This is part 4 of a six-part series on tips for online dating. Go here for the rest of the series.
Finding a match online that has the potential to result in a serious relationship can be a daunting task for many people — before you even consider the stigma sometimes still associated with online dating. Many people eschew this style of meeting people after years of navigating page after swipe after bad date after face palm. These discouraged folks are usually truly looking for a serious relationship. And, believe it or not, many of them are male.
One of the most common themes I observe in males who are looking for a serious relationship through online dating is a lack of emotional intelligence (EI). Online, just as in-vivo, a lack of EI becomes apparent through one’s insecurities and ultimately dishonesty.
In this six-part series I share — and explain!— reasonable, rational tips to help men (seeking women) succeed at online dating. Take note that many of these tips can be used for anyone—straight, LGBT, male or female. The advice here relies heavily on honesty, boundary setting, effective communication skills, and realistic expectations. Blaming “everyone else” for not being good enough in the dating world (and in other applications of life), doesn’t help change results—instead, turn inward and do a self-check up on communication style.
Picking the Perfect Location
Surprises are great, but not on a first date.
A surprise location can cause tremendous anxiety for both parties, and leave the unsuspecting person in a position where they may be asked to participate in something they weren’t prepared to do. And while certain personalities would appreciate a surprise first date, play it safe. Leave the surprise for date three or four, when you are both a bit more comfortable and trusting of each other.
Keep the first date location simple but creative.
Yes, it is possible to pick a place that’s simple but also creative. You just need to put some thought into it. Remember, though, that creativity is key. It’s what she will ultimately remember when she’s looking for a second date and her thumb slides up her iPhone, past all the guys who simply took her to the same neighborhood hipster café.
Don’t go too crazy when picking a location, but do keep this in mind: Simple locations with fewer activities will obviously require more conversation to fill the time. Added pressure to keep a conversation flowing can cause anxiety and lead you to seek a distraction to break the silence. Don’t let that distraction be your cell phone. Make a plan right now to put your phone on airplane mode for the entire date. Anything can triangulate relational dynamics, especially cell phone use.
Check back this week as we continue to dive deep into tips for online dating.
- Part 1: Building a Better Profile
- Part 2: Setting Boundaries
- Part 3: Making Contact
- Part 4: Picking the Perfect Location
- Part 5: Presentation
- Part 6: Follow Up
Marc Fernandez provides therapy to individual, couples, and families at North Brooklyn MFT in New York City. Additionally, Marc is co-founder of a health and wellness blog called www.theHumanBluPrint.com, aimed to help people self-educate on how to be the best version of themselves. Give North Brooklyn MFT a call at (718) 785-9718 if you think learning how to “turn inward” may be something you’re interested in. Read more about Marc.