Did you realize that Match.com was the first online dating community? It began in 1995 with eHarmony following its footsteps in 2000. More and more are online dating sites mirroring the recommended sites and are including speed dating, sex only, friendship only, gays and cougars dating options. It seems everyone needs love and that's why these sites are booming.
Overcoming such stigmas, online dating has emerged as a two billion dollar industry with over 40 million subscribers and more than one-third of the unions taking the giant leap into holy matrimony. Impressive statistics, right? You betcha. Dating sites like flirt or eharmony give you access to a whole new set of dating tools, where you can be matched long before actually meeting. Online dating creates the occasion for people to meet who would not have under ordinary circumstances.
Communicating via the worldwide web allows singles to grow to know one another before meeting out in public. With that said, you should know what steps users should take before attempting to take the relationship offline as the internet or texting can give a false peace of mind or feelings of safety. Having a relationship over the phone or computer can differ from the relationship you can have in person. In other words, you can be close over the phone, but in reality, the relationship can be awkward when you meet for the first time.
Prepare for the real world
With the possible adverse contingencies of greeting strangers, some individuals come armed for the worse case scenario. Some ladies bring tasers to dates or a can of pepper spray to protect themselves. Other women use the buddy system to alert a friend to call the police when conditions grow out of control. These insurance schemes are not out-of-date or out of line.
Over the phone, one person can be engaging and entertaining, but how do they react face-to-face? You should take the relationship offline as soon as practicable to avoid getting too comfortable online.
Transitioning the relationship to offline
When it's time to transform the relationship to the real world, attempt to get enough information about the person so you will feel comfortable with previous observations. You may have to introduce the conversation and manipulate it as well, but having control will enable you to ask direct questions and, get straight honest answers. When you feel safe enough, schedule a meeting but first read these tips.
The first offline date
Plan a date in a popular place, well lit, of course. At the same time, choose a place where talking is not screaming at each other but never invite a stranger to your house or apartment on the first date and plan to meet them as you should arrive on your own. As an extra precaution, look behind you to make sure you're not being followed especially if the person creeped you out during the date. If they are insistent about meeting in a private setting, don't.
Bring a friend
Bringing a friend to tag along is one way to take the relationship offline or to meet up the first time. Having a friend come with you can take some of the stress off you and the entire evening. If you bring a friend and your date brings a friend, there is more to talk about and more to laugh about. It could end up being an exceptional evening out. In addition, it's just more relaxing when you're out among friends. If your potential mate doesn't agree to meet with friends along, you should consider not going.
Dating site events
Often double dating can be a lifesaver in more ways than one. If this is not an option, offer to meet with your online date at a mixer sponsored by the dating service. MeetUp.com for example is made just for this kind of event.
Nearest exits, where are they?
Plan your escape route in advance! We hope you won't need one, but let's face it... some people online and offline are weird. If you expect the date to be over by a certain time, have your friends call you at a predetermined time to see what's up.
Have your own cash
Although your date may have agreed to take care of the bill, it's always wise, Momma told me, to have your own money just in case. Dang ... she was right... again! If the date doesn't go well for the payee, they may choose not to pay the bill and then you're stuck with the check. I'm not sure if washing dishes pays the check anymore, but I'm positive cash or credit cards will.
You may feel at some point in the date that your picture doesn't match the person online. What to do if this happens? Be polite and see the date until the end. After which, express your concerns and tell them you didn't feel a connection. Offering to continue a friendship is totally up to you but express the need to have borders. If the vibes are positive, let the other person know you'd like a second date.
Ask what if's
One way to talk to know a person is to suggest hypothetical challenges. It will give you a good idea about the other person's attitude about life and how well the other person handles stressful situations to solve problems.
Do you have any tips for transforming your online relationship into the real world? What was your experience like in person? Let us know!