The first time you’re meeting someone you’ve only connected with on line can be....freaky. For starters, you’re meeting someone who could turn out to be an important person in your life. On the other hand, you don’t have a lot invested. You’ve seen each other’s pictures, read each other’s profiles, and have texted and phone conversed a few times, but that’s all. Still, you want to put your best foot forward – just in case.
The following are a few dos and don'ts to make the most (and safeguard) your first off-line face- to-face experience.
1. If there’s something you’ve lied about on your profile, for example, your age, when you finally do meet in person, make sure you apologize. Smile and be endearing while you’re doing this. Ask him if there’s anything he lied about before you met that he’d like to fess up to now. That’s a real conversational ice breaker!
2. Don’t kiss the other person on the mouth the first time you meet. Absolutely do not kiss them hello.
3. Do hug.
4. Whatever you do, don’t mention your mother. One of the contestents on the new season of “The Bachelor” brought her grandmother to her first meet. It makes for interesting television, but in real life, it’s a problem.
5. Do mention your dog.
6. Guys, if she says she’s a cat person, don’t immediately blurt out, “I hate cats.”
7. Ladies, if he says he lives for football, don’t expect him to be available on a playoff date. Unless you tell him what a coincidence it is that you also live for football.
8. Guys, it never hurts to bring a flower to give her at your first meeting because a single flower is something you can hand someone in a bar or coffee bar. Don’t arrive with a full bouquet, though, because what do you really expect her to be able to do with it? How many women do you know who walk around with their own vase?
9. Do arrange to meet some place out. Don’t invite anyone to your home. Don’t go for the first time you meet to anyone else’s home.
10. Do expect to pay for yourself. Drinks, too.
11. Should you get stood up, or meet and within seven minutes realize you have nothing to say to this person, walk away and chalk it all up to experience. Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Just say to yourself, “Next!”
12. Don’t get too excited about a first meet. Don’t put too much into it. Remember it’s not your whole life. It’s just a date!
Eve Marx is the author of eight sex books. Her titles include "What's Your Sexual IQ?," "Flirtspeak: The Sexy Language Of Flirtation," "The Goddess Orgasm," and "101 Things You Didn't Know About Sex."