You’ve been trying online dating. You’ve probably talked to a few interesting people, and now you’ve found someone you think you might really like. What can you do to make sure your first date goes well?

Doing some mental prep work is the key to making your date a success. And you also should set the scene of the date, so your experience is safe and friendly. But luckily, this isn’t that hard.

What you have to remember is that a first date online isn’t like a first date with someone you meet in the real world. With real-world dating, you’ve met the person and gotten to see what they really look like and what their personality is like.

With online dating, you’ve only seen what they’ve chosen to show you, which is somewhat different than when you’re real-world dating. Once you finally go on a first date, you’ll find that they might sound or look different. They could be shorter, taller, bigger or slimmer than you’d imagined.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. But it does mean you have to adjust your expectations. And just to be sure, it’s a good idea to have an easy way out of the date in case it’s not going to work out.

Meet In Someplace Public With People Around

You’ve used your online dating app to find someone who seemed interesting. You liked their pictures. You’ve had some flirty conversations. Now it’s time to actually meet!

It’s a good idea to pick a place where there are other people around. This way, you can keep yourself safe and feel more comfortable all throughout your date.

If you are shy, you can arrange a simple coffee date during the day. A date like this can last about half an hour, and you can both simply leave when you are done with your coffee. It’s a tried and true way to get a good first impression of a person without the expectations and build-up of a big date.

On the other hand, if you are bolder, you can arrange to get a drink after work. This way, if you are not feeling it for him or her, you can simply have your drink and leave. But if there are sparks between the two of you, then a longer evening is possible.

Either way, don’t set up a lunch or dinner date. Those will require more time to plan. You wouldn’t want to waste your efforts when you suddenly decide that things are not going to work out between you two.

Manage Your Expectations So You Aren’t Disappointed

To have the best online date, you have to be realistic. You probably used the best pictures ever taken of you for your profile, and chances are your date did as well.

So neither of you are going to be as fit or radiant or perfect as your photo on your online dating profile. A guy may be an inch or two shorter than you were expecting. A woman may have a few more curves.

That’s fine – as long as your expectations weren’t too high. If someone looks like an eight online, it may be best to expect a seven. Remember, they are probably going to be slightly disappointed in how you look as well.

If you go in with reasonable expectations and aren’t looking for Margot Robie or Ryan Reynolds, your first date will be fine.

Remember it’s the personality that will drive a relationship if it’s going to happen. Looks change over time, who the person is doesn’t.

Listen More Than Talk – Good For You, Good For Your Date

This is the most important part of the first date with someone you met through an online dating site. You might be so excited that you want to impress this person with a ton of stories about yourself. Don’t do it!

Instead, let them do most of the talking. It will make your date feel more comfortable. People love talking about themselves.

Letting them do the talking helps you as well. You’ll see how they express themselves. You’ll learn things about them. You can start using your own judgment.

Of course, when they ask you questions, you should answer them. You don’t want them to think that you’re not willing to share anything about yourself at all. To make your conversation more interesting, come up with answers that will lead to more questions about them.

This will allow you to decide whether or not you want to continue the date and/or see them again. Over time, you can start revealing more about yourself. But the point of a first date in general is to listen to what they have to say.

It’s Not That Hard – You Can Do It!

The first rule of online dating is to meet someone in public. Also, set up the date so it doesn’t have to seem like it’s going on forever if you don’t like them. For those who are more standoffish, this means a coffee date. For those a bit braver it means meeting for some drinks. Either is fine as long as you and your date are both having fun.

Then the second rule is to set realistic expectations. You’ve only seen the best photos of them. They’ve been on their best behavior during your online chats. Now you’ll get to see what they really look and act like.

The third rule is to let them do most of the talking. You’ll flatter them and also learn a lot more than if you just keep talking about yourself. All in all, this should let you have a good idea of whether you want to see them again or not.

Now that you’re ready for your first online date, it’s time to find out which is the best platform for you. There are lots of dating sites and apps out there! It can be hard to find the right one. But with a little bit of research, you’ll find a service that suits you and eventually meet someone you’d enjoy spending your time with. Get some more dating tips here.

Remember that we’re always here to help. We have tons of dating advice for you to be on top of your game! Be in the know – browse and read through more articles here.