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Relationships

Disappointed After Meeting In Person- What Can You Do?

Being disappointed after meeting someone in person can be a real bummer.

Online dating has been all the rage lately, and in this modern era, where communication is at our fingertips (quite literally), we can learn a lot about someone through their social media alone. Dating online indeed has its perks, one of them being you could date someone halfway across the world by simply being connected socially. 

However, when things start to get a bit more serious, it’s only natural to want to see your partner in person. Sharing physical experiences makes for a big part of any romantic relationship! 

Okay, now picture this—you’ve been chatting with someone online for the past six months. Both of you talk to each other all the time and know almost everything about each other. You know their likes, dislikes, friends, family and everything else. 

You both then decide that it’s time to take things forward and meet in person, so you go ahead and meet them. During the first meeting, you realize they aren’t as exciting or adventurous or perhaps even as fun as you thought they would be. So you come back home all disappointed, and what now?

girls being in a disagreement

I can’t say we’ve all been there, but I think we’ve all had somewhat similar experiences in the past. So here is what you can do when disappointed after meeting in person: 

Keep your cool  

Easier said than done, but trying to remain calm and not panicking in a situation like this one can potentially improve the time spent together. 

Overthinking and questioning yourself, “Why did they turn out like this?” or “Why aren’t they the same as they were to me online?” will 10/10 ruin your chances of a decent date. 

So throw these thoughts out of the window and enjoy at least the time you both are together. Maybe they would turn out to be more interesting than what you’re assuming. 

If you’re out on a date and realize mid-way that you’re not romantically interested in them anymore, just tell yourself to be present and mindful. You also don’t want to show any signs of disappointment to the other person as it may cause mental distress to you and them both. 

No matter how disappointed you think you are, they may feel the same, too. Not because you’re not a good person but because you might not always be the right fit for them. These experiences will only teach you more about yourself, so don’t fret. 

Remind yourself that dating is a hit-or-miss! 

Nothing’s ever solid when it comes to dating. We all know that falling in love is a risk, and we choose to take that risk anyway! That is probably what makes love so exciting. 

With that being said, you need to remind yourself that it’s not always all sunshine and rainbows, and sometimes love can set us up for disappointments. To be very real, meeting someone who is the correct fit for you right off the bat is extremely rare. 

Before you decide to meet them, do your best not to put your date into boxes. Don’t expect them to act or behave in a certain way simply because you think they are that person.

We are all very different from each other and even our online personas. There’s nothing wrong with that, and what you can do is manage your own expectations. This way, the chances of you being disappointed after meeting in person will be lower! 

Treat them nicely regardless. 

When someone isn’t up to your’ expectations,’ it can get tough to be friendly and hold up an act. However, you must never forget that they’re human too and treat them as you would treat a friend. 

guy on a date with a girl

If you lose interest while you’re still on the date, do not assume you’ll give off the wrong signal by being nice to them. If you think being kind will show them that you’re interested, you may be wrong. 

Think of them as a friend, and talk to them like that. Ask them questions like “Hey, what happened at that event you went to last week that you were so excited about?” or “How was that trip you took last week?” or even something as simple as “How is your best friend doing?”

This will show them that you’re there to talk to them and that you’re present in the moment. You want to always remember that even if the date doesn’t lead to a romantic relationship between the two of you, it could still lead to a friendship at the least. Being kind truly never goes to waste!

Be honest 

No, we don’t mean you need to be brutal; be honest!

If you feel like your date was disinteresting and see that the other person also shows some sign of disinterest, be completely honest with them. For all you know, they’ll be grateful for you initiating “the not compatible” conversation. 

When you’re honest with them, you show them that you respect their time and yours and don’t intend to waste it any further. If you think they’re not on the same page as you, they might seem a little sad about you being honest, but they might realize it’s a good thing in the long run.

A one-on-one conversation might be the most respectful way to have this talk. Be kind and mindful of the things you say to them; they’re only trying to find the right person, too, after all!

Tell them you hope for the best for their future and wish them all the luck before you part ways. And if you decide to be friends, make sure they know you care about them, even if it’s not in a romantic way. 

Now that you know what to do in case you ever find yourself in a situation like this, let’s look at what you can do to prevent a situation like this from occurring in the first place. You know what they say: “Prevention is better than cure”. 

Here are 6 ways you can avoid finding yourself disappointed after meeting in person for the first time:

1. Be clear about what you’re looking for 

When you’re unsure about what you’re looking for in a partner, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Be intentional and clear about the qualities you are on the lookout for in a romantic partner. 

Avoiding boring and awkward first dates can get more manageable if you’re openly communicative and like to speak your mind. If you’re creating an online profile and hoping to meet someone through it, don’t be hesitant to show people who you are. 

Are you looking for a committed relationship or just a casual fling? Be honest and say that!

While it might seem like a good idea to brag about yourself or exaggerate your virtues on your dating profile, don’t fall for it. Be yourself at all times and authentic with the person you’re interested in. 

2. Draw a line on your expectations 

It’s one thing to expect a good romantic partner, and it’s a totally different thing to set unmatchable standards for them to meet. Sometimes, it can get a little tough to set realistic expectations because of societal expectations of what “true love” should look like. 

When setting expectations of what someone must be like, we often find ourselves projecting our feelings on them. (Projecting is defined as “extending outwards beyond something else; protruding”)

You need to be sure about the actual difference between what love in rom-coms and love, in reality, looks like. While “love at first sight” is quite possible, it may also be rarer than media portrayals. Know that there is no such thing as “perfect” when it comes to finding a partner. 

Everyone has flaws, and it’s okay to overlook some. What’s important here is to weigh between what you think are flaws or pluses and decide if you feel the relationship is worth the effort. Understand that it takes time to build friendships or relationships, and if you’re willing to invest your time and effort, go right ahead and do that! 

3. Have an adventure if you want to but meet at a public spot 

Who’s setting the rules about where you must go on your first date? Not us! 

girl being happy about her life

If your idea of a perfect date is different from the usual “dinner and movie”, then go ahead and plan yourself an adventure. You want to be careful about the place you’re picking (for safety purposes) and make sure it’s in public. 

For instance, go to a golf course, a museum, or an arcade if you want to have some fun with your partner. If it’s your first time meeting someone in person, we also suggest skipping the carpooling as it may be a little unsafe. 

Meeting in a public place will ensure you have the means to go home if the date were to go south. We hope your date is a success, but it’s best to be prepared, just in case. Taking the necessary precautions will make sure you’re safe and having a good time with your date as well. 

4. Have a few telephonic conversations

After chatting, the next step is talking to each other on a phone call. When you’re talking to someone on a call, you can gain a lot of understanding about who they are with the help of verbal cues. 

The tone in which they speak and how they try to explain things can be constructive when you’re trying to get to know someone better. Sometimes, people may get nervous about the thought of their date hearing their voice for the first time. This can also easily be avoided if you’ve had conversations on a call beforehand. 

5. Discuss likes & dislikes first 

While it may not sound like the best idea right now, think of it like this: If you know their deal breakers, you could avoid so much disappointment. 

We all have likes and dislikes when picking romantic partners. Some people may prefer athletic partners, while others may not want to date someone that smokes. Whatever your preference, make sure you let them know before meeting them. 

6. Inform a friend

The number one reason you should be informing a friend about your whereabouts on a date is safety. The second reason could be having them ready in case you need a quick run. 

Be careful to use this only in cases you think you cannot otherwise get out. If things get way too uncomfortable or awkward between the two of you, you can always ask your friend to call you up and come up with an excuse about how you need to leave. 

Pro tip: Don’t use this to get out of any date unless extremely necessary, or you might regret not giving yourself enough time to get to know the person later on. 

Now that you know how to deal with the disappointment and avoid it, let’s discuss what precautions you can take to be less disappointed when meeting in person. 

If you’re here simply reading this article because you’re nervous about meeting that person you like for the first time in person, we’ve still got you covered. 

Here are 7 tips for anyone that doesn’t want to set themselves up for disappointment when meeting their could-be special someone for the first time in person: 

  • Be there on time 

Being punctual is a sign of respect. When you’re on time for your first date, it’ll make sure your date understands that you value them. Just like you wouldn’t enjoy waiting for someone to show up on your first date, they wouldn’t either. Simply being on time can tell a lot about you. 

guy and girl on a date
  • Pick a place for mutual discussion. 

When deciding what you should be doing on your first date, it is essential to pick a place where you know you can both have fun. Imagine the disaster your first date might become if you were to select a museum date and your partner isn’t the least bit interested in art or history, geez!

  • Keep interesting conversation starters handy. 

No matter how well you think both of you will get along, it’s always good to keep a few conversation starters handy to avoid any awkward silences on your first date. Talk to them about the things they like and watch their face light up. Take the tip; you can thank us later for this one. 

  • Compliments, compliments, and more compliments 

When you like something about them, be confident and compliment your date about it. This will, in turn, make them feel secure and comfortable with you. If you have put in the effort to show up looking good, they have too. 

Make sure you let them know you appreciate the effort by dropping in a compliment or two about how handsome or beautiful they look. You could always be a little cheesy if you want to give them a more meaningful compliment. 

  • Skip the awkward greetings

Don’t like hugs? Don’t go for one! Simple as that. When greeting your date for the first time, keep it casual and straightforward and say something like “Hey!” to open a conversation. 

As you advance, you can even pop in a question like, “Hope this place wasn’t too far a drive for you?” This will make the conversation flow easily and smoothly. 

  • Talk about things you both enjoy 

When you’ve spoken to them online, chances are you know at least some things about them. Their likes are just as important as yours, so don’t go all out and talk about things that interest you, but you know it may not be as interesting to them. 

Doing this will make sure you’re both enjoying the conversation and not just one of you. Not to mention, it’s basic dating etiquette. 

  • Be mindful of your body language. 

Even if you’re not as interested in what your date has to say, don’t let it show. You want to be respectful. Non-verbal cues, such as body language, can tell a lot about us without our conscious awareness that we may be giving out strong messages. 

For instance, you may lean in to show that you’re listening to them and you’re interested in what they have to say. 

In Conclusion 

Being disappointed after the first date is a more common situation than it may seem. With dating being made even more accessible, finding your soulmate online is always possible. 

Romantic relationships are not easy, to say the least, and finding your person is truly no walk in the park. If you do end up disappointed after meeting someone for the first time, we’re here to tell you that there’s nothing wrong with that. 

People may want different things from their romantic partners, and if you believe that they’re not the one for you, you have the full right to keep looking. You might even want to give it another shot with the same person simply because even if you’re not interested at first, the person may get interesting with time as you get to know them better. But we’ll leave that for you to decide. 

Just remember to be kind, generous, and open about the way you express your feelings for someone you’re not interested in. After all, they’re there on their first date looking for the same thing as you: a genuinely loving relationship and a good partner. 

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by Genesis Gutierrez

Genesis is the founder of Harness Magazine, a digital media company that celebrates and elevates the voices of women around the world. A first-generation college graduate, Genesis holds a degree in from UCLA with hopes of going back for a Masters in Social Work.

Through her work as an editor-in-chief of Harness, Genesis has dedicated herself to amplifying the stories of women specifically marginalized communities. She is committed to creating space for those who are often left out of mainstream conversations, and believes that storytelling is one of the most powerful tools we have for building community and sparking social change.


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