GT Date

Our online dating tutorial series continues.

Being an expert at sending online messages is great, but we all know you didn’t come to GT Date to spend your evenings alone at the computer.

You’ll want to quickly take things further and go on actual dates as well.

At what point should you do this with a potential partner? The sooner the better, as long as you’re feeling comfortable about it. You want to avoid building up a whole fantasy world about someone just for it to crumble in the face of reality when you finally meet. The faster you meet, the less of a chance your brain will get to make up a dream personality for your date, so a seemingly wasted journey early on is far preferable to a long stretch of daydreams followed by a nasty anticlimax.

Not sure whether or not you like someone enough to go on a date? On the whole, it’s best to err on the side of meeting people. You may be surprised to know that many of our happiest success stories involve people who took a chance on someone they weren’t that sure about. While we’re not suggesting you waste your time meeting people you know for sure are not for you, if you find yourself thinking “uuuuh maybe”, then go for it. The time and money you may lose on one bad date is nothing compared to what you will gain if things work out.

So where and how to meet? By now you probably know where you like to go on dates and what you like to do on them so we won’t bore you with too many details. Just remember that a first date with someone you met online is not the same as a date with someone you’ve already met in person. Even if you’ve been exchanging pictures and speaking for a while, it’s still more like a blind date, as you never know who’s going to turn up to meet you. People can see surprisingly different in person, as we all know.

So to save yourself and your date any awkwardness, make things casual. Skip the romantic dinner and a movie setting and meet for a quick lunch or brunch, a coffee or an after work drink. You could also go to something you could just as easily enjoy with a friend such as a market or a gallery. Also, while most people assume the majority of stalking cases involve men stalking women, sticking to some basic safety rules won’t hurt, at least until you’ve met your date in person and can form a more educated opinion.

Basically, this means keeping your first date to a public and busy place and maybe letting a friend or family member know you’re out on an Internet date. Nowadays, it’s quite common for people to ignore these rules, but having a wingman or woman call you up during the date to check on you be a lifesaver in the social sense as well, rather than just the literal sense. You never know when you may need an excuse to leave. Something else you can do that works is set a time limit for the date in advance and say you have other plans. Your wingman can always call you and “cancel” if you indicate things are going well.

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