first date

We can’t promise wedding bells, but we can be sure that you’ll have more fun.

Beth Cook is a dating coach and wing-woman who throws private dating events for San Francisco’s most awesome and unattached. She also writes and draws about her own dating experiences and would love to hear from you. Want advice? Have advice? Send her an email.

An online dating experience can be one of two things: a wild success OR a complete failure. And let’s be honest, it’s usually the latter.

Which is probably why people still have hang-ups about meeting virtual romantic mates, even though the majority of single Americans have tried it.

I know what you’re thinking, can’t any date—scored on- or offline—swing either way? Yes, but not to such extremes. When you meet a girl at a coffee shop and then set up a date, you’ve already screened her. You know she is in fact cute without the bright flash of a camera in her face. And you know your dude friend is going to be honest when it comes to a set-up. One time a guy described his friend to me as “smart, successful, funny…a real catch…he’s just not a ‘face’ guy.”

Anyway, three particular dating hang-ups have stood out to me recently. Please read about them below and make sure you never let them enter your dating life again.

1. Suspicion

Many people go into online dating with a bad attitude. Every online date I’ve ever been on, and most I’ve heard about, involve an intense interview process over drinks or dinner. Yikes. Who the hell would enjoy that? Interviewing is no fun. Stop it.

You’re grilling your beer buddy because you are suspicious about online dating. You feel the need to gather as much information as possible…make sure he is not an asshole or she is not crazy.

My advice: Ditch the bad attitude and be bad ass. Meaning, be your awesome self and let the conversation flow naturally. One really good way to ensure this happens is to go do something besides sit at a bar. Pick an activity (wine tasting, bowling, etc.). It will force you to loosen up, have fun, and drop the Law & Order routine.

2. Frustration

Going on online dates is a crap shoot. I hate to piss on your dreams, but let’s get real. All you know about the gal you’ve thought about all week and have described to your friends is that she likes Arcade Fire and Mexican food (who doesn’t?). Chances are, she is not your future wife. I’m not saying it ain’t possible. I’m just saying it’s a game of numbers.

My advice: Don’t put all of your relationship-hope eggs into one basket before you meet someone in person. I also strongly advise you to take a break when you’re not having fun. A series of bad dates (and unmet expectations) can really get a girl or guy down—which will fuck with your mojo. Take a few weeks off, hang with your friends, practice self-care, and then get back on the online dating horse. You’re going to attract the right people when you’re feeling good about yourself and can maintain a lighthearted attitude.

3. Embarrassment

Recently, I’ve encountered multiple couples who are embarrassed to say that they met online…what gives? That’s awesome! Who cares where you met your special person (unless it was in Russia at an underground brothel)? Online dating is not easy, and the fact that you found each other means that you have great taste in online profiles and were open minded enough to give someone a chance (even after the weird first interview date). You win.

My advice: Be happy about it and let others participate in your joy. Just think about all of the tremendous hope you’re giving your single friends by sharing your story!

Photo by zest-pk

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