The Online Dating Newbie: First Date Fun
One Betty finally starts going on some real live first dates!
Betty’s own assistant editor made the brave decision to lose her online dating virginity and embark on an experiment looking for love (or just a fling) on the Internet. Here, she chronicles the frustrations, surprises, and excitement of shopping for a beau online. (The online dating veteran’s experiences can be found here.)
Don’t tell anyone, but I’m on the verge of becoming a full-on online dating supporter. I know, I know, I’ve been so negative up until now, and for all those online dating vets out there, I apologize. But I’m a newbie, so you can’t really blame me for my initial doubts.
So why the sudden change of heart, you ask? It’s all about the FDF: First Date Fun.
I’ve had more FDF in the past few weeks than I’ve ever had before, and I owe it all to the Internet (who would’ve thought?). I’ve graduated from the strictly online action to taking the first step and meeting potential matches in person. Even though some of the dates haven’t gone perfectly, I can honestly say I’m having a lot of fun just getting out there and having plans with a guy any night I want to. This is exactly what I wanted to get out of the experience, and although it took awhile, online dating held up to its promise.
But, this FDF phase didn’t start out so positively. In fact, I was a nervous wreck riding the subway to my first date with my first online dating match. I had only been messaging this guy for a day on HowAboutWe and here we were, already meeting up for drinks. I knew his first name, his age, height, occupation, and all his other stats, and had studied his three profile photos, but I still felt completely clueless as to who I was actually about to spend my evening with.
What if he’s nothing like his profile? What if I don’t recognize him and end up walking right past him? What if he stands me up? What if we really hit it off? Ahhhh!
To kill the butterflies in my stomach, I kept reciting the tips my online dating mentor, Laurie Davis of eFlirt Expert, had told me a few weeks ago: “Keep the first date short and sweet. No dinner, just drinks or something that will only last 45 minutes, tops. Ask him what he’ll be wearing so you’ll know him when you see him. Worst-case scenario, you don’t like him – thank him for the date, go home, and find someone else online.”
That’s right, I kept reminding myself. If this date absolutely sucks, it’s not the end of the world and I don’t have to see him again. I can just keep going on more first dates and meeting new people until I find a great guy, and there’s nothing wrong with that. (Is this the standard inner monologue for every online dating newbie?)