While we don’t have statisics for Kiwi online dating, the trends in the USA show a good chance of finding life-long love.

According to a 2013 study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences:

  • Around one-third of American marriages now begin online
  • Those marriages are less likely to break down and are associated with slightly higher marital satisfaction rates than those of couples who met offline
  • Of couples who got together online, 5.9% broke up, compared to 7.6% of those who met offline.

The date invitation

Women ask men for dates as often as men ask women, so there are no rules about who should ask first.

You’ve been chatting online anyway, so you’ll both be familiar with how the other expresses themself.

The next step is to talk on the phone – you can tell a lot from a person’s voice and the conversation.

When everything screams ‘yes’, ask them for a date in your own words.

When someone asks for a date and the other person accepts, you are both already open to possible romance.

Before the date

Choose somewhere you feel confident to meet. Going out for dinner or coffee can be difficult for inexperienced dates because it forces conversation in an interview style (sitting across from each other).

 Is it going to cost? Don’t expect the other person to pay. If you’d rather split the bill, talk about this before your date.

Doing something you actually enjoy. It will help the date go smoothly. Anything that makes you laugh or generates positive emotions will decrease nerves.

Choose a public or familiar place to meet. Make sure you tell at least one person who you are meeting (name), where, when, and what time you expect to be home.

Do your homework. Read through your chats with this person. Picking out some things in their profile you’d like to know more about will give you both something to talk about.

Banish pre-date nerves by keeping busy. Doing something physical like going to the gym, for a brisk walk, or dancing around the house will keep you from overthinking how the date will go. It also means you’ll arrive more relaxed and ready to have a good time.

What to wear? You want to look your best, but there’s no need to overdress. You need to be comfortable if you plan to walk, eat, laugh or hang out for a few hours.

Most first dates don’t result in a relationship. Meeting a stranger is about learning from experience and building confidence, so don’t start dreaming about your future together just yet!

On the date

You really have no idea whether this person will be the right one for you, so don’t try to flatter them with a lot of compliments, or be amazed at everything they say. You don’t even have to agree with them!

Instead ask yourself: “Who is he/she? Do we have common values, interests, and aspirations? Do they have a good sense of humour? Are they kind, and worth my time, energy, and commitment?”

Be on time. Too early and you’ll wait and get nervous (everyone does). Being late forces the other person to wait and get nervous.

Put your phone away. You need to be ‘present’ not distracted. Save couple selfies for when you are in a relationship.

People have different levels of personal space. Try to find the middle ground between an ‘awkward distance’ and ‘touching’. If you treat someone like a distant stranger they will feel like that. If someone moves back, you are too close.

Listen. This involves speaking less and listening more. Letting them do most of the talking takes the pressure off you.

Silence has a purpose. Pauses give people time to think about what was said and process it. You don’t have to fill every gap with words. In fact, people who are comfortable together are also comfortable with shared silent time for thinking.

Make your own decisions. Saying you’ll have the same food/drink, or expecting the other person to make all the plans about what you do can get boring for them.

Splitting the bill. To avoid an awkward situation, discuss this when you arrange the date.

Saying goodbye. If you enjoyed the date, tell them you enjoyed meeting them and would be happy to meet again. If you’re not 100% sure, or didn’t enjoy the date, just politetely thank them for meeting you. You don’t have to make a decision right there and then.

Sex? MyKind advises against intimate relations on a first date. Your first few dates will probably not result in relationships, and you may regret it when you do find someone you want a relationship with. But it’s your choice – you’re adults and single (but please use protection!).

It’s all about choice – ‘no’ means ‘no’. Never be pushed into intimacy, or push someone else when they either don’t want it or are not sure.

Don’t drink too much alcohol. You’ll lose control of all of the above!

After the date

Was it:

  • Relaxed and familiar, like you’ve known each other for years; you felt safe, repected and listened to, and are keen for a second date?
  • Enjoyable, and a second date might allow you/them to relax more; it has potential?
  • OK, but they’re not the ideal match, so you’ll probably not bother with a second date?
  • Awkward and you’ll definitely not see them again?

If you had a great time, send a message the next day. If they’re interested they’ll be happy you did.

You didn’t have a great time? Best to be honest and message/phone them the next day.

They message saying they had a great time, but you’re not interested. If you ignore it they may keep messaging because they deserve closure.

Saying ‘no’. It’s hard telling someone why you don’t want a second date because most of us don’t want to hurt their feelings, are too shy to talk about it, or maybe we just don’t know.

Sometimes it’s gut instinct, and for most people that’s hard to understand themselves, let alone find the right words to explain it to a stranger. However, the longer it is left unspoken, the harder it becomes to say, so try to:

  1. Thank them for meeting you.
  2. Say you’re sorry but it didn’t work for you, and try to explain why you don’t want a second date.
  3. Wish them well, and that you hope they find the right person.

If they’re not interested and you are. Ask them politely to tell you what didn’t work for them, then at least you’ll know and can keep that In mind when you date someone else. Don’t message them again. Nothing you can say will change their mind, and you risk becoming a needy stalker!

Try not to get upset. A stranger is unlikely to fall in love with you in the space of a few hours on a first date. It does not mean you are unlovable or a failure – quite the opposite! Learn from your disappointing dates, because they provide ‘training’ for something far more rewarding. Sometimes love is like cheese … good things take time!