First Things Last

So you might remember back to a simpler time when the first thing you did was get to know people, and the last thing you did was decide to date them. When you were first introduced, at a college class, perhaps, or during that first job you held at Subway when you still thought a free six-inch sub at the end of your shift meant good benefits, the last thing on your mind was making that introduction into a lifelong relationship.

And if your friendship led into an eventual relationship, it felt like a naturally-occurring phenomenon; a spark as opposed to an arson fire.

It seems counterintuitive, then, to be meeting your newest online date at 7:00pm for a drink, and to have assessed his or her emotional and financial stability, job security, family history, physical appearance, and religious and political compatibility by 7:06pm.

But that’s exactly what you’re doing in the world of online dating. You’re there with hopes of meeting somebody to whom you’re attracted. And rest assured, so are they. So if neither of you sees the potential for romantic compatibility, that’s that.

But that’s a lot of pressure! The kind of pressure that might make you, say, try too hard in your attempt to make that good first impression in six minutes or less. And while there’s nothing wrong with putting your best foot forward, here are 5 online dating tips to keep that foot out of your mouth and maintain composure despite your nerves.

  1. Don’t ask your online date how you’re doing so far. Be confident enough to know you’re doing perfectly well.
  2. Don’t talk about your other dates, or your most recent relationships. It’s okay to briefly allude to that movie you watched with the ex, it’s not okay to launch into a diatribe about how the ex wronged you. (That’s what your personal blog site is for—or at least that’s what mine’s for.)
  3. Don’t get too deep. Politics and religion can be inflammatory topics, and if you find you don’t agree on them, you’re probably not going to convert your date right then and there. So don’t try. (You scoff, but this actually happened to me. His monologue on the superiority of his political views to mine only lasted a full hour because I hadn’t yet outlined for myself the rules on How to date and dash.)
  4. Don’t forget your wallet. (The same guy who gave me the political lecture also received a free drink on my dollar after having left his wallet in his car. It was like paying for a really bad movie, and then having to sit through the whole thing.)
  5. Don’t whine and dine. It can be easy to lament the travails of the dating world, or the world in general, but try to stay upbeat during your date. I find positive energy to be incredibly attractive, and I definitely won’t be looking for a second date with you if either depression or desperation about the current state of your dating life comes to light during our time together.

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