The process of getting to know someone through a senior dating service usually consists of several stages before that all important first meeting.
It usually goes from sending email messages to each other, to starting to talk on the phone and then finally you’ll be wanting to meet, perhaps for a cup of coffee. So let’s take a look at each stage in a bit more detail.
It’s important to realize that when you do finally meet in the flesh, it won’t be like a blind date. You will have a pretty good idea about the person you’re about to meet and what they look like. You might even have waved to each other via your webcam and you’ll have almost certainly chatted on the phone.
A huge advantage of online senior dating is that it buys you time and allows you to find out everything you want to know before deciding whether it’s worth going ahead with the first meeting. I’ve found that people tend to be much more open about themselves when writing emails or chatting live on the computer than they would be talking face to face. I’m sure it has something to do with the anonymity of it all, which really helps people to open up.
After you’ve got to know each other by email, the next step is talking on the phone, which is always a good idea. Hearing your date’s voice for the first time can be a bit of a surprise. Be prepared for it not to match their image or how you’ve imagined they will sound from their emails and online chat, but you may get a nice surprise! Don’t be worried that you may become tongue tied or dumbstruck during that first phone call, they will be just as nervous as you!
Before you meet up in person, there are a few things you may want to consider. Security is a bigger issue for women, but nowadays even men can never be too careful. I advise all my senior daters to tell someone – a trusted friend or family member – about the details of the meeting – the name, address and phone number of the person and where the date is going to be. And let your date know that you did this. You can blame it on the insistence of an over-protective friend. It shows you are open and excited about the meeting but that you are being responsible and cautious for the first meeting.
You also need to realize that your kids may have a problem with you doing this. Maybe they cannot get over that you are considering a romantic connection with anyone other than your deceased husband or wife, or maybe they would be worried that this person may be a dreaded serial killer! Either way you may experience some resistance from your children once you plan to meet up with someone that you met online. Eventually they will find out, so you have to choose your time carefully to advise them about your activities.
Deciding on a meeting place needn’t be too much of a problem. It’s a good idea to meet in a public place and a coffee shop is always a safe bet. Make sure your friend doesn’t have too far to travel and try to meet somewhere that’s convenient for both of you. For the meeting, you should pre-arrange a visual clue so that you can easily identify each other. A colorful hat or handbag, or even a book that you’re reading, but nothing too over the top! After all, you will probably recognize each other anyway from your photos.
Don’t feel that you have to dress to impress; be comfortable and casual, but be clean and well-groomed.
Yes, your first conversation should be light and pleasant. Stay within a planned time frame – if you are meeting for coffee, don’t let things go on for more than an hour or so. It is always good to have a specific time and place to be after the date so that everyone knows the parameters of time.
Not only will this open the door for planning your next date (maybe dinner next week?) but it also shows that you are not over eager. In the unlikely event that the date is going badly and the person isn’t what you thought, you now have an ‘out’.
However, in my experience of Senior Dating, I know that the vast majority of people you’ll meet will be totally genuine and the first date will be better than expected. With all the knowledge you’ll already have about them, combined with the fact that you’re both excited to meet each other, the chances are that things will be great; and with that extra added ingredient, chemistry, things could be wonderful.