Meeting a date for the first time can be nerve-wracking, especially when it was arranged via a dating app. When it’s the first time you’ve laid eyes on your date in real life, it’s completely normal to worry about making a good first impression. You might be nervous about the impression she makes on you too.
But what if your online chemistry doesn't match the chemistry you have on your first date? What if she's completely different in looks or personality? Is it best to keep the date going and hope that you at least have a little fun? Or is it better to just end the date as soon as you can?
I’m here to help you with that. Below, you’ll find a series of tips for what to do when meeting a date for the first time. Hopefully, with this list of expert ideas to hand, you’ll be less anxious about meeting someone from online dating.
Meeting Someone You Met Online For The First Time
There are a few differences between meeting someone from online dating for a first date and meeting someone you’ve previously encountered in real life.
With that in mind, here are the main things you need to bear in mind when meeting someone from online dating.
She might be less invested in meeting you
It’s a sad reality that we’re less likely to treat our dates like humans when we meet them on Tinder or other apps.
The fast-paced nature of dating apps can easily dehumanize their users in the eyes of others. It’s common for men and women to treat their potential matches like nothing more than a face on a screen, rather than real people with real emotions.
For this reason, your date is likely to be less invested in meeting you, even after agreeing to do so. She might also feel less guilty about calling the whole thing off at short notice, for little to no reason.
Perhaps the nerves of meeting a complete stranger overwhelms her. Perhaps another Tinder user who is better looking than you wants to meet her at that time. Maybe you write one message that rubs her the wrong way. Sadly, in this new era of digital dating, most women deem these as perfectly acceptable reasons to cancel a date or even completely ghost a guy.
For this reason, you should take extra steps to make an online date comfortable with meeting you. We’ve listed a range of things you can do to achieve this in the next section of this article.
She might look different in her photos
Here’s an underrated bonus of meeting a woman in real life before asking her out on a date: you can be confident about what she really looks like. Sadly, that’s not true when you match on a dating app.
Most women are either uploading old photos, adding filters, using photo editing software or taking photos at angles that hide their flaws. Many are doing all four.
There’s also the possibility that she’s a catfish, using photos of a completely different person to get your attention. Don’t worry, we’ve listed some ideas that’ll help you avoid being fooled below.
She might be more shy than you’re expecting
Anyone can appear fun and charismatic from behind the safety of a smartphone screen, but there’s every chance that charisma won’t carry over to real life.
Perhaps she’s more nervous or shy in face-to-face conversations. A lot of women won’t admit to being shy, for fear of losing you. If they are, that’s usually something you’ll have to wait until the date to discover.
There might be no chemistry
When you meet a woman in real life - even if it’s just for five minutes in a bar - you might be more excited than nervous because you’ve already experienced signs of chemistry.
When you go on a Tinder date for the first time, there will definitely be no existing face-to-face chemistry. This in itself might make you more worried about how the date will go down.
All you can do is hope that your digital chemistry replicates in real life.
What to Do Before Meeting a Date for the First Time
Take these steps before meeting a date for the first time to maximize the chances of the date itself going well.
Swap social media details
As soon as you’ve established some sort of mutual rapport with one of your matches on a dating app, get her details for another messaging app.
Here are the key reasons to move the conversation off of Tinder (or any other dating app) as soon as possible.
- On a dating app, you’re more likely to be drowned out by hundreds of other guys and forgotten about.
- A lot of women don’t use or check dating apps very often
- A lot of women don’t have notifications turned on for dating apps.
- Dating apps don’t have as many functions as messaging apps. Usually, you can’t call, send photos or leave voice notes.
- A lot of women regularly delete or deactivate their dating apps.
- It’s easier for you to get unfairly banned from a dating app.
- It’s in your best interests to start being perceived as more than “some guy from Tinder”.
A lot of guys ask for a woman’s phone number when things are going well on the app. However, there are many reasons it’s more beneficial to get her Instagram or Snapchat details instead.
With either of these apps, you’ll be able to see a lot more of her photos and learn more about her. Now, you don’t have to worry whether she’s a catfish. You can watch her stories and use them as a simple conversation starter. She’s going to do the same for you too, so make sure you’ve curated an attractive profile. If you have, she’s going to be more invested in meeting you.
On top of that, she’s probably going to be viewing your stories for the upcoming days until your date. This is going to keep you fresh in her mind, so she doesn’t forget how great you are. Most women are addicted to Instagram or Snapchat these days, so popping up on her daily feed is a great way to cement your awesomeness in her mind.
Just make sure that she follows you before you send your first message. Otherwise, it’s going to land in the “Requests” inbox, which most women never check.
Arrange a video call
A video call is a great chance to test your chemistry before the effort and potential awkwardness of a first date. It’s also the best chance you have of seeing what she looks like without filters, other than spotting her in real life.
Few Millennial or Gen-Z women seem to appreciate spontaneous video calls, so it’s in your best interests to schedule a time to call her. You don’t have to make this a big deal. Simply ask if she’s “Free for a video call tonight?”
Whenever you do get on the call with her, keep the conversation short and light. Maybe you could discuss what you’ve been up to this week, your plans for the weekend and some ideas for your first date. That should be enough to fill 10 minutes and give you an idea of whether there’s chemistry or if she’s shy and boring.
Provided the call wasn’t an awkward trainwreck, this should make both of you more comfortable with the idea of meeting each other.
Send her small updates
It’s a good idea to arrange your date as near in the future as possible, while her excitement about meeting you is at its peak. Strike while the iron is hot, so to speak. This reduces the chances of some other guy shooting his shot before you do, sweeping her off her feet and making her forget all about you. In this fast-paced world of digital dating, this happens more often than you may realize.
Anyway, to keep her warm on the idea of meeting you, send a few small updates in between arranging a date and actually going on it. Don’t go crazy. One short text every couple of days is fine.
Of course, if she’s following you on Instagram or Snapchat, she’s going to see your life updates without you having to send them just to her.
For more advice on good messages to send a woman, see this guide on how to text a girl for the first time.
Prepare stuff to talk about
If you’re someone who worries about running out of things to say, it might help you to write a short list of conversation topics in the notes app on your phone.
Maybe you’ll add 5 things you want to know about her and 5 things you want to tell about yourself. That should be enough to keep you going if the conversation runs dry.
It’s also worth preparing an innocent excuse - and the fastest route - for her to come back to your place. Women have sex on the first date far more often than they let on, but you’ll need a reason more subtle than “let’s go back to mine and bang”, so they can tell themselves that “it just happened” and not feel easy.
Make sure you look your best
First impressions count for a lot, especially in the world of dating. While personality tends to be more important than looks, it’s still worth taking the time to dress and groom yourself well.
This communicates a lot about your self-respect and your ability to take care of yourself, which are attractive traits.
For more tips on making a great first impression, see this guide on how to be interesting to a woman.
What If She’s Not What You Expected?
When you’ve never laid eyes on a woman before, there’s a higher chance that she doesn’t meet your expectations. Here are some recommendations for what to do if that’s the case.
If she doesn’t look as good as her pictures
You should absolutely call her out.
This might sound like harsh advice, especially in this modern society where people are more easily offended than ever. Still, this is the only way to discourage women from fooling their online dating matches in the future.
What’s the alternative? Waste time with a date you’re not attracted to?
Your time is surely worth more than that…
If she’s more shy than you expected
Have some patience with her. Some people take a while to open up to strangers, even if they’re fun and playful over text.
You can help her to open up quicker by doing so yourself first. Tell her some stories from your life. Be vulnerable with her. Make a few jokes. Be a bit dorky, so she can see that a first date is not a big deal.
Also, ask her some great questions that encourage her to open up about herself. Be a good listener and encourage her to elaborate on your stories.
Do this well enough and you may find that your dud date becomes a slow burner that you end up really enjoying.
Meeting a date for the first time can be a roll of the dice. You can never truly know how it’s going to go. But, these tips can do a lot to help you make sure that things go in a positive direction.