Couple talking online about scheduling their first date.

10 Things You Should Know Before Having An Online Dating First Date

26 January 2023

Knowing when and how to have an online dating first date can seem confusing but I’m here to help. I’ve compiled my top 10 dating tips for how to make sure you have the best possible experience on your first date.

And an online dating first date is a bit different than a first date with someone you met at a party or are introduced to by a close friend.

With online dating, you don’t know that much about the person. So, it can seem scary to meet a virtual stranger. However, online dating has been hands-down the best way that my clients meet their life partners and spouses. Actually, over 80% of my successfully coupled clients have met through an online dating site.

So here are my top 10 things you should do (and know) before going on an online dating first date:

  1. Make sure this person has the same life goals.

    Before you consider having a first date with someone you met through online dating, make sure you want the same things in life and are going in the same direction. It’s no use getting to know someone who doesn’t want what you do.

    If you want to get married and have a family, make sure your potential partner expresses that in their profile.

    If you want a person who enjoys travel and has time to do so, then make sure that’s reflected in the profile of the person you’re considering getting to know.

    In the online world, there’s no hoping that someone will be willing to “go along.” If they don’t say it, assume it’s not happening!
  1. Look for common relationship values.

    Along the same lines as life goals, you want to make sure your partner has core relationship values similar to yours. For instance, if you have a value about spending time with family, then you want to see the person whose profile you’re evaluating also mentions a similar value.

    One of my Boomer clients desired to travel and experience the world now that she was retired. She made sure the man she was seeking shared her curiosity about the world and her value of experiencing other cultures. They are having a wonderful time exploring the world together.
  1. Keep a look out for deal breakers.

    Not that you’re looking for reasons to move on, but you want to make sure that there are no valid deal breakers that you see on a match’s profile.

    The big thing with deal breakers is to make sure they’re accurate and not just another roadblock you’re putting in the way. For instance, requiring a person to be a particular height as a deal breaker, may not be wise. I had a female client who ended up with a man shorter than what she thought she wanted and yet he is everything she needed in a husband!

    If you see something on someone’s online dating profile that rubs you the wrong way, then pass it by. If you’re not sure and want to give them the benefit of the doubt, then follow up with questions to get to the heart of the matter before you go on a first date.
  1. See how the flow of messaging goes.

    The flow of the messaging is an important indication of how the relationship will go when you’re able to hold a decent conversation with one another.

    Is the person accommodating and validating? Does the person demand something of you, that you’re not ready to do? Does this person put you down and say negative things?

    What I typically see are two different cautionary scenarios when it comes to messaging.

    The first one is that texting goes on forever. The supposed couple truly see themselves as pen pals! I let my clients in this situation know that it’s better to cut it off sooner than later. Your time is precious.

    The second one is the person wants to jump from messaging to meeting face-to-face right away. That’s all well and good. However, I highly recommend you set up a phone or video chat first.

    My rule of thumb is: If you don’t feel comfortable with something, you don’t have to do it. Trust your gut.
  1. Know your boundaries – what’s appropriate and what’s not.

    As above, if something doesn’t feel right, say so. If the person isn’t treating you with the utmost respect, then move on.

    Dating is a dance. Both of you need to give and take so the other feels comfortable. Some people put up high walls to protect themselves. So, it may take some time to build the trust necessary for them to willingly reveal who they are at a deeper level.

    If a person is messaging you too frequently and doesn’t follow your request of being mindful of the amount or the time of day (or night) of the texting, then move on. If someone is pushing to meet you straight from messaging and you’re not ready, then delete their profile if they don’t honor your request.
  1. Ask for recent pictures – within the last 6 months.

    Photos are the first thing most people notice about you when you’re online dating. So, make sure yours were taken within the last 6 months and look like who you are today. (If you need new photos, here are photographers who can help!)

    Ask the person whose profile you’re checking out how recent their profile photos are. Make sure you see a full-length photo as well as a headshot.

    You don’t want any surprises when you go on your online dating first date!
  1. Have a phone or video chat to make sure the person is whom they say they are.

    In the same vein, it’s prudent to have a phone conversation to hear their voice and see how well the conversation flows. A video chat is even better since you learn a lot about a person when you see them and how they are via video. What does their background say about them? Are they timely? Does the conversation flow? Did they take the time to dress up for the video date?

    In the long run, it’ll save you from wasting time with someone inappropriate. Also, if you have a pleasant exchange, you’ll most likely have a better experience on your online dating first date by weeding out those in which you have no interest.
  1. Set up a time to meet in the middle of the day or early afternoon (not at nighttime). Make sure you meet in a public place with other people.

    When you do make an online dating first date, make sure it’s during the day in a place that’s fairly public with other people around. After all, you’ve probably heard those horror stories about online dating disasters, and you sure don’t want something like that to happen to you.

    And for your online dating first date, you don’t want to have to deal with an expensive meal or an awkward first kiss. Meeting during daylight lessens the pressure, especially if you’re not sure yet if you even want to kiss this person!
  1. Keep your expectations in check.

    Another tip I recommend you keep in mind for your online dating first date is to not go into the date with high expectations. You’re meeting a new person not necessarily your future spouse.

    You’re both evaluating each other. The only things you want to consider on a first date are: 1) Does the conversation flow? 2) Do you have some things in common? 3) Do you see any red flags? 4) Are you somewhat attracted to this person (i.e., not repulsed!)? If so, then go on a second date and see what develops.

And lastly,

  1. Be open and willing to get to know someone without judgment.

    If this person isn’t the love of your life, they could be a new friend. And this person knows people. So as you would want someone to take the time to get to know you, you want to do the same for your online dating date.

I hope I’ve given you some great tips, so you can better prepare BEFORE going on an online dating first date. This whole process is an adventure and if you’re aware and careful, you could meet the love of your life through online dating as most of my clients have.

If you’d like to shorten your learning curve and discover what it takes to Meet Your Mate This Year, then let’s talk. Take a moment to fill out my “Get to Know You” form at I’d love to support your dating journey!