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Avoiding the First Date Disaster

Picture this. You have great chemistry from the stroke of your keyboard. You have fun emailing and sending instant messages to each other. He thinks you’re a knockout. You think he’s charming. He seems interested in everything you are doing. You spend an hour every night chatting online and get several text messages during the day. Are you in a relationship? No, not really.

Let’s look at some ways to prevent your first date from ending up a dating disaster.

1. Trust Your Intuition. Don’t accept a date when the phone conversation doesn’t feel right. If you don’t have any phone chemistry at all, or find yourself in an argument with your date before you even meet them, don’t schedule a date. You don’t need a free meal or coffee.  If you put a date on the calendar, don’t feel badly about canceling. Why waste each other’s time?

Here’s an example of a first date just ended up badly.  The couple’s first phone conversation didn’t go well. They had spent two weeks building up a rapport of fantastic chemistry through instant messaging.  By the time they got to the phone, they thought they were already a couple. However, he didn’t take the time to listen on the phone. He kept interrupting her and even started an argument with her about how to manage her career. She should have ended the conversation with, “I don’t think this relationship is right for me. Good luck with your search.” She couldn’t get off the phone fast enough, but did not cancel their upcoming first date. She wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. Your intuition is very powerful. You should trust it. She ended up meeting him for sushi and from the beginning of the date until it was over, he continued to argue with her. She didn’t like to eat eel. He said that was ridiculous. She ordered hot sake. He insisted that cold sake was better.  She wondered why she subjected herself to this type of communication. If she trusted her intuition from the initial phone call, she would have realized the conversation would continue in the same light.

2. Take your date from online to offline as soon as possible.
In this case, the couple had great “instant message” chemistry and emailed and text messaged each other frequently. Since they had communicated mostly online, they ended up with a false illusion that they were in a relationship. They got attached. They were not in a relationship. They were talking to a computer with a photo, that’s all.  After several emails back-and-forth, it was time for them to talk on the phone and move the relationship along.  The couple waited almost three weeks before ever hearing each other’s voices. This dating disaster could have been prevented before they became too emotionally attached online.

3. Never text message others while on a date. Unless you want your date to end badly, keep your BlackBerry or iPhone off the table. It’s not an accessory. It’s rude and sends a message that you are more interested in something other than your date. Leave your Smart Phone in your purse or wallet. Your date deserves your undivided attention. In this case, both of them started to text friends during the date. It was an immediate turn-off.

4. Always meet your date in a public place and don’t drive together.
Remember, safety first. The gentleman suggested picking up his date at her home to drive 45 minutes to one of his favorite restaurants. He said he wanted to go on a “real date.” She knew better enough to say no to this request. Always meet your date in a public place and don’t end up in a car with someone you don’t know on a first date. In this case, she might have ended up on a street corner alone, looking for a cab back home. Better safe, than sorry.

5. Do your homework and study for the quiz. Online dating is a numbers game. However, the more organized you are, the more successful your date will be. In this case, her date thought she had never been married and didn’t remember what she did for a living. If you are on a date, make it personal and keep it light. Take the time to remember something your date wrote in their profile or said on the phone.  Think of preparing for your date like you would for a job interview for your dream job. Would know the name of the parent company you are interviewing with? Would you know the name of the CEO or city of their headquarters? Would you recognize their company logo?

Add it all up, and it was a recipe for disaster before they even arrived at the sushi bar.  It was destined to be a bad date.

Before you go on your next “first” date, make sure you are looking forward to it, do your homework, ask questions about the other person, take time to listen, and perhaps you’ll make a new friend, even if you don’t end up meeting “the one.”

Julie Spira is the author of the bestselling online dating book, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. She shares her stories to empower singles on the dating scene. Spira has appeared on numerous media outlets for her expertise in online dating including FOX News, E! Entertainment, CosmoGirl Radio,, BBC Radio, Men’s Health, and is the host of “Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert” radio show.  Spira creates IRRESISTIBLE online dating profiles for singles looking for love online. Visit her at for dating advice and where singles and couples share their online dating stories.