You swiped right, they swiped right, you have been messaging, found some common ground and even flirted a little! What’s next? Coffee?
It’s time to make a date!
During the messaging stage of online dating, it is easy to get carried away! You may feel a connection with your match that doesn’t translate when you meet face to face. Our advice is to take a breath and don’t get too giddy! Arrange a date that gives you the opportunity to get to know your match better.
A first date should always be in a public space, ideally equidistant between where you and they are based. It’s fair but we don’t recommend a motorway service station! Always travel there and back under your own steam and don’t arrange to be picked up or rely on your match to drive you home.
At Chapter 2, we believe a daytime coffee is a great first date. Personally, I often arrange a first date at a garden centre café! ‘That’s not romantic’, I can hear you shouting, but it doesn’t need to be. You need a relaxing, non-threatening environment for a meeting that establishes whether you want to see each other again. I never suggest lunch on a first date as if that spark isn’t there it could be a rather awkward lunch (and two hours of your life you can’t get back.)
Face Your Fear and Do it Anyway!
We know you’ll be nervous, it is only natural, particularly if you haven’t dated in a long time. I often try and imagine a date as a business meeting, I do those all the time and I’m never nervous!
Let your date know what you will be wearing and find out how they will be dressed. It makes the initial spot easier. I always arrive early so I can be sat down and relaxed when they arrive.
Plan a few icebreaker questions based on what you would like to know. What sort of music do they like? What is their favourite film? How has their week been? Once the conversation begins you will feel more confident, we promise.
At the end of the date, agree, if you can, to split the bill it is only polite. If they refuse that’s fine and offer to pay, accept graciously.
To 2nd Date or Not?
If the date has gone well, you can either arrange another date there and then or you can message when you get home. There are no rules about this, as always, it’s about what suits you.
If there wasn’t a spark, or it didn’t go well then it is important that you message to say it was lovely to meet, but you didn’t feel a connection and do not want to take the match further. Please, never ghost someone, this is rude and contradicts the Chapter 2 code of conduct. You wouldn’t want that to happen to you.
Ghosting is when you are chatting with someone online or meet them, then suddenly ignore them and any future communication. This is upsetting, unfair and rude. At Chapter 2 we want everyone to always treat each other in a courteous and respectful manner.
Good luck. Hopefully coffee will lead to something more!
We can’t wait to hear about all those exciting first dates!! If you are happy to share your story email firstname.lastname@example.org