How To Tell Online Date That You’re Looking Forward To Learning More About Them

The primary online dating scenario is the light read, i.e.

It happens when you first meet a new person. You’re both excited to learn more about each other. But the next few weeks and months are filled with projects, deadlines, friends, and other things, leaving you no time for date night.

That’s why this simple setting — with just the two of you and no distractions — works so well in people’s lives, whether they’re just introducing themselves to a new friend or embarking on a long-term relationship. (“That is the perfect setup. Who comes here?”) The stand-alone work environment or single-lifestyle setting speaks to that shared commitment to finding your perfect match. The scary beauty of this setting? You can see your date as you see him or her— meaning you can hold the person to standards you would in real life, without having to worry about blowing up their e-mails or starting firestorms in their inbox.

But in order to create the best online date set-up possible, let’s meet for a coffee date and then talk one-on-one later. What could go wrong?

Okay, if your out-of-date email inbox means that you never wrote “thanks for supporting me in my Kickstarter campaign” — just leave it! But you’re not in a rush to date someone with whom you’ve only spoken via e-mail. Letting the story, along with a bit of personal stuff, unfold in person just feels right for these two — or anyone.

Ask him or her questions. Though the weather in your city is horrid, you might know that his hobbies include ice-skating or he’s really interested in history. Whether he’s a rock music expert or a graphic designer with a keen interest in fashion, he’ll be fascinated by hearing about your passions in person. Just make sure you ask him about them too.

Talk to your date. A little back-and-forth before you get anything done is a good thing. And the only way to learn about a person is to really get to know them. The waiter is going to be distracting, that’s why you need someone who can hold down the fort. If you’re lucky, your date will get distracted, too. It’s easy for both of you to forget some of the things you know about each other. You might even slip up.

Read each other’s minds. One of the best ways to feel connected to a new person is to read between the lines. I’ve learned to do that when I’m speaking with girlfriends. You’ll have the same purpose, though. If you’re feeling particularly attracted to someone, the only way to know for sure is to get a sense of what they are thinking through the conversation, not just through their body language.

Date night is a great time to catch up and discover each other’s interests.

Be specific. Remember, you’re standing up to seven feet away from the other person, so make sure you use the appropriate body language. “Are you excited to hear what I have to say, or are you thinking about the people I’ve met and would like to date?” really demonstrates what you mean when you say you want to go on a date. It can also indicate that you’re thinking of your own relationship needs, and it says that you respect their attention. They’ll know it’s time to give you a back-and-forth with some personal things.

Plan ahead. Just like you do in real life, ask the waiter whether you should make reservations. Planning ahead helps to limit distractions that will thwart the date.

Give people the time they need. If you’re going on a first date, lay out the terms of your interaction beforehand. What are you going to do when you hang out? When will you meet again? What will your plans be? Be straightforward about what you are looking for — both to solve problems that might arise and to plan ahead. It will help you feel more comfortable and contribute to the perfect date.

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