So you’ve finally met someone you want to date. Things are going great – you’re seeing each other every day, and things are starting to feel a lot more serious than just being friends. Eventually, you’re both going to have to figure out what’s going to happen with your relationship for real. If that day ever comes, though, it might be sooner rather than later.
And how do you start the process of figuring out if this is the person for you? By getting together with them as soon as possible and meeting their friends too so that they can get a sense of who they really are.
After all, no one knows who they’ll like better – they may think they do, but it could also be someone else entirely who just seems compatible with them because of shared interests. In any case, there are some specific things that you need to keep in mind when you first meet someone so that it doesn’t go badly or end up changing your opinion too much about them before you even know what they’re like as a person on a deeper level yet.
When you first meet someone, it can be super tempting to try and fit into their expectations of you. After all, they may have a preconceived idea of who you are based on things you’ve said in the past or what they’ve read online. Sometimes, though, this just ends up making you seem less authentic and, therefore, less interesting.
Be yourself – be as genuine as you can and don’t try to be someone else just because you think they might like you better this way. It’s okay to change who you are when meeting someone new, but don’t do it for them – do it for yourself and your own happiness.
Have a plan
If you’re on a date with someone, you want to make sure that things are going well. But, if you want to get to know someone on a deeper level – including their interests, their family, and their personality – you need to have a longer relationship with them first. If you go out on a date and then, immediately, decide that you want to get together with them, you’re probably going to end up changing your opinion of them too soon and making a poor decision.
Wait until you have a clearer idea of who they are as a person and decide if, after getting to know them better, you want to see them again. That way, you can make sure that you’re not rushing into something you’ll regret later on.
Drink lots of water
If you’ve had a few drinks before meeting someone, don’t be surprised if things go badly. Most guys will want to drink a few beers or cocktails to loosen them up and make them feel more comfortable, but this usually comes at a cost – particularly if you’re also drinking heavily.
While you may feel more at ease when you’re drinking, you also become less clear-headed and have a harder time really focusing on what someone is saying to you. This makes you less likely to notice any red flags, and also makes it easier to be inappropriate or become overbearing in some way without even knowing it. If you want to meet someone but don’t want to end up hurting your date’s feelings or making a poor decision, stay sober when you meet them.
Don’t go overboard with the small talk
Small talk is great – it’s what helps make a social situation feel less awkward and, therefore, more comfortable for everyone involved. But, when you’re meeting someone for the first time, don’t try and do too much of it. Even if you feel like you need to fill the silence, don’t. Instead, listen to what they say and try to mirror back to them what you’ve heard them say so far. If you start talking too much, they’re not likely to feel comfortable talking to you or really opening up to you, and neither are you likely to get a sense of who they really are.
Help them feel comfortable
If someone you’re meeting feels uncomfortable, they’re going to be less likely to reveal who they really are as a person and you’re going to end up getting less out of the experience than you could have. Find out what makes them feel most comfortable, and make sure that you’re doing that.
If the person you’re meeting wants to sit on one side of the couch and you want to sit on the other, try to be open to changing your position so that they feel more comfortable. If the person wants to sit in the middle and you want to sit on either side of them, be open to sitting in a different position so that they feel more comfortable.
Don’t be pushy
At the end of the day, you want to meet someone that you want to see again. If you’re being pushy, though, or trying to meet someone’s expectations of them before they’ve really shared themselves with you, they’re not likely to feel comfortable opening up to you the same way that they would if you weren’t being pushy.
Instead, they’ll likely be closed off and guarded, which is a bad thing. If you notice that someone is trying to start a conversation with you that they don’t seem ready to have with you, try to be open to waiting until they’re ready to start talking to you more.
Ask for what you want
This is a big one – especially for women. It’s easy for a guy to assume that you want them to ask you on a date or ask you to get together with them, but that rarely happens. Instead, ask them what they want out of the situation and see if it fits with what you want too. If you want to meet someone, but they want to go on a date first, see if you can change it so that you go out first. If you want to go out, but they want to make you dinner, see if you can just do something else instead.
When you first meet someone, make sure that you’re being yourself and that you’re not trying to change who you are for them. You’re much more likely to impress someone if you’re yourself than if you try to be someone they think they want you to be. Take your time getting to know someone, and don’t rush into making decisions about who they are as a person or what you want out of the relationship.