The problem with online dating though is the transition between ‘meeting’ online and meeting in real life. There is, and always will be, a slightly awkward situation where you can get to know someone online, but when you finally go to meet them face to face, you suddenly realise that you don’t have quite as advanced relationship as you thought you did because it had been done behind a virtual curtain that often inadvertently hides aspects of your personalities. Especially when all you have to go by is their carefully worded profile and some text based chat.
So what can you do to make sure they are definitely someone you want to date? Here are some tips:
See if your Friends Know Them
Don’t be shy; online dating is now a perfectly acceptable way to meet people. It no longer comes with the brief silence that used to meet people who explained that they met online. Ask your friends and family if they know him/her. Finding out that they used to date your ex on your first date is never a good feeling.
It’s free! Just punching their name into that big white search box and maybe including some details you know about them like where they live. This might bring up pages they wrote from when they did charity work in Africa, or it might bring up a page in a forum where they had a heated debate in which they defended slavery. Eye opening either way.
Check Their Facebook
If their profile is not private you can easily pop their name into the search box and find their page. From there you can see more of what they look like from pictures, see what their friends are like and see what sort of things they talk about on there. Maybe they have terrible grammar?
If you have the opportunity and you are particularly nervous about meeting them in person, you could go as far as getting a police check. This will let you know if they have a criminal record, although not having a criminal record does not necessarily mean they aren’t a criminal.
Find Out What They Do
It is quite important to find out what they do for a living. Having compatible careers may allow you to work out if you are likely to be able to start a life together. Maybe they work on oil rigs and you are an air hostess? This would be a difficult relationship to make work but perhaps you only want to meet them once…if you know what I mean.
Ask a Friends Opinion
You could just ask your mates what they think of them based on their profile. They may see something that you didn’t notice before that will put you off. Maybe they smoke?
Stalk Them a Bit
If you really are a bit crazy, you may consider stalking them. Acceptable stalking includes bumping into them accidentally on purpose at the shops. Tapping their phone is not acceptable.
Have a great date!
Hanson Black is a UK dating expert. He explores dating websites UK looking for people he is most likely to have a connection with.
- Tips for Creating a Persuasive Dating Profile for Match.com and Other Dating Services (singleonlinedating.org)