What happens when your dating pool is disappointing or you have trouble asking people out in person? You turn to online dating of course!
Online dating makes it easy to talk to people, but eventually you have to meet them in-person and carry on a conversation. You’ve got game when you’re typing back and forth on the computer, but face-to-face you might be nervous and not know what to say to keep the conversation flowing. It can be awkward.
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As a therapist at Talkspace who listens to relationship and dating problems, I recognize the affects it can have on people. It might cause anxiety and uncertainty when transitioning from an online relationship to a face-to-face date. Although these feelings are common, it should not prevent you from taking the next step. I have written a few pointers on how to have a great first date with someone you met online.
1. Come Ready With Questions
Be creative with your questions. Anyone can ask what you do for a living, what your favorite food, color or animal is — and those are good questions — but think of something fun and out of the box. Don’t go too deep such as “What is your life ambition?” and “How would you save the world if you could?” Questions about a favorite college memory or high school activities could turn into stories that will get them talking and take the pressure off you.
2. Show You Are Listening
Make it a point to remember at least one thing the person is saying as they are sharing a story. We all love it when we are with someone who is listening to us. If we remember what they have said and can repeat it to them later, not only do we score brownie points for listening, but it will cause us to ACTUALLY listen more!
3. Talk About Yourself
After asking questions showing you are listening, feel free to share stories about yourself. There is a chance that when you ask a question to your date, they might ask you one. Be prepared to share a few of your own great stories.
4. Allow for Silence
Sometimes we feel pressure to keep the conversation going. No one likes the “awkward silence,” but forcing conversation can be just as uncomfortable. Having some quiet moments is good. It gives you and your date some time to think about how the date is going. No need to stress. The conversation will usually pick up at the right time. If it doesn’t, that’s OK. It could be an indication you two might not be clicking.
5. Be Yourself
Yes this may be cliche, but when dating we want to know who that person is and what they are like. We want to see the real them. They also want to know who we are. Being comfortable in your own skin can help alleviate some pressure, making the situation more enjoyable.