Risk assessment and first date nerves

Online dating is great fun, despite what some ‘experts‘ in the field may tell you. From the safety of your own bedroom, you can e-mail, IM, even video conference as many people as you like as often as you want.

But what happens if you really like someone and want to take the relationship offline? Could you rattle for England on the web-cam, but feel tense about dating in the real world and then struggle to muster the conviction to go through with it?

Believe it or not, there are thousands of people who use dating sites simply to connect with other singles, have a bit of fun in the week when stuck at home after work, then take that experience out to their local bars and clubs at the weekend. That’s fine, if you want online penpals instead of risking meeting your fellow dating site members for a bit of a frolic on terra firma.

However, there are millions that do use their membership to start dating. It can take a while to build up the courage to ask that special someone out initially. But, after the first, tentative contact has been made, maybe even following up with an intimate chat or two on a one-to-one basis, both parties eventually feel safe enough to take their relationship just that little bit further and arrange that first date offline.

Assess the risks

More and more dating sites are vetting their members before allowing them to sign up to their sites, especially at the high-class end of the market. Some even have relationship experts who call an applicant and speak to them on a one-to-one basis before confirming acceptance and that the site can actually deliver what that hopeful single is looking for.

With reputation and conversion rates so important in online dating marketing, for those top of the range dating sites that demand high monthly fees in return for that extra special personal service, they will want to lead their advertising with fantastic success rates to entice other high-earners to join.

If you can afford that service, great. However, many of us can’t and we’re not only left with the job of assessing the risk but, unlike the sites that have personal relationship coaches to help plan your date for you, you have to do pretty much all of the groundwork yourself, particularly if you want the date closer to your home, with the added safety net of local knowledge – always advisable for women on their first few dates!

In the next article, we look at the aspects that can make your first date a roaring success, in an attempt to secure you that second liaison, and beyond.

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