Expert Author Susan Leigh
Some people have concerns at meeting a new date online and indeed it is important to be careful about how much information you reveal about yourself, certainly at the outset. Then there are other people who feel that there's no substitute for the frisson of excitement, the chemistry you feel when you first meet someone you're strongly attracted to.
But modern life has many stresses and pressures. We don't all have the time or opportunity to find a potential new partner as we go about our daily lives. Meeting someone new can be very difficult when you're new to an area, working long hours, newly single, have limited time or money to socialise. Joining a dating site and meeting a new date online can be a fast and effective way to get things started.
Let's consider some of the benefits of meeting a new date online:
- You cut out the randomness of keeping your fingers crossed and hoping that you'll meet the right person as you go online and tailor your search criteria to your personal preferences. Music, age range, location, pet lover, smoker or non-smoker can all be specified, all the things you may take a long time to discover if you first met someone in person. Yes, you might compromise and be prepared to share their interests if it was someone you really liked but important differences can become divisive and make you incompatible.
You can specify the type of person you want to meet, reveal your interests, the things that you regard as important and let the search criteria do the work for you. Online dating could eliminate weeks and months of going to clubs, bars, gyms hoping to meet Mr or Ms Right, when he or she may be just round the corner.
- It's easy to share personal information relatively quickly in an online relationship before you even meet in person. You can get to know each other very well and feel that you've established a strong connection and friendship. Communicating online, sharing phone calls means that you have time to think about what you're going to discuss in advance. It's easier to reveal things that may not be readily volunteered if you met face to face.
An online relationship progresses in a different way as physical intimacy, touching, kissing and sex, or even seeing each other's body language, are not initially an option. It can mean that discussions become more in-depth than in the early days of a more traditional relationship. There's effort made to have interesting conversations, to form a picture of what each other is like, to learn about each other's views and opinions, to share more than simple daily updates and gossip. Yes, lighter conversations will occur too, but wanting to get to know someone online means being more focussed on spending time developing the relationship until you decide to meet.
- It's convenient to have introductions to potential dates delivered to your inbox and then be able to reply in your own time, share your thoughts and feelings from the comfort of your own home. If you met someone in person it would be highly unlikely that you would say 'tell me about your childhood/home life/work/past relationships' and then remain silent whilst that happened. Doing this online, in private, at a time to suit, allows each person to give their full attention to each other's story. Often people say that they find it easy to share details about themselves that they've never told anyone else before.
Online dating is very popular and is an efficient and effective way to meet a potential new partner in these fast-paced times. Paying attention to personal safety is an important consideration, so when going to meet each other for the first time it's important to implement some basic guidelines; after all, you only know what you've been told about them online.
Go to the first date in your own car so that you can leave when you want. Agree to meet in a public place as it's safer. Set a time limit of an hour or two in case either of you begin to feel uncomfortable or feel that there's no chemistry. Take your mobile phone with you and maybe have a friend call after an hour to check that you're okay. Trust your gut, if you feel uneasy or unsure pay attention to that instinct and don't agree to anything that doesn't feel right. Then, once your safeguards are in place, relax and enjoy the opportunity to go online and meet new dates and new friends.