Met Online

1. Before you meet someone, it's essential that you let a friend or family member know where you're going and who you're meeting. You'll feel better and they'll feel better knowing you're being cautious.

2. Meet in a public place. There's safety in numbers.

3. Keep the first meeting brief. As everyone knows, chemistry is fickle. You may know right off the bat that you don't want to ever see this person naked, let alone sit through an entire dinner with him or her. So don't agree to spend the day at Disneyland (which I I know what I'm talking about) when a quick cup of coffee or a drink after work will suffice. If you're both having a wonderful time, that cup of coffee can always be extended into a walk around the park or lunch at your favorite bistro.

4. If you have a favorite outfit, wear it! Ladies, do your nails, fix up your hair, put on fresh lipstick. Guys, wear your lucky "going out" shirt. When you feel sexy and confident, it shows. It also shows the other person that you made an effort and that is sexy.

5. Be polite. Even if there isn't an attraction for you, treat the person you're meeting with respect. He or she may not be the date of your dreams, but remember that they took the time and effort to come meet you.

6. Keep the conversation light and fun. Don't bemoan your bad dating luck or how much you're dying to have children...immediately! Think of a first meeting as a cocktail party: you're meeting someone new and the talk is typically frivolous and casual. Discuss your work, where you were raised, any traveling you did recently. Based on your personal ads, you should already have some idea of what you have in common. If it's your mutual love for the Yankees or your record of never missing an episode of "Survivor," talk about it.

7. Keep it casual and easy. Great ideas for a first meeting: grab some java at the local coffee house, hit happy hour for a glass of wine and buffalo wings (then go home!), have an al fresco lunch where people-watching is ample (terrific for any lulls in the conversation), or meet at the dog park with your pooches in tow.

8. Don't forget to have fun! Online dating, like any dating, is an adventure. Go with an open mind and you'll do well. If nothing else, you'll have great stories to tell your friends later.

Jennifer McVey, along with her two her best girlfriends, rode the internet dating wave for several years. Now happily married to a cute Canadian she met online, she is the webmistress of the internet dating directory, First Kiss Café, where you can find great advice, tips, travel and more for your dating adventures.


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