Are you ready to take this love connection from the screen to reality?
You met someone online. And you've shared a phone call that elevated your connection to the oral word. Now it's time to meet in person.
This just might be the start of something big — or not. The odds of it working out are well below 50 percent.
Going in with a game plan can help. Here's how to make that first date count.
1. Adjust your expectations.
You've never seen her in the flesh, so you have no idea if that first look will be exhilarating or a letdown. Face it. If you don't connect with her looks, it's not going to work out for long. No judging. That's just how we Homo sapiens function.
I suggest decreasing your expectations from what you've seen in her photos by 15%. You might be pleasantly surprised this way. Everyone chooses their very best profile photos. She'll be thinking about the very same things when she eyeballs you for the first time as well.
2. Let your vibe be your guide.
I suggest allocating an hour for a glass of wine at a reasonably nice establishment or even the old standby, Starbucks, if you're not quite sure what to make of her and she doesn’t drink alcohol. Don't book a long fancy meal on the first date. If it's not a love connection, it will be painful, long, and expensive.
3. Actively listen, be honest — but don’t reveal too much.
Even if you both are digging what you see and have an easy, free-flowing conversation sprinkled with laughter, make sure you allow her to tell you what she wants and don't pry for more.
Then, when she asks you a few things, consider what she is really asking and give her an honest answer. Don't be evasive if she asks your age or if you've been married. Fess up and get it over with. She wants to know and she'll eventually find out. And if she doesn't like the answer, it's curtains anyway.
And regardless of how much fun you're having hold back some personal info, like your being a Reiki Master, for another date. She'll love peeling the layers back to reveal the mysterious, complex and compassionate you.
4. It's time for some food.
If it feels right, order some food or suggest someplace different for a casual bite. That's it. Keep it simple and keep it to an hour or so. If it's meant to be, you'll see her again.
5. What if it's just not happening?
The heart wants what the heart wants, but be a gentlemen. If she's not as advertised or just very sweet, but not your type, she's still a person with feelings and a woman deserving of your respect.
Don't look at your watch or play with your phone. She might be a really cool person and a potential life-long friend. Yes, a friend. But leave that up to her.
When the bill comes, take care of it ─ you asked her out ─ and then offer to hail a cab for her. And even if she's not a keeper, remember to say good night with a smile.
Think you're ready to take the situation offline?