Meet People Online: Make it Work Offline
Meeting and speaking initially online can produce a secure environment to get to know each other. The distance created by what can be termed ‘screen separation’ enables people to curate a favorable impression, buy time to reply, and space to decide how to respond.
However, the goal of these interactions is to meet face-to-face and develop a real and romantic personal relationship. In order to do so both you and your partner will need to start at the beginning, meet for the first time and go on the hotly-anticipated first date. Be ready to put forward the best and most authentic you to give your relationship the greatest chance to succeed following these guidelines...
How to meet new people: safety first
When meeting a new person for the first time, it is important to put safety first. Here are a few simple measures you can take to ensure your safety and to help you feel relaxed and ready to meet.
- Tell a trusted friend or family member where and when you are meeting so someone else knows the details of your date.
- Meet in a public place which is neutral for both of you.
- Trust your gut instinct – if something doesn’t feel right or if you feel uncomfortable, say no.
Although you don’t want to damper the excitement of the first meeting, it is better to be safe in how you setup on the meeting. You will enjoy it more having taken measures to feel secure when you meet new people for the first time.
Where to meet new people: meet people in your area
When deciding where to meet, there are several factors to consider. You want to meet in a place that is mutually convenient, interesting and fun. It is also good to meet at a familiar place as meeting someone for the first time can be nerve-racking. In order to make a positive connection and progress in this new relationship the more relaxed you feel in your environment, the higher the chance you can be yourself and make a good impression.
In view of that, it can be helpful to meet in your area – be that geographically, a place where you have been before or an area of interest of yours, such as an arcade games venue, a library or museum – a place where you can flaunt your knowledge and skills and feel comfortable. When you meet people online it can be daunting to then meet face-to-face for the first time, so give yourself all the advantages to make it easier.
Read more: If you want to know more about safety tips, here are some helpful do's and don'ts
Great expectations: bring it into check
“When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are”, D. Miller
Now that you have your location and safety steps planned, it is time to get your mental attitude ready to meet new people. William Shakespeare famously said expectation is the root of all heartache. When meeting a new person, it is easy to get carried away in the excitement of the moment and go into it with sky high expectations. Examples of these could be thoughts like ‘he is going to look a certain way’ or ‘she is going to behave a certain way’.
These preconceived notions however can bring your budding romance to a standstill as it takes away the freedom for each individual to be who they are, warts and all. Remember, your date is also feeling nervous about meeting you! First impressions can be superficial, so going in with an open and an accepting view point facilitates the opportunity for you both to be at ease.
Body language: make words with your body
Along with your mental attitude, your body language can go a long way in facilitating the transition from the point of how to meet people online to making it work successfully offline. Before meeting for the first time, take a few minutes and do some basic power posing. As Amy Cuddy outlines in her TED talk on body language, after two minutes power posing increases testosterone by around 20 percent, while decreasing cortisol by a quarter2.
This means on a physical level, your stress will decrease and you will feel more powerful, which in turn increases your confidence and attractiveness to others. The most well known of these poses include the ‘Wonder Woman’, putting your hands on your hips and holding for two minutes, and the ‘V’, raising your arms in a V shape for victory. Do this before meeting, and during the course of your date you can pop to the bathroom and do it in a stall if you need a little extra boost!
You can also use your body language to convey your interest and likeability. Mimicry is a powerful tool in personal interactions and it often happens on a subconscious level. People are drawn to others who seem similar to them - an increased sense of similarity increases connection and attraction between two people. You can emulate your date’s actions and gestures, but only do so in a natural and subtle way. A few tips to communicate your interest also include leaning towards your date during conversation, tilting your head, which indicates you are relating to them, and maintaining eye contact3. If all is going well, you will find these things occurring naturally.