Chatbox is a great way to meet new people and, often, friendships can turn into
something more. You might be surprised to find that you've chatted your way into
a date, and while many of our users are secretly hoping that it'll happen, often
they are disappointed through using other dating sites and never really consider
it to be a genuine option.
However, with Chatbox allowing you to make immediate and instant contact with thousands
of other users, finding yourself going on a date is a real possibility. Let's assume
you've done the groundwork, flirted a little and had a few meaningful conversations.
One of you asks the other out on a date; what do you need to know to make it as
successful as possible?
Where and When?
Firstly, you need to think about where you're going to meet. It's always best to
choose a public place and neutral ground. If things don't go the way you expect,
then either of you has the option to leave. It also gives women (and men) a degree
of personal security too. Hosting a date piles the pressure on and isn't a good
idea to begin with.
Look at where you both live and choose a halfway house. It might restrict your ability
to have a drink, but that's not necessarily a bad thing - if you can chat on the
phone without alcohol being involved, then there's no real reason why you shouldn't
be able to do it face to face. By the time you're coming up to your first date,
you should know enough about each other to choose a venue that puts you both at
ease and allows the conversation to flow.
Timing can also help you out. First dates don't have to be an evening event, set
in a restaurant. If distance isn't an issue, then you might consider a lunchtime
date, in your respective lunch breaks. The benefit here is that it puts a time limit
on your time together and, if things aren't as you expected between you, the clock
will determine when you have to leave without any awkwardness.
It also puts a limit on how much you can drink, considering that at least one of
you will have to get back to work. And, if you do enjoy your time together, it lets
you know that a longer, evening date is something to look forward to.
What to do…
Dates don't have to be restricted to eating and drinking. Thanks to spending time
chatting beforehand, you should have an idea of the interests you have in common
and can organise a date around your favourite activities and pastimes. However,
while it might seem like a great idea to spring a surprise on your new love, don't
do it on your first date. Apart from the added pressure a gesture like that can
add to a situation, there are certain practicalities you might need to consider.
For example, if you both like horse riding, your date might have certain articles
of equipment that they prefer to use and, in a surprise situation; they'll have
no chance to prepare them. Surprises are wonderful and romantic gestures, but they're
best saved for a bit further down the line, when you've learnt a bit more about
…and what to wear
Many people worry about how they're going to dress for the first date. The trick
is to dress well – but not too well. As much as it can be off-putting to find that
someone's made virtually no effort at all in their dress, it can be equally so to
find that someone's gone to too much effort. Strike a balance between the two; couple
a smart jacket with a favourite pair of jeans or a pretty skirt with a favourite
pair of shoes.
You'll both have a chance to pull the stops out at a later date, but to begin with,
you need to communicate a sense of who you really are, only with a little gloss
on top. Don't worry too much or try hard and be sure to wear something that you're
comfortable in. Spending the evening in something that chafes or is too tight is
going to distract you from focussing on your time together.
Drinking and chatting
When it comes to alcohol, the Golden Rule is - take it easy! The temptation will
be to dull your nerves with a few drinks, but alcohol also robs you of your sense
of judgement and you might find you stray into inappropriate behaviour or topics
of conversation. It's fine to have a couple to take the edge off but, on that vital
first date, you don't want to leave the other person with the impression that you
are a slobbering drunk. A little booze can help conversation to flow, but too much
can bring it too an abrupt end.
Possibly the biggest worry for most people is what you're going to talk about. However,
from having made contact through Chatbox, you'll already have a few conversations
under your belt. A good idea, if you find you're struggling, is to resurrect the
thread of a conversation you've had on the phone or via SMS. It's immediately familiar
territory for both of you and can lead the conversation into other topics, without
too much bother.
You might want to compliment your date on something they've said or say that you've
been thinking about a particular statement they've made. Putting the focus on what
they've said in the past communicates the idea that you've been listening and you
place some value in what they have to say. It might be a form of flattery, but it's
neither misleading nor deceptive – it's just a good way to put you both at ease
and pick up where you left off.
See you again?
Finally, if you've had a good time, don't leave it too long to organise the next
date. Films and books are full of those ‘is it too soon to ring?' quandaries but
the truth is that, if you're interested, let the other person know. Equally, if
you're not, you can politely suggest that, while you've had a great evening, you
don't feel that you had as much in common as you first thought, leaving you both
free to pursue other Chatbox dates.