Wednesday, January 9, 2013

From Online to Offline: Meeting Someone from Online

My girlfriend has been in New York for nearly 3 weeks and we've been talking online and via webcam during this time and it got me to thinking about how people do this long term before they meet their partner.

Some of you may not know that Sir Phryxus and I met online...sort of
We met at a club...but he was drunk and didn't remember according to him we met online about a week later on the website he ran for the goth club night in our city. We met up at said club night about a week later and sparks flew and ignited...
So, what does this have to do with this article?
Probably nothing...just showing you what my train of thought looks like and where my blog inspiration comes from.

From Online to Offline
How to meet someone face to face after talking online; tips, advice, and things you may not have thought of before.

So you've been talking to this amazing guy, girl, Dom, sub...screen name for some time now and want to to the same room! Congrats!

Before Meeting:
Meeting someone for the first time can be intimidating and some things you just can't plan or be ready for. However, there are some things you can do before hand that well help you out a lot.

Set Intention
Are you meeting because you're great friends, have a lot in common, and wanna exchange cheats on World of Warcraft and tips on how to handle a flogger?
Or are you romantically inclined after months of talking about kinks and having cyber sex?
Decide on where you might be wanting this relationship to go...and make sure that the other person knows.
Don't meet up expecting to hit it off and death till you part only to find out that he or she is just wanting to hang out and be your pal. Life is full of rejection already, you don't want to hear "Lets just be friends" after preparing your wedding guest list in your head for three weeks.

Exchange Faces
No, I'm not talking John Travolta Face/Off here
I mean pictures. Exchange a REAL picture of yourself with this other person. Going back to the Life being full of rejection, you don't want to meet up only to find out that he or she isn't into glasses...mohawks...full body tattoos...tall people...etc. Better to get that over with before hand.
Better yet, webcam. Try ooVoo or Skype. Talk to each other face to face...before meeting face to face. Makes it easier to find each other in a crowd later too!

Set the Date
Many people are apprehensive about meeting up for the first time due to the news stories of men and women being assaulted or worse after meeting an online friend in person for the first time.
Reassure yourself and the person you are meeting by arranging a daytime meetup in a fairly crowded place, such as a busy coffee shop.
It is not suggested to meet up anywhere remote, especially at night. This will set alarm bells ringing.
Also, always pick someplace where you can clearly hear each other, so it's conducive for talking. If the place is noisy, it can create an unpleasant atmosphere.
I once met a guy at a Subway that we both lived near after talking online for a week. We grabbed a bite for lunch, went bike riding, talked about his tuba (he was in high school marching band...I was seventeen at the time)...we didn't hit it off but it was a good lunch date.

Set the Date...with a friend
Its sad to say it, but please please please give a friend all the information of where you'll be, who you'll be with and set up a check in time.
Guys, this means you two. You don't want to be lured in by some chick and wake up in a bathtub full of ice.
Call this friend at the set up a time. Call again when you get home.
If you're this friend...please don't freak out if they are a minute late and call the police. At least give them a second to stop sucking face to dial your number.

Prepare for the Date
Ok, its the day of, and you've got butterflies in the stomach and praying to god that the other person actually shows up...after checking your e-mail for the set time and location...fifteen times.

Set an intention. 
Yep, I already said this, but its good advice and intention is a great word to type.
The most important thing to do for giving a good impression is to set your intention. As you get ready or when you are driving over think about the person you are going to meet and the interaction you plan on having. You can even imagine yourself having a conversation with this person...but focus on driving too...and try not to talk to yourself too much if you're biking or walking to this place... This can be an incredibly grounding experience and works very well to focus on what kind of energy you want to have for the date.

Sort of a big deal...
Clothes, make-up, jewelry, and shoes are all types of ornamentation and people definitely take these into account when making initial judgments. I recommend getting some of your favorite outfits or ornaments together and asking friends what they think of when they see them.
Also, if you have talked via webcam and the other person has made mention of a certain shirt, dress, hairstyle, pair of earrings, necklace that they like, then consider wearing this. The other person will probably notice and it will make for a good conversation starter if things get awkward.

Cant figure out what to wear? Try these tips:

1. Don't wear anything super fancy, dressy or baggy. Try and look casual, but like you cared enough to wear something flattering, clean and appropriate.

2. Make sure that what you are wearing and how you do your hair or make-up says what you want it to say too! If you're Daddy's Little Slut girl online, might not wanna show up every layer you own but at the same time, if you're Princess by Day and Slut by Night, dress the part with nice clothes that don't reveal too much but...if you're comfortable with the thought, wear kinky lingerie or even a discreet sex toy underneath.

3. Perform a basic hygiene check:
Are your nails ragged and dirty? Have you checked your breath? And lastly, about how you smell? I don't just mean B.O. Overwhelming perfume or cologne is a real turn off, especially if the person you're meeting is by chance allergic to perfume (happened in my case...huge rash after coming in for a cuddle...ugh).

The Date
Ok, here we are, the good stuff...

Avoid bad days.
People who go to cocktail events or mixers after having had a bad day typically continue to have a bad day. If you are in a depressed or anxious mood, others will pick up on this from your facial expressions, comments and body language. If you’re having a bad day, stay home! Otherwise, find a way to snap yourself out of your bad mood. Watch funny YouTube videos, read some great jokes, whatever it takes to put a smile on your face.

Be interested and interesting.
If you are truly interested in meeting people and are open to learning about who they are, they will get this in a first impression. We have all had the experience of meeting someone and knowing instantly that they were dragged here by a friend and are just waiting to get out the door and head home. When you are meeting people for the first time approach others with a genuine interest in who they are. This is often contagious and you will have better conversation and lasting connections when you are interested because they become interested.

Avoid getting too personal and getting into discussions on politics, religion, or death. Gradually, when you listen to them speaking about the things they do or the things they like or dislike, you will be able to realize what’s common between you and them.

Be Courteous
If being considerate isn't a trait that you’d like your future partner to have, then you could be in for a world of pain. In fact, a lot of the things that you need to watch for fall under the umbrella of consideration.

1. Don't hog the conversation. Make sure, even if you are nervous, to ask them questions and find out about the other person. If you find you are talking too much, apologize then stop...don't continue talking after apologizing for being loquacious (big word right? I'm proud of it myself).

2. Be open, warm and interesting. Before the date, think about some good stories which might give this new person insight about who you are. Try the time when you went cross-country bike riding, met Robert Englund at a Horror convention, or volunteered in Haiti...or, if you're not that cool, try the time when you went to a great concert, especially if you have similar musical interests.

3. Tell this person something, but don't tell everything. And especially don't tell bad things. If you care about this person, get to know them before you scare them with your past history and flaws. You also don't need to elaborate on your mysterious rash or any dental surgery you might have had in the past...ever.

4. Please don't talk about your nasty divorce, cheating ex or stories about anything dealing with this past history. It's acceptable to briefly mention your children (if you have your life...I wouldn't bring up that you're a man whore and could have lots of little bastards around the world though...that'll come out later).

5. (This is from SirPhryxus) Be Receptive to Courtesy.
If the person you're meeting admires your outfit, hair, smile, thank them. Denying any admiration can cause someone to feel like you're putting down their opinion or like it doesn't matter to you. This is not the impression you want to make.
Sir Phryxus also points out if he or she opens your door, pulls out your chair, don't deny them this either.

After the Date

This is really up to you.
My advice?
Say your goodbyes, hug, maybe a friendly kiss.
Go home, call your phone back up and let them know you're ok, and IM or e-mail your online partner that you had a great time.
Message them soon after they get back to you about meeting up again.
I'm not a sex on the first date kind of person and as for BDSM and play, I'd wait on that too until you know each other a little better...but hey, that's my two cents and I know people that jumped in the sack or on the St. Andrews cross the first night and lived happily ever after. So what do I know?

Some of the Best Advice for Last

Be yourself. 
When you are perceived as being confident and relaxed, the other person also feels more confident and relaxed chatting with you. This also helps you avoid putting up a fake image of yourself in front of others and then, trying your best to maintain it every time you meet them. Now, if you've been portraying yourself a lil differently online than off - like LordDomGod while being more might be a good time to show your good points...and interests...and how you plan on trying out some of the stuff you mentioned in BDSM_sluts chatroom.

Stop believing in ‘first impression is the last impression’.
While it is quite important to present yourself in decent ways to give a good first lasting impression, do not judge others on the same basis. It is quite possible that they are also nervous chatting with you or that they simply had a bad day. Give them some time in order to strike a good comfort level with them.

I hope some of this helped.
If you have an online crush...go get 'em
Remember, 1 in 8 committed relationships started online.

Lady Phryxus

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