6 Important Things I Learned From My First Online Date

By: Simone Paget |

I recently stumbled across this infographic of safe online dating tips. I wish I had seen this had been around years ago when I first ventured into the world of online dating. Many of the tips mentioned on the infographic are things that I had to learn the hard way through first hand experience. Take for example, my first online dating experience…

When I  “B” online, he seemed cute and charming. We hit it off instantly and after chatting for a few weeks, we agreed to meet up at this cute candle-lit bistro in Little Italy. I was really excited about our date however, it turned out to be one of the most bizarre experiences of my life. Throughout our dinner “B” would start to tell stories about his life ie. “I once travelled across the state of California in a hot air balloon” When I’d respond with surprise (“Oh wow! That’s crazy!”) he’d immediately follow up by saying “Just Kidding! I can’t believe you believed me! Ha Ha!” The best was when he told me: “I once stabbed a guy”

Me: WHAT?!

Him: Just Kidding!

By the time we got to the main course it was clear that “B” was a one man freak-show, likely a pathological liar and quite possibly stabbed a guy. In other words, not exactly Prince Charming.

Although my first online dating experience was comically bad, at least I learned a few things about online dating that have stuck with me ever since:

1. Be smart about the  dating sites you use: My first mistake was  that I didn’t meet “B” on an actual dating site. I met him on a social networking site that used to be popular but now has a reputation for being totally sketchy (cough. cough. MYSPACE. cough. cough.) He saw my profile, reached out to me & soon we were chatting and exchanging messages. Looking back, I can’t believe I even started talking to a random stranger from a social networking site, let alone that I actually agreed to meet them. Using social networking sites to date is tricky. It’s hard to tell what someone’s intentions are and they don’t provide the same kind functionality that dating sites do when it comes to finding a good match. If you’re looking to date, use a reputable online dating site.

2. People misrepresent themselves online: One of the reasons why I agreed to go on a date with “B” was because he looked really hot in all of his profile photos. There. I said it. He was tall, had nice dark hair and a cute baby face. His profile said that he was 25. However, when he walked into the restaurant it was clear that the photo he had used was at least 5 years old. He looked closer to his early 30’s than mid-20’s.

3. It’s important to have common interests:  To make for a successful dating experience, you need to have at least a few things in common. I don’t think “B” and I had anything in common, except for maybe a mutual interest in his washboard abs. Aside from his unsettling “Just Kidding!” stories, we really had very little to say to each other.

4. A properly composed message goes a long way: “B” could spell properly, wrote “you” not “u”, and never spelled the word sexy with an “i” instead of a “y”. This is one of the reasons I went out with him in the first place.

5. Plan a date where you can actually talk and get to know each other: In other words, don’t go to the movies. If I hadn’t gone out to dinner with “B” I might not have realized until date #2 that he was a complete weirdo.

6. Always, ALWAYS have a back-up plan: Although my room-mate knew where I was, I wish I had asked him to call me mid-date. It’s always good to have an escape plan when things go south, like when your date starts joking about “that time he stabbed a man”

What have you learned from online dating?