With hospitality and indoor events opening up in the UK, physical dates will make their long-awaited return. For those who’ve been chatting to their prospective partners throughout the lockdowns, the first face-to-face date is going to be daunting, so knowing what to do and what not to do is going to be key for success and ensuring that you carry on any chemistry created in the virtual space.

Here, Alex Mellor-Brook, Managing Director of Select Personal Introductions, shares the dos and don’ts of a physical date after chatting online:

Do take your time – It can be easy to fall into a good thing quickly after an extended period out of the game. Make sure that the person is who they said they were while chatting online, it’s very easy to build a persona – even without realising it – and not being that in real life/ You have to understand that you don’t 100% know who that person is, so restrict yourself from letting your guard down but allow yourself to enjoy that moment.

Do meet somewhere public – It’s safe to pick somewhere that’s well-populated and in an area you know well in order to feel secure. It’s not only for safety either – it will allow you to become more comfortable and ensure that the date flows better. A public place offers many different avenues for the date to progress. Tying yourself down for a meal means you can become trapped in this intimate space, so simply meeting for drinks or going for a walk around a busy area will alleviate this risk.

Don’t give too much away – The online world is a very different scenario to in-person when it comes to communication. There’s a whole lot more you can read with a person when you’re face-to-face with them, and a lot more you can give away. Make sure that what they’re saying isn’t just formulated to appease you, make sure they’re being genuine and don’t jump the gun on revealing information that you haven’t already – introduce yourself in bitesize bits and see how they react.

Don’t go overboard – If you’ve got to know each other well it can be easy to just assume your chemistry will carry into the real world and you can be tempted to go overboard with plans. Keep it simple. Use the first date as a vessel to see if this chemistry does translate well and don’t put pressure on either of yourselves to live up to some sort of expectation. If you’re going to order alcohol, go steady and small so you don’t lose control of your senses and end up more vulnerable or let your guard down.

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