The Advantages Of Meeting In Real Life Versus Online Dating

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My favorite bartender (actually my only bartender) tried to gently fix me up a couple of weeks ago. It was really sweet. He knows I’m single and I guess, in his heart of hearts, that he’d like to see me find a guy?

It wasn’t really an introduction. He leaned in as he walked by and sort of nodded his head towards “Joe” (fake name) and said to me, “He’s a really nice guy.”

He is a nice guy; later in the evening as I waiting for my dinner, he came over and sat next to me. We had a nice chat and I had the feeling he was sort of checking things out. He talked about what he was doing and shared a little about his social life.

He’s nice, funny and very easy to talk to.

The Advantages Of Meeting In Real Life Versus Online Dating

It’s nice to meet someone in real life–there is a distinct advantage over trying to get to know someone through online dating. With the immediacy of a face-to-face you learn a lot and pretty quickly. There’s no altering of weight or height, no hiding age, and you can get a sense of their style. The conversation replaces that first tentative phone call and you can chat without having to worry about giving out a phone number or email address before you know if it’s a good or bad idea!

What I’ve learned about Joe is that he’s not my type. I saw him again this week, from across the room. We talked just a tad but mostly I got to watch him interact with his friends. You can learn a lot that way. In this case I realize that I don’t have much in common with his friends, and by extension, with him. For me that’s a drawback in finding a relationship–no big deal if we’re just talking a pleasant evening out.

A relationship should be built on compatibility and a desire to do things together. It doesn’t have to be so intense that you are bonded 24/7. We don’t always like our partners’ friends and we don’t have to. But, if you’re trying to piece together a story about someone, seeing who they hang out with provides valuable clues. The real life meeting reveals so much….you learn about your potential date in a natural way and you can see how it feels to be with him or her.

How does he/she treat the waiter? The bartender?

Does he pay attention to you or is he distracted?

Is he drinking a lot? Smoking? Flirting with other women?

What kind of conversation is he having with his pals? What kind of conversation is he having with you? Talking too much, not enough… boring, bored?

The idea of spontaneously meeting someone is the hope we all hold on to. It is possible. You look up and your eyes meet across the room, sparks fly and suddenly you’ve spent three hours talking and you want it to last forever. But, that’s not the type of thing one can expect as the norm.

So what’s my message? Be open to any opportunity to meet new people. It helps to let go of rigid expectations and allow things to unfold–or not– as they will. I spent a pleasurable 30 minutes or so talking to this guy. And, if he wanders over on another Friday night I would talk to him again. Maybe I’d go out with him? I suspect that he feels the same about me–nice but not really his type.

You have to step outside of your normal routine sometimes. Don’t sit at home waiting for him to appear–unless you’ve got the hots for the mailman. Depending on your preferences you can try online dating or go out and join local groups. It takes some effort, but it’s worth it.

Which path are you taking? Got any stories you want to share?

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