You are suddenly single. You’ve had the sobfest, the overcompensating over-partying, and have hit the online dating scene. You threw words into a profile while inebriated, posted a selfie, and then traded emails with someone who sounded like a match for you.
If you are in the standard e-dating demographic your last date was likely to have sprung from a meeting at a bar rather than emerging from a softly lit laptop screen.
So, how do you make that transition from email chit chat to real world date? Any decent dating website offers safety tips on meeting someone in person. Don’t mess with those.
The dating rituals since your last stint in singledom? Not so rock-solid. Be prepared to let go of them. Here’s how:
1. Don’t obsess about chemistry
There’s a chance you’ll make the transition from digital romance to reality with all the hallmarks of a Nicholas Sparks novel. But if you don’t? Don’t walk away.
Give the slow-burn a chance to develop. Many of us can recount an experience in the past where love grew from a friendship, right?
In the past, it was probably chemistry first, ask questions later. In the online dating world, the questions come first, and the chemistry may come later.
Allow more than just the time it takes to drink a cappuccino to see what develops.
2. Ditch the backstory
If you’ve been in a long term relationship and feel compelled to address why that ended, DON’T. There’s a fine line between transparency and the vibe that you’ve split the belongings but you aren’t really done with your ex.
There’s nothing to be gained from demonstrating you were the martyr in the last relationship, nor is there redemption in ‘fessing up’ to your role in its downfall to try to demonstrate you are now a reformed character.
Delete the discussion on backstory. Instead, talk about what you want from a relationship.
3. Don’t ‘diss the online dating scene
Don’t open your date with a ‘who would have thought this is where we ended up’ conversation. You will fail to appear humble or self-deprecating and you’ll most likely make your date feel like a co-conspirator in something vaguely shameful.
The flip side? Your paths may never have crossed without this little bit of online intervention. Acknowledge it for the modern-day miracle it is.
4. Delay the decisions
From the first minute when that combo of photos and words morphs into a multi-dimensional person, you’ll be trying to decide next steps.
Even if you don’t have a zen bone in your body, this is time to adhere to the mantra of ‘Just Be Present’. Decide in advance, that unless they are full-scale crazy in real life, you will go on a second date. Regardless of whether your date ends up wanting that, this just takes all the pressure off.
Online dating might seem like a foreign territory. Break a rule or two until you find your place in it.