Young couple having a coffee on their first date

First Date Tips for Online Dating

There is no doubt that online dating is changing the way we meet new people. As many as 40% of Americans currently use or have tried online dating in the past. Just think about the millions of singles that can now meet on dating sites and would have never met otherwise.

Online dating can help shy singles chat and let their personality shine with strangers more than they would if they were in a bar alone and, if used smartly, dating apps can actually save time.

Since dating platforms are tailored to their audience, you will have good chances to meet singles that share your same dating goals, and sites that allow for detailed profiles can help you figure out compatibility at first glance. Check out our dating sites reviews to learn about the best online dating features and communication tools to land you what you’re looking for in love or in play.

But meeting someone online does call for precaution: how to tell if you can trust your blind date’s word? After all, you have never seen them in person and don’t have any shared acquaintances. How to behave on a first date and ensure safety? How do you go about a second meeting?

Keep reading to learn the best tips to ensure a successful first date once you’ve decided the time has come to LTOL.

Online Dating: Planning a Safe First Date

Safety should always be your priority when meeting someone for the first time, especially if all you know about them comes from a dating profile and long online chatting.

It is true that dating platforms attract scammers who try to take advantage of online anonymity to create fake profiles and easily reach potential victims. Frauds vary: some of them craft elaborate lies to convince singles to lend them money, others are after personal information to commit identity theft.

Fortunately, the best dating sites have safety measures in place to identify scammers and minimize risks. These include ID and photo verification, block and report features, and safe communication channels as well as extensive online dating safety advice. You can discover how the best dating platforms protect their users with our dating site comparisons, as well as contrast their services.

After you have been talking online for a while and you feel ready to take things to the next level, it is up to you to organize a safe and comfortable first date.

Do's and Don'ts of a Blind Date

To save yourself from potential troubles on your first date, follow these tips:

  1. Do agree to meet in a public location where you will be surrounded by people. A museum, cafe, or popular park will be ideal, especially if it’s a place you are already familiar with.
  2. Do let your friends know where you are going and when. There are apps that also allow you to share your live location with trusted contacts.
  3. Do keep expectations low. A number of studies show that online dating is making us pickier and more judgemental. If you build someone up as your prince or princess charming before meeting them, you are setting them up for failure.
  4. Don’t accept rides and drive to and from your date separately.
  5. Don’t share sensitive information with your date. It is not a good idea to disclose your address or workplace location, nor any financial details.
  6. Don’t do dinner. A more relaxed environment — such as your favorite coffee shop — will help you keep your nerves at bay and require less of your time.

Tips for a Great First Date

Making sure that you and your financial details are safe and sound is not the only way to survive your first online date. What if your date is nothing like their profile picture? How to make a first date fun and ensure that you both have a great time? And what happens to online dating after the first date?

Remember that it’s okay to be nervous. It is so normal that chances are your date is feeling nervous too. Admitting it can be a good ice breaker and will make things easier and more relaxed.

Ask questions about their experiences and preferences. Everyone likes to talk about their travels and the stories behind their favorite foods. Not making the date all about you is a fun and elegant way to discover more about the other person and test potential compatibility. Of course, try to avoid making it look like an interrogation.

Being honest goes beyond just admitting that you are nervous, and can only have positive outcomes. If something makes you feel uncomfortable or if you would like to wrap things up and call it a day, say so. As long as you are polite and respectful at all times, it will give the other person the chance to adjust things or simply save both of you some precious time.

Lying is never a good idea, even though it is understandable that you really want to impress your date. After all, you want a potential partner to be attracted by whom you really are and not a fictitious person. Tell the truth about yourself, it will come out anyway eventually.

If you had a fantastic time and felt good chemistry, you may be wondering about the best way to ask for a second date. Forcing the conversation to go in that direction may not be ideal. It is always better to be in the moment and the enjoy the current date, instead of talking about the next one and appearing needy.

So what to do after the first date? A message or short email should be enough to let them know that you had a lovely afternoon and would like to stay in touch. If you agree to a second meeting, organizing the date together can be a great way to get an idea of your potential partner’s creative thinking.

Online dating doesn’t have to end after the first date. It is, of course, premature to discuss exclusivity, and you are well within your rights keeping the conversation open with other singles online. In case you feel overwhelmed, remember that most dating sites allow you to press pause and temporarily hide your profile.