From Online to In-Person: Navigating the First Date
How to take the conversation from the web to face-to-face.
All’s Well That Ends Well
According to Davidson, the end of a meet-up date can be awkward, especially if you aren’t sure if you want to see her again. “One way to handle it is to say something like, ‘I’ve really enjoyed spending time with you. Why don’t we both think about how we feel about another date. I’ll email (or text, or IM) you later.’ Then be sure you do it,” she says. “On the other hand, if you’re certain you want to see her again, before you part, suggest getting together over the weekend. Then follow up in less than a day with suggestions for your next date. Meaning what you say and doing what you promise will show that you are a quality guy. Playing it ‘cool’ by being unavailable, or simply lacking follow-through, will make any smart woman think twice about trusting you with her time, let alone her heart.”
And if it turns out it’s just a case of you’re just not that into her? Man up. If you’re out for a meal or drinks, pick up the tab, but do not tell her you’ll be calling if you won’t. Find a way to explain, as nicely as you can, that you’re not feeling the need to go forward, then say goodbye. “Just say that as much as you enjoyed getting to know her, you realized you two weren’t quite the match you’d hoped,” Davidson advises. “Thank her for the date, and wish her well in her search for Mr. Right.”
Will you feel like you’re shooting a puppy? Perhaps, but it’s a lot less cruel in the long run than leading her on. Will she analyze it to death, beat herself up, and second-guess every word that came out of her mouth? More than likely, but your karma will be clean, and you can move on to the next Miss Right with a clear conscience.