re meeting a stranger after all, and safety is a priority. Even if you do trust the other person, it is still not advisable to get too intoxicated on your first face-to-face meeting after online dating. If you do this you might end up saying or doing things you’ll regret later. Moreover, you give off the wrong impression; no one wants to date an alcoholic.
14. Flirt a little on your first date after meeting online
Remember, you’re on a date! We know it’s much harder to flirt in person than it is to flirt online, but you have to give it a shot. If you can tell from your date’s behavior that they are starting to get comfortable, it will help your cause to indulge in some flirty exchanges. Follow the flirting tips for beginners to seem like a charmer (and avoid rookie mistakes).
15. Inform someone of your whereabouts
Since you’re going out with someone you haven’t met before, it’s good to take some precautions. Inform a friend or family member of your whereabouts for safety reasons. It’s good to hope for the best, but you should prepare for the worst on a first date after meeting someone online. It’s important to run a check on them before you decide to meet face-to-face.
Related Reading: 5 Reasons to Research Your Date Online Before You Meet
16. Meeting online date for first time? Don’t be too self-conscious
Here is one of the most important tips for a first date after meeting online: don’t hold yourself back. Being overly self-conscious will make you seem wound up and uptight. Be your very best self! Signs of confidence are attractive in any part of the world. While it’s important to seem proper and appropriate, you must also remember to have fun. If you’re enjoying yourself, chances are that your date is too. Isn’t that the goal?
17. It’s the 21st century, split the bill!
If ever there was a tricky subject, this would be it. But if we really think about it, it isn’t tricky at all. So, who should pay the bill? The best solution is to split the bill! If you want to uncomplicate things further, you can discuss this with your date before meeting them itself. This will save you both the pain of contemplating who pays the bill.
Here’s another alternative: if you’re doing two activities, you can pay for one and your date can pay for the other. Sweet and simple. This is one of the primary tips for a first date when you’re meeting someone for the first time after knowing them online.
18. Read the signs and don’t be clingy
Make sure you read things correctly. If the date seems to be going smoothly, then you’re sorted. However, if you feel like it’s going downhill and there seems to be no connection between you two, let them go. Sure, bad dates are disappointing, but we must learn to accept them.
If you try too hard to “fix” things and push for a second date when there’s clearly no connection, you will come off as clingy. This is definitely something you shouldn’t do after meeting someone online. In rare cases, if the date is just intolerable, keep an exit strategy handy. If things just don’t seem to be working out, you can always choose to leave.
This is not a compulsion and you’re not committed to this person. Yes, you can fake an emergency but wouldn’t you rather be honest? The best thing to do is to come clean and tell your date that you don’t feel a connection. They will appreciate your honesty.
19. Physical intimacy tips for a first date
Here is another tricky one! When it comes to physical intimacy on a first date, it is important to read the room. Let’s repeat this one for those at the back – read the room. Analyze your date’s behavior and body language toward the end of the date. If you feel like you’re already getting cozy and there is mutual consent, then you’re good to go.
However, if you seem to be on neutral ground, it’s fair to be confused. Should you hug or should you kiss your date? It’s fairly normal to hug a date goodbye, but when it comes to kissing and making a move, only lean in if you feel that there’s a moment between you two. Navigate the territory of affection very wisely when you’re meeting an online date for the first time.
Related Reading: Role Of Consent: Can No Mean Something Else?
20. Make plans for a second date
If the online dating gods have blessed you and all goes well on your first date after meeting online, don’t shy away from planning a second one. You have impressed them and the night has ended well. You’re probably willing to spend more time together and so is your date. Go ahead and plan for future dates!
Yes, the world of online dating is full of its own set of wonders and mysteries. It can be scary and inviting at the same time. There is no set number of tips for a first date after meeting online that can guarantee the success of your first date.
But it definitely helps to know the do’s and don’ts of a first date. At the end of the day, it all depends on how you both connect at an individual level and whether sparks fly between you both or not. The best way to let this happen is by being your true self and going with the flow.
A 2017 study in the US found 39% of heterosexual couples reported meeting their partner online, compared to 22% in 2009. We are sure the numbers have gone up in 2020.
One to two weeks is a decent amount of time to wait before meeting a date for the first time. It gives you a good idea of the compatibility between you two. But you should take care to research your online date before you meet.
A survey shows just over half of Americans (54%) say that relationships where couples meet through a dating site or app are just as successful as those that begin in person, 38% believe these relationships are less successful, while 5% deem them more successful.
Yes, you can meet your soulmate online. Earlier you used to meet a romantic partner through friends and family, at college, or in the workplace, but now you can find your soulmate through dating apps.
You know you have a twin flame connection if you feel you are two bodies and one soul. You feel your love is a gift from the universe, asking you to let go of the small desires and ambitions to achieve greater heights.