First online dates usually go two ways. #1, you leave hoping to see him or her again. Or #2, you run out the door praying you never bump into them again, swearing off online dating forever…until you get bored in a week and start checking your inbox again. With online dating no matter how often you’ve talked on the phone or online, you have no idea who you’re going out with until they’re front and center-which is why it’s so romantic when you fall in love with an online date and why it’s equally as frustrating when you have a bad experience.
So how do you handle the online dates gone wrong? Here are some common first online date problems and how to solve them. Or at least how to make it through the date with your dignity intact.
The issue: Your date doesn’t look like their photos.
You stroll into your designated meeting place and don’t recognize the person waving you over…yep, your date looks nothing like their photos online. This is the most complained about aspect of online dating, and for good reason-it’s a letdown to expect one thing and get another. Many people are guilty of uploading photos that show them at their absolute best, either ten years ago, ten pounds ago or after a day of professional hair and makeup.
How to handle it: If your date kinda sorta if they were in better lighting and had longer hair looks like the person in the images they sent, don’t panic. It’s possible they didn’t intentionally falsely represent themselves. With that said, if you no longer find them attractive, politely cut the date short. You aren’t being superficial if you feel mislead. There is no need to berate them or call them out though, you don’t need to be the online dating police. Plus, after a few dates of people not being interested in them, they will hopefully figure out that just because they look hot online doesn’t mean they will in real life.
The issue: No chemistry
Has this ever been you? You’ve been talking to someone for weeks online, emailing texting and you’ve even begun talking on the phone well into the night. You are SO excited to meet them in person and you’re sure that the chemistry and connection you have virtually will translate into the real world seamlessly. You feel crazy saying this, but you’re actually starting to develop feelings for the other person before you’ve even met!
How to handle it: A critical part of having success as an online dater is learning to manage your expectations. No matter how comfortable you feel with someone over the phone or email, until you’re face to face that hard truth is that are complete strangers. The issue isn’t falling in love over the phone-stranger things have happened! The real trouble is that without meeting someone in real life, you begin to create an elaborate idea of them in your head, one that is so often impossible for them to live up to. Then, you go on your date and of course you’re disappointed! Real life can’t live up to your fantasies most of the time. Hold back at the beginning, and don’t get too deep until you’re one on one.
The issue: He’s a creep/freak/makes you feel unsafe.
How to handle it: Get the heck out of there! This isn’t the time to be polite or think to yourself that you’ll just have one more drink and then leave. If someone makes your creep-o-meter go off the charts, or your intuition is telling you that something isn’t right, it probably isn’t. Don’t be concerned with seeming “rude”, you barely know this person and they will get over their hurt feelings. Safety trumps manners, always.