Dating apps are a fantastic way to put yourself out there and meet some new people, but it can also be a little intimidating to actually meet IRL for the first time. Even if you’ve been chatting on a dating app for a few weeks, you might not feel completely comfortable meeting them in person, and that’s OK! Fortunately, there are plenty of great, expert-approved ways to feel more comfortable meeting people from dating apps to take note of, so you can get off your phones and get some real-life face-time in. After all, how else will you know if you have chemistry?
"Committing to a chunk of time with someone you’ve never met can be daunting," online dating expert and CEO at Cyber-Dating Expert, Julie Spira, tells Elite Daily. "Just because you have a fun and flirty banter in your messages on the app, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll have that offline chemistry," she explains. "Let’s face it, between photo filters and prom shot photos, everyone has been on a date where the person didn’t look like their profile photos. After getting excited about meeting, it can sometimes result in a letdown and leave you feeling depressed about dating in general."
That’s not to say that going on dates needs to be a stressful experience. It doesn’t, but know that it’s perfectly normal to feel anxious about it. If you’re looking to overcome this stress, try some of the tips below.
1. Do some light research.
One of the easiest ways to feel more comfortable when meeting someone from a dating app for the first time is simply looking them up! Check out their Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, whatever you need to do to feel good. "Check out their social media to see if the photos match up," Spira suggests. That way, you can feel more secure that you’re not being catfished.
2. Check for mutual friends.
Talk to any mutual friends you and your potential date might have. "Find out if you have friends in common, and if so, ask your friends to give the digital thumbs up or thumbs down on your potential date," Spira says. Try to find them on Facebook and check your mutual friends. You might not have any in common, but if you do, it’s worth a shot.
3. Talk on the phone!
I know, I know… calling someone is so 2005. But scheduling a quick, pre-date phone call has the potential to work really well. If you can enjoy a conversation on the phone, chances are you’ll probably click in person.
4. Be smart.
Of course, in order to feel super comfortable, safe, and secure when you meet someone from a dating app, always meet in a public place for the first time. "Make sure you practice dating safety rituals and meet them in a public place, bring your own car, or take public transportation or a ride-sharing service," Spira says. Hopefully, knowing that you’re as safe as possible will ensure that you can relax and have a good time. Nevertheless, "if you’re uncomfortable for any reason, end the date gracefully and wish them well," Spira adds.
5. Keep it low-stakes.
While it’s totally normal to feel nervous or jittery before you meet someone from a dating app for the first time, it’s a good idea to remember that this is just one person. If you don’t like teach other, you just met, and there are so many other people out there.
"You can also go in with the mindset that if things don’t work out romantically, perhaps you can still be friends," Anita A. Chlipala, dating and relationships expert, tells Elite Daily. "This can lessen some pressure about meeting and impressing someone." Remember that it’s just a date, or coffee, or whatever, and it’s doesn’t have to be a huge deal. The lower the stakes you put on the situation, the more relaxed and comfortable you’ll be.
6. Have a mantra you can repeat.
The mind is powerful, and having a mantra you can recite to yourself before the date can really work wonders. "The best mantra to manage expectations is to tell yourself, ‘I’m meeting someone new who could be interesting and expand my social network.’" Spira says. "This way, you’re open to finding a friend or learn[ing] another perspective on the news cycle, and if you’re lucky, your first date will lead to a second date. Another mantra I believe works is, ‘My goal of this first date is to decide if we want to go on a second date.’ This way, you’re not projecting too far into the future, but you’re hoping it will be more than just a ‘one-and-done’ date," she adds.
"Remember your date is nervous too, it’s natural to feel anxious when meeting a new person, and if you create a short calming exercise, you can reduce your nerves," life coach Nina Rubin tells Elite Daily. Rubin says to repeat a mantra like, “I’m open to meeting interesting people and do well in new social situations," or, "My personality shines when I’m in dating situations." before the date. She also suggests giving yourself enough time to get ready, and sitting calmly for at least two minutes to breathe.
There are a ton of ways to make yourself feel more at ease when you meet someone from a dating app for the first time. As the experts say: Be safe, take deep breaths, and repeat your favorite mantra. You’re going to crush it!
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