Jumping the Hurdles

Before you meet for the first time, you should have done the following:

• Exchanged extensive personal information. The more details you share about your personal life, the more information you'll have to decide how much potential you have. If you live for snowboarding and she doesn't like to leave the house, chances are you don't have enough in common.

Be aware that women are quite wary of online dating. They may give a potential date the third degree and want to exchange entire life histories before meeting. This can not only frustrate and discourage both parties, but it removes all mystery from your first date if it happens. She wants to make sure that you're who you say you are, but sometimes she ends up making you feel like a criminal when you're just trying to ask her out on a date.

• Have seen at least one clear, current photo of her. Ideally, you'll want to see several photos of her in various settings—close up, torso, full body, etc.—so that you have a clear picture in your head. Be aware that very few people look like what you imagine them to look like in person. People often submit photos that are several years old, indistinct, or show them from a distance. Some people even submit photos of someone else! If her photos don't jive with what you know of her since you've chatted, ask her directly how recent her photos were. She should be able to give you dates and offer you a current photo, if you ask.

Talked over the phone. The next step after chatting online is chatting on the phone. You should ALWAYS talk over the phone before you agree to meet someone in person. Talking to her will give you a much better idea of her personality, her conversational style, and the way you interact. Don't ask for her home phone number (women are encouraged not to give away this information for security reasons). Instead, swap cell phone numbers.

Continue reading here: Your First Meeting

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