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Dating & Friendship for the Over 40s...

Face-to-face with your Mature Date!

Keep your first date simple.

Having used an internet dating site to meet your potential date, you will already have discovered basic information about each other by using the site’s email, photo and video systems.  You may for example, know that your date is tall, brown eyed, educated, speaks 3 languages, enjoys wine and theatre and is interested in gardening.  However, we all know that what we read on paper doesn’t give us the whole picture, and arranging a face to face is critical in finding out more about this person.

The key to a successful first date is to enable easy and comfortable conversation.  It should be as casual as possible, and it’s purpose, to confirm an attraction, and to gain better understanding of views, beliefs and compatibility.  Ideally, the date should not be too long, we have a lot to take in, and lots of questions to pose.   A walk in the park with a chance to have a coffee allows flexible time to converse.  Meeting at a museum or art gallery provides outside stimulus which can distract the nervousness we may experience when meeting a stranger for the first time.  Alternatively, meeting at a pub, club or café where you may both know others enables you to mingle with friends at the same time, as well as give you other’s views of your date afterwards!

Having a simple first date removes any awkwardness about cost, or anxiety about the date not going well and being stuck together for hours when you know it isn’t going anywhere.  With a casual arrangement, both parties can then extend the meeting to include lunch, or dinner, or both, if you are getting on like a house on fire!!!

Another important consideration is that you ensure that someone knows what you are doing, and where you are going, and who you are meeting.  Ensure that you have your own transport, and that you are not expected to take someone home, or are dependent on someone taking you home.

And if it all goes wrong…

Don’t be disheartened!  If you don’t try, you won’t know.  You can learn something from every experience you have.  As long as you have planned your date carefully, it should just be a subtle feeling of disappointment, or relief, and nothing too unpleasant.

Complete any feedback you have about your date on the dating site you used constructively.  If your date was completely misleading, let others know.  If you simply didn’t feel that you were compatible at all, thank your date graciously.  We don’t want to put each other off, but in these days of emails and texts, good manners and courtesy can be overlooked, and we are all dealing with human emotions.  Consider the meeting a chance to go somewhere you may not have been before, and to have met someone you would not have met if you hadn’t used the internet dating site.

And last of all, don’t forget you may both have nerves, and may not be as relaxed as you would like to be.  Give people the benefit of the doubt, and give them a second chance before you cast them aside.

Paula Taylor

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