Online gay dating can be super scary. You never know what to expect. Here are 10 tips for a first date after meeting online to keep it safe and fun:

Use a reliable gay dating app.

Using online gay dating services that match you with people similar to you, and which require greater communication and sharing as part of online romance.

Make sure that you’re ready to finally meet them in person.

Being emotionally ready to finally meet them in person should be your first concern. The decision to at last see each other and interact in the real world is the same as officially letting them in your life.

Remember that while they are still the same person you met online, it can be a totally different thing from when they were just a small part of your online social circle.

Keep it simple.

If you’re planning a first date with a guy you met online there’s no need for a major time or financial commitment. After all neither of you want to get locked into an hour-and-a-half long dinner (which may cost you around $100) when it’s clear after just 5 minutes that there’s no chemistry. So pick a date that’s cheap, easy, and won’t take more than 60-90 minutes. Meet up for coffee, take a hike together, go for a stroll around a cool part of town, etc. This will give you a chance to see if any chemistry exists before committing to something more involved.

Meet there.

The internet is the internet after all. Go in wisely. You want to be positive, but you never know, so be safe. Drive yourself there or take a cab or Uber. Giving someone your address before you meet, probably not too smart.

This way you can also leave whenever you want.

Show up smiling.

First online dates can cause a lot of anxiety. If you want to enjoy your time and help him do the same then you’ll want to ease that tension early.  So show up smiling, and walk with strong, confident body language as you roll up to meet him.

Have a story on hand. 

I always go into a first date with a funny anecdote. Maybe you have a date from hell to talk about. Even a work story or catfish experience. Have a lighthearted story on hand. Trust me, you will end up telling it.

Ask the right questions.

Men often get stuck asking dull questions during first online dates.  They’ll bounce from one question to the next (from “Where are you from?” to “What do you do?” to “Where did you go to school?”) as they gather “facts” about their date’s life.

But merely spitting out facts makes for boring conversation.  So rather than jumping from one thread to another, dive deeper into each one.  After you ask him where he’s from, maybe ask what he thinks of his hometown, or what kind of things he did for fun growing up.  Questions like these go deeper into who he is as a person and will get him to open up on a deeper, more emotional level.  And sharing that emotion is going to get both of you feeling a strong connection to one another.

Keep your phone out of sight.

Yes, you want your phone so you have an out if you need one and to show them photos of your puppy, but keep it out of sight. Even turned down at the table is a little much. Keep it in your bag or pocket.

Sure, if they go to the bathroom, you can whip it out to fill in your nosy friends, but if it is on the table it will distract you.

Be polite and respect their personal space.

This is your first date and while this is a chance to finally spend time with them in person, you have to make sure that you know your limits – especially when it comes to personal space.

Give them the freedom to stay comfortable and they’ll appreciate it. Your goal to get close to this new person in your life doesn’t have to be taken literally – you can bring them closer to you through engaging conversations and more importantly, by treating them right.

Don’t try and “get him to like you”

Finally, don’t forget that this guy you met online agreed to a first date because he’s already interested in you. And nothing kills that interest and attraction like a guy who is trying to get his date to like him. So instead of worrying about that, focus instead on seeing if this is the right man for you. Give him a chance to win you over.  Being selective and actively filtering to see if he’s your type is going to help the other guy see you as attractive and high-value.

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Have you found the right one, or are you still searching?

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