05 Nov 2012
You Lost Me At Hello, How To Get Past The Awkward First Meeting
Thinking back to when I was single and dating, I totally disliked the awkward hello when meeting someone for the very first time out in public. Shaking hands felt so odd to me (especially when others were looking), say at a restaurant or bar. In fact, I would often text message my date minutes before they arrived asking if we could give each other a hug when saying hello. Something about pretending to know each other put me at ease from the thought that everyone around me knew this was an online dating connection.
Now what if there was no chemistry? Getting past the hello was the first step and then came the ALL important question of chemistry. Chemistry is the spark that sets the relationship off and running. When there is little or NO chemistry on a first date, it can feel like a slow death walk spending time with someone you don’t want to see again.
Imagine getting excited to met someone only to have them get up after 15 minutes and say: “There’s no chemistry, I want to leave.” Well that happened to me once and I have to admit it was painful to be rejected like that. Part of me said, “I never want to do this again,” but if I gave into this momentary pain I wouldn’t have met my beloved.
So what’s the best way to get past the awkward hello and uncertain chemistry on the very first meeting?
My suggestion, take the romance off the table.
What? Take the romance off the table?
Yes, take the romance off the table and the expectation of instant chemistry.
When meeting someone for the very first time say from an online connection, taking the romance off the table and focusing on developing a friendship is a much better way to start. This takes the pressure off the expectation of chemistry and the awkward hello has been switched to meeting a friend.
The best advice I ever received when I began dating after my divorce was to take a little extra time screening potential dates, determining if there was phone chemistry first. Once I connected with someone online, we would start with a few chats on the phone before meeting in person. If the phone conversation was dull or uneventful, so was the date… usually. Now if the phone chemistry was off the charts and the conversation was intense with tons of emotional connection, that can be a problem too. Then when you meet, there is HUGE expectations for AMAZING chemistry and if there is little or none, this can be a HUGE let down as well.
By taking it slow and starting with a phone call first, you can focus on what’s really important — are you both a good match and can you be friends.
All too often we rely on sexual chemistry to create a fantastic relationship and the reality is that most successful long-term relationships are built on a solid friendship. After interviewing hundreds of couples who have sustained and thrived together for years, they cite friendship as the number one factor for their relationship success.
Now I’m not saying chemistry isn’t important — of course it is and every relationship needs healthy chemistry be it physical, emotional, intellectual or creative chemistry. Yet chemistry is only one piece of the puzzle.
In my book The Relationship Men Commit to and Why, I have found there are 5 C’s to a successful relationship and chemistry, along with communication, compatibility, character and the all important continuity, is what sets the good relationships apart from the ones that are short lived or unhappy.
So the next time you are getting all dressed up to meet that online date at a restaurant or bar, take the romance off the table and the expectation of instant chemistry. Think about making a friend first, you’ll be glad you did.