Ever since its invention, online dating has attracted plenty of misconceptions.
From the notion that online dating is for ‘losers’ to the belief that dating websites are populated by scammers and cheaters, online dating has seen some pretty spurious claims laid at its door over the years.
However, with the exploding popularity of online dating across the age range, many of these beliefs have fallen away as the sheer weight of positive stories overwhelms the minority of negative experiences.
Nevertheless, there are some notions which have stuck around, in particular, the idea that meeting somebody online before you meet in person somehow makes your first date more awkward. It’s an odd thought for anyone who’s tried online dating before, but it’s one which we’ve heard multiple times.
Needless to say, it’s not the case that meeting online makes your first date more awkward. In fact, meeting online makes meeting up for your first date much less awkward. Here’s why:
You’ve got the boring questions out of the way
A bad first date can feel like you’re going through a job interview, with a series of predictable, boring questions.
“Have you lived here long?” “Where do you work?” “What’s that like?”. We’ve all been on dates where these boring questions dominate the night and, frankly, we’d rather not go on them again – especially mature dating singletons.
Chatting online first enables you both to get those boring pleasantries out of the way and establish an early rapport so that when you meet in person, you can pick right up where you left off – chatting like people who are already comfortable in each other’s company.
You know about each other
One of the great things about online dating profiles is that, by enabling people to write a few introductory paragraphs and answer some simple questions, it’s easy to get to know something about your date before you meet.
In practice, it means that first dates are significantly less awkward because you know which subjects to avoid, which to ask about and have a number of topics in mind you can bring up should the conversation start to ebb slightly. It’s like a first date cheat sheet and it makes the potential awkwardness of your first date a non-concern.
You already know you’ve got chemistry
Perhaps the biggest benefit of chatting online before you meet is that it gives you a tremendous insight as to whether you’ve got chemistry.
Of course, physical chemistry is something else entirely, but emotional chemistry is perhaps even more important when you’re considering starting a relationship with somebody. A person who makes you laugh, smile and think is a valuable thing in this world, and so online dating’s ability to give you a sneak peek of your chemistry is incredibly valuable.