Meeting someone for the first time after you’ve been speaking online is often awkward.
It depends on the anticipation, things you’ve been talking about, how good you both are socially, and some other things.
But there is a lot you can do to make sure it’s not awkward, or at least that it goes as smoothly as possible.
Here are some of the reasons why it’s often awkward and the things you can do to make sure your meeting goes well!
Meeting Someone Online for the First Time: Awkward? 10 Tips That Will Help!
If you’re concerned it’s going to be awkward meeting someone you met online for the first time, it doesn’t have to be.
Here are my top 10 tips for making your meeting as smooth and natural as possible:
1. Ask How You’re Going to Greet Each Other
One of the most awkward things about meeting someone – and I know I’m guilty of this! – is knowing how you’re going to greet each other.
Are you going to shake hands? Hug? Kiss on the cheek?
Instead of getting anxious about how you’ll greet each other, just come out and ask them what you’re going to do.
There is nothing wrong with asking, and it’s going to make sure you both get off on the right foot!
2. Meet Them in A Group Setting
This isn’t always possible but it’s something to consider if you can arrange it.
If you’re both comfortable with it and you know other people who will be there, meeting in a group setting can take the pressure off of both of you.
This enables you to bounce energy and conversations off other people and not have to focus 1-on-1 for the duration of your meeting.
3. Bring a Friend with You
If a group setting isn’t an option, bringing a close friend might be – and it’ll take a lot of stress off the meeting.
Your friend can act as a buffer if things get awkward and they can help you out if you need it.
It’ll feel nice to have someone familiar there and if you have a friend who is great in social situations, even better.
4. Meet in A Public Place You Know Well
This is one of the most important things to consider when meeting someone for the first time, whether it’s online or not.
You want to make sure you’re meeting in a safe place that you’re comfortable with.
It’ll also take some of the anxiety of finding somewhere you haven’t been before and not being sure what to expect.
5. Meet Somewhere There Are Things to Do
If you can, try and meet somewhere where there are things to do and see as this will provide some distractions.
This means if the conversation lulls or things get awkward, you can focus on the attractions or activities.
6. Take Some Deep Breaths and Compose Yourself
This is something I always do when I’m about to do something that’s making me a little anxious, and it works wonders.
Just before you meet them. Take some long deep breaths, focus on your breathing, and try to relax.
The calmer and less nervous you are, the more likely it is that the meeting will go well.
7. Don’t Get Hung up On Your Expectations
If you’ve been getting on really well with the person you’ve been talking to online, it’s easy to build up your expectations.
The problem is that expectations mean you’re going into the meeting with an idea of how things should go, and that’s setting yourself up for disappointment.
If you go in with no expectations, you’re far more likely to have a good time.
8. Set a Timeline for What You’re Going to Do
Whether you’re meeting for coffee, lunch, dinner, or something else, it’s always a good idea to set a timeline for how long you’re going to be hanging out.
This way, if things are going well, you can always extend the time.
But if things are going poorly, you’re not going to feel ‘stuck’ or like you have to make up an excuse to get away.
9. Understand That They’re Going to Be Nervous Too
Just like you’re nervous about meeting them, they’re going to be just as nervous about meeting you.
Everyone gets anxious about meeting someone new, so try and remember that when you’re stressing over the little things.
If the meeting is awkward, it doesn’t always mean it’s your fault.
In fact, they might be looking to you to help them out. Or, they might not even feel it’s anywhere as awkward as you do.
10. Just Be Yourself!
This is the most important point on the list in terms of making sure the meeting goes well, no matter how awkward you think it goes.
The key to a good meeting is just being yourself.
If you try and be someone you’re not, it’s going to come across as fake and it’ll make things more awkward.
Just relax, be yourself, and enjoy getting to know someone new.
At the end of the day, if it’s a little awkward, that’s fine. As long as you’re both being yourselves, that’s just something you’ll have to get through.
It’s something you’ll look back on and laugh about one day, I’m sure!
How Long Should You Wait to Meet Someone You Met Online?
This is a question I get asked a lot and it’s not an easy one to answer.
The truth is, there’s no set amount of time you should wait to meet someone you met online.
It depends on a lot of factors, such as how well you get along, how long you’ve been talking, and how much you trust them.
If you’re not sure, my best advice is to err on the side of caution and wait a little longer.
It’s better to be safe than sorry, after all.
But at the same time if you’re chatting a lot online and getting on really well, the longer you wait the bigger the anticipation will be.
It’s a tough call, the best answer is to go with the flow and what feels right!
Why Is It Awkward Meeting Someone Offline?
It’s not always awkward meeting someone offline for the first time, but it certainly isn’t uncommon either.
There are a few reasons why this might be the case.
The first is that it’s harder to gauge how well you’ll get along with someone in person than it is online.
You can get a pretty good idea of someone’s personality by talking to them online, but it’s not the same as meeting in person.
The second reason is that it’s easy to build up someone in your head when you’re talking to them online.
You might have an idea of what they’re like, but when you meet them in person they might not be anything like you expected.
And lastly, interacting socially in person is way different from interacting online.
If you’ve been spending a lot of time online you may need to polish up on your social skills, so that’s something to think about before meeting someone.
Practice makes everything easier, and this is also true when it comes to meeting people and socializing.
Image credits – depositphotos.com/stock-photo-couple-coffee
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.