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couple meeting up online and getting laid

Hooking Up With Your Online Date

The odds of getting laid are in your favor when it comes to online dating: 1 in 3 women who meet men online put out on the first date.

When meeting up with a potential true love (or serial killer) for the first time, don’t skirt the safety basics of meeting in a well-lit public place and letting a friend know where you’ll be. But if you want your first encounter with IHumpAlot69 to get off on the right foot, or, if you just want to get off, consider the following:

Have an escape route. After appetizers you might conclude that you just can’t deal with that newly cultivated handlebar mustache. In this case, a carefully timed “emergency” phone call from a friend can save your ass. You may even be able to climb out of the women’s bathroom window and save the rest of your night!

Meet during the day. Not only does this provide less pressure when meeting up (hooker heels or classy pumps? make reservations?), but if you two aren’t clicking, you can part ways and salvage the rest of your day. An evening date gives you all day to worry about what to wear, what to talk about, and who else from that stupid website they’re probably having lunch with. On the flip side, if an afternoon date goes well, there’s always the possibility of extending it into the evening—or a sleepover.

Choose an actual meeting place. Sure, meeting at a mall takes care of the safety part of the date. Wandering around and trying to decide if you want a mediocre lunch at The Cheesecake Factory or Red Robin kills any semblance of a mood, though. Ask the other person where they’d like to meet, but have your own suggestion ready. Going someplace new ups the connection through a shared experience—and thus your odds of sharing another (more naked) experience.

Be honest. If you’re not feeling it, don’t sign up for another date just to spare their feelings and then ignore subsequent online messages. If you see hook-up potential, then don’t waste time asking about their high school sport participation. Make your intentions clear and invite them over so you can get a little cozier.

Don’t go overboard. So you’ve scoured all the best online dating sites and found a potential soul mate—at the least they’re definitely not a serial killer. Success! It’s fine to feel a real connection, but if you know that a cup of coffee at your place will likely result in nauseating self-doubt the next morning, swing by a diner instead. If you’re already imagining proposing (or saying yes), take a breather and try to live in the moment. Play your crazy cards right, and there will be a next time.