from the Submissive Guide Newsletter 05-14-16

We spend a lot of time in front of a screen these days. We chat, we shop, we explore and we date, all from the comfort of our homes. But, it is my opinion, that dating is something that really should be done face to face. Yeah, I know, I met KnyghtMare online and we lived on separate continents for 6 months before finally meeting. In our defense we weren't looking for face to face relationships at the time and were perfectly happy being an online D/s couple, especially with the distance involved. That changed and as soon as it did, we wanted to be at least in the same state, let alone the same room as quickly as possible to see if we clicked away from the screen. When looking for that compatible partner to spend your life with, determining face to face if they are attractive, how well you get along and many other factors is an important early step; even if you plan to continue discussions online after meeting.

I honestly think that  dating online limits a lot of your interactions and learning about someone only face to face dating can do. A lot of people have an unspoken assumption that meeting someone in person automatically shifts things from online to in person and ends the "getting to know you" phase, so that if you "click" at that meeting, things progress to deciding when to play or whether to end it. It always sounds like people assume that a meet for coffee means there will be no more in-depth online or on-phone or some other non face-to-face discussions or negotiations.

There's no inherent reason whatsoever why that needs to be true. It's just as possible - even reasonable - to say "now that we've met, we can begin the next step of online discussions." It really depends on what you are seeking for a relationship. If you want only online, never physical relationship with the person, then of course you don't need to ever meet this person. But if you are looking for a relationship that will be physical you definitely want to meet the person before you invest a ton of time getting to know them online. Even if it means just making sure this person is who they say they are; that they are serious about seeking a relationship also.

What does insisting on meeting early on help you figure out about this potential Dominant partner?

First, it helps you figure out if the person is online only, or may even be already in a relationship. You are looking for a real, maybe even long-term or lifelong relationship. You don't want to spend your time talking to someone online if they have no intention of leaving the cyber realm. If they are cheating on their partner, they will be less likely (although not impossible) to want to meet you for coffee to get to know you further. There are others that are role-playing online and when presented with a proposal to carry on offline they will simply vanish.

Also, you'll learn if this person is as serious as you are about establishing a committed relationship with someone and considers you as a potential mate. People who are far less certain will be unwilling to meet someone offline. There is no reason to sit behind a computer screen getting to know someone who has no intention of developing a relationship on the same level that you are seeking.

And finally, you'll see if there's physical attraction. In most D/s relationships there is a level of intimacy expected, so you would want to have the desire to be with that person, right? Granted, if you are looking for a long-term, service based relationship with no sexual or play expected you'd have a different idea on attraction.

 Setting Up The First Meeting

When you are ready to meet your potential Dominant for the first time, what goes through your mind? Do you think about safety at all or do the nervousness and excitement overload your common sense?

You may not think that safety is necessary for someone you’ve been talking to for x number of hours, days, months, years but the person you meet could be very different from what is portrayed online and you may not be compatible. How do you get out of the meeting safely and how do you protect yourself?

Be Prepared

It is the boy scouts moto for a reason; always know what you are getting into and have everything prepared, even if you may never use it or need it. For first dates, make sure you have basic information about the Dominant you are meeting. What color and make their car is, their license plate if they will give it to you (and why wouldn’t they?), their name and phone number, address and other important information you have collected. Leave this information at home in plain sight and with your safe call (more on safe calls below). If something were to happen to you, then the authorities would have somewhere to start.

Of course no one wants something to happen, but it is better to be prepared and never have to use it than to disappear and leave no trace of you behind, right? It’s about common sense and personal safety; pure and simple.

Meet in Public

When you set up a first meeting make sure it’s in a public place. You don’t want someone coming to pick you up or meeting them at their private residence. I know being picked up could be romantic, but save it for future dates, this one is all about getting to know someone better.

Being in public gives you some security and having your own transportation means that if things go south you have a way home and aren’t relying on someone else. Besides, public places generally have better food choices, beverages to enjoy and a conversational atmosphere. That’s what gives first dates a good or bad vibe.

Set Up a Safe Call

safe call is much like that friend who knows you are out on a blind date. You give them all the information you have collected on the person and then set up a call for a set time. Depending on your comfort level with the Dominant this call could happen during the date or immediately after it is supposed to end. Anyone can be a safe call person as long as they are available to call you or receive calls during the date. Many local  munch groups have a safe call network in place.

This call is just a check in call. You can treat it any way you want. Some people have a code that they only answer yes or no questions and that gives the person on the other end a clue as to how things are doing and if you are in any danger. Others have specific phrases they use to clue the caller in to what is going on. You don’t have to be so cryptic if you don’t want to. It’s completely up to you.

A respectful Dominant should allow you to answer your phone during a first meeting. Those that don’t should be warning to you and you should try to find a way out of the date. I know some Dominants that insist you have a safe call in place before meeting them, just to give you some sense of security in a tense situation. Never turn down the request for a safe call.

Do Not Play

Unless you want to develop a reputation for recklessness abandon, then do not play on the first date! Get to know the person better face to face, see if there is chemistry there and then you can schedule play dates. If you feel you are being pressured to play, call your safe call and/or leave. You should not have to get intimate with someone you have only talked to online or by phone.

I certainly would never even begin online discussions about a possible relationship until I'd met, and maybe even played with someone.

So, for me, the amount of time to "wait" was always the bare minimum it took to determine whether there were any dealbreaking red flags, I establish actual compatibility in person.

Thoughts to Ponder

  1. How long do you wait to meet someone who you've found through online dating?
  2. Other than what's listed here, why do you think it's important to meet someone face to face before continuing the get to know you stage?
  3. In what situations would you allow for a longer time period before meeting?

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