Awkward Online First Dates

The first date when you’re online dating can be a bit awkward, can’t it?

I don’t know about you, but I felt that way, sipping a flat white (that’s a standard coffee with a thin layer of frothed milk, for American readers) and talking about an array of subjects and philosophies, at once engaging and confusing.

I’m new to this game, and so hadn’t had the opportunity to meet someone face-to-face (my previous strike-out didn’t get that far).

I assume these first dates all start the same way: you indicate online that you like someone by sending them a “kiss” (or some other, less than elegant sobriquet the website has implemented to indicate interest). The other person responds with the same. You are forced to buy a contact “stamp” and then use it to email (on the website) the person you are interested in. This goes back and forth, like online badminton, until you agree to exchange a phone number. Then, the texting begins. Eventually you get up the nerve to make a phone call, and near the end of that phone call, you set up a meeting in a public place (possibly a coffee shop), ostensibly to ensure you’re not meeting some crazy psychotic or potential stalker.

You get to the meeting early, a bit nervous and not knowing what to expect. The other person turns up and she looks a bit different from what you expected (even though you referred to the photos on the site specifically to avoid misidentification). You look a bit different from your own photos as well as they were taken a few years ago, so you’re both feeling a bit guilty.

The conversation starts off apprehensively, and gets more comfortable as it goes along. There may even be a bit of flirting (intentional or unintentional, or if you are me, completely no idea). By the time you’re about 15 minutes in, you’ve made a decision about whether you are going to see her again.

But even when the date is over, and you’ve gone your separate ways, you’re not sure whether the other person liked you or not (or at least, that’s how I felt, but I’m full of insecurities). And so, a follow up text is sent to confirm your intention to follow through with the “next date” plan you set up during the first date. This still doesn’t alleviate any concerns you may have that the other person is just being nice and wants to dump you on the kerb like last week’s recyclables.

I guess I’m just a bit paranoid, aren’t I?

Either way, online dating seems to be just as awkward as regular dating – a minefield of social niceties, posturing and personal hang ups.

But as awkward as it may seem, at least it’s happening. So it can’t be all that bad, can it?

No, I thought not.

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